Neither. I'd clutch my EPIRB with a death-grip :-) With or without GPS (the built-in 121.5mhz beacon will pinpoint you when help arrives).
Without this and with a fully functioning portable GPS, at least you'll know your own position with certainty when you die of thirst or starvation!
No question about the EPIRB if you have one. But the GPS in concert with the portable VHF that we all carry in our grab bags
allows the searching vessel pottering around on the horizon to find you much easier.
You don't need charts to use a sextant. You need to know the sun's declination, which you can compute on your calculator of choice. But that's besides the point;
Agreed. Following on from Bill's thoughts above, with celestial gear in the life-raft you will have only a vague idea of where you are when you die of thirst and starvation.
which might be a good idea, so that you aren't all rusty at finding call boxes once The Man or The Sun or Zeus or whoever comes and shuts down your satellite phone. Assuming you're concerned about that.
Maybe it's different where you live but where I live finding a call box would be serious challenge, almost an impossibility.
It still befuddles me the "anti" attitude towards learning celestial nav.
Actually I thought the majority of posts here were positive towards learning and using celestial nav. The pure reality though is that the vast majority of recreational/cruising sailors today use it for recreation if at all. Bottom line is I can buy several GPS units for the cost of a good sextant and whilst it is true that a GPS can let you down, stumbling on a heaving deck and dropping/banging a sextant and rendering it useless is also not beyond the realm of possibility. In addition, sight reduction tables are expensive as are nautical almanacs which should be replaced annually. Most cruising sailors these days would rather avoid this expense. And in any case for coastal navigation, the sextant and its associated paraphanalia is academic.
Of course the most fun is dead reckoning plus a sighting line and stick-the Polynesians got to NZ that way and across the south Pacific.
Much like the pioneers crossed America in tented wagons . . . . but they don't anymore.
Excuse me, I'm just having fun, I don't pooh-pooh the use of celestial nav, I think it's a lot of fun and we often take sights and plot position lines and fixes when we're at sea. But the really fun part is checking the GPS to see how close we got.