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The Natural Navigator: A Watchful Explorer's Guide to a Nearly Forgotten Skillby Tristan Gooley
Synopses & Reviews
Before GPS, before the compass, and even before cartography, humankind was navigating. A windswept tree, the depth of a puddle, or a trill of birdsong could point the way home--and, for the alert traveler, they still can.
Whether you go exploring in the mountains or on a lunch break, natural navigation will keep you on course and open your eyes to the small wonders of the natural world. Almost anything in our environment can help us find our way--if we know what to look for. Adventurer and navigation expert Tristan Gooley unlocks the directional clues hidden in:
the sun, moon, and stars • clouds • weather patterns • lengthening shadows • changing tides • plant growth • and the habits of local wildlife
Enriched by helpful illustrations, and filled with navigational anecdotes collected across centuries, continents, and cultures, The Natural Navigator proves that anyone with a curious mind can still find south by looking at the moon--and find adventure in their own backyard.
"In ancient days, man found his way in the world and over the oceans through solar, lunar, and celestial observation, an art almost lost in a modern world given direction first by compass and cartography and more recently by computer-voiced GPS units. Gooley, a Fellow at the Royal Institute of Navigation, sets out to revive the ancient skills of discerning direction by reading the sky — and other forms of natural observation — in a book rich with fascinating tips (most tennis courts are aligned north-south to minimize the sun's glare; an outstretched fist doubles as a crude sextant) but freighted with pedantic pedagogy. Determined readers who pass through the thicket of words will be rewarded by a wealth of information. Much of it is commonsensical: pay attention to landmarks; stars in the night sky twinkle, but planets don't. Some of it is informative: moss doesn't always grow on the north side of trees, as many a Boy Scout has been taught. Moments are fascinatingly arcane: the author once determined the direction south by observing a 'bird-poo compass.' Though too technical for easy reading, Gooley's energetic enthusiasm for the art of natural navigation is just enough compensation. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
Adventurer and navigation expert Gooley blends science, myth, folklore, and the history of travel and exploration to make "The Natural Navigator" the essential guidebook to the ancient art of natural navigation.
About the Author
Tristan Gooley is a writer and navigator. His passion for the subject of natural navigation stems from his hands-on experience. He has led expeditions in five continents, climbed mountains in Europe, Africa and Asia, sailed small boats across oceans and piloted small aircraft to Africa and the Arctic. He is the only living person to have both flown solo and sailed singlehandedly across the Atlantic, and he is a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation and the Royal Geographical Society. Prior to setting up The Natural Navigator school, Gooley gained extensive experience in the travel industry, and he is currently Vice Chairman of Trailfinders. He and his school can be found online at naturalnavigator.com.
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