Beyond the Horizon

The Great Race to Finish the First Human-Powered Circumnavigation of the Planet

Publisher: Anchor Canada
In June, 2004, Colin Angus left Vancouver on his bicycle. Nearly two years later, he rolled back in, looking like a castaway, and having completed the first human-powered circumnavigation of the globe.

Angus cycled, skiied, and rowed a route that took him 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 he 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 he 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.

“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.”

—From Beyond the Horizon


From the Hardcover edition.

READ AN EXCERPT

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A year after my Google discovery, in 2002, I was feeling philosophical. Like so many people, I was struck by the paradox that the human struggle for advancement was killing the planet that sustains us. The scientific community agreed that global temperatures were rising as a direct result of human...
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PRAISE FOR

National Bestseller

“Angus writes fluently especially about the excruciating hardships he suffered. He gives good hurricane, too. His book is a great read.”
National Post

“Imagination and originality have long been Angus trademarks. [Beyond the Horizon] is livened by his fiendish sense of humour, and provides a fair view of modern adventure.”
The Globe and Mail

“[Angus] paints vivid pictures of obscure places and cultures.”
Calgary Herald

“This rich travelogue, filled with adventure, romance, drama, and humour, is a must-read for any travel enthusiast.” —Coastlines

“A remarkable testament to a tenacious will, extraordinary endurance and pure obstinacy. Forest fires, drowning, freezing, drunken Siberian truck drivers, Mexican banditos. . . are all well-documented.”
Winnipeg Free Press