Here’s a free guide that’s really good to have at hand any time you’re on the water. I print out a copy and keep it where I can easily grab it whenever I’m uncertain or just to double-check that I’m remembering things correctly.While we may know the common markers, sounds and lights that we see, there are always times that we run into something unusual . . . or maybe we are now in a new area (say, going up the ICW after cruising the Bahamas).
- What does a short-long-short horn mean? What does it mean that he just said he’ll pass me on the two-horn side?
- Are the reds on the east or west side on the ICW?
- Does that mean “danger – stay away” or “here’s the channel”?
Other times, we’re looking at the chart and wondering what the symbol there will look like on the water. That’s when this page comes in handy:
Very nicely, the US Coast Guard has made this info into a free brochure that you can download. Below is taken directly from the Coast Guard site, so the brochure should be the most recent one published.
NOTE: If you prefer a pre-printed plastic guide to have at the helm, Davis Instruments makes several useful ones, all available on Amazon — but not free, of course: