Tristan Gooley is on the path to becoming a national treasure. What started as a somewhat offbeat idea to harness his passion for using nature itself to help you to navigate has snowballed into a strong following and ensured that books such as How to Read Water and The Natural Navigator were big hits. Now Tristan is back with a new book; The Secret World of Weather. As you might imagine, it’s a book that chimes strongly for all sailors and it is therefore no surprise that Tristan is himself as keen sailor and this helped shape his course from adventurer and wanderer to successful author.
“There was a moment of enlightenment in my childhood when we went to Bembridge for a holiday and my mum enrolled me in a RYA dinghy sailing course,” Tristan reflects: “I really wasn’t all that keen to take part and I had to be talked in to it. Things like that are quite daunting at a young age. Anyway, of course it was fantastic. At the end of the week we were given a day which was essentially. ‘free sail’ day and my instructor came up to me and asked me where I wanted to go. That was when the penny really dropped for me as I realised that sailing had given me the chance to go wherever I wanted. Over the years I then went through all the RYA hoops from Day Skipper through to Yachtmaster Ocean and then on to the art of navigation.
“After that I embarked on all sorts of adventures. I was at university in Newcastle studying Politics and History but I was far from a model student and, although I somehow scraped a degree I spent most of my time putting together a student magazine and I probably learnt more from that. “Meantime every holiday I was planning adventures – for example in my first summer holiday of university I told all of my friends and classmates that I was going off to climb Kilimanjaro and spent a good deal of time trying to persuade them to come – which of course, they didn’t – so I went offand did it on my own.
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