Standing watch at the Mouth of the Merrimack River is Red # 2. Red # 2 is a navigational buoy that rides out some of the most violent conditions on the East Coast. Red # 2 is not as well known as MR, which is the first red navigational buoy on the approach to the Merrimack River and the one that most boats set their course to. MR is the glamor buoy in this part of the Gulf of Maine. Important, much discussed by boaters and the mark of choice on the GPS. MR is not just a navigational buoy, it’s a destination.
Such fame is not in the cards for Red # 2. But I’d contend that Red # 2 is responsible for more safe passages through the Mouth of the Merrimack than any other. Set beyond the Salisbury Jetty, Red # 2 marks the channel around the treacherous sand bars beyond the jetty. Without Red # 2 boaters would be tempted to cut the corner around the jetty on their way north. These pictures shows the waves breaking over the sandbar between the jetty and our friend Red # 2. On a calm day a boater wouldn’t realize just how dangerous a tight course around the jetty would be. So thank you Red # 2, you’re tops with me.