• How to Read Water

  • Clues, Signs & Patterns from Puddles to the Sea
  • By: Tristan Gooley
  • Narrated by: Tristan Gooley
  • Length: 8 hrs and 22 mins
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

A must-have book for walkers, sailors, swimmers, anglers and everyone interested in thenatural world, in How To Read Water, Natural Navigator Tristan Gooley shares knowledge, skills, tips and useful observations to help you enjoy the landscape around you.

Includes over 700 clues, signs and patterns.

You'll learn how to:

  • Interpret ponds like a Polynesian
  • Spot dangerous water in the pitch black with the help of a clock face
  • Read the sea like a Viking
  • Forecast the weather from waves
  • Find your way with puddles
  • Decipher wave patterns on beaches
  • Decode the colour of water

Unravel a river like an expert.

From wild swimming in Sussex to wayfinding off Oman, via the icy mysteries of the Arctic, Tristan Gooley draws on his own pioneering journeys to reveal the secrets of ponds, puddles, rivers, oceans and more to show us all the skills we need to read the water around us.

©2016 Tristan Gooley (P)2016 Hodder & Stoughton

Critic Reviews

A Sunday Times 'Must Read' book.

What listeners say about How to Read Water

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  • CJW
  • 07-21-16

Great read (listen)...

This is a fascinating book from an inspirational author - it enables the entry level reader and expert to learn and enjoy his experiences and shared wisdom. He presents the information in a light and enjoyable manner and it is very easy to listen to - the equivalent of 'unputdownable'. I would strongly recommend it and will seek out his public speaking presentations at the RGS if possible. Looking forward (hopefully) to seeing his other titles on this site asap.

5 people found this helpful

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  • suepete
  • 07-03-17

Great book.

Facts you did not know you needed to know but are very useful to know

3 people found this helpful

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  • charles c.
  • 10-02-20

A reference book for water watchers and users

so much knowledge imparted by an expert , at speed, that isn't easy listening but it is an eye opener and I will dip in and out of this book from time to time to better understand the subjects that the author covers.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Lee Pardoe
  • 09-29-20

from a sailor of 22 years

a fascinating insight into the natural world. I've been a sailor for 22 years and still learnt new insights.

2 people found this helpful

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  • d.c. moore
  • 10-10-18

Good, especially if your a sea lover.

Was good to listen to, but I personally didn't find it as good as wild signs and star paths, but that is just down to my personal interests.
Always guaranteed to learn plenty from his books though.

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  • Boo Boo
  • 12-11-17

Interesting And Entertaining

A very informative book which is well read by the author and well produced.

One needs to concentrate to appreciate the signs and meanings described, but it is worth the effort.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mr
  • 05-06-17

Fascinating

A great and well narrated dip into the watery world. Enjoyed every minute of it

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  • Thought Processor
  • 01-27-17

Glad I took a risk with this book

Fantastic, informative, well written (and spoken). Didn't know what to expect in this book but so glad I chose it.

This is one of my favourite books and I have just listened to it for the third time; I know I will read/listen to it many times in the future.

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  • Charlie
  • 09-01-21

Enjoyable and educational

I really enjoyed this book.

There are a wealth of nuggets of information that make you want to rush outside and check something for yourself!

Even though the narrator (and author) tries his best to keep things simple, I found some of the content quite heavy going and think it will take a second / third read for much of the knowledge to sink in.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-23-21

You lost me at “specially commissioned wood burner”

What in the absolute hell is this chap going on about. A book named How to read water, opens for a good few minutes rant about a puffed up, overpriced yacht that his mate was going to crew on for some yank… This was quite like ordering an eggs Benedict only to receive some black pudding and a cold coffee. Deleted

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  • Dragon Dreamer
  • 06-07-22

Informative and most enjoyable

Tristan is a highly observant appreciator of nature. His beautifully written story is well researched. Facts are woven into a narrative of sea shanties, old folk wisdom and first principle observation. Tristan paints a series of panoramas with his descriptions, bringing you with him on the journey from puddle to sea. His explanations joined many dots and I thoroughly appreciated my first experience of this author, to the extent I've added another of his books to my reading list.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 07-09-19

Accessible yet extensively thorough

dense with knowledge and demands your full attention BUT is well worth it. begins small, with cups and bathtubs before working towards seafaring, giving a foundation of thermodynamics that i wasnt prepared for. I will be rereading this soon! thank-you Tristan!