I'm not really sure where I first heard of Tristan Gooley but since I've been aware of him he has appeared regularly on screen and in print (both magazine and his own books).Talking of books I was lucky enough to get a pre release copy of his rather fine Walkers Guide to Outdoor Clues and Signs book to review on this very blog.
I also asked him if he would consider contributing an article to the Scout Association's Outdoor Adventure Manual book which he kindly did, and I was pleased to have produced some draft sketches for it for Haynes to use to make the book illustrations. Oh, and if anyone likes his Facebook page I nudged him to get one set up, even though he is a confirmed Twitter user.
Anyway...I wouldn't normally head off to the Greenwich Book Festival but Tristan was doing a talk to coincide with his new book launch to promote How to Read Water so as I have the luxury of time on my work sabbatical I made my way to the National Maritime Museum with my Balinese hand made backpack (I know, get me).
A quick trip across London via the Docklands Light Railway and I arrived at Cutty Sark station. I'd given myself plenty of time for a walk around and Greenwich is worth spending time in.
After a cheeky Caffé Latte in the Old Royal Naval College I headed for a bit of pre talk sustenance which I got in the fantastic market. I got a Thai dish off a stand which was run by a Thai couple and I sat and ate it outside. As close to street food as you'll get in SE10.
But I digress. Anyway, the National Maritime museum is close by and it was a case of in the main entrance and bear right and there it was, sign posted on the lecture theatre door.
Most folk seated themselves several rows back but not me, straight to the centre of the theatre front row! Well why not?
Tristan came down from the back of the theatre with a member of staff and after a brief introduction off he went with his talk about his new book which also mentioned Greenwich.
He started off by joking that the talk would be about his sixty favourite puddles, then quickly moved onto Captain Cook who was his hero, but that he was also interested in his heroes, namely the Pacific Island navigators he met.
He described himself as a navigation magpie and a nature evangelist. Oh and these two pictures are pretty much the same thing in a different format...
Tristan is a seasoned speaker and made reference to a massively varied list of things; Vikings, ripple waves, duck's bottoms, Constable and Reubens, glitterpaths, riffles, Pooh sticks, pillows, slick lines, sand ripples, katabatic winds and loads besides.
After his talk concluded he left his podium and laptop and sat down to field some questions at a desk. I just managed to squeeze the penultimate one in (about sand ripples as it goes).
Those that wanted a copy of his new book had the opportunity to go to the museum shop and get one signed which I duly did. We had a chat and as it unfolded he clicked about the Natural Naviagtor page and the Outdoor Adventure Manual. A nice way to round off this day.
I will be doing a day course with Tristan soon at Capel Manor so expect another blog, and have a listen to the podcast that Tristan did with Paul Kirtley if you get a minute.