Mick Dawson

The Man who Rowed Across the Pacific Ocean from Japan to San Francisco
Mick Dawson
  • Former Royal Marines Commando serving in the Middle East
  • Inspiration for the Discovery Channel documentary “Rowing the Pacific”
  • Battled typhoons, hurricanes, sharks and killer whales to complete his journey
  • Inspires audiences with a vivid, humorous and touching recollection of his 189 days at sea

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Mick Dawson is one of the most experienced and successful Ocean Rowers in the world. He is a former Royal Marine Commando, an author and film maker. In 2015 he founded ‘The Cockleshell Endeavour;’ a resource for recovering veterans dealing with physical or mental health issues.

His list of ongoing maritime achievements includes twice rowing the Atlantic Ocean, skippering the first and only rowing boat ever to cross the North Pacific Ocean (7000 miles from Japan to The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco) and successfully rowing the Pacific again in 2018, from California to Hawaii, with Blind Veteran Steve Sparkes, another world record and world first.

Under the flag of ‘The Cockleshell Endeavour,’ Mick continues to raise money for military charities and create and break records whilst working with and supporting the service community.

Whilst providing ongoing support for recovering veterans in national and international ocean rows and kayaking expeditions, Mick has maintained his connection with the sea paddling around the Falklands in 2017 with a Royal Marine veteran dealing with issues of PTSD and more recently, in 2022, paddling a two-man kayak, again in partnership with blind veteran Steve Sparkes, from Fort William in Scotland to Portsmouth on the South Coast of England. A 74-day, near 700-mile project created to acknowledge the 40th anniversary of the Falklands war which both men are veterans of.

Mick’s powerful and remarkable presentations are built on the backdrop of his many diverse and genuinely unique maritime experiences and adventures. The lessons learned and setbacks overcome achieving seemingly impossible goals in the most challenging of conditions.

His presentations are delivered with passion, humour and an expertise built on a foundation of hard-won knowledge and life lessons gained in the most hostile of environments.

Highlighting, amongst other key points, the ethos of great teamwork, adaptive leadership, the importance of resilience and how to develop it, Mick’s presentations illustrate in a uniquely colourful and exciting way the fundamental principles which are essential for all individuals or teams striving to achieve their goals and ambitions in any environment.

In 2017 Mick’s first book charting the story of his North Pacific and Atlantic rowing adventures went on the shelves: Published by Hachette, in the U.S. titled: Battling the Oceans on A Rowboat (published 22nd August 2017). In the U.K. titled: Rowing the Pacific (21st of September 2017).

His Second book, ‘Never Leave A Man Behind,’ charting his work with recovering veterans and his epic row across the Pacific with blind veteran Steve Sparkes (Published in August 2020 by little brown books)

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Speaker Video

One of the Last Great Firsts, Featuring Mick Dawson

189 Days Trailer

Coping With Isolation. One of the world’s experts on coping with isolation, Mick Dawson has spent over five hundred and twenty days at sea either alone or with only one other person for company. On one expedition in particular, he spent 109 days alone in a hostile environment 93 of those days with no outside contact whatsoever as his communications failed. As companies deal with the forthcoming periods of isolation due to social distancing and remote work, Mick shares his lessons-learned on how to manage isolation, and the specific coping mechanisms he developed to deal with such an abnormal existence.

189 days: The first successful crossing of the North Pacific. During a presentation covering all of the dramatic setbacks, highs, lows, and challenges of rowing across the fearsome North Pacific Ocean, Mick takes audiences on the amazing 7,000-mile journey from Japan to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. With stunning visuals and valuable lessons on teamwork and peak performance, his presentation inspires audiences to push past boundaries. All great achievements start with the first step, and Mick challenges listeners to stop viewing their ambitions as “dreams” and instead as “goals,” working towards those goals one day at a time. A captivating speaker who is both hilarious and humble, Mick keeps audiences on the edge of their seats and leaves them motivated to reach new heights.

Mick tailors his presentations to each of his individual clients to meet precisely their specific requirements. However, some of the key points he illustrates against the back drop of his incredible voyages are:

  • Setting and achieving goals.
  • Teamwork. Creating an unbreakable team.
  • Using your fear to achieve your goals.
  • Overcoming adversity and maintaining momentum
  • Leadership and how to adapt it to achieve your aims.

Mick is an experienced and accomplished speaker who has delivered his unique presentations to a wide variety of audiences across the globe. From the stage of the Queen Mary 2 to Microsoft, Micks dramatic, humorous and honest delivery has gripped audiences everywhere. He also has completed his first TED Talk: ‘Fear, is a misunderstood friend.’

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