Reading Buoys and Marks
Many boaters on the water really have no clue as
to what all the marks and buoys out there really mean. And those are the ones
that get in trouble.
As a basic, remember the "Three R's." And they
are not from the old school days of reading, 'ritin', and 'rithmatic. No, The 3
R's are "Red Right Returning."
This means when coming back to port you should
keep the red marks to the starboard (right) side of the boat and the green marks
to port (left) side of the boat. That will keep you in the channel.
Obviously, when heading out to sea, the opposite
would be true. (Note of caution: if you are entering a channel in certain
foreign, non-USA countries, the opposite rules may be in effect).
Some may ask, "What if you cannot see the color
of the marks?" Well, the red day marks are triangles and the red buoys are nun
buoys (tapered from wide to narrow at the top), while the green day marks are
square and the green buoys are cans (square shaped). So, even if you cannot tell
the color, you should be able to tell by the shape.
Here is a tricky one, though. Suppose you are
traveling on the IntraCoastal Waterway and you are neither leaving nor entering
The answer is to keep the "Green to Seaward."
For example, if you are traveling from Miami to Jacksonville, Florida you would
keep the Green Marks to the starboard side (right) and the Red Marks to the port
side (left), or "Green to Seaward."