top of page

Un-Buoy-Lievable: Coast Guard Buoy Takes 2-Year Odyssey to Retire in the Bahamas

By: Scott Way

CBC News picked up a story this week about a mischievous Canadian Coast Guard buoy that went on a 2 year unplanned odyssey, eventually retiring itself in the Bahamas.

That buoy, the Canadian Coast guard allocated 'JJ3,' went rogue back in January 2018, disappearing off Scatarie Island near Louisbourg, Nova Scotia. A 29 month journey took it to Europe, Africa, and then back across the Atlantic before the freedom-loving buoy ran aground in the Bahamas where it was rediscovered.

As for how the JJ3 went on its intercontinental bender, it would seem the high-powered Gulf Stream broke its mooring and whipped it across the Atlantic to the south of England in a robust 40-ish days. From there, slower currents dragged the JJ3's rusty heels south to the Canary Islands off the west coast of Africa over the span of approximately 12 months. After a year reaching Africa, it took roughly another 12 months to cross back across the Atlantic and reach the Bahamas.

This isn't the first Canadian Coast Guard buoy to go tropical, either. Others have turned up in Bermuda, the Azores, and the Bahamas before.

Despite not being a true pathfinder, the JJ3 was discovered by Al Otis and some friends exploring a secluded beach on Cat Island. According to Otis, "I figured that the bell buoy would be the ultimate lawn ornament with the added benefit of a big old bell to ring when the mood struck."

Albeit an impressive lawn ornament, it would seem the Canadian Coast Guard won't be bringing the JJ3 back to stand guard in the frigid waters of the north Atlantic. They claim that unless a buoy carries important scientific data it simply isn't worth the cost to send it back.

And so the JJ3 shall remain, marooned in the Bahamas and free to live out its glory years working on its rusty tan.

You can check out the full story from CBC News.

1,342 views0 comments


bottom of page