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After our initial struggles getting underway today (our windlass failed to work so we had to pull the anchor up by hand), we had a great sail. We had winds from 3 to 24 knots, boat speeds ranging from 2 – 9 knots and seas from glassy calm to BIG. We did remember to turn our Spot tracker on so if you’re so inclined, you can view our sail track on the Where page of our blog.

As we made our final approach to Carriacou, it occurred to me just how uncreative we (humans) are when it comes to naming geographical objects/locations. As an example, the two large rocks (islands IMO) to the SE of Carriacou are known as the Sister Rocks. The sandy island to the east of Hillsborough, Carriacou, where we’re anchored now, is known as, you guessed it, Sandy Island. Coincidentally, just outside of our home port in Lake Ontario were the Brothers Islands (perhaps they’re related to the Sisters?). Less than half a mile from these islands was Sandy Bay (and a couple miles from that was Big Sandy Bay). We have come across multiple Sisters on our way south and an untold number of Sandy Bays, Cays and Islands. I guess it’s to be expected considering every city in Canada has a King St., Queen St. and a Princess St. As I said, not too creative.

The Sister Rocks, SE of Carricou.

Bonus marks for those who can tell me what kind of marker
is shown on the chart by the Sisters and also what it means.

Sandy Island is actually a snorkel park of sorts.
If the weather is nice tomorrow, we may dinghy over there to check it out.


  1. andy & sonja cru-zinacatamaran - Reply

    As for the markers is it a distance, depth & mooring buoy markers

  2. That would be a cardinal navigation mark, rather than a lateral navigation mark as used in the U.S.

    Since I have long since forgotten, I will guess without looking it up that the triangles pointing at each other mean that one should pass to the west of it. I know of no catchy way to remember, like “red right returning”, if you picked one up in your class please share!

    • Yes, it is a west cardinal buoy. Good guess.

      Arrows pointing up = North (safe water to the north of the buoy)
      Arrow pointing down = South (safe water to the south of the buoy)
      Arrows pointing at each other – looks like a WINE GLASS = West (safe water to the west of the buoy)
      Arrows pointing away from each other – looks like an EGG = East (safe water to the east of the buoy)


      North = Black on top, Yellow on bottom – White light continuos quick or VG flashing
      East = Black/Yellow/Black – White light – 3 Quick Flashes
      South = Yellow on top, black on bottom – White light 6 Quick flashes followed by 1 long flash
      West = Yellow/black/yellow – White light 9 VQ flashes

      (from memory, so guessing a TINY bit on the speed of the light flashes (Q or VQ) 🙂 )

      Edit: Now I looked it up:

  3. andy & sonja cru-zinacatamaran - Reply

    Black & white is normally don’t pass between but they are vertical not
    horizontal arnt they ?

  4. Place names have always interested me. Being a surveyor and having worked with many old maps, I have ran across some very intriguing names (to me anyway). When you look at your Caribbean charts, what you are seeing is history perpetuated. The first explorer that happened to stumble upon an island made notes, took measurements, drew crude maps and described the terrain. So many times that description became the name because swindling captains, or their rivals, would sell those maps to other countries and the descriptions stuck as names.

    The islands in the Caribbean are somewhat unique in this respect. The first name given by an explorer is the one we use today. In all of the other seas and oceans, each island has at least two names it is known by for the most part.

    And that is your history lesson for today 😛

  5. The east and west marks have a simple non-pc mnemonic. Western women have a waist. Eastern women are the shape shown!


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