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The Natural Navigator Paperback – 6 Mar 2014
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"The Natural Navigator is a wonderfully stimulating book. Tristan Gooley sidesteps technology to celebrate our own powers of observation, and suggests that the art of natural navigation is something we should never have forgotten" (Michael Palin)
"Gooley is a fine writer with a philosophical passion for the subject ... his advice is at times glorious in its simplicity and fascinating in its execution ... his advice is so well structured that even enthusiastic amateurs will find plenty to get to grips with" (Laurence Mackin Irish Times)
"Wonderful... This is the sort of charming and inspiring book you want to recommend and buy for others. A must for any lover of the outdoors" (Tim Jepson Daily Telegraph)
"The best nature writing changes the way you experience the world. Tristan Gooley's The Natural Navigator will teach you how to find your way using not just the moon, sun and stars but spider's webs, tennis courts and even ruts on a track. He throws in entertaining anecdotes from the history of navigation and from his own impressive Atlantic journeys, but really he's giving you an addictive hobby, and a newly refined sense of time and place" (The Sunday Times)
"You enjoy the walk more if you're trying to spot the little clues rather than look at the map" (Evan Davies)
About the Author
Tristan Gooley set up his natural navigation school, The Natural Navigator, after studying and practising the art for over ten years. His passion for the subject stems from hands-on experience. He has led expeditions in five continents, climbed mountains in Europe, Africa and Asia, sailed across oceans and piloted small aircraft to Africa and the Arctic. He is the only living person to have both flown and sailed solo across the Atlantic. Tristan is a Fellow of both the Royal Institute of Navigation and the Royal Geographical Society and is the Vice Chairman of Trailfinders. He lives with his wife and two sons in West Sussex.
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This is a book that will keep me going for, probably, years of trial and error - and along the way I expect to learn an awful lot more about plants, trees, tracks and lichen - and stuff I don't yet know about.
The author explains in great detail how natural features such as the sun, the stars, the weather, plants and animals can help the traveller and adventurer how to find directions. Not only where to find North and South, but also (in case you are lost at sea) how to find landfall by understanding the birds' movements. With frequent reference to history, including heroes in Greek mythology, Vikings and early Polynesian explorers, the book explains how methods in finding directions were developed and are threatened with extinction due to the availability of ever more sophisticated nautical and navigation instruments. Developing these natural navigation skills is not only very useful (if not live saving) in case your instruments fail, above all it is great fun to follow the footsteps of our adventurous ancestors and recognize, for example, the difference between ripples, waves and swell, or read the prevailing wind direction from a solitary tree.
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