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Sector 9. The Bismarck Archipelago

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The coast is steep, sloping, and cliffy, with some intervening stretches of sand. Some settlements are situated on the slopes near the shore. Reefs extend 6 miles from the W side of Simberi Island. Marwiu Islet and another islet are located on the reef on the NW side of the island. These reefs break heavily at times.

9.6

Anchorage.—With local knowledge anchorage can be

taken, as follows: 1. For small vessels, in 9.1 to 18.3m, from 0.3 to 0.4

mile offshore, off a coconut plantation on the NW side of Tabar Island, about 1.3 miles from its N end. 2. For small vessels, at the NE end of the channel

between Tabar Island and Tatau Island. This anchorage is fronted by a reef, marked by a beacon, and is considered pre- ferable to the anchorage mentioned immediately above. 3. In 22m, in Sigarriga Harbor, sheltered by wooded

hills. This harbor is about 0.3 mile within the SW entrance to the channel between Tabar Island and Tatau Island. It should not be attempted by vessels over 61m in length unless fitted with twin propellers. 4. Off the W side of Simberi Island, inside the reef, in 24

to 26m, poor holding ground. This anchorage should not be used during the Northwest Monsoon.

9.7 Lyra Reef (1°45'S., 153°20'E.), with its S end about

Lihir Gold Mine barge operations

9.5

Masahet Island is about 211m high and steep. A narrow

white sandy beach with coconut palms fronts the E side of the island. Native settlements and landing places are situated on the SW side of the island.

9.6

Thr Tabar Islands (2°45'S., 152°00'E.) consist of

Tabar Island, hilly with mountains rising to a height of 526m near the N end and 622m in the S part. Much of the coast is cliffy and steep sloping. The coast is fringed by a reef. Most of the settlements are situated on low ground near the shore. Tabar Island was reported (1971) to lie about 1 mile S of its charted position.

9.6

The Tabar Islands consist of the above island, Tatau Island,

Simberi Island, and a few islets. The three large islands are mountainous and mostly covered with rain forests. Plantations and coconut groves are situated on the low ground along the coasts.

9.6

Tatau Island, 375m high, is close N of Tabar Island; its

shores, indented by small bays and coves, are sand and pebbles closely backed by steep slopes.

9.6

Saraware Passage is the channel between Tabar Island and

Tatau Island; the passage has a least depth of 16.4m and is about 90m wide at its narrowest point.

9.6

Simberi Island, separated from Tatau Island by a channel 1

mile wide between the fringing reefs, is circular in shape, 5 miles in diameter, and fringed by a reef. A dangerous rock has been reported to lie 4 miles W of the island. A volcanic cone slopes steeply to a height of 320m near the center of the island.

New Ireland

9.8 New Ireland is long and narrow island located NE of

New Britain in the Bismarck Archipelago. A chain of mount- ains forms the spine of the island and attains an elevation of about 2,149m in the broad S part. The mountain chain rises from low hills that are a short distance inland from the forked NW coast and extends the length of the island. Separating the mountains in the chain are four principal passes, three between 92m and 153m high, and the fourth about 610m high. West- ward of Cape Sena, on the E side of the island, the interior is broken and the mountains vary in height.

9.8

The Lelat Plateau is located near the middle of the island.

Mount Bongmut, 1,300m high and located 5 miles SW of Cape Lemeris, stands on this plateau. Between this mountain and

Pub. 126

90 miles NE of Simberi Island, is a steep-to, submerged coral atoll, about 25 miles in diameter. The depths around the peri- meter of the reef are generally less than 37m, and in places are less than 11m. The least sounding taken on the reef proper was 6.1m on its N side. Within the reef there are depths of over 183m, but this area has not been surveyed. A gap on the NW side of the reef gives access to this deep water. The limits of the reef and the depths are subject to change, so less water than charted may be found. Depths of more than 2,743m are found within 5 miles of the reef. Other dangers in the area include: 1. A reef reported in position 2°05'S, 153°31'E. 2. Breakers reported NW of the charted position of Lyra

Reef. 3. A depth of 22m reported in position 2°03'S, 153°21'E. 4. A depth of 29m reported in position 2°01'S, 153°31'E. 5. A reef about 0.1 mile long in a N-S direction reported

in position 2°02'S, 153°48'E. 6. Breakers and shoal water reported in position 2°11'S,

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