Layla Lawlor (laylalawlor) wrote in little_details,
Layla Lawlor

Breaking a sextant

Time/place: Fantasy world with roughly late 1700s/early 1800s level of technology

My characters are at sea in a small sailing vessel when a storm comes up and deposits them ... somewhere. They are on a long voyage and have a sextant with them, but I'd like it to be broken in the storm, so they can only get a vague idea where they are from the stars. (I need them to be thoroughly lost for the next piece of the plot to go into effect.) However, I have only the vaguest notion of how a sextant is put together -- basically what I can figure out from looking at pictures on the Internet -- so I'm not sure of the best, most plausible way to break it so that it can't be fixed. Both main characters are tinkerer types (one leans more to educated book-learning and science, the other is a practical handyman-type guy and skilled sailor), so the trick isn't breaking it so much as breaking it in a way they can't work around.
Tags: ~boats and other things that float

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