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37

SECTOR 2

THE LINE ISLANDS, THE COOK ISLANDS, THE SAMOA ISLANDS, AND THE TONGA ISLANDS (INCLUDING OFF-LYING ISLANDS AND REEFS)

2.0

Plan.—In this sector the islands are described from Palmyra

in the N; S to Flint, about 1,050 miles SSE; then WSW to Samoa, about 1,080 miles distant; then ESE and S to the Southern Cook Islands and the Tonga Islands. Off-lying dan- gers are described with the appropriate island or group of is- lands.

General Remarks

2.1

Large-scale coverage for U.S. territory located within

this sector is provided by the National Ocean Service (NOS). Regulations pertaining to navigation within U.S. territorial wa- ters may be found in U.S. Coast Pilot 7, while additional regu- lations will be cited in the text along with the navigational fea- ture they affect.

2.1

Tides—Currents.—The current S of 6°00'S, and between

100°00'W and 175°00'W, is variable and only a small portion of currents have rates between 1 and 2 knots; most, but not all, are in some W direction. The predominance of the W currents decreases with increases in latitude, with a corresponding greater variability of current.

2.1

Particular and constant attention must be paid to the currents

when navigating among the island groups, since the general current flowing in the region may sometimes be deflected near the islands and is always accelerated, particularly in the narrow passages. The effect of the obstruction is greater in proportion to the area and the complexity of the group. In addition, some of the islands are so low that it is often impossible to see them at night, and vessels may be driven onto their encircling reefs without any warning being obtainable from soundings, since these reefs usually rise abruptly from great depths.

2.1

The currents in the barrier reefs and atoll openings are

usually strong, and cannot be counted upon to turn with HW and LW, where a barrier reef lies close to the coast, a heavy swell will throw so much water over the reef that the escape of this water causes a constant outgoing current in the opening, and sometimes across the fairway. These facts should be kept in mind before navigating in such localities.

2.1

As the Pacific South Equatorial Current and the Pacific

Equatorial Countercurrent meet in the waters covered by this sector, heavy and local rippling may be experienced N of 40°00'S, especially E of 170°00'W.

The Line Islands and the Line Group.—The Line Islands

consists of the Line Groups; each group of the three runs E to W almost parallel to one another as a scattered chain of low and flat coral islands or atolls, from Flint Island to Palmyra Atoll, which lies about 1,200 miles NW. The three groups are the Southern Line Group, the Central Line Group, and the Northern Line Group.

2.1 2.1

The Southern Line Group is formed by Flint Island

(11°26'S., 151°48'W.), Vostok Island (10°06'S., 152°25'W.), and Caroline Island (9°57'S., 150°13'W.). Three other islands

that geographically mold into this line group are Phoenix Island, Enderbury Island, and Canton Island.

2.1

The Central Line Group consists of the islands of Starbuck

and Malden; both islands lie in the South Equatorial Current belt where there is a dominant W set in their vicinity. Between the islands, the rate is generally 1 knot with an E set; however, it increases at times to 2.5 knots near the coast.

2.1

Since currents along these islands are not reliable, approach-

es from the E require extreme caution to the nature and extent of fringing offshore reefs and the strong tide rips in the vici- nity.

2.1

The Northern Line Group consists of Kiritimati Atoll

(Christmas Island), Teraina Island, and the island of Tabuaeran, including the adjacent Jarvis Island and Palmyra Atoll. The Line Islands are described beginning in paragraph 2.2. The Cook Islands.—The Cook Islands are a self-governing

2.1 2.1

state in association with New Zealand under the British Crown. These islands lie scattered between 8°S and 23°S, and 156°W and 167°W in two groups, known as the Northern Cook Islands and the Southern Cook Islands (Lower Cook Islands). The is- lands have a total land area of 93 square miles.

2.1

The Northern Cook Islands are described beginning in para-

graph 2.14. The Southern Cook Islands (Lower Cook Islands) are described beginning in paragraph 2.40.

2.1

The Samoa Islands.—Western Samoa (Independent State of

Western Samoa) consists of large islands of Savaii and Upolu, between 13°20'S and 14°05'S, and 171°20'W and 172°50'W. The two islands cover a land area of 1,104 square miles. American Samoa (Territory of American Samoa) includes

2.1

the six islands of the Samoa group lying E of 171°W. Swain Island (11°04'S., 171°05'W.), a dependency of American Samoa, lies about 200 miles N of Tutuila, the principal island. The total land area of American Samoa is about 77 square miles.

2.1 2.1

A ferry runs between Western Samoa and American Samoa. The Samoa Islands are described beginning in paragraph

2.20.

2.1

The Tonga Islands.—The Tonga Islands (Friendly Islands),

with a total land area of 277 square miles lie between 18°01'S and 21°28'S, and 173°54'W and 175°25'W. The islands are widely scattered and occur mostly in groups. The groups con- sist of 170 islands (36 inhabited) and islets, all separated under three major classifications known as the Tongatapee Group (21°12'S., 175°10'W.), the Ha’apai Group (19°45'S., 174°30'W.), and the Vava’u Group (18°40'S., 174°00'W.); they extend about 200 miles in a NNE-SSW direction. The off-lying islands of Niuatoputapu (15°57'S.,

2.1

173°45'W.) and Niua Fo’ou (15°36'S., 175°38'W.) are included in the Kingdom of Tonga. Tonga is an independent state and a member state of the British Commonwealth. The Tonga Islands are described beginning in paragraph

2.1

2.47.

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