Tristan Gooley meets Midhurst Rother College students

Top L-R Ruby Friend Y12 Sam Massey Y13 Tristan Gooly Joe Cook Y13 bottom L-R Gracie Spooner Y9 Curtis Dowsett Y9 Lucas Duncan Y9 and Alice. PICTURE BY JANET GIBBS
Top L-R Ruby Friend Y12 Sam Massey Y13 Tristan Gooly Joe Cook Y13 bottom L-R Gracie Spooner Y9 Curtis Dowsett Y9 Lucas Duncan Y9 and Alice. PICTURE BY JANET GIBBS

THE theatre at Midhurst Rother College was packed with awe-inspired students as they listened to the tales of an intrepid explorer.

The amazing adventures of globe-trotting explorer Tristan Gooley unfolded when he shared the finest detail of some of his expeditions with them.

Tristan, who is a writer, navigator and explorer, set up his natural navigation school in 2008 and is the author of The Natural Navigator, one of the world’s only books on natural navigation.

He has led expeditions in five continents, climbed mountains in Europe, Africa and Asia, sailed small boats across oceans and piloted small aircraft to Africa and the Arctic.

He is the only living person to have both flown solo and sailed single-handed across the Atlantic.

Adding to his long list of accolades, Tristan is also a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation and the Royal Geographical Society.

He has appeared on television and radio programmes in the UK and internationally, including the Today programme, Night Waves, Countryfile, Excess Baggage, Country Tracks, Ramblings, Open Country and All Roads Lead Home.

He is also the author of The Natural Explorer, published in March, 2012.

The students were treated to a talk from the explorer, who has written for the Sunday Times, the New York Times, the BBC, Geographical Magazine, Yachting Monthly, The Financial Times and many other periodicals.

Prior to setting up a natural navigation school, Tristan gained extensive experience in the travel industry and is currently the vice-chairman of Trailfinders. Some members of the audience had only just returned from a community project in Tanzania and others will, over half-term, be flying off to Nepal to support the work of two small communities as they refurbish school classrooms.

Sixth-former Joe Cooke was particularly taken by the natural navigator’s experiences in Borneo:

“Not only was it an amazing expedition, but very interesting that he was challenged by the MoD to prove he was the best natural navigator in the world.”

“Pretty impressive stuff and he really showed us all what is possible if you have the focus.

“I will certainly be looking to broaden my travel horizons now.”

Student Sam Massey Steel said: “I was amazed how he was able to navigate without any modern technology – it just doesn’t seem possible.

“His passion for adventure which he found when he was very young made a huge impression.”