AFTER 51 days, 17 hours and 15 minutes, rower Dawn Wood slowly docked into Port St Charles on Barbados to become only the seventh woman ever to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

Now back at home in Burnham, the epic adventurer has had time to reflect on her monumental challenge and the tasks which lie ahead for her beyond the journey.

Despite not breaking Kiko Matthews’ world record, Dawn says the voyage was an overwhelming success and she is still blown away by it.

She said: “It feels good to walk around again because I didn’t walk for seven weeks. I only stood up on the boat because of the room.

“The first day was surreal because as I was rowing away, I saw Gran Canaria disappearing and there was nothing but open sea.

“The wind conditions in the first few days were not ideal.

“There was a wind coming from the southwest which means you’re rowing against the wind.”

Despite the challenges on her first few days, things started to pick up as she got into the swing of sea life.

She said: “I would say the wildlife was the highlight.

“There was a turtle who literally came up right past me to inspect the boat. I put my camera in the water and he came right up to it.

“Apparently there has been no other rower that has had an encounter with a turtle so it felt special.

“The dolphins at night were magical.

“They were following my boat under the surface in the water and they were glowing blue due to the moonlight.

“It took my breath away and it was one of the situations where I wanted someone to be with me to see it.”

She knew she had hit the halfway point thanks to the notes she was keeping.

To celebrate, she ate a whole pack of Jaffa Cakes – her favourite snack.

“It’s not often you get to do it so I thought why not,” she said.

“Part of my routine is to check and plot my position on a paper chart when I check my GPS.

“The point of that is that if my electrics go down, I still know where I am.”

The low points came in the form of plastic pollution and adverse weather conditions pushing her back.

Read the full interview in the paper or wait for more this weekend.