NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

June 27, 2013

Sprucing up the nun buoy

Getting things ship-shape is a mantra of those who live by the sea, and a former admiral in the Coast Guard has been supervising a project to refurbish the Coast Guard buoy on the waterfront.

Dan May, rear admiral, USCG retired, recently organized a detail to paint the “nun buoy” this week near the riverfront.

An organization called Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team from Boston has been actually spreading the paint.

The term “nun” represents the conical-topped red buoy, universally used as a nautical navigation aid. When boats enter a navigation channel heading upriver or into a harbor, a nun buoy marks the right-most side of the channel. A “can” buoy — shaped like a flat-topped can and painted green — marks the left-most side of the channel.

Located on the edge of Market Square Park, the buoy’s inscription reads “Nun Buoy, presented to Newburyport by Coast Guard, Aug. 4, 1962.”

“I noticed over the winter that this buoy was looking pretty sad,” said May, “so I obtained approval from the city and the Waterfront Trust to give it a new ‘spruce-up’ this week.”

May recently retired after 33 years and moved to Newburyport last fall. He is a member of the Harbor Commission.

A recognition of the enhancement of the buoy is scheduled for today, when city officials will thank volunteers.

In a separate event tomorrow, a formal ceremony is planned to mark the changing of command at the nearby Coast Guard station.

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