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Sector 9. The Bismarck Archipelago

243

Rabaul (4°12'S., 152°11'E.)

World Port Index No. 56810 9.25 Rabaul, on the E side of the N end of Simpson Har-

bor, is the administrative center and port of entry for New Britain.

Photo Copyright 2005 David W.McComb

http://www.domeisland.com/destroyers

Dawapia Rocks (Beehives Rocks)

6.1m cliffs, backed by a wooded crater which rises to a height of 238m to the tree tops. The shores of Karavia Bay consist of a uniform range of hills rising steeply from the beach to a height of about 457m, about 0.8 mile S. The hills are wooded, except for some cleared areas. The beach is densely covered with coconut palms. The wreckage of several ships stranded on the shore are visible.

9.24

Albino Bay and Escape Bay are slight indentations in the N

shore of Blanche Bay, between Praed Point and Sulphur Point. Both bays are backed by mountains, but there is some flat land between the mountains and the shore of Escape Bay.

9.24

Matupi Harbor is entered between Sulphur Point and Matupi

Island. Matupi Island, 12.2m high, is joined by a causeway to the SW end of the Crater Peninsula. There are two mission stations on the island. It was reported that a prominent red and white radio tower stands about 0.3 mile NE of the charted church at Malaguna.

9.24

Simpson Harbor, on whose shores the port of Rabaul is

situated, indents the NW portion of Blanche Bay. A govern- ment building and a hospital stand on Namanula Hill, E of the town. Missions are situated on the W side of the harbor. Sulphur Creek indents the E shore just S of Rabaul. A hot

9.24

spring is located on the N side of its entrance. The water in the creek is hot and salty. The airport, reported destroyed in 1997, is situated S of the creek.

9.24

Anchorage.—Karavia Bay is too deep for anchorage; how-

ever, temporary anchorage can be taken, in 18.3 to 26m, sand and coral, W of Raluana Point. Some protection is afforded from SE winds and swells.

9.24

Matupi Harbor offers protection from all but S winds. Ves-

sels can anchor, in 10.9 to 37m, off the NE side of Matupi Is- land.

9.25

Photo Copyright 2005 David W.McComb

http://www.domeisland.com/destroyers

Rabaul and Simpson Harbor

Winds—Weather.—The Southeast Trades usually com-

mence in May, freshen considerably in July, August, and Sep- tember, and then gradually subside. The wind increases during the forenoon and blows with great regularity until 1 or 2 hours before sunset, when, after an interval of calm, there is usually a land breeze. This is called the dry season, but in this case it only means that less rain falls than during the Northwest Mon- soon. Dry weather for 2 or 3 weeks is exceptional.

9.25

The Northwest Monsoon starts in December and usually

continues to the end of March. Calms and light airs, with usu- ally very little rain, prevail between the seasons. The calm sea- sons are very sultry and oppressive. The Northwest Monsoon comes in as a strong squall, with the wind approaching a mod- erate gale force and blowing for days without ceasing, while very heavy rains fall continuously. Between these periods the weather is good, though frequently cloudy, and there also are many days of bright sunshine. The nights are rendered pleasant at nearly all seasons by the land breeze.

9.25

Day temperatures range from 30° to 33°C; night tempera-

tures range from 24° to 25°C. The maximum temperature is 36°C, occurring quite frequently; the minimum is about 17°C. Abrupt variations hardly ever occur.

9.25

Tides—Currents.—The mean tidal rise at Rabaul is 0.4m,

while the spring range is 0.6m. Little current is found in Blanche Bay.

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