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SECTOR 9

THE BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO

9.0

Plan.—This sector first describes the NE coast of New

Ireland from SE to NW. Next, the SW coast of New Ireland, including St. George’s Channel and Gazelle Channel, is de- scribed from SE to NW. The NW coast of New Ireland, the coasts of New Hanover, and the passages between them are then described from E to W. The S and N coasts of New Britain are then described from E to W and from W to E, respectively. Finally, the Admiralty Islands and the Ninigo Group are de- scribed.

General Remarks

9.1 The Bismarck Archipelago, which is a part of Papua

New Guinea, includes all the islands between 0°45'S and 6°20'S, and between 142°50'E and 154°00'E. The archipelago includes the large islands of New Ireland and New Britain, and the smaller adjacent island groups such as New Hanover, the Duke of York Group, and the Admiralty Islands.

9.1

Winds—Weather.—The Bismarck Archipelago is dominat-

ed by the NE trades from November to June. Gales seldom oc- cur. The prevailing winds during the summer months are light- er and blow more often from the E and SE. The season of the lightest winds is usually from September to November.

Pressure changes are usually small. The average range of the barometer is between 1009mb and 1013mb. Fog is rare in this area.

9.1 9.1

Tides—Currents.—Data is lacking on tidal currents in this

area, but the rates are believed to be from 0.5 to 2 knots with the strongest currents occurring in the narrower passages and channels. Non-tidal surface currents are usually weaker, having rates of 0.35 to 1.5 knots.

9.1

Along the NE coast of New Guinea and in the vicinity of the

Admiralty Islands, the current sets NW, varying in velocity from 0.5 to 2 knots. During the early months of the year, it sets E along the N coast of New Guinea.

9.1

Observations indicate that the currents on the N coast of

New Guinea are mostly weak and usually set with the wind. This also applies to the Solomon Islands and the Bismarck Archipelago. The currents in the narrow passages are excep- tions to this rule.

The tropic tidal ranges in this area vary from 0.6 to 0.8m. The tides are mostly of a diurnal nature.

9.1

Caution.—Many of the islands described in this chapter have only been partially examined.

9.1 9.1

Numerous off-lying reefs have been discovered off the coasts

of New Britain, and the charts are not always to be relied upon. The S coast of the island is inaccurately charted.

9.1

The area extending from the S side of Manus Island for 40

miles and including the Purdy Islands, is so little known that it should be regarded as dangerous.

9.1

It has been reported that vessels should pass outside of the

islands off-lying the NE coast of New Ireland or to the S of it due to the uncertainty of the depths along the island’s NE coast.

9.3 The Feni Islands (4°05'S., 153°40'E.) consist of two

wooded islands and two small islets. They appear as five rounded hummocks from offshore.The Feni Islands are a good radar target from 20 miles. Except for native gardens, planta- tions, and groves of coconut palms scattered on the sloping ter- rain near the shore, the islands are forested.

These islands are reported to be about 1.5 miles SE of their charted position.

9.3 9.3

Ambitle Island rises to a height of 562m in its middle part;

its N part is low and swampy. The island serves as a good radar target from 20 miles, but gives a poor return at 30 miles. A gey- ser, which throws up water to a height of 15.2m, is located on the island. A small islet stands on the SE side of a reef, about 0.2 mile off the NW side of the island.

9.3

Babase Island is 266m high and has four peaks. It has un-

dulating and gently sloping terrain alternating with steep slop- ing hills. Balum Islet, which is reported to be covered with for- ested hills, lies close off the N side of Babase Island.

Pub. 126

Islands East and Northeast of New Ireland

9.2 The Green Islands (4°28'S., 154°11'E.), consisting of

Nissan Island, Barahun Island, Sirot Island, and Pinipel Island, are on a raised densely-wooded coral atoll centered about 80 miles ENE of the S extremity of New Ireland. The islands are inhabited.

9.2

Pinipel Island, 101m high, is detached from the main atoll

and 1.5 miles to the NNW. The island is cliffy and reported to be a good radar target. A reef extends from its W side. Nissan Island, the largest island of the group, almost com-

9.2

pletely encloses a lagoon which has three entrances on its W side.

9.2

Tides—Currents.—A S current usually prevails along the

W side of Nissan Atoll, being strongest off Middle Channel. At times, this set is reversed.

9.2

The maximum strength of the tidal currents in both Middle

Channel and South Channel is 2 knots, except at springs, when it may reach 3 knots. During the Northwest Monsoon, there are overfalls in the entrance with the ebb current. The currents inside the lagoon are weak.

9.2

Tides at Nissan Atoll are very irregular, diurnal tides occur-

ring at times. The mean tidal range at the entrance of South Channel is about 0.7m.

9.2

Anchorage.—Anchorage is available with local knowledge

in the lagoon. The main entrance is between the S end of Barahun Island and the S arm of Nissan Island, 0.35 mile S. The fairway between fringing reefs is 36 to 45m wide and has a least depth of 5.2m. A mid-channel course of 076° leads through the entrance. This entrance should not be attempted during strong NW winds. The other entrances are more diffi- cult or for small boats only. Depths inside the lagoon range from 22 to 60m, with foul ground extending from the W and S sides. A small wharf, with a depth of 1.8m alongside, is at the NE side of the lagoon. 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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