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Sector 10. Micronesia, Palau, and Guam

Seas and swell are confused and choppy during local squalls

and thunderstorms. From December through April, the sea and swell are from the NE; from May through November, they are from the SE; and from October through January, they are from the W. The heights are 0.6 to 1.2m, 0.6 to 0.9m, and 1.5 to 1.8m, respectively. The last named heights occur about 10 per cent of the time.

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Depths—Limitations.—Greenwich Passage (The Passage),

which is useable by small vessels with local knowledge at or near slack water, under favorable light and weather conditions, is the only entrance into the atoll from seaward. The passage consists of three channels, two of which are useable. The SE channel, which is not marked, is the narrower, shallower, and straighter of the two, and is reportedly favored by sailing ves- sels. It has a width of 68m and was reported to have a clear depth of 9.1m. A shoal, with a depth of 4.1m, lies at the chan- nel’s inner end.

The W channel, which has a width of 100m, is the deeper channel, and is marked by branches stuck into the reef. The channel contains a 90° bend.

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Reports have indicated that currents with a velocity up to 6

knots set through the passage. The strongest ebb current was reported to occur at LW, and continues for 1 to 2 hours after LW.

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A vessel reported (1985) that after negotiating the turn in the

W channel, a vessel should continue to bear right to avoid a shoal. Vessels transiting the SE channel should immediately bear right and favor the reef side once through the entrance. Anchorage.—Anchorage can be taken by small vessels with

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local knowledge off the lagoon side of Touhou Island. The reefs and shoals are usually visible under favorable conditions of light.

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Caution.—It was reported (1989) that breakers covering an

area of 1 mile long in a N-S direction were sighted in position 1°45'N, 152°02'E, 170 miles WNW of Kapingamarangi Atoll.

10.13 The Mortlock Islands (Nomoi Islands) (5°25'N.,

153°40'E.) are the general name given to the three atolls, namely Satawan Atoll, Lukunor Atoll, and Etal Atoll. These islands lie within the limits of the Equatorial Countercurrent for most of the year, but in March and April the W or NW sets off the South Equatorial Current spread into the area. However, this current does not normally reach the islands and their vicin- ity which remain under the influence of the Equatorial Count- ercurrent.

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Satawan Atoll is the largest atoll of the group. Nearly 90

islands and islets lie on the atoll reef. In general, the islands are low and are covered with coconut palms, breadfruit, and other trees. Satawan is the largest and principal island. A wharf, 64m long and 10.6m wide, extends from the lagoon side, about 228m from the N end of the island.

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Tides—Currents.—In South Channel, the current attains a

velocity of 0.25 knot at flood and 1.25 knots at ebb. The ebb is reported to run SSW from 3 hours after LW to the following LW. When the currents are strongest, ripples appear at the extremities of the reefs.

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In North Channel, the tidal currents attain a maximum velo-

city of 2.75 knots. The currents turn 2 hours after HW and LW. There are tide rips on the shoals inside this channel at strength of flood.

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Depths—Limitations.—Numerous above and below-water

dangers exist in the lagoon, some of which are hard to discern. Large areas in the NW and SE parts of the lagoon have been swept to depths of 14.9m. A passage, nearly 1 mile wide and swept to the same depth, connects the two swept areas. Most of the dangers lie outside the swept areas.

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South Channel, situated on the S side of the atoll, is the main

passage leading into the lagoon and to the anchorage off Satawan. The channel has been swept to a depth of 14.9m over a least width of 270m. Reefs extending out from both sides of the channel and in the lagoon are normally visible under favor- able conditions of light. Tide rips are sometimes seen in the channel.

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North Channel, situated on the N side of the atoll, is deep,

and winding, with a least width of 228m between the reefs. A passage leading to the anchorage in the N part of the lagoon has been swept to depths of 14.6 to 18m, except for isolated shoals and reefs. The reef extending out from More, an islet on the E side of the channel, and the islet itself, can be passed fairly close-to as they are steep-to and usually visible under fa- vorable conditions of light.

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Anchorage.—Anchorage is almost unlimited in the lagoon.

Vessels can anchor, in 27m, about 0.5 mile W of Satawan. This anchorage is sheltered from E winds.

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Good anchorage can be taken during the Northeast Trades,

in a position SE of Lalang Islet, located E of North Channel. Anchorage can also be taken SW of Afarene islet located W of North Channel.

10.14 Lukunor Atoll (5°30'N., 153°49'E.) consists of 18

low-lying islands and islets on the atoll reef. Most of these are densely covered with coconut palms, breadfruit, and other trees. Coconut palms are scarce on the islets on the S side of the atoll. Lukunor, 1.5m high, is the principal island of the group and has some cultivated land. Two wharves, 30m and 24m long, are situated on the lagoon side of the island. Oneop Island, located on the W side of the atoll, is densely covered with coconut palms, but has some cultivated ground in its middle part. A wharf, 109m long, is situated on the lagoon side of the island.

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Depths—Limitations.—The lagoon is deep, but there are a

number of dangers scattered throughout. An area in the E part of the lagoon has been swept to 11.9 to 14.9m, as indicated on the chart. The entrance, between the reefs fringing Lukunor Island and Sopunur Island, has a width of 91m and has been swept to 14.9m. Kuchino Shoal, which dries 1.2m, lies close inside the entrance. A black beacon stands on its S side. This shoal divides the inner side of the entrance into two channels. The E channel is recommended. The reefs on either side of the channel are visible under favorable conditions of light. Caution is necessary as strong NE winds create a heavy swell within the entrance and the currents and wind have a tendency to set the vessel towards Sopunur Island.

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Anchorage.—Chamisso Harbor, located in the E portion of

the atoll, provides protection from E and NE winds. Numerous other berths are available W of Chamisso Harbor in deeper, but more exposed water. Good holding ground has been reported. During strong W winds, vessels can anchor, in 29m, about 0.3 mile off the E side of Oneop Island.

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