Originally Posted by gpshephe
Hey Barnakiel, the only problem as I see it with that one is what if the big dipper is below the horizon. Not at 45 north, but can be at 20. Taking a sight to me would be more of a problem than finding the damn thing. One leg wrapped around the mast
, Holding the sextant
in one hand, holding on with the other while the seas are 10 feet.
I never shoot stars - they tend to be way to faint at the right time. You need the horizon.
Anyways, if you want to find your North Star: grab a hand-bearing compass
and mark North then pre-set your sextant
to where the star should be. That's that I think. Same trick for any other star.
I would rather use a bright planet as they are visible while the horizon is still easy to use. Otherwise use moon soon after moonrise - the part of the horizon you want may be brighter then.
But, as a rule
, I use the sun for my sights.
When none available, I would look up the GPS
! You got me thinking if there is a 'South Star' perhaps.