Photo of Bluebell Woods in Sussex Photo of Bluebell Woods in Sussex

The Glamour… The Romance… The Mud…

There are those that suspect the Natural Navigator’s life to consist of lying on the teak deck of a yacht musing about celestial bodies. It has happened, I cannot deny, and I do not wish to dampen such fanciful ideas, but it is not the bread and butter of this business.

There is a scene from that great movie, Point Break, where Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves) is being shown round his new workplace, the armed robbery division of the LA FBI. His new boss is keen to dispel any romantic notions his green recruit may have of playing cops and robbers,

“Do you know how we nail the bad guys, Utah? … By crunching data. Good crime scene work, good lab work, and most importantly, good data-based analysis.”

Johnny Utah goes on to disprove this mundane prognosis in solid Reeves style, but that is not the point. At least not the one I am trying to make.

The picture above is our data and it tells us a lot. This is a track with a lot of East-West in it as the sun has been shaded by the undergrowth more from one side than the other. The soft mud on the southern side has not been dried by the sun and has been eroded more by passing vehicles, it has reached the point where the original track has become near impassable and a vehicle has opted to divert around the larger puddle, creating a new track slightly to the south of the original. This may be the way the robbers headed…