On serious bilge pumping........
A basic principle of buoy philosophy that is often overlooked is that
they mark what is safe; not what is dangerous. There may be a buoy by
an isolated shoal but it is there to show you where the deep water is
on the preferred side. A patch of water isn't safe just because there
is no buoy. That's why you need charts.
NO navigational aid or device is intended to be used alone.
The essence of my point is that the buoy arrangement in a place like
Woods Hole is not deficient just because some navigators will need a
chart to understand it readily or to orient themselves when they get
With a smidgen of understanding, Woods Hole is a piece of cake, even
with the current behind you. You just go straight through into the
harbor and then head out into the sound. I've done it many times even
in a kayak and mostly just gone with the flow.
It's when people without sufficient understanding of current, rudders,
boats, and water, try to turn into the other channel because it's the
shorter and seems the obvious thing to do that the Coast Guard gets
"otnmbrd" wrote in message
"Roger Long" wrote in news:qPkjf.51442$uC3.511
No terribly clear but, buoys were never intended to be used without
I would disagree with that statement, to a point.
The general flow of buoys (sticking to the East Coast,USA) is North
South, East to West (E-W is "old school") coming from sea.
What this meant was that if you should see a buoy while moving along
coast and for whatever reason, you didn't have a chart/chart out of
date/you're lost, based on the "N-S", you would know which side to
With out a doubt, a chart is your best bet to see and understand
buoys mean, but be sure you look at the "BIG" picture of an area to
the overall direction the system is taking.