Entries tagged "courses"
I took this picture looking south over Halnaker Hill, the windmill can just be seen poking out at the top. On my outdoor courses I sometimes stop early on and ask people to give me as many clues to direction as possible. Quite often this leads to much frenzied studying of lichens and branches and lots of good ideas. More often than not I find myself having to point out a big one. 'What's the biggest clue you can see?' Some might say the shape of the land, but very few spot the coast itself. If visibility is poor I…
I watched the History Channel’s ‘Expedition: Africa’ last night, a retake on Stanley’s expedition to find Livingstone. It is quite enjoyable if a bit ‘light’, the interest certainly coming from the internal politics of the expedition team rather than the nature of the journey itself. One thing did strike me, one of their challenges is billed as ‘using only compasses and basic maps’, which could only be billed as a challenge in the age of satellite navigation. Even this seemed to rob the team of some of their awareness of their surroundings. Pasquale Scaturro, the navigator, takes a compass…
The Gooleys were camping on the Isle of Wight over the weekend. It was great weather, the few hours of rain that are necessary to make it feel like proper British camping kept themselves to late at night and early in the morning, which was considerate. A few observations will creep into the blog in due course, but to save me a bit of time as I work to catch up on some emails, below is one that artfully saved me the need to blog properly. Thank you, Rob.Tristan,I hope you are well.Emily and I attended your course at West…
My thanks to Richard, who sent in this picture from a lad's walking weekend along the Jurassic Coast. He was given a private course as a birthday present and was on the lookout for natural signposts. Wind and trees don't scream direction a lot louder than this. He also spotted sand blown only over the northeastern edge of a horse training area and found Polaris, but then struggled to see it from the inside of a pub.
This just in...TristanMany thanks for a fantastic day yesterday. I learnt so much and was stimulated also by the opportunity to apply what I did know to a new "problem solving" challenge! I checked out the moon last night and located Polaris and was quite comfortable that it was NOT directly above my head as I always imagined it might be! (I do need to re-set the weathervane and I think I'll…
During the Beginner's Guide course at West Dean College today we watched a few minutes from the unique film, 'The Navigators'.The film is about Mau Pialug, one of a very small number of Pacific Islanders still skilled in using traditional Pacific navigation methods. He explains his use of the stars and swell and demonstrates the methods using rocks on the beach, before embarking on an epic voyage without using instruments.Mau Pialug went on to play an important role in the founding of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, a non-profit organisation dedicated to preserving the traditional navigation methods.
Most of my family and friends are aware how much attention I like to give to the journey, as opposed to focusing solely on the destination. They may not be aware that I also harbour two strong interests in Homer's, Odyssey, for the enjoyment it brings and also the clues to ancient navigation methods. At one stage Odysseus has to keep the Bear constellation, Arctos, on his left to hold his course.I was delighted this morning to find an email from my sister-in-law drawing my attention to this wonderful poem, Ithaca. It was written by the Greek poet, Constantine P.…
What sort of person comes on your courses?All sorts! Those who enjoy fresh air and have an open mind. So far there have been artists, soldiers, writers, walkers, Navy officers, drainage engineers, lawyers, physicists, ecologists, accountants, marketing people, IT people, financiers, an RAF Navigator, fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, farmers, pilots, actors, sailors, builders, midwives... No astronauts yet, but it's still early days.
The Gooley family spent Saturday in the lovely surroundings of West Dean enjoying their annual Chilli Fiesta. It was both an enjoyable and serendipitous occasion.
My gardening skills are usually limited to lawnmowing and leaving a small wake of destruction with a strimmer. About the only area where I have had any success with bringing new lives into the garden rather than violently curtailing old ones is in growing chillis. I have ten different varieties grown from seed and although not all bearing fruit, yet, they are all notably alive.