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Sector 4. The Kiribati Islands to the Marshall Islands

out 91m from the shore. Its center, about 81m high and nearly flat, descends in jagged fashion to the coast.

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Cliffs from 4 to 9m high surround the island, except for a

portion of Home Bay on the SW side of the island. The ETA of a vessel should be sent when within radio range of the island. Pratique may be requested by cable when within 24 hours of arrival.

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Winds—Weather.—East winds are predominant year

round. Very occasionally, strong W winds blow with squalls of great force and heavy rains at Home Bay. Usually this weather does not last for more than 2 or 3 days, but in exceptional cir- cumstances it may last for a week or 10 days. In the event of such weather, vessels must put to sea.

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Tides—Currents.—The current usually sets fairly strongly

W, but from December to March it frequently sets E. It is possible that during the W current an eddy may be set up in Home Bay causing the flow close inshore to set E. In Home Bay a NW current with a velocity of about 2 knots was ex- perienced. A vessel endured a current setting W with a velocity of 1 to 2 knots in the vicinity of Banaba (Ocean Island).

4.44 Home Bay (0°54'S., 169°33'E.), on the SW portion of

the island, was the site of a phosphate loading facility, but the facility has been out of commission since 1979. There is no harbor and the port facilities are situated on the open coast, which is protected only from winds from the NE quadrant. Some protection is provided for lighters and launches by a small boat harbor blasted out of the reef near the S end of Home Bay. The boat harbor is protected by breakwaters. There is no anchorage within the bay, but several mooring buoys are situated there. These provide berths for vessels up to 200m in length, and three berths for vessels up to 91m in length.

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Pilotage.—Pilotage is compulsory. The pilot will board the

ship from 1 to 2 miles SW of Home Bay during daylight hours. The pilot and harbormaster may be contacted on VHF channel 16. The pilot ladder should be rigged on the port side, and the main engines must be on standby at all times.

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Directions.—Range beacons, in line bearing 343°, are

shown at Home Bay. Vessels approaching the bay from the S or SE are warned to keep to the W of the range line.

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Caution.—Strong currents up to 4 knots running either E or

W may be encountered off Sydney Point. A depth of 9.1m lies 2.5 miles S from the S extremity of Sydney Point (0°54'S., 169°33'E.). Vessels should not approach the island within 2 miles after dark.

4.45 Nauru (0°32'S., 166°55'E.) (World Port Index No. 56500) is visible for about 18 miles and is of coral formation. Winds—Weather.—The prevailing wind is between NE

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and ENE and is rarely stronger than force 4 to 5. In light winds, it is usually stronger near the shore, especially at night. Nauru does not appear to be visited by typhoons, but SW storms occa- sionally occur. The island has a wet season from November through February. When the wind is from the W, cargo hand- ling is impossible. If the vessel experiences an onshore wind greater than a light breeze, it should be ready to put to sea. Tides—Currents.—As a rule, the current sets W, but E cur-

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rents have been encountered. Its rate has been reported to be as much as 3 to 4 knots. A 2 knot current, setting N or S, has been

111

NASA Image

Nauru

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experienced close to the W side of the island. Sailing vessels getting to leeward have great difficulty in making the island. Depths—Limitations.—There is no harbor except for boats,

and the port facilities are situated on an open coast, which is protected only from E winds. Two cantilever phosphate load- ing berths extend from the W side of the island. Ships secure head and stern-to buoys laid offshore, and are then warped in to buoys moored close to a reef. North of the two piers, a small basin has been blasted out for the use of cargo boats and launches. A depth of 457.2m was found near one of the buoys, about 0.1 mile off the N cantilever.

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Vessels up to 40,000 dwt, with a maximum length of 192m

and a maximum beam of 28.3m, can be accommodated. Aspect.—From an approaching vessel, it is seen as two

round hummocks some distance apart. The island is surround- ed by a fringing reef which extends about 0.1 mile from the shore and is steep-to. The island can be approached to a dis- tance of 0.3 mile, as the reef is easily distinguished.

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The SW aspect of the island is radar conspicuous; the airport

runway, 1.25 miles long, traverses the SW edge of the island and was reported (1985) as radar conspicuous at 18 miles. Pilotage.—Pilotage is compulsory and should be ordered

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well in advance. The boarding ground is about 0.5 mile W of the berth. The pilot boards the vessel with a mooring gang and mooring tackle. No ship’s mooring are used. The pilot and mooring gang remain onboard during loading. The weather is extremely unpredictable and the vessel may be required to sail at very short notice.

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Regulations.—Vessels should send their ETA to the local

authorities at least 48 hours in advance, confirming 12 hours before arrival and when within 20 miles of the port. Pratique

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