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#QuickTips- How to Measure Remaining Daylight by Hand

By: Bill Jennings

These weekly tips from Captain Bill Jennings provide practical knowledge you can utilize in your adventures

When you are out boating, here’s a handy way to check how much time you have left before sunset. Fully extend your arm, pointing to the horizon beneath the sun. Bend your hand at the wrist so that your fingers are parallel to the horizon. Each hand width between the sun and the horizon represents about one hour before sunset. As the sun drops, each finger width is roughly fifteen minutes until sunset. You can perform this method vertically, which errs on the side of caution (it will give you a slightly shorter timeframe than is true), or you can compensate for the angled movement of the sun using the method in the video below:

There are variations to this method as well. With your arm fully extended, position your hand into the universal 'hang ten' sign and point your hand vertically so the bottom of your pinky finger is touching the horizon. The distance from your pinky to the top of your thumb will denote one hour of daylight. If a reasonable amount of daylight remains, stack your hands one on top of the other in the 'hang ten' shape, counting one hour of daylight for each hand. To see that method in action, check out the video below:

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