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Sector 9. The Bismarck Archipelago

9.35

Senta Pass, between Patio Island and Tsoilaunung Island

(Tsoi Launung Island), is suitable only for small craft with local knowledge, because its inner part is foul.

9.36 Byron Strait, with depths of 20.1 to 31.1m in the fair-

way, is an alternate main channel through the cluster of islands and reefs W of the W end of New Ireland. It passes between Selapiu Island and Kawang Island and an unnamed island immediately NE of Kawang Island on the E, and Patio Island, Nubils Island (Nub Island), and many small islands and reefs SW of Nubils Island on the West. Patio Island and Nubils Island are densely wooded. The S part of the strait is only 0.25 mile wide and is bordered by reefs on either side, which con- verge at the S entrance, reducing the width of the channel with moderate depths to 366m, and of the channel with over 10.1m to 183m. The N part of the strait is wide and deep between the fringing reefs. A shoal depth of 7.3m is about 5.8 miles NNW of the N extremity of Kawang Island.

9.36

Byron Strait should only be used under favorable light con-

ditions, as the fairway has a width of about 0.1 mile at its S en- trance. Tidal currents in the strait set NE on the flood and SW on the ebb, attaining rates of 2 knots.

Planet Channel, Chamisso Channel, and Mascot Channel (Mascotte Channel), W of Byron Strait, are subsidiary en- trances to the inner waters. They connect with Alexander Pass- age and Ysabel Passage and should be used only by small ves- sels with local knowledge.

9.36 9.36

Alexander Passage (Alexandra Pass) is the main entrance

from the S to Ysabel Passage and to the waters inside the bar- rier reef on the E side of New Hanover. The pass is entered from about the middle of Byron Strait through a 0.75 mile wide gap in the barrier between Nubils Island and Patio Island. Entering through the S entrance, bring the S point of Utokol

9.36

Island (Utukul Island) to bear 008° and steer for it on that bear- ing. Caution is necessary because the greater depths are found on the E side of the entrance. Then, when inside the entrance, vessels should then keep more to the W side of the strait where the reef is steep-to and more easily seen. The reef on the E side slopes gradually and detached rocks are off of it.

9.36

Anchorage.—Anchorage can be taken in the S part of Byron

Strait, or in the wider part of Alexander Passage, in depths of 26 to 29m. The Byron Strait anchorage is exposed to S winds.

New Hanover

9.37 New Hanover (Lavongai Island) is separated from the

NW end of New Ireland by a group of islands on either side of Steffen Strait and Bryon Strait.

The S coast appears to be fringed with a reef which is steep- to; there are no known offshore dangers.

9.37

Metanas Harbor (Metanus Harbor), 11 miles W of the S entrance of Byron Strait, is small, but sheltered. The depths range from 29 to 42m; there is anchorage space for three ves- sels up to 79m long. Larger vessels must moor. Bat-Tam Is- land, forming the E side of the entrance, is prominent because of its tortoise-like shape. Only vessels with local knowledge should attempt entry; they should pass close off the island when entering.

9.37 9.37

249

Lobungai Harbor (Lavongai Harbor), a small cove, is 4 miles

W of Metanas Harbor. A mission station, with a large church and a coconut plantation, is on the shores of the harbor. Cape Botiangim (2°41'S., 150°11'E.) is rounded and wood-

9.37

ed. It is reported to be a poor radar target from 20 miles. Baon- gung Harbor (Baungung Harbor), a small bay 8 miles NW of the cape, is open to the SW. A river discharges into the N part of the bay. A native village, marked by surrounding cultivated land, is on the E shore of the bay near its head. Vessels with local knowledge can anchor, in 37 to 55m, near the village. Cape Matanalem, the W end of New Hanover, is low and

9.37

apparently a coral formation. West Harbor is suitable only for small craft with local knowledge.

9.37

A barrier reef with many islets is off the NE coast of New

Hanover and extends to Byron Strait, which has been pre- viously discussed in paragraph 9.36. Nemto Island, 6.3 miles E of the N extremity of New Hanover, is at the W end of the barrier reef, and Patio Island is at the S end. A conspicuous stranded wreck is reported 1 mile E of Nemto Island.

9.37

Ysabel Passage, between the NE and E coasts of New Han-

over and the barrier reef, is sheltered throughout and provides an inner passage for small vessels with local knowledge. The S part of the pass is foul and should only be attempted under favorable conditions of light. Depths of 8.7 to 22m are found along the recommended track.

9.37

The best entrance from the S is through Byron Strait and

Alexandra Pass. The channels W of Byron Strait are suitable only for small vessels with local knowledge. These channels have been previously discussed in paragraph 9.36.

9.37

The best entrance from the NW is between Nemto Island and

New Hanover. This entrance is 3.5 miles wide and deep in the fairway, except for a 6.4m shoal about 3 miles NW of Nemto Island.

9.37

Northeast Passage (Northeast Pass), with a depth of 7.6m, is

the fairway and 1 mile wide, 5 miles SE of Nemto Island; the sea is reported to break in this passage.

Middle Reef is about mid-channel in Ysabel Passage, just E of the junction with Northeast Passage.

9.37 9.37

Anchorage.—Vessels can anchor in convenient depths in the

wide NW part, or in the clear area of the S part, of Ysabel Passage. A vessel has anchored E of Cape Entrance, near Un- galik Island, 2.75 miles ESE of the cape, with the extremities of that island bearing 079° and 112°, and Nemto Island bearing 062°, distant 2 miles.

The NW coast of New Hanover, between Cape Entrance (2°21'S., 150°13'E.) and Cape Matanalem, has a belt of low land extending to the foot of the hills. Several low islands stand on the barrier reef, which is apparently steep-to and is up to 3 miles offshore. Navigation between these islands and New Hanover is limited to small vessels with local knowledge.

9.37

New Britain

9.38 New Britain is a large crescent-shaped island between

the S part of New Ireland and the NE coast of New Guinea. The Gazelle Peninsula, the NE part of the island, is moun- tainous and is the scene of volcanic action. The aspect of this peninsula has been previously described in paragraph 9.14. A high and very rugged range of mountains extends through the length of the island. Mount Uluwun, the highest peak and an

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