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Sector 6. Iles Loyaute to the Santa Cruz Islands

ing and a good landmark. Boiling Point, the N extremity of the island, is fronted by a ledge of rocks, covered at LW, to a dis- tance of 136m, beyond which the water deepens quickly. Anchorage.—The best anchorage off Tongoa Island is off

6.29

the coast, in a depth of 18m, 0.2 mile W of the boat houses at Aiwos (Panita), with the bluff in line with the W extremity of Tevala Islet bearing 010°, and Nambwaia Rock in line with a point close S of the anchorage bearing 173°. Anchorage may also be obtained, in a depth of 20m, about 1 mile farther N.

6.30 Vatu Miala (16°52'S., 168°31'E.) lies almost 2 miles

NW of the NW extremity of Tongoa Island. It is a remarkable, pillar-shaped, inaccessible rock. There are a few trees on its summit. From a distance it appears as a vessel under sail. Laika Island, nearly 2 miles N of Boiling Point, is a small

6.30

island with two hills. The steep cliffs that border the N, W, and S sides gradually diminish in height toward the E side, where there are two points enclosing a shallow bay. Laika Bank is a shoal patch lying a little more than 1 mile W of the island. The bank gives the appearance of a whale, and a sulphurous smell exists in this vicinity. Somerville Bank lies nearly midway between Boiling Point and Laika Island. Mid Rock, 3m high, lies near the middle of the S side of the bank and is a good mark. The channel N of Somerville Bank is subject to strong and irregular tidal currents and is not recommended. The channel S of the bank is wide and free of dangers.

Tevala Islet (16°49'S., 168°33'E.) is a small and almost in- accessible island located about 0.8 mile W of Laika Island. Its sides are steep cliffs and its summit is wooded. At 135m off the N side of the island there is a rock, nearly awash, upon which the sea generally breaks. It is not advisable to use the passage between Tevala Island and Laika Bank.

6.30

Epi Island

6.31 Epi Island (16°44'N., 168°17'E.) lies with Cape

Cone, its SE extremity, about 3.8 miles NW of Tongoa Island. Tavani Kutali, 833m high, is the highest and most conspicuous mountain on the island; it lies near the middle of the E side of the island. The island as a whole is very mountainous and wooded. The shores of the island consists of white sandy beaches and rocky points, bordered by a narrow reef. When approaching the island from the S, allowance should be made for the S sub-tropical current which is reported to set strongly toward the island.

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Cape Cone (16°51'S., 168°29'E.) is a bold bluff that forms

the SE extremity of Epi Island. The land back of the cape is low and from a distance the cape appears almost as an island. The channel between the cape and Vatu Miala is wide and free of dangers. Tide rips off the cape sometimes gives the impres- sion of shoal water. There is a small bay on the W side of the cape, but landing is difficult and can only be effected when the sea is smooth.

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Sakao Bay lies about 6.3 miles WNW of Cape Cone. The

bay affords anchorage off the village of Sakao, in a depth of 12m, with the summit of Namuka Island bearing 215° and Sakao Point, in line with the S extremity of Epi Island, bearing 114°. The flood current at the anchorage sets WNW and the ebb sets SE. Anchorage may be obtained on a black sandy

173

Epi Island—Lamen Bay tender pier

Epi Island—Lamen Bay tender pier

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Malingi Point (16°49'S., 168°16'E.) lies 5.5 miles W of Na-

muka Island. The point is low, wooded, and fringed by a reef that extends 0.15 mile from the shore. At 0.5 mile from the point is Buguta Cove, where a narrow passage between the reefs leads to a good landing place on a white sandy beach. At the mouth of the river at the head of the cove is Bumboko Village. Voambi Cove, 2 miles W of Maling Point, affords tem- porary anchorage for small vessels, in a depth of 14.6m.

6.32 Diamond Bay (16°46'S., 168°10'E.) lies 3.5 miles

WNW of Voambi Cove. At the head of the bay there is a conspicuous white house and a stone jetty with a crane at its head. A rock, 1.5m high, lies on the fringing reef at the head of the bay. A vessel should approach the rock, bearing 057°, and anchor, in depths of 18 to 27m. This anchorage is not recom- mended in a strong trade wind, as the swell sets in and the berth is too near the sharp point of the reef to be safe.

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