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2.35

Sector 2. The Line Islands, the Cook Islands, the Samoa Islands, and the Tonga Islands

The strait is easy to navigate, but vessels which have passed

through from the S have reported a strong current setting E towards Apolima, and N of the islet a strong countercurrent setting W.

2.35

Caution.—Caution should be exercised when approaching

the strait from the S, as depths of 34 to 62m are charted in an area 9 miles SW, 11 miles S, and 12 miles SE of Apolima. Ferry traffic may be encountered in the strait at any time.

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These vessels are reported to be poorly lit and not readily dis- cernible by radar.

Savai’i Island

2.36 Savai’i Island (13°37'S., 172°29'W.), the largest and

farthest W of the Samoa Group, is about 40 miles long and 20 miles wide. It differs from the other islands in appearance; the shores are low and the ascent to the center is gradual. The island rises to a height of 1,858m near the center which is constantly enveloped in clouds.

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Tafua Savai’i (13°47'S., 172°15'W.), 1.5 miles NW of the

SE extremity of the island, is 171m high. It makes a good mark for making Apolima Strait. It begins to show above the horizon about the same time as Apolima Islet, and appears as an island. From the NE, Tafua Savai’i may be mistaken for Apolima and the latter for Manono, which does not appear until much closer. Palauli Bay, 3.5 miles WNW of Tafua Savai’i is a semi-

2.36

circular bay almost entirely barred by a reef. Vessels may an- chor in the bay during NE winds, in 44m, sand, with Tafua Savai’i bearing 099°, about 0.4 mile off the reef fronting the E shore. A rock lying W of the anchorage is marked by breakers. The S side of the island is rocky; as there are no fringing

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reefs, a heavy surf beats directly upon it. There are few places where landing can be affected.

Cape Asuisui (13°47'S., 172°32'W.), the SW extremity of the island, lies 15 miles W of Palauli Bay.

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From Cape Asuisui the coast trends NW about 6 miles to Salailua Bay, which may be identified by the fringing reef which is the first fringing reef seen after passing Palauli Bay. There is anchorage in the middle of Salailua Bay, in a depth

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of 44m. The anchorage is protected from SSE winds; the hold- ing ground is good.

A depth of 6.4m is charted 0.5 mile offshore, about 2 miles NW of Salailua Bay.

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At Falelima, a village standing 10 miles NW of Salailua

Bay, there is a white house in the middle and another at its S end. Landing can be affected in favorable weather, at HW, between the rocks which project off the coast.

2.37 Cape Mulinuu (13°30'S., 172°48'W.), the W extrem-

ity of Savai’i Island, terminates in a low, rocky spit. A white church near this point is a conspicuous landmark.

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From a position about 3.8 miles N of the SE extremity of

Savai’i Island to Cape Tuasivi (13°40'S., 172°10'W.), the E extremity, about 5 miles farther N, there is a barrier reef which extends up to 1.8 miles offshore.

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South of the reef is the village of Salelologa, where shelter

may be obtained by small vessels with local knowledge in fair weather. Lights, in line bearing 312°, lead into the entrance. The barrier reef continues for a distance of about 6 miles NNW of Cape Tuasivi. There are several boat passages through

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Pub. 126

the reef. Between the reef and the coast there are numerous mangroves and large trees, which at HW give the appearance of a flooded island.

From the above reef for a distance of about 10 miles the coast is steep-to, apparently without any reef fronting it. Tides—Currents.—See the Apolima Strait description in

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paragraph 2.35 for information on currents off the E side of Savai’i Island. Off the island’s N coast, a W set is felt, but it is basically confined to deep water.

2.38 Matautu Bay (13°26'S., 172°22'W.), 17.5 miles

NNW of Cape Tuasivi, lies close W of the N extremity of Savai’i Island. The bay is a slight indentation in the coast whose W entrance point consists of a perpendicular cliff, 50m high.

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Anchorage.—An anchorage with good shelter in the trade

wind season, but exposed at all seasons, may be taken by vessels with local knowledge, in 14 to 26m, sand, between the reefs. Safune Bay, 3.5 miles W of Matautu Bay, is nearly filled

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with reefs, but it provides anchorage, in 24m, during SE winds. There is usually a swell at the anchorage.

Asau Bay (13°30'S., 172°38'W.), entered about 13 miles W of Safune Bay, is completely fronted by a reef of sand and mud. Tides—Currents.—Off the entrance, the tidal current sets

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in an E direction from 4 hours before to 1 hour after HW at Asua, and in a W direction from 3 hours after to 6 hours before HW reaches a maximum rate of almost 0.8 knot at springs.

In the dredged channel, there is a continuous NW flow, reaching a maximum rate of 1.5 knots during a falling tide, with a minimum rate on the rising tide.

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There are heavy tide rips in the channel 0.2 mile NW of the seaward end of the airstrip.

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Depths—Limitations.—The approach channel through the

reef to Asau Bay is 54m wide, while the center 37m has been dredged to 6.7m. Due to sea and swell conditions, an under- keel clearance of 1.5m is recommended. The best conditions for entering are at first light and LW. There is a wharf with a least depth of 8.5m close S of Utuloa on the E shore of the bay. Three sets of range beacons mark the channel edges and center; all three sets stand in line bearing 139°.

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Anchorage.—Anchorage may be obtained, in 31m, 0.2 mile

N of the entrance, but may be untenable when the wind backs to the NE.

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Close W of Asau Bay, separated from it by Cape Mauga, lies

Sataua Bay, which has a sandy shore and a reef. Anchorage may be obtained by vessels with local knowledge, in 27 to 37m, in the middle of the bay where there is good shelter from the trade winds.

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Caution.—Caution is advised as silting has been reported on

the W side of the approach channel off the airstrip. 2.39 Cape Vailaoa (13°29'S., 172°47'W.), fronted by a

coastal reef, is located 6 miles WNW of Sataua Bay.

Falealupo Road, entered SW of Cape Vailaoa, affords good protection against E winds in an anchorage, with depths of 20 to 49m, coral and sand.

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Cape Mulinuu, the W extremity of Savai’i Island, lies at the S end of Falealupo Road.

2.39

Swains Island (11°03'S., 171°05'W.), lying about 160 miles NNE of Savai’i Island, is somewhat circular in shape and has a

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