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Sector 5. New Caledonia

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Directions.—A vessel entering Baie de Pam should keep

midway between the beacon W of Pointe Nen’Diaran and the E side of Ile Pam, and anchor, in a depth of about 11m, about 0.3 mile N of the rocky islet lying close off the E side of Ile Pam, located about 0.8 mile SSW of Pointe Nen’Diaran, keeping the S part of Ile Balabio open of the NE extremity of Ile Pam. A small vessel may anchor E of the bank with a depth of 3.7m. Baie d’Harcourt, located W of Ile Pam, may be approached

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from the E through Goulets d’Arama or Canal de l’Alcmene. A white cross on the red cliff near the village of Arama, in the SW part of the bay is conspicuous. The waters in this bay and in the channels leading to it, especially after heavy rains or gales, is turbid to a marked degree, and large light-colored patches which may be mistaken for shoals sometimes appear on the surface.

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Anchorage.—The best anchorage is toward the E side of the

bay near Ile Pam, in depths of from 12.8 to 14.6m, with the summit of the island bearing 090°. Good anchorage can also be taken about 0.8 mile from the mouth of the small river which discharges close N of the village of Arama, with the red cliff bearing between 247° to 270°, and Ilot Nen’Dahande (20°10'S., 164°15'E.) bearing between 020° and 026°, in depths of 7.3 to 8.2m, mud and sand.

5.66 Ile Balabio (20°07'S., 164°12'E.) lies with its SE

extremity 6 miles NW of Pointe Nen’Diaran. The island is high and wooded, and its W side is bordered by mangroves. The inner channels between the island and the main island are restricted by the surrounding and off-lying reefs, particularly near Pointe d’Oumap. The island is fringed by reefs, rocks, and off-lying islets.

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Ilot Nen’dahande, about 0.8 mile SE of the SE extremity of

Ile Balabio, is high, and from the E is saddle-shaped. The islet is one of the best marks for navigating the N channels.

Canal Napias (20°10'S., 164°15'E.) is a narrow and crooked channel that opens between the reef of the same name and the SE point of the extensive reef on the SW side of Ile Balabio. The channel should only be used by vessels with local know- ledge. The channel has not been thoroughly surveyed and there may be depths of less than 6.7m.

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Canal de l’Alcmene (20°12'S., 164°14'E.) has a least width

of 0.5 mile and is easy to access. The channel is marked with navigational aids. A patch, with a depth of 6.7m, lies nearly in mid-channel, 1 mile NNE of Ilot Taabam (20°13'S., 164°13'E.).

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Canal Devarenne lies between Plateau Devarenne and the

SW side of Recif de Balabio. It is the only channel within the barrier reef through which a vessel of moderate draft can pass from one side of the main island to the other. It has a least width of 0.45 mile and a least depth in the fairway of 6.7m. The greatest depths are on the Recif de Balabio side. The channel is marked by beacons and buoys, but reliance should not be placed on the existence of these aids in this vicinity. The water is smooth in these channels, and vessels may

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anchor anywhere under the lee of Ile Balabio, or N of Plateau Devarenne. A vessel may obtain temporary anchorage, in depths of 9.1 to 11m, about 0.5 mile W of Ilot St. Phalle and Ilot Sables d’Olane.

Mouillage de la Fine, W of the N extremity of Ile Balabio, is only suitable for vessels of moderate size. The recommended

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159

berth is in a depth of about 6.4m, good holding ground, with the small hill on the W extremity of Ile Balabio bearing 180°, and Ilot Tahanlagh, located close N of the N extremity of the same island, bearing 030°.

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The W current sets W through all the channels in the barrier

reef; the W current in Goulets d’Arama and Canal Devarenne is very strong, attaining a maximum rate of over 5 knots. Pointe d’Oumap is located on the mainland W of the S en-

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trance to Canal Devarenne. The point is a projecting red cliff flanked on each side by a sandy beach. Pointe d’Pouthier lies about 5.8 miles NW of Pointe d’Oumap. There is temporary anchorage, in about 8.2m, 0.4 mile NNW of Pointe d’Pouthier. Ilot Daougae (20°04'S., 164°02'E.) is located on the shore

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reef which borders the N extremity of New Caledonia. The highest part of Ilot Daougae, a cliff at the N end, forms a good landmark. Good anchorage sheltered from SE winds may be obtained 1 mile WNW of the islet, in depths of 8.3 to 12m, sand.

Passe d’Amoss to Grand Passage

5.67 The barrier reef continues for nearly 100 miles from

Passe d’Amoss and is known as Grand Recif de Cook. The SE part is marked, and is steep-to on its outer side, SW of it is an extensive unsurveyed area which should be avoided. There is a continuous line of breakers with a few openings throughout the reef. Grande Fausse Passe, 36 miles NW of Passe d’Amoss, is accessible only for boats.

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Passe Ongomboua (19°20'S., 163°46'E.) lies about 27 miles

NNW of Grande Fausse Passe. Ilot Ongomboua, which is low, sandy, and covered with grass, lies in the middle of the pass- age; there is a channel on either side which lie obliquely to the general direction of the reef, and each with a depth of about 18.3m. This is the first practicable passage in the reef NW of Passe d’Amoss.

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There are five other passages through the barrier reef be-

tween Passe Ongomboua and the NW end of the reef, 40 miles NNW. The first of these, 8 miles NNW of Passe Ongomboua, is divided into two channels by a sandy islet nearly covered at HW; the fifth and N passage (19°00'S., 163°35'E.) is about 5 miles wide. The tidal currents through the above passages are very strong.

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Caution.—None of these passages through the barrier reef

have been surveyed, therefore, the descriptions should not be considered to be accurate. The reefs N of 19°30'S are im- perfectly charted. There is generally a heavy sea breaking on the northernmost of these reefs.

5.68 Grand Passage (18°44'S., 163°15'E.) lies between

the N extremity of Grand Recif de Cook and the S extremity of Recifs d’Entrecasteaux, and is about 20 miles wide. The current through the passage is generally W at a rate of 1 knot, though a NW current of about 2 knots has been experienced after a period of strong winds. Since the N limits of the barrier reefs were determined, several vessels have touched, and some been lost, on reefs in Grand Passage.

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It is necessary to exercise the greatest prudence in navigating

in these unsurveyed waters, and it is recommended to pass through them during daylight, and only then with the sun behind, so as to ensure being able to discern the changes in the

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