Puppis as a constellation was, or is, a part of a huge constellation: Argo Navis. Puppis is the stern - Carina is the keel, Vela the sails. Puppis was directly overhead on Friday and Saturday, which in theory was good because it's the best seeing but in practice made it bloody hard both to find things and then to look at them properly. It also didn't help that it's not an especially distinguished constellation; I had to keep reorienting myself with regard to Sirius and the rest of Canis Major, because I just couldn't figure it out otherwise.
I'll say up front that I didn't find everything I wanted to. Partly that was a tiredness issue - because we were doing a lot of other things, as well as observing, we weren't nearly as fresh as is optimal come dark. It was also an issue of navigation. I'm still finding this quite difficult. That most of our maps are designed for the northern hemisphere does not help; nor does the fact that the maps have different scales - often it's different for different maps in the same book - so, when you're starting out spatially challenged, it's an added degree of difficulty. Nonetheless, I did have fun, with the odd moment of frustration.
Puppis, for a scope the size of Ptolemy, is all about the double stars. So, I found and split k Puppis; 5 Puppis (a nice reddish tinge) and 2 Puppis. I don't think I found R65, which was disappointing because it's a triple. I think I found Sigma Puppis, but I'm not convinced - I saw a reddish star with what looked like a faint companion, but I'm not sure it was the right spot.
Other than those, I also found M46 and M47 all by myself (and didn't that just get a victory dance from yours truly), and another open cluster in M93. NGC2451 is yet another fairly diffuse open cluster; NGC2477, however, is a very cool, fairly faint, kind-of teardrop shaped cluster which I really liked. And found all by myself.
Again, we had friends out with us both nights; D and K, and also A&G. So we had to turn on a good show: Mars, Saturn, Orion Nebula, the Jewel Box, (I looked at all of these both nights, I think - old reliables!) and just to show off I showed what Acrux looks like as a binary. Which was fun.
J was chasing Messiers again. It was dark enough that the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds were quite obvious to the naked eye when it wasn't even what I would call especially dark, so he aimed at the Tarantula Nebula which was awesome. He found the totally amazing Leo Triplet, too - a set of three galaxies that can be seen in the same field. And we looked at the Beehive through the binoculars. Well, I tried anyway; I really am not good at holding them in place. Glasses don't help.
Again, it was an awesome weekend of viewing. We didn't stay up as late as we would if it had been a dedicated astro weekend - don't think we saw midnight either Friday or Saturday, although we did hear all of Mark Seymour's gig on Saturday! But given it was mixed with riding, and lots of food, and lots of people, I think we did well.