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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Black Port On Entry

Here's a little painting of a common New England coastal item which one day just might save your life!
Black Port On Entry, oil on linen, 6" x 6", $100. plus $10. to ship

BLACK PORT ON ENTRY? What the heck does that mean? a ticket? a fine old fortified wine? a receipt for a show fee? Around these New England waters or any US coastal areas, a common sight is a rusting green can called a buoy. It appears to be floating, but actually it's chained to exceedingly heavy weights. It must never move or drift. Sometimes it's called "black" to distinguish from the red ones with pointy shapes called 'nuns'. And from a distance, 'cans' usually look black. If you don't know better, you might just ignore them. Until you run aground on the rocks or seem totally lost in fog! Grab those binoculars! Try desperately to decipher that number while you are bobbing up and down one way and the can is bobbing up and down another! Does the number match the one on your chart, your road map for the sea lanes? Cans have odd numbers, nuns even. They are anchored in line, according to their numerical order, but seldom is the line straight. The line can curve or go around a sharp bend. You have to follow the numerical order exactly - counting by two's in odd numbers! Skip one or take a short cut and land right onto a submerged rock. Following  the course exactly leads you to your harbor by way of this channel. "Black port on entry!" is a rule of the road at sea. It means: entering a harbor or channel you keep those cans to port or on your left, looking forward. 

This little painting is a foggy tribute to one of those cans, and to the guys who maintain them. All boaters come to know and appreciate the enormous measures of safety the US Coast Guard goes to on behalf of our safety, shown by this tiny little floating green can.

Did you like this nautical lesson? You could have the remembrance of a foggy adventure right on your own shelf! Buying this will earn you 50% off on RED RIGHT RETURNING!