Let’s Talk About….Nuns & Can Buoys

Here I stand between a nun buoy and a can buoy. I knew buoys (whether ocean, lake or river) came in red and green and that was about it. The plaque below reads:

“Buoys are floating navigational aids that mark channels, hazards and prohibited areas and also help navigators locate their position. Buoys are coded by color, shape and numbers. They are moored to the bed of a waterway by chain or rope to concrete sinkers. Nun buoys are red with cone-shaped tops. They mark the right side of a waterway when entering a channel from the sea. Nun buoys carry even numbers.  Can buoys are green and are square or shaped like a large can. They mark the left side when entering a channel from seaward. Can buoys carry odd numbers.”

Capt. Kelly explained all this to us (a rapt audience) and then with a smile told of how buoys get “whacked” by ships or barges and float loose……… to end up on the sand or even up in the trees during high water. He said at one point there was a program for folks to rescue and return for a bonus these stranded buoys. “But soon that program had to be abandoned,” he said, “because the buoys were disappearing from the river.” (Think about it. 🙂