The Natural Navigator
by Gooley, Tristan
pub. by Virgin Books, imprint of Ebury Pub. subsidary of Random House, NY 2010       isbn 978 1905264940 - ,     296 p. total - - index p. 281 - 296. - Acknowledgements p. 279 - Bibliography p. 267 - 278 - Sources and Notes p. 246 - 266
This book is what the title promises. Tristan Gooley learned how to find his way from one place to another in a wide variety of enviornments without the use of any mechanical aids such as GPS (Global Position System devices) or even compasses. He lives in England, and much of what he mentions works best in the northern hemisphere in mid latitudes. There are suggestions about navigation in the Southern hemisphere. He has traveled and practiced his craft in remote and rugged places such as north Africa and has done considerable sailing with minimal navigational equipent.
He starts describing how humanity has drifted away from being spatially aware to depending on a wide variety of devices to get from one place to another. The most recent GPS systems with little maps on glowing screens remove us from having to pay attention to our enviornments and use often simple and obvious clues to make our way (navigate.) He defines what he means by Natural Navigation.
He then presents a chapter on land navigation, followed by a chapter on the use of the Sun. This is followed by a chapter on using the stars and later, with cavates that it is more difficult, the Moon.
This is followed by a chapter on navigation at Sea, with kudus to Marvin Creamer who successfully sailed his boat Globe Star around the world in the mid 1980s without any sort of navigational instruments.
Gooley offers a good section on his Sources and Notes and includes a useful Bibliography.
Well educated people who have gone through reasonable way-finding courses or are well trained members of such groups as the Boy Scouts will find they know or recognize many of the techniques mentioned in the book. What this book does, in a verbose way, is to pull it all together for the modern person, who probably does not pay enough attention to the world about him/her self.
~ 2016-05-02 ~

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