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I had a discussion with a captain and new instructor and he brought up a concept that frankly, I'm not sure I agree with.
He claims that all marks on the east coast of the US are lateral marks in the sense that their color is meaningful and lets you know something about where safe water is.
For channels that is totally obvious. Red right returning and all that.
An example he uses is R "34" Cow and Calf off Branford Harbor.
Lots of guys have messed up their keel by thinking R "34" is a channel mark for Branford harbor and take it close to starboard and crack up.
My friend asserts that it is indeed a lateral mark but is for heading to NYC so it marks the northernmost side of the "LIS channel".
This concept seems totally useless to me.
If I'm in the fog in the LIS and see a Red mark unless I consult the chart I have no idea if I should take it on my left or right.
But in defense of his argument, there does seem to be mostly green makers on the north side of LI and mostly red markers on the south side of CT.
Apart from being an interesting observation, I'm not sure how it would help a navigator much if at all. I'm not even sure it is worth mentioning to a novice navigator.
Maybe there is some utility to leaning to the south for Red and north for Green but I doubt if it is even worth mentioning.
What do you think?
The lesson from the Icarus story is not about human failing.
It is a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive.
If you have an engineering problem solve it.
Last edited by davidpm; 03-04-2019 at 12:19 AM.