Monty enjoying some fresh sea air – between the Argos
beacon and the satphone antenna.

8 Feb, 06 – 20:38

There has been a request to hear more from Monty, the teddy bear from Southbourne Junior School and ship’s First Mate. So here he is… over to you, Monty.


I didn’t realise this was the slow boat to Antigua. We’ve been out here for 70 days now, and still a long way to go. A bear can get bored of life at sea.

I should have got a ride with those nice boys Ben and James – than I’d be home and dry and doing the chat show circuit now. And I’d be in their documentary. I’d be famous! Instead I’m still stuck out here in the great blue yonder, having to listen to Roz’s awful singing as she rows.

Would somebody please tell Molly, the other Southbourne teddy, that I haven’t been lost at sea, that I will be back eventually, and she mustn’t get tired of waiting and go off with any of the other toys.

And that’s all from me for now.


Other stuff:

Today has been humid and squally – hard to know from one moment to the next what the weather was going to do. The oar repairs are bearing up well, although the silver duck tape is hugely inferior to the black version – it is soft and wears through very easily, so I have to be very careful not to scuff it when putting the oars in or out of their gates, because if this tape wears out There Is No More.

I second Monty’s opinion that we’ve been at sea plenty long enough. Other rowers speak of a nirvana where wind, swell and current all line up and it’s possible to cover 50 miles in a day, with 20 miles of drift overnight. So far these conditions have eluded me. Any time now would be nice…

Texts: thank you for all the messages. As always, they help keep me entertained and cheerful. And it was a Bumper batch today! Thanks to AJ (glad somebody understands importance of own-steam), Penny Stagg, Colin Habgood, Pauline (yes re land-legs, already worried my first act on dry land will be to fall over!), John T (yes, good one – will memorise), DB (favourite album is Songs of Faith and Devotion by Depeche Mode. Jerk chicken in Antigua – no idea!), Charlie Martin (nice to e-meet you, and congrats to David), Kurt (sky-diving? I fancy that…), Richard Powles (I hope to be off adventuring in 2007, but do ask me nearer the time! Regards to all at the Univ dinner on 23/2), Lizann, James Oglethorpe, Margaret and Bob (you do wonders for a girl’s ego! Do you charge for your ego-boosting services?!), JB (more Monty as requested! Sponsorship?), Victoria H, HSS, Avelline (welcome! 3 kids and you still find time to row – wow!), the Galls (glad you understand the oar issue!).

Rita Savage’s PS: Sponsored Miles coming up: 1870 Nicholas Mardon-Taylor; 1888 Mat Ellis; 1899 Frances Barber – those after 1900 tomorrow perhaps? Thanks for your support.
Monty: from what I’ve read about Ben and James, you might have suffered some discomforts there too when their boat pitchpoled!

For GPS position, race position and miles from La Gomera, see

Wind: E, about 8-20 knots (estimate)
Weather: mostly overcast, occasional sunshine
Sea state: moderate to rough
Hours rowing: 12

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