Navigating the Intracoastal Waterway: Understanding Buoy Markings

What should you do when you spot a green can buoy with a yellow square on the Intracoastal Waterway while sailing south?

A. Pass the buoy close aboard on either side.

B. The buoy marks the end of the ICW in that area.

C. Leave the buoy to port.

D. The yellow square is retroreflective material used to assist in sighting the buoy at night.

Answer:

The correct action when encountering a green can buoy with a yellow square on the Intracoastal Waterway while sailing south is to leave the buoy to port.

When you come across a green can buoy with a yellow square on the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) while sailing south, it indicates the junction of two channels and serves as a navigational aid. The preferred channel is indicated by the color of the square on the buoy.

Leaving the buoy to port means you should pass it on the left side of your vessel. This color and shape combination helps mariners maintain safe navigation and avoid potential collisions while traveling along the ICW.

It's important to note that this type of buoy does not mark the end of the ICW, contrary to what some may think. Additionally, the yellow square is not retroreflective material but is specifically designed to aid with navigation during daylight.

By following the correct procedures when encountering navigational markers like this buoy, you can ensure a smooth and safe journey along the ICW.

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