Magazine article Geographical

Reading the Waters: For This Month's Discovering Britain, Laura Cole Talks to Tristan Gooley, Author and 'Natural Navigator', about One of His Favourite Viewpoints

Magazine article Geographical

Reading the Waters: For This Month's Discovering Britain, Laura Cole Talks to Tristan Gooley, Author and 'Natural Navigator', about One of His Favourite Viewpoints

Article excerpt

Swanbourne Lake in Sussex snakes back into the chalk cliffs of the Arun Valley. It has been a boating lake for decades and half a dozen creamy rowboats are still available for paddling through its turquoise waters. Before that, it held the freshwater supply for the castle in nearby Arundel.

However, It is the lake's everyday behaviour, not its history, that holds special significance for author Tristan Gooley. Its brightly coloured shores were a beautiful location for him to practice the timeless skill of reading water.

'I had been inspired by the expertise of the old seafaring cultures,' he says, 'such as the Vikings or the Polynesians from the Pacific Islands. By reading ripples and waves, these navigators could detect land miles before they could see It.'

By regularly venturing to Swanbourne Lake, Gooley familiarised himself with these patterns on a smaller scale: 'You can see how ripples act around an obstacle such as a rock, a reed bed or even a clump of water lilies,' he says. …

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