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Sector 1. Iles Tuamotu, Iles Marquises, Iles de la Societe, and Iles Tubuai

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1.61 Pointe Ariti (17°31'S., 149°33'W.) is located 1 mile

W of Pointe Outuhaihai. The coast recedes about 0.3 mile be- tween these two points and forms a bay that is obstructed by banks of coral which have winding channels between them. Pointe Ariti is fronted by a drying coral reef which extends about 0.2 to 0.3 mile offshore.

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Passe de Taunoa, 0.2 mile wide between the 20m lines, has a

least charted depth of 25m. The pass, 0.5 mile WNW of Pointe Ariti, is entered on a range of two beacons in line bearing 174°. Within Taunoa Bay anchorage, in 25m, sand, can be taken E of the range, with Pointe Ariti bearing 078°, 0.3 mile distant. This anchorage is protected from E winds; with strong NW winds it becomes dangerous as a heavy swell rolls in through the pass. Chenal Taunoa connects Taunoa with Port de Papeete. It is

1.61

about 1.5 miles long and tortuous; though marked by beacons, both lit and unlit, it should only be used with local knowledge. Vessels drawing up to 5.8m can use the channel with safety, but must be able to pass under a fixed bridge with a vertical clearance of 4.4m at the W end of the channel. Approaching through this channel, on the NW side, there is a berth 0.1 mile off the bridge for gas tankers of up to 85m long, 13.8m wide, and drawing 6m.

Port de Papeete (17°32'S., 149°35'W.)

World Port Index No. 55840 1.62 Port de Papeete, the most important and best-sheltered

harbor in Tahiti, lies between the barrier reef and the coast on the NW side of the island. It consists of a small natural harbor and the town of Papeete.

1.62

Winds—Weather.—Rain squalls seen in the direction of

Courtesy of Dr. Giles

Pointe Venus

1.60

Baie de Matavai (Matavai Bay), lying between Pointe Venus

and Pointe Outuhaihai (Utuhaihai Point), 2.5 miles SW, re- cedes about 0.5 mile and is fronted by shoals; it is divided by Mont Tahara, a rocky hill bordered by cliffs.

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Banc du Dolphin, with a depth of 3.9m, lies 0.4 mile SW of

Pointe Venus. There is a channel about 0.1 mile wide, with a least depth of 6.6m, NE of the bank.

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La Chaine du Toatea (Toatea Reef) are a chain of shoals

which extend 1 mile SW from a position 0.2 mile SW of Banc du Dolphin. The depths over the shoals are irregular, and on some of the coral heads there is only 5m. Several narrow channels lead through the reefs. With a heavy swell from sea- ward there are breakers on these reefs as well as on Le Mahoti, a reef with a least depth of 1.6m located 0.3 mile W of Mont Tahara.

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In Baie de Matavai, anchorage may be obtained anywhere,

but the best anchorage is with the lighthouse on Pointe Venus bearing 043°, 0.4 mile distant, in a depth of 20m, sand. From Pointe Outuhaihai to Pointe Fare Ute, about 2.8 miles

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WSW, the coast is low, the foot of the mountains receding some little distance inland.

Pointe Venus or a little S of it usually reach the harbor, but those collecting over Mont Aorai in the interior seldom de- scend to the harbor. The port is safe in all weather except ty- phoons. There are long periods of calm accompanied by rather high temperatures. November through March is usually con- sidered to be the rainy season. At this time, strong gusts of wind from the N to NW are likely to occur.

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Tides—Currents.—In this harbor, HW occurs twice each

day, between 1200 and 1400, and between 0000 and 0200. This appears to be peculiar to this locality, and is apparently caused by the water thrown over the barrier reef by the sea breeze. The tidal rise is about 0.3m.

Off the entrance to Port de Papeete, the current generally sets W at about 1 knot.

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The current running through the pass is dependent upon the

volume of water contained within the barrier reef, which is independent of tidal rise and drop. The volume of water contained within is determined by the amount of rainfall on the hills behind the port, on the amount of water flowing from Chenal Taunoa or Chenal de Faaa, and the amount of water driven over the reef by the wind. The result is a constant set between the WNW and NW. During bad weather, particularly when the wind is between the WNW and NW and drives the sea over the reef, a W cross channel set with rates of 5 knots may be experienced. This current creates a heavy sea in the channel entrance, making it dangerous. Vessels should not attempt the pass at these times.

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