Earlier this year on a voyage to Singapore I crossed the equator on a ship for the first time in my life. Now tradition has it that for each person’s first equator crossing this deserves a christening - normally an unpleasant act is played on the person. Thankfully we crossed the equator at 0630 on my 4-8 bridge watch so nothing was done to me. I watched the GPS as we crossed the line from Latitude South to Latitude North. I was expecting the GPS to take a mind of its own and spin around in circles but it didn’t. The numbers just counted down then when it reached zero to 3 decimal places it started counting back up again, this time with the letter 'N' next to the latitude co-ordinates.I noticed that as we approached the equator the sun was rising and setting in more of an Easterly and Westerly direction than we see in New Zealand. Recalling my studies from 2nd Mates I remembered that: From between the Equator and the Tropic of Cancer the Sun sets anywhere from a south-westerly direction to a north-westerly direction, and from the equator to the Tropic of Capricorn the sun rises anywhere from a north-easterly direction to a south-easterly direction, depending on the time of year. At the Equator (0° latitude), it sets due west at the equinox in March. So it was quite easy to know each day where the sun would rise and set by just observing the compass in at bearings of 090 in the morning or 270 in the evening. By observing sunrises and sunsets as we were 2 degrees either side of the equator, it was seen that when the sun reached a height of its diameter above the horizon, it seemed to fade away, so that made it very difficult to take an amplitude for obtaining a compass error, as we need the sun a semi-diameter above the horizon for the calculation.For everyone back home, the sun in the northern hemisphere is just the same as what you see back in New Zealand.