A cardinal buoy indicates that the safest water exists to the direction it indicates. Example: A north cardinal buoy indicates that the safest water exists to the north. An east cardinal buoy indicates safe water to the east.
In the diagram above, examples are given of symbols of cardinal buoys as they will appear on a marine chart. If equipped, the light characteristics will be noted next to the chart symbol. For example, a west cardinal buoy may have the notation Q(9)15s. Q means "Quick" flash. (9)15s means 9 flashes at a rate of 1 per second followed by 7 seconds of darkness, every 15 seconds.
Sometime a west cardinal buoy may have the notation VQ(9)10s, which means 9 "Very Quick" flashes at a rate of one flash every half-second, followed by 6 seconds of darkness, every 10 seconds.
A south cardinal buoy equipped with a light may have a notation of
Examine the diagram above for the flash sequences of other cardinal buoys.Review.