Entries tagged "navigation book"
I have recently returned from an expedition to the heart of Borneo. There were three stages: 3 flights and 8 days in small boats to reach the interior of Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo).
7 days trekking with the Dayak across remote jungle , all the time studying their every navigational move.
1 boat journey, one motorbike/hike, one three-day delay as the Indonesian military refused to let me on board their aircraft, one missionary flight, one more boat journey, one more domestic flight, to get from the centre of Borneo to the coast.
It is a measure of…
The latest issue of Navigation News (The magazine of the Royal Institute of Navigation) contains an opinion piece I wrote on two contentious subjects. I've included excerpts here for those unfortunate souls who do not subscribe.
Why do we get disorientated?
Men and Women: The better navigator?
Update: On Monday 17th I discussed male and female navigation strategies and aptitudes on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4. You can listen to it here. It includes my theory as to why men won't ask for directions.
Welcome to those of you who have found your way here, on the trail from BBC1's Country Tracks. (For those of you who haven't, a programme has just gone out on BBC1 in which I gave the presenter Miriam Cooke some natural navigation tips in a forest by the Arch, near Devil's Bridge, in Ceredigion, Wales. There's a short clip here.)
However you found your way, now that you are here have a bit of an explore and get as lost in this website as you like.
If you've enjoyed watching some natural navigation on TV,…
The Natural Navigator Pocket Guide is out now!
Who is this book for? How does it differ from the original book? How big is it? So many questions!
First the jacket blurb, then my take on the book:
'Starting with a simple question – ‘Which way am I looking?’ – Tristan Gooley blends natural science, myth, folklore and the history of travel to introduce you to the rare and ancient art of finding your way using nature’s own sign-posts, from the feel of a rock to the look of the moon.
The Natural Navigator has gone on sale in Germany!
Der natürliche Kompass, Mit allen Sinnen unterwegs.
I'm just back from six days in Cairngorms in the Scottish Highlands.
In the foreground of the first picture you can probably make out some indentations in the snow and ice. On first glance these impressions can look like footprints, but they are actually grooves and 'tongues' that have been carved and sculpted by the prevailing local winds.
In the the second photo, you can see that in this case they are giving a reliable indication of west/east.
In the book I explain how these tongues are used by indigenous Arctic people, like the Inuit,…
Happy New Year!At times like this, I sometimes wonder what the Earth and Sun would say to each other if they could talk. They would watch us celebrating this annual moment at such an arbitrary time...Sun: I could understand a party at either solstice...Earth: Yes, or one at either equinox. Would make good sense...Sun. Quite. But to pick a day about a week after one solstice...Earth: Very strange.Sun. Yes. They are a very strange lot.In this picture of a beech tree in Wiltshire, we can see both moss and lichens thriving in the moist air close to the ground. Water…
Day in, day out, paths experience a different life to that of their verges.
Very often there is undergrowth on each side of a path, sheltering one side of them from the sun's drying rays, but their exposure to and shelter from wind also sets them apart. This can be seen most clearly when snow or frost is thawing. The path will either thaw first, or, as in this picture which I took about ten days ago, they hold onto their snow for longer.
As I mention in the book, this is something that can be…
There was a 'mini-review' of the book in yesterday's Sunday Times Culture section's seasonal selection of the books of 2010. Here it is in its entirety:‘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…
My book is being published in the US in January. I'm very excited and not a little curious to see how American readers react to it.I can't think of a book that has hurtled more determinedly into the gap between the two faces of America. Is it a country of 'drive 100 yards to the mall' or 'head west', the pioneer spirit and Henry David Thoreau? Of course it is both; I have seen someone in Florida drive between two shops but stay in the same car-park, but I have also watched someone who thirsted so greatly for…
My thanks to all the GQ readers who came to my natural navigation talk at Molton House in the West End last night. Thanks also to Monkey Shoulder whisky for hosting the night.I am fortunate, my work takes me to all sorts of places: deserts, mountains, universities, bookshops, islands, offices, clubs, societies... but never before had I been invited to a venue that describes itself as, 'a sybaritic haven'.If talking about the natural world in such a quintessentially urban venue was to some extent a clash of cultures, then it did not seem to phase readers…
I have just been watching a beautiful full moon rising above the trees in the east. It was shrouded in layers of cirrostratus for a few minutes, but then rose above them.
In winter full moons rise north of east, in summer they rise south of east. They rise further from east the nearer we get to the solstices. The full moon always behaves in the opposite way to the sun, in time and direction, as it is opposite the sun in its cycle.
We are bearing down on stargazing-season. It is getting dark early enough in the evenings, staying dark long enough in the mornings and doesn't yet freeze you for the privilege.
This morning I enjoyed a view of Orion, Sirius, Leo, which has just marched ahead of the dawn sun now, and a few other players. I took this photo of Orion's Sword hanging down to the left (eastern) side of a large beech tree and dangling down towards the south, as it does. The 'smudge' in the middle is the Great Nebula in Orion, also known less romantically…
These two photographs were taken this morning, within a few seconds of each other and from exactly the same spot. In the book I touch on the difference between viewing mist horizontally and vertically and these pictures illustrate the point nicely.
Mist and fog, which is just a word for intense mist, are low visibility caused by looking through millions of suspended water particles. When we look horizontally we have to look through hundreds of metres of these particles and the effect is very poor…
The past few days have seen me bouncing between meetings in London - pinging between Kensington, White City and Theatreland. Throw in a Tube strike on the Tuesday and the stage was set for some urban natural navigation.The sun, trees, churches, clouds and satellite dishes all played their parts, but there are so many lesser known roles in the epic production that is 'City Navigating'.As if to prove this I received a message a couple of days ago from someone who had read the book and got in touch with some intriguing urban ideas. Clem McEwen drew my attention to…
Tom Vanderbilt, the journalist and best-selling author of 'Traffic', flew over from the States to join me in Dartmoor last week for a taste of natural navigation in the wild.His account will be appearing in the US magazine, 'Outside', in due course so I won't spoil the fun here, but I will write it up and publish it on this website once Tom's Outside article has run. Suffice to say that Dartmoor did not pull any punches and a meteorologically intense time was enjoyed.The Natural Navigator book is being published in the US on 1st January 2011.
... from a fortnight's family break in Phuket, Thailand. Apologies if anyone has been trying to contact me without luck, my phone would not let me update my messages.I made a special effort not to make too much effort, this had long been scheduled as a 'meet the family again after an intensive two months on the book' trip. The plan was to make like this Gecko and flop in the light and warmth. There were a few natural navigation treats that had me scrambling for the camera and they will pop up here in time...