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Sector 4. The Kiribati Islands to the Marshall Islands

Bikar Passage is suitable only for small craft, as its inner end

is shallow and strong currents run through it. The lagoon is, for the most part, shallow and studded with reefs.

Caution.—The barrier reef extends up to 0.5 mile further seaward on its NE side than charted.

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A group of reefs or shoals, with depths of 12.8 to 40.2m, are reported to lie in position 13°12'N, 168°55'E.

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Taongi Atoll (14°32'N., 168°55'E.), the N islet of the Mar-

shall Islands, is located about 150 miles NNW of Bikar Atoll. All of the islets, which are low, sandy, and densely covered with bushy scrub trees up to 7.6m high, stand on the SE side of the atoll. The outer reef is continuous except for a boat passage on the W side of the atoll. There are no inhabitants, and the islets are rarely visited. It serves as a haven for sea birds. With E winds the sea breaks over the reef on the E side of

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the atoll and into the lagoon. From about 4 hours before to 4 hours after LW, the ebb tidal current is reported to attain a rate of 10 knots through the boat passage on the leeward side of the reef. There is a SW set along the leeward side of the reef. The boat passage can only be used at slack water, and then

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under only the most favorable conditions. The lagoon is shal- low and presents a mucky appearance.

The Ralik Chain

4.61 The Ralik Chain (Sunset Chain) consists of 15 atolls

and the three small coral islets of Kili Island, Jabwot Island, and Lib Island. The chain consists of Ebon Atoll, Namorik Atoll, Jaluit Atoll, Ailinglapalap Atoll, Namu Atoll, Kwajalein Atoll, Lae Atoll, Ujae Atoll, Wotho Atoll, Rongerik Atoll, Rongelap Atoll, Ailinginae Atoll, Bikini Atoll, Enewetak Atoll, and Ujelang Atoll. There are no major ports, but some of the lagoons provide anchorage for all classes of ships. Kwa- jalein Island is the site of the most important port in this group. Minor ports are situated at Jaluit Atoll and Enewetak Atoll. Winds—Weather.—East winds prevail in the vicinity of

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Jaluit Atoll. Winds 65 to 85 per cent of the time in the vicinity of the atoll blow between NE and E during the months of November through August. In November the wind gradually backs to N and becomes NE in January. It reaches its maxi- mum strength in December. Beginning in March the wind gra- dually diminishes in strength and changes to an E direction. Mild SE winds prevail from June to October. This is the period of calms and least precipitation. At this time, the wind may sometimes shift to the S and W. Storms often follow winds from the latter direction. Typhoons are rare.

Temperatures range from 25° to 31°C. Precipitation is comparatively heavy from November to January.

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4.62 Ebon Atoll (4°34'N., 168°42'E.) is the southernmost

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In the vicinity of Ailinglapalap Atoll, NE winds blow contin-

uously from November to April with force 3 or 4. They gra- dually decrease in strength in May and June, and change to E. South winds often occur during this period. From July to October, the winds are weak and the sea is usually calm. West winds are rare. A N wind is considered to be a forerunner of stormy weather. Precipitation is heavy in June and July. The winds in the Kwajalein area blow mainly from the E to

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NE. Winds from the SE sometimes blow during the rainy sea- son. Observations have shown the prevailing winds to be ENE, averaging 8 to 20 knots about 70 per cent of the time, with a maximum velocity of 30 knots.

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of the Ralik Chain of the Marshall Islands. Islets stand on all but the N side of the reef. Ebon Island (4°34'N., 168°42'E.) is the principal island of the atoll. Ebon Channel, on the SW side of the atoll, is the only passage into the lagoon. It is narrow, tortuous and crooked, and only suitable for small vessels with local knowledge at slack water. A jetty extends about 30m from the S side of Meidj Island on the W side of Ebon Channel (4°36'N., 168°41'E.), and there is a long pier near the village on Ebon Island. The coral reef off Meidj Island extends parallel with the channel and is hard to identify. The lagoon is mostly deep and clear. The coral formations on the lagoon side of the channel can usually be identified.

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During the dry season (December through March), the

Northeast Trades blow steadily with moderate to fresh velo- cities. There are extensive periods of good weather.

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In the time of the rainy season (April through November),

the winds are weaker and more variable. Gales are infrequent, but occur for brief periods during the rainy season. Heavy squalls and cloudiness occur. Temperatures are as follows: maximum high 33°C or 34°C; average mean 27°C or 28°C; and low 22°C or 23°C.

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The mean annual rainfall is about 2,030mm. Rainfall gra-

dually increases through the spring and summer to over 250mm per month during September through November. There is a conspicuous diurnal variation in rainfall. The rain

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falls mostly at night, with a maximum in the early morning, usually decreasing rapidly after sunrise. There is a small sec- ondary increase in the late afternoon, with a secondary mini- mum near midnight.

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Thunderstorms are most frequent during the autumn rains,

when they occur 4 to 5 per cent of the time. Typhoons, al- though uncommon, are not unknown.

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In the vicinity of Enewetak Atoll, NE winds are strong from

October to March. They shift to the E gradually and from the latter part of March to June blow from that direction. In June or July the winds blow from a S direction. Squalls increase in June, and occur most often in June or July. During this period, the sea is often smooth and the temperature reaches a max- imum. West winds are rare throughout the year.

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Rainfall averages 1,420mm annually. July to November are

usually the rainy months. The dry season occurs from Decem- ber through May. At Ujelang Atoll, the months of January, February, and March are comparatively dry, and a marked increase in rain attends the months between June and Novem- ber, when the trades are least active. This definite division into a dry and wet season is less pronounced over the S islands. The mean temperature is about 28°C, with the maximum

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seldom rising above 30°C. The minimum is about 25°C or 26°C. The humidity is high.

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Tides—Currents.—See also the "Tides—Currents" topic

under the Marshall Islands heading in paragraph 4.46. The cur- rent is reported to set E in the vicinity of Namu Atoll. A strong W current was reported off the W side of Lib Island. In 1958, the current in the vicinity of Bikini Atoll was reported to set W to WNW at a rate of 0.5 to 2 knots. A W current with a rate of 0.75 knot was experienced 5 miles SW of Ujelang Island. A NE current, with a rate of 0.75 knot, was reported (1963) off the S side of Ailinglapalap Atoll. Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116  |  Page 117  |  Page 118  |  Page 119  |  Page 120  |  Page 121  |  Page 122  |  Page 123  |  Page 124  |  Page 125  |  Page 126  |  Page 127  |  Page 128  |  Page 129  |  Page 130  |  Page 131  |  Page 132  |  Page 133  |  Page 134  |  Page 135  |  Page 136  |  Page 137  |  Page 138  |  Page 139  |  Page 140  |  Page 141  |  Page 142  |  Page 143  |  Page 144  |  Page 145  |  Page 146  |  Page 147  |  Page 148  |  Page 149  |  Page 150  |  Page 151  |  Page 152  |  Page 153  |  Page 154  |  Page 155  |  Page 156  |  Page 157  |  Page 158  |  Page 159  |  Page 160  |  Page 161  |  Page 162  |  Page 163  |  Page 164  |  Page 165  |  Page 166  |  Page 167  |  Page 168  |  Page 169  |  Page 170  |  Page 171  |  Page 172  |  Page 173  |  Page 174  |  Page 175  |  Page 176  |  Page 177  |  Page 178  |  Page 179  |  Page 180  |  Page 181  |  Page 182  |  Page 183  |  Page 184  |  Page 185  |  Page 186  |  Page 187  |  Page 188  |  Page 189  |  Page 190  |  Page 191  |  Page 192  |  Page 193  |  Page 194  |  Page 195  |  Page 196  |  Page 197  |  Page 198  |  Page 199  |  Page 200  |  Page 201  |  Page 202  |  Page 203  |  Page 204  |  Page 205  |  Page 206  |  Page 207  |  Page 208  |  Page 209  |  Page 210  |  Page 211  |  Page 212  |  Page 213  |  Page 214  |  Page 215  |  Page 216  |  Page 217  |  Page 218  |  Page 219  |  Page 220  |  Page 221  |  Page 222  |  Page 223  |  Page 224  |  Page 225  |  Page 226  |  Page 227  |  Page 228  |  Page 229  |  Page 230  |  Page 231  |  Page 232  |  Page 233  |  Page 234  |  Page 235  |  Page 236  |  Page 237  |  Page 238  |  Page 239  |  Page 240  |  Page 241  |  Page 242  |  Page 243  |  Page 244  |  Page 245  |  Page 246  |  Page 247  |  Page 248  |  Page 249  |  Page 250  |  Page 251  |  Page 252  |  Page 253  |  Page 254  |  Page 255  |  Page 256  |  Page 257  |  Page 258  |  Page 259  |  Page 260  |  Page 261  |  Page 262  |  Page 263  |  Page 264  |  Page 265  |  Page 266  |  Page 267  |  Page 268  |  Page 269  |  Page 270  |  Page 271  |  Page 272  |  Page 273  |  Page 274  |  Page 275  |  Page 276  |  Page 277  |  Page 278  |  Page 279  |  Page 280  |  Page 281  |  Page 282  |  Page 283  |  Page 284  |  Page 285  |  Page 286  |  Page 287  |  Page 288  |  Page 289  |  Page 290  |  Page 291  |  Page 292  |  Page 293  |  Page 294  |  Page 295  |  Page 296  |  Page 297  |  Page 298  |  Page 299  |  Page 300  |  Page 301  |  Page 302  |  Page 303  |  Page 304  |  Page 305  |  Page 306  |  Page 307  |  Page 308  |  Page 309  |  Page 310
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