To the editor: There is more than one way to spin a Rude star finder. Try the following technique the next time you shoot a round of stars:
A. Select a prominent star, which will be easily identified and visible at the onset of twilight. I like to use Sirius (the Dog Star), which is just to the east of the constellation Orion (The Hunter).
B. Observe the altitude with a sextant, then set the correct template to the observed altitude and approximate azimuth.
Now the star finder is ready to use for selecting any other star for observation.
Planets can be used effectively if angles of Aries and declinations are carefully plotted on the star finder for the date of observation.
Greg Rudzinski is a SUNY Maritime graduate who sailed for 20 years in the merchant marine and lives aboard his boat in Oxnard, Calif.