A New York Times Bestseller
A Forbes Top 10 Conservation and Environment Book of 2016
Read the sea like a Viking and interpret ponds like a Polynesian—with a little help from expert navigator Tristan Gooley, New York Times-bestselling author of The Secret World of Weather and The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs
In his eye-opening books The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs and The Natural Navigator, Tristan Gooley helped readers reconnect with nature by finding direction from the trees, stars, clouds, and more. Now, he turns his attention to our most abundant—yet perhaps least understood—resource.
Distilled from his far-flung adventures—sailing solo across the Atlantic, navigating with Omani tribespeople, canoeing in Borneo, and walking in his own backyard—Gooley shares hundreds of techniques in How to Read Water. Readers will:
Find north using puddlesForecast the weather from wavesDecode the colors of pondsSpot dangerous water in the darkDecipher wave patterns on beaches, and more!
In this enthusiastic, if esoteric, volume, Gooley (The Lost Art of Reading Nature's Signs), a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and Royal Institute of Navigation, diagnoses humans with a lack of fascination with water and sets out to rectify this situation. He examines water in its various liquid forms, pointing readers toward the "physical clues, signs, and patterns to look for in water, whether you are standing by a puddle or gazing out across miles of ocean." For example, Gooley identifies various types of puddles including low-point, tracker, and navigator puddles and reveals the reasons behind the ways they form, such as the ground beneath them, or the local flora and fauna. Similarly, he explains the differences among ripples, waves, and swells in larger bodies of water. Readers should be prepared for the occasional technical discussion, as when Gooley gives a rundown of the individual layers of water in a lake epilimnion, thermocline, hypolimnion and outlines an experiment readers can do at home to further explore them. The minutiae may turn off some readers, but avid and budding outdoorspeople will appreciate Gooley's breadth of knowledge and accessible approach to his subject.