Not too long ago, flying a yellow or ‘Q’ flag signified “keep away” and quarantine! Yellow fever was also called yellow jack after the flag because strangely, this sort of flag is called a ‘jack’ by seriously boaty people!
The SXK Buoy Flag
However when we opened the post this morning and out popped a yellow flag we did not recoil in Billy Bones-esque terror as if receiving the ‘black spot’ from Long John Silver but cheered with delight! We had been allocated one of the Swedish Cruising Club Buoy Flags by the CA and so we are now not destined to roam the waters around Sweden, flying the yellow jack and quarantined from the harbours!
This flag allows us to use the 200 or so private SXK mooring buoys around the Swedish coast. The are located in some of the most beautiful and unspoilt areas of Sweden….so any isolation will be intentional! However the only slight snag is that all the information in Swedish! A cursory glance at the SXK website leads me to believe that Swedish Chef in The Muppet Show was not actually speaking Swedish so deciphering it may prove trickier than I thought!
As a matter of interest, we carry a yellow ‘Q’ flag on Grace, not because we think that we will be struck down with some contagion but because the flag now has a meaning that is completely the opposite to its original use! It now says, “come aboard, we a ready for inspection by customs and immigration”. That’s boating for you!!
So now if you see a boat flying a flag with yellow and black squares, the ‘Lima’ flag, I’d give it a wide berth! That means its in quarantine!
The Lima Flag