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Sector 9. The Bismarck Archipelago

bearing 205°. This leads over a bank, with depths of 12.8 to 16.5m, about 0.3 mile E of Trapez Reef (3°39'S., 152°27'E.). Anchorage can be taken, in 20m, with the boathouse at Bo-

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pire in line with a depression in the mountain ridge bearing 261°. Caution is necessary as this range passes close N of a 4.6m shoal. Vessels up to 76m long can also anchor, in 18.3m, about 0.2 mile off the fringing reef on each side of the harbor. Between Nabuto Bay and Karu Bay, about 20 miles NW, the

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coast is bordered by sandy stretches that are separated in most places by low cliffs and steep rising slopes. Belik, a plantation village, is situated about 15 miles NW of Cape Namarodu. Mumu Islet (3°26'S., 152°16'E.) is about 0.3 mile offshore and about 3.5 miles NW of the plantation. The islet is 46m high and densely wooded. A small river, which is spanned by a bridge near its mouth, discharges into Karu Bay, S of the islet. Anchorage.—Anchorage can be taken by large vessels with

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local knowledge, in 33 to 35m, in Karu Bay. The anchorage is sheltered from the N by Mumu Islet and on the E by a reef about 0.4 mile offshore. Vessels approaching from the N should pass close W of Mumu Islet, avoiding the fringing reef, and two reefs, each with a depth of 4.6m, about 0.3 mile and 0.4 mile SSW of the islet. These reefs can usually be disting- uished.

9.13 Cape Panakondo (3°08'S., 151°46'E.) is a prominent projection 18 miles WNW of Cape Lemeris, which is also prominent. The coast, between Karu Bay and a position about 4 miles SE of Cape Panakondo, has some stretches of sand, but for the most part rises in cliffs and steep slopes that are the sea- ward edges of low, narrow terraces. Backing the low terraces are steep limestone slopes that culminate on the high plateau of the interior. Several small coconut plantations are near the shore, but elsewhere the coast and inland slopes are covered with rain forest.

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Between a position about 4 miles SE of Cape Panakondo and

Fangalawa Bay, the coast is fronted by sandy beaches. The sandy shores are broken by small cliffy headlands and swamps which surround the heads of some of the inlets. Backing the coastal lowlands are mountains, the slopes of which are cut by gorges that have swift streams flowing through during the wet season.

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Between Fangalawa Bay and North Cape, the shore is low

and sandy in most places. Low cliffs and steep slopes, which rise to low terraces, interrupt the sandy beaches. There are coconut plantations on the coast, but they rarely extend over 2 miles inland. On the lower slopes of the hills are many villages and settlements which have native gardens.

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Kapsu Point (2°41'S., 151°02'E.) can be identified by an

overhanging conical-shaped mountain, which is prominent among the chain of hills. Kapsu Road, about 2 miles SE of Kapsu Point, affords indifferent anchorage for vessels with local knowledge, in 24m, because of the heavy swell that sets into the bay, and to the confined space, within which a con- venient depth can be obtained. Abreast the site of the trader’s house, there is a boat passage leading through the reefs.

Beacons, which are not reliable, mark a 273° range to the anchorage.

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North Cape (2°33'S., 150°49'E.) is low and covered with coconut palms.

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239

St. George’s Channel

9.14 St. George’s Channel (4°30'S., 152°30'E.) separates

New Ireland from New Britain and leads into the Bismarck Sea. It is one of the major shipping lanes for a passage between Australia and Japan, through the Solomon Sea. The channel is deep and clear of apparent dangers in the fairway. The passage is also used by vessels bound NW to the Caroline Islands and the Marianas Islands, and to San Bernadino Strait (13°00'N., 124°30'E.).

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The channel is divided in two by the Duke of York Group in

the N. From a position about 10 miles E of Cape Gazelle (4°19'S., 152°24'E.), the track leads N and NW to the vicinity of Labur Bay (3°39'S., 152°21'E.), passing through the narrowest part of Saint George’s Channel between the Duke of York Group and the W coast of New Ireland. The passage appears deep and clear of dangers.

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The Gazelle Peninsula, the E side of which forms the W side

of St. George’s Channel, consists of many mountain ranges. The principal of these are the Crater Peninsula and the Rem- barr Range in the NE; the Gawit Range, the Raulei Range, the Karas Range, and other ranges in the NW; an unnamed range in the SE; and the Lakit Range in the SW. The peninsula is reported to be a poor radar target from 33 miles.

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The 520m peak, 2.25 miles W of Adler Bay, which will be

discussed in paragraph 9.19, is distinctive against the higher range inland.

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Several prominent peaks are located in the NE part of the

Gazelle Peninsula, particularly on the Crater Peninsula. Promi- nent among them are Mount Wunakokor, 777m high and located 15 miles WSW of Cape Gazelle; the Mother (Mount Kombiu), an extinct volcano, 658m high, and located 13 miles NW of the same cape; South Daughter (Mount Turanguna), 482m high, and North Daughter (Mount Towanumbatir), 591m high, about 1.8 miles SSE and 3 miles NW, respectively of Mount Kombiu. The last three mountains are an imposing and picturesque group. Mount Tavurvur, an active volcano, 230m high, is W of

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Mount Turanguna; there are still other active craters on the inner side of the peninsula.

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Winds—Weather.—Thick weather is reported to be an usu-

al occurrence in the vicinity of the Duke of York Group during heavy SE storms.

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Tides—Currents.—Between the entrance of St. George’s

Channel and a position about 230 miles to the SSE, the current was found to be setting S at a rate of 1.5 knots.

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A current has been observed in St. George’s Channel setting

NNW at a rate up to 2 or 3 knots. North of the channel, a NW set of about 1 knot has been observed.

A vessel has experienced a S current running at a rate of 2.5 knots when passing through this channel.

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During the Southeast Trades, there is an eddy current setting

S close off the E coast of New Britain. A strong current sets round Cape Archway into Wide Bay, W of it and skirting the shore, and then sets out at Cape Cormoran.

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A reliable source has stated that during SE winds, a NNW

set of 3 to 4 knots may be experienced in the narrows of St. George’s Channel. The same source also stated that NW winds diminish the rate of the current, but never reverse it.

The prevailing current appears, near the Duke of York Group, to set S, but it is affected by the monsoons. After a

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