Star to Steer By

A sequence of stars of the same declination, whether or not they are zenith stars, will rise at the same point on the eastern horizon and set on the same point in the west. Once the boat is on course, find the stars rising on the bow, and use them to steer by. As one swings up across the sky and no longer points the way, another will rise to take its place (see Figure 8.15).

8.14 Zenith Stars

Close to the equator the stars rise almost vertically from the eastern horizon and individual stars can be used to hold your course for some time. The further you are from the equator, stars soar across the sky at ever shallower angles and the time they can be used as steering marks becomes shorter and shorter. In higher latitudes the cry 'Give me a star to steer by' soon becomes 'Give me another star to steer by.' (See Figure 8.16.)

8.15 Early Rising Stars

8.16 Rising Stars

If you are running down a parallel of latitude, then holding Polaris abeam keeps you sailing due east, or west.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment