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Sector 4. The Kiribati Islands to the Marshall Islands

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Anchorage.—Vessels should anchor in the entrance to these

passages midway between the reefs in depths of about 9.1m. Western Passage is more favorable as the currents are not so strong. Anchorage may also be taken in good weather just to the W of the N end of the atoll.

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A large number of vessels, necessarily limited in size by the

depths of the entrance channels, can obtain sheltered anchor- age in the lagoon. The holding ground is said to be excellent, consisting of fine coral sand with almost a clay-like consist- ency.

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Directions.—Western Passage, with a least depth of 3.4m in

NASA Image

Kuria

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Tides—Currents.—In the lagoon passes, the current is

tidal. In Western Passage, which is shallow, the tidal current runs about 2.5 knots at springs. A considerable ground swell runs occasionally at the entrance to this channel. Through South Passage, which is narrower and deeper, the current may often obtain a rate of 4 knots during springs. A strong tidal current is reported setting approximately along the axis of that portion of the channel lying SW of Henson Rocks. Tide rips are noticeable and, at ebb tide, often give the appearance of reefs.

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A report states that the general set at Abemama is 260°, with

a drift of 1.6 knots. The current divides at the SE part of the atoll, and follows the reef N and S. The current 0.9 mile off the reef was observed to be 0.3 knot, setting parallel to the reef on the E beach. Along the N beach the drift was 2 knots. Eddy currents exist off the NW beach, the set being S with a velocity of 1.5 knots. Here again, because of the tidal effect of the lagoon, the currents have rips and are not predictable. Aspect.—Bike Island (Entrance Island)

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(0°22'N.,

173°52'E.) is located about midway along the SW side of the atoll. The remains of a wreck lies on its SE side. Foul ground extends for over 0.35 mile off the NW side, and 0.8 mile off the N end of the island. Part of this foul ground consists of a sand spit which is defined and shows up almost white. At LW, the spit is awash at its extreme end.

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Henson Rocks, a group of rocky shoal patches with depths of

3.4m, lie on the N side of the main channel, about 0.9 mile NNE of the N end of Bike Island. These rocks are sometimes difficult to distinguish, especially at ebb tides, when the water is much discolored. Caution is necessary in navigating the channel due to adjacent shoals and strong currents.

the center and entered about 2.5 miles N of Abatiku Island (0°24'N., 173°46'E.), gives access to difficult waters. It should not be used by vessels drawing over 3.6m, and then only with local knowledge. The entrance, which is about 0.5 mile wide, can be picked up from seaward as a gap in the line of breakers. The S side of the channel is bounded by a foul area of coral heads and boulders. Vessels drawing more than 3.4m should keep to the N side of the passage, where a least depth of 4.2m can be carried. Keep the barrel buoy, moored about 3 miles NE of the E tip of Abatiku Island, on a suitable bearing ahead to stay in the N side of the passage. Unless the position of the buoy has been recently checked, vessels drawing from 3.6 to 4.6m are advised not to enter the passage except near HWS. Inside the entrance, the channel leads in a general NE direction to the finger pier, and is marked by buoys and beacons. South Passage is entered on the SW side of the atoll NW of

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Bike Island. The channel is about 0.3 mile wide at its outer end, but narrows and becomes tortuous inside. A sandspit on the S side and shoals on the lagoon side of the entrance nar- rows the channel to less than 0.1 mile.

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A set of range beacons, in alignment bearing 042° marks part

of the passage through the entrance. 4.38 Maiana (1°00'N., 173°01'E.) is an atoll of quadri-

lateral shape, 9 miles long in a NE-SW direction, and 6 miles wide. The E side of the atoll forms one continuous island; the W side is formed by a reef, awash, the position and extent of which, especially W, has not been accurately determined. There are many dangers in the lagoon which is shallow and has not been surveyed.

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A boat passage, which dries 0.3m, leads through the reef

near the N extremity of the atoll to the island of Tebikerei (1°00'N., 173°01'E.), on which there is a village. The passage is marked by "perches" standing in piles of stones which cover at HW. A shoal, with a depth of 3.7m, lies about 0.5 mile WNW of the entrance to this boat passage.

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The deepest boat passage with reported depths of 1.8 to

5.5m, lies about 7 miles SW of the N extremity of the island. This passage, marked by perches, is used by small craft going to the government station on the SE side of the lagoon. There is a pier here; a flagstaff stands close E.

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Tides—Currents.—There is a strong indraft on the NE side

of the atoll. The island, Maiana, is almost always influenced by the South Equatorial Current, with a W set at a rate of 1.5 to 2 knots. Persistent W winds which can occur between December and April may cause E sets.

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Anchorage.—Anchorage may be obtained on the edge of

the shelf, in a depth of about 23.8m, about 0.2 mile W of the 3.7m shoal off the entrance of the N boat passage. Anchorage

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