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Sector 7. The Solomon Islands—East Part

7.22

Coleridge Bay (8°33'S., 160°42'E.) has densely-wooded

shores, with trees about 31m high on its S side and a sandy beach on the E shore.

7.22

Bay.

7.22

There is a mission hospital and a leper colony at Coleridge Anchorage.—Anchorage, sheltered from the Southeast

Trades, is available, in 18.3 to 27m, 0.35 mile W of the mouth of a river, at the SE head of the bay. The depths apparently decrease gradually toward the shore within the anchorage.

7.23 Bitama Harbor (8°24'S., 160°35'E.), protected from

W by a narrow peninsula, is located 12 miles N of Coleridge Bay. A spit, with depths of less than 3m, extends less than 0.1 mile NW from the N point of the peninsula; depths of less than 10.1m extend 0.2 mile farther NW. The entrance to the harbor is 0.15 mile wide, with depths over 29m. A light is shown from a tower on the N end of the peninsula. The village of Bitama is situated on the E shore, near the head of the harbor. There is a small jetty at the village for vessels with a draft of up to 3m and a length of up to 37m.

7.23

Cape Astrolabe (8°20'S., 160°34'E.) is the NW extremity of

Malaita. The mainland is high and evenly rounded, with a steeper shore than that to the S of Coleridge Bay. The lower slopes are partly cultivated. Mbatakana Islet (Basakana Islet), close N of Cape Astrolabe and separated from it by a deep channel, is thickly wooded and 49m high to the tops of the trees.

7.24 Indispensable Strait is between the W coast of Malaita

on the E and Guadalcanal Island, Nggela Sule (Sula) (Florida Island), and Santa Isabel Isabel on the W. It is apparently deep throughout to within a few miles of the shore on either side. Alite Reef, which has been discussed previously in paragraph 7.20, appears to be the only principal off-lying danger, al- though reefs extend about 10 miles SE from the SE end of Nggela Sule and parallel the fairway of the strait.

7.24

Winds—Weather.—The weather in Indispensable Strait at

the season of the Southeast Trades is uncertain. Heavy squalls of wind and rain frequently pass over, with intense darkness at night, and the wind frequently shifts several points.

7.24

Tides—Currents.—The water is generally smooth, and a W

set may be expected. Extensive tide rips occur at various stages of the tide throughout the N part of Indispensable Strait; they bear no relation to the depth of water.

7.24

Caution.—Surveys have indicated numerous changes to the

hydrography, topography, and the aids to navigation in and around Indispensable Strait. Vessels are urged to exercise cau- tion.

7.25 Ramos Island (8°15'S., 160°11'E.) is in the N en-

trance of Indispensable Strait, about 23 miles WSW of Cape Astrolabe. From a distance the island appears as two islands, the highest part being to the W. The island and the two islets, Dick and Bird, lying within 2 miles NW of it, are densely wooded.

7.25

An extensive bank with depths of 9 to 18m and many shal-

lower spots extend about 13 miles E and more than 27 miles W, respectively, from Ramos Island. The bank varies in width from 5 miles at its E end to 15 miles at its W end.

7.27 Along the N side of Guadalcanal Island, the 200m

curve lies from 0.25 mile to 6 miles offshore; along the S side depths of 366m lie as close as 3 miles offshore.

7.27

Nudha Island (Nura Island)(9°31'S., 160°48'E.), on a reef

about 10 miles off the NE coast of Guadalcanal Island at the SW end of Indispensable Strait, is nearly 0.8 mile long and is covered with thick brush and trees, 46m high. The center of the island is below HW level and is probably flooded during the Northwest Monsoon. The reef in places extends nearly 0.5 mile offshore, and dries 0.6 to 0.9m, with boulders on the outer edge.

7.27

Anchorage.—Good shelter was obtained by a vessel, in

55m, sand and coral, NW of the S extremity of the island, and about 0.2 mile from the shore reef; the wind was fresh to strong from the SE.

7.27

Caution.—Strong tide rips are reported to occur at times to

the S of Nudha. 7.28 The Rua Sura Islands (9°30'S., 160°37'E.), three in

number, lie about 3 miles off the NE coast of Guadalcanal Island and are about 2.25 miles long. Rua Sura, the center and largest island of the group, is fringed by a reef, which dries 0.3

Pub. 126

7.25

199

Depths—Limitations.—A channel through the above ex-

tensive bank is indicated by dashed lines on the chart. The channel has been wire dragged to 9.1m, except for one spot about 9.5 miles NNW of Ramos Island. It is reported that less depths than charted may exist outside the wire dragged area.

Guadalcanal Island

7.26 Guadalcanal Island has an irregular chain of mount-

ains extending from the SE to NW extremities of the island. From the E end of the island, lofty irregular mountain masses, covered with dense forests and which are frequently enveloped in clouds, gradually increase in height to a 1,935m summit, about 21 miles W of Malapa. Mount Vatupochau (Mount Vatupuchau), about 7 miles further NW and separated from the N coast by an extensive plain, is 1,428m high; it is wedge- shaped, slopes W, and has a double summit.

7.26

On the S side of the island the mountain slopes are only

separated from the shore by a narrow fringe of low land, but on the N side a low, undulating tract descends gradually to the coast, and here several streams flow into the sea. A dark forest growth covers the elevated E part of the island, and in the W half there is an extensive prairie district covered with high grass and dotted here and there with patches of forest.

7.26

Mount Popomanaseu (Mount Popomanasiu), near the center

of the S coast, is 2,440m high. The Kavo Range, a few miles N and NW of Mount Popomanaseu, and on the N side of the Itina River valley, is from 2,134 to 2,286m high.

7.26

Mount Tatuve (Lions Head), 1,994m high, is a broad-topped

steep-sided mountain standing out from the main chain in the central part of the island, about 8 miles E of Mount Popoman- aseu.

Caution.—Recent volcanic activity may have altered coastal features and depths in the vicinity of Guadalcanal Is-land, especially near the S coast and in Marau Sound. Caution should be exercised in this area, particularly in the vicinity of offshore reefs.

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