Rowboat in a Hurricane: My Amazing Journey Across a Changing Atlantic Ocean

Rowboat in a Hurricane: My Amazing Journey Across a Changing Atlantic Ocean

Julie Angus

Language: English

Pages: 272

ISBN: 1553653378

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


In 2005–06, Julie Angus, with her fiancé Colin, rowed 10,000 kilometers across the Atlantic Ocean, becoming the first woman in the world to travel from mainland to mainland in a rowboat. The 145-day journey gave Angus, a trained scientist, a unique perspective on the ocean. The slow-moving boat became an ecosystem unto itself, attracting barnacles, dorado fish, trigger fish, turtles, sharks, whales, birds, and more, which she was able to observe and document. Angus also saw unmistakable signs of the ocean’s devastation, with far more plastic bottles, wrappers, toys, and bags than sharks or other once-common sea life. Four cyclones, including two hurricanes, hammered the small boat so intensely that Angus and her companion weren't sure they would survive. Rowboat in a Hurricane records this amazing journey in meticulous, dramatic detail, in the process offering a personal record of an awe-inspiring ecosystem, its fascinating denizens, and the mounting threats to its existence.

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species is considered collapsed. If we don’t change our approach to managing the oceans, say the scientists, all the world’s fish stocks will collapse by 2048. That’s the bad news. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. This is not a prediction set in stone, but a warning of what will happen if our approach to the ocean doesn’t change. “We can turn this around,” said the lead author of the study, Dalhousie University professor Boris Worm. “But less than 1 per cent of the global

conditions, a frontal low from the northwest had swept over the Azores Islands seven hundred kilometres to the northwest. Meteorologists called it occluded and deep-layer; the wave of low pressure had brought thunderstorms and foul weather. Over the next two days, the storm had intensified and, on October 8, just as I was waking up and looking forward to celebrating my birthday, it became a subtropical storm. At that point the unusually placid waters we’d been experiencing were forming ripples

winds were variable, frequently changing direction and often dead calm. As we struggled westward, a black wall of clouds appeared on the horizon ahead of us. The blue sky contrasted sharply with the ragged, undulating mass in the distance. Hours slipped by, but the system did not move. At night we could see an almost continual diffused flashing light in the horizon, created by heavy electrostatic activity in the distant clouds. The lightning was too far away to hear. I felt somewhat uneasy

return to a more benign state, and we did our best to power through the waves. We returned to a reduced rowing schedule, rowing only during daylight hours and harnessing ourselves to the boat whenever we were on deck. Finally, two days after Epsilon ceased being a hurricane, the waves stopped crashing over our deck, and we resumed rowing during the night. After more than a week of tumultuous weather, we were finally rowing eighteen hours a day again. Now, more than ever, we felt that we’d had

completion of a long-held dream; he had travelled 43,000 kilometres around the world to complete the first human-powered circumnavigation. And I was thrilled to have journeyed halfway around the world from Moscow using only a bicycle and a rowboat. As Colin and I adjusted to the regular world, people often asked me if I now found life mundane. Surprisingly, I didn’t find being home boring at all; on the contrary, it was an adventure of a different sort. On the rowboat we had dreamed of living in

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