First Human Powered Circumnavigation of Earth

Rowing across the Atlantic Ocean

Rowing across the Atlantic Ocean

In June, 2004, a team of three, including Colin Angus and his fiancée (now wife), Julie Wafaei, left Vancouver on their bicycles. Nearly two years later, they rolled back in, looking like castaways, and having completed the first human-powered circumnavigation of the globe – a feat involving rowing unsupported across two oceans and trekking through 17 countries.

The team cycled, skiied, canoed hiked and rowed a route that took them to Alaska, across the Bering Sea and the Siberian winter, across Europe from Moscow to Portugal, then across the Atlantic to Costa Rica–a 156-day rowing odyssey.

From there it was a short 8,300 kilometre ride back to Vancouver. Along the way they burned through 4,000 chocolate bars, 72 inner tubes, 250 kgs of freeze-dried foods, 31 dorado fish (caught from the sea), 2 offshore rowboats, 4 bicycles, 80 kgs of clothing.

And they showed the world that if he can travel 43,000 kilometres without polluting the planet, then the rest of us can get off our butts, and clean up our own acts.

Julie completed most of the journey including a ten thousand km unsupported row across the Atlantic Ocean, becoming the first woman to row the complete Atlantic from mainland to mainland.

Excerpt from the book Beyond the Horizon

“We lay in the rowboat cabin as the seas swelled and the sky boiled like a devil’s cauldron. Slanting yellow sun beams cut between black squalls, and corrugated cirrus clouds interlaced the remaining areas of blue. Huge anvil heads roiled and billowed, like slow-moving atomic explosions. Flashes of lightning illuminated the IMAX screen of the horizon. Such energy and volatility would have been breathtakingly beautiful, if we had been watching from nearly anywhere else, and if it weren’t for the fact that it was all just a prelude to a killer storm.

It was hard to believe that yet another tropical cyclone was heading our way. We had chosen the worst hurricane season in recorded history to make our five-month, 10,000 km unsupported rowboat crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. Now, two months into our voyage, it looked very likely our expedition might come to an abrupt end.

Our voyage across the Atlantic was only a part of a much larger expedition: an attempt to complete the first human-powered circumnavigation of the planet. So far we had trekked, skied, cycled, canoed, and rowed non-stop across three continents and were half-way across our second ocean. Now, as I huddled in the dog-house sized cabin with my fiancée waiting for the Hurricane Epsilon to reach us, I cursed myself for ever believing I could achieve such an impossible quest.”

Colin’s book “Beyond the Horizon” is available in Canada, the US and Germany, and Julie’s book “Rowboat in a Hurricane” is available in Canada and the US.

The expedition DVD is available in the Angus Adventures Online store.