John P. McGovern Award Lecture: May 28, 2017
Julie Angus rowed from Lisbon to Costa Rica with the man that she later married, Colin. They faced the 100 miles-per-hour winds and 40-foot-high waves of Hurricane Vince. They spelled each other rowing—hour after hour after hour after hour, day after day after day, finally completing the 10,000 kilometer journey in 5 months. Angus was the first woman to row across the Atlantic from mainland to mainland and was named Adventurer of the Year by National Geographic in 2006 (an honor she shared with Colin). Angus has been called a “professional adventurer,” and she embodies the theme of MLA ’17: Dream, Dare, Do.
She didn’t set out to be an adventurer. She holds an undergraduate degree from McMaster University, with honors in biology and psychology. She went on to complete her master of science degree at the University of Victoria, specializing in molecular biology. She spent nearly a decade working as a scientist. Eventually, though, the travel and adventure bug caught her and that is what she has been doing: continuing to Dream, Dare, Do.
The trip across the Atlantic isn’t her only adventure. She and Colin have also journeyed from Scotland to Syria using only bicycles and rowboats (a human-powered trip). The family’s most recent adventure was the “Olive Odyssey,” which followed the path of the domestication of the olive tree. The Olive Odyssey was the first trip to include their son and be a family affair.
Through these adventures, Angus has become a writer, a photographer, and a filmmaker. Her book about the Atlantic trip, Rowboat in a Hurricane, became a national bestseller. Her love of science remains and continues on in her environmental work. She has also become a very popular public speaker, sharing the stories of her travels and the lessons she has learned, as she will do at MLA ’17. You do not want to miss this opportunity to hear from Julie Angus, the John P. McGovern Award Lecturer.