A quick fix

If your GPS goes down and you don’t fancy a major plotting bonanza to fix your position, look for an identifiable object ahead or astern (somewhat off your course if need be). Steer to bring it right onto the bow or dead aft. The steering compass is now reading the bearing or its reciprocal, and it’s an instant line of position. Hold that heading, and wait until a second charted feature comes abeam. The best way of knowing this accurately is to wait until it lines up with the ‘gun sight’ of the mainsheet traveller, the aft cockpit coaming or the aft face of the coachroof. Because the buoy is now at 90° from your heading, you don’t need to take its bearing.
Plotting this perfect ‘cut’ is a pushover. Set your chart protractor to the ship’s heading with the identified object ahead or astern, then lay it across the chart in such a way that the square edge falls on the buoy. The corner of the plotter is your fix. Pop your cross on the chart, enter it in the log book, and hurry back to the action. If your plotter is a bit ‘narrow in the beam’ to reach the second object, extend the edge with a straight-handled toothbrush or some other useful tool that falls to hand.