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32

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

1.96 Rapa (27°36'S., 144°20'W.) is an irregular, circular

form about 4.5 miles in diameter. There are several deep in- dentations in the shore; the largest is Baie de Haurei on the E coast.

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Winds—Weather.—The prevailing winds from October to

April are from the E, but about once in three weeks, during December, January, and February, W winds occur for a short period. From May to the middle of September, W winds with heavy showers prevail, blowing down the valleys into Baie de Haurei; the strongest W winds are felt in July and August. From native reports, typhoons are sometimes experienced. Gales of cyclonic character, though not common, occur at all times of the year.

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The climate is generally temperate but moist; rains are fre-

quent. The island is often covered with clouds and fog when the weather is clear a few miles out to sea.

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Aspect.—Ahurei (Haurei), a village, is situated on the S

shore of the bay, 1 mile WSW of Pointe Maomao. The aspect of the island is remarkable; where the steep sides of its high, jagged peaks reach the coast, they become great cliffs falling almost vertically to the sea. The island rises to a height of 650m in its W part.

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The mountains on the E side of the island are generally

either bare or with a growth of stunted trees. On the W side, they are covered with a rich vegetation, and most noticeably with forests of large tree ferns.

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The shore is bold and has no off-lying dangers beyond 0.5

mile, except in the approaches to Baie de Haurei, where spits and shoals extend nearly 1 mile seaward.

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A shoal covered by 30m of water (locally called Maaki

Shoal) is located 20 miles ENE of Rapa Island.

1.97 Baie de Haurei (27°37'S., 144°20'W.) (World Port

Index No. 55857), open to the E, is entered between Pointe Tekogoteemu and Pointe Maomao, 0.6 mile SSW. It is pro- tected from the prevailing E winds, and from the heavy sea, by the shoals in the approach. The land surrounding the bay rises rapidly from the shore. The white dome of a weather station is visible on the S side of the bay.

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Depths—Limitations.—The entrance is narrow and tor-

tuous, and has a least depth of 5.8m. Three sets of range bea- cons mark the channel, which is only 90m wide and should not be attempted with any type of cross wind. Shoals, with a least depth of 1.2m, are prevalent along the edge of the channel. Shoal water extends 0.4 mile S of Pointe Tekogoteemu, and 0.5 mile E of Pointe Maomao.

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Pilotage.—A pilot is recommended for vessels without local

knowledge. The pilot may be requested in advance by radio through Tahiti. Local pilots may be available, but it should be kept in mind that he will have little experience in handling vessels other than local craft. It is strongly recommended that before the channel is attempted, a preliminary reconnaissance be carried out to verify the beacons, and mark the edges of the shoals to be avoided, when altering course from one alignment to the next.

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Anchorage.—Anchorage outside the shoals is available, in

depths of 11m, with Pointe Maomao bearing 279°, 1 mile dis- tant. Within the bay, large vessels anchor when a stone temple with a gray roof situated on the S side of the bay bears 213°, in depths of 10 to 15m, indifferent holding ground. With E winds,

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the anchorage inside the bay is protected, but with W winds, violent squalls may blow down from the high land. Vessels over 100m in length should not remain anchored overnight.

1.98 Iles Marotiri (Ilots de Bass) (27°54'S., 143°30'W.)

are a group of three islands and seven rocks. The group, which lies within an area of 2 miles, are rugged and practically in- accessible. The S and highest island rises to a height of 113m. The islands on the S and W sides of the group have growths of grass and small bushes. Rocky ledges extend up to 1 mile sea- ward of the group.

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Neilson Reef (27°00'S., 146°00'W.) is a crescent-shaped

reef on which the sea breaks. It has a least depth of 2.9m on its NE end. The reef is about 3 miles long in a N-S direction, and about 4 miles wide in an E-W direction.

Wachusett Reef (Wachusett Shoal) (32°18'S., 151°10'W.) was reported to have depths of 9 to 11m.

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Breakers have been reported to lie 100 miles SE and 100 miles SW, respectively, from Wachusett Reef.

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Earnest Legouve Reef (35°12'S., 150°40'W.) was searched for in 1982 and 1983, but was not found.

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Sophie Christianson Shoal (41°26'S., 148°26'W.) was re-

ported as a patch of discolored water with a depth of 9.1m; it has also been reported to break.

Volcan Macdonald (29°00'S., 140°15'W.), a submarine vol- cano, was reported in 1981.

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Maria Theresa Reef, which was reported to lie in position

37°00'S, 151°13'W, was unsuccessfully searched for in 1957. In 1983, the position of the reef was recalculated at position 36°50'S, 136°39'W, and searched for, but not found. In any event, caution should be exercised in the vicinity of both posi- tions.

1.99 Raivavae (23°50'S., 147°40'W.) (World Port Index

No. 55850) is the farthest E of Iles Tubai. The island is formed by rugged hills, mostly covered with trees, which in most cases slope gently toward the sea; it rises to a height of 437m. Raivavae is about 4.5 miles long in an ENE-WSW direction

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and about 1.8 miles wide, and is completely surrounded by a barrier reef, most of which is awash. In the NW part of the reef there is a break which provides an entrance through the reef. On the S side of the island, a rocky bank, with a depth of 20m, extends about 1.5 miles offshore.

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Passe Mahanatoa (23°50'S., 147°40'W.) runs through the

barrier reef, which is 1 mile NNE of Pointe Matoaitanata. The fairway is led through a channel 35m wide marked by buoys over a least depth of 4.7m. At the inner end of the pass there are depths of 4.3m. Entry into the pass is led by the beacons in line bearing 167°15'. After clearing the beacons marking Roches Totoro at the inner end of the reef, alter course to starboard until white leading beacons are in line bearing on 261°. Keep on this course until Pointe Matoaitanata’s rocky extremity bears 130°, then alter course to port to 207° passing W of Beacon No. 12, 0.3 mile SW of Pointe Matoaitana, then adjust course to 201° to the anchorage in Baie de Rairua. Baie de Rairua offers the best anchorage in all of the Iles Tubuai. The bay is sheltered against winds from the E. One can anchor, in 11 to 12m, mud, excellent holding ground.

A wharf, with a shed and a radio mast on it, is 40m long and has 4m of water alongside. It can accommodate small coastal

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