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

diameter of about 1.5 miles. The land is from 3 to 4.6m high, and the trees are from 21 to 30m high.

A platform reef about 183m wide, which surrounds the island, uncovers at LW; the reef is steep.

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Samoa.

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The island is administered by the Government of American There is anchorage for small vessels N of the village of

Taulaga, which is situated on the W coast of the island. Deep- draft vessels are advised to remain at least 0.4 mile offshore as depths shoal rapidly; a vessel anchoring 0.2 mile off the village reported anchoring in 55m.

The Southern Cook Islands (Lower Cook Is- lands)

2.40 The Southern Cook Islands (Lower Cook Islands) lie

between 19° to 22°S and 157° to 160°W. They consist of Mangaia, Rarotonga, Mauke, Mitiaro, Atiu, Takutea, Manuae, Te-Au-o-Tu, and Aitutaki.

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The Southern Cook Islands are administered for the New

Zealand government by a Resident Commissioner at Avarua in Rarotonga. Each island has a Resident Agent, who is assisted by the island council.

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Winds—Weather.—The climate of the Southern Cook Is-

lands is generally warm and humid. The trades usually blow from the ESE. Typhoons may be experienced from November to April, and usually come from the direction of the Samoa Islands.

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Tides—Currents.—In the vicinity of this group, the current

will generally be found setting to the W with a velocity of about 0.5 knot, but it is influenced by the force and direction of the wind.

2.41 Mangaia (21°55'S., 157°55'W.), the farthest S of the

Southern Cook Islands, lies about 730 miles SE of Rose Island in the Samoa Islands. The island rises to a height of 169m near the center. A fringing reef, about 0.6m high, surrounds the is- land and extends about 46 to 366m offshore. A huge barrier cliff, formed of coral and covered with vegetation, makes a complete circuit of the shore.

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Oneroa, a village on the W side of the island, is conspicuous.

The Resident Agent lives on the island. A white church and radio masts are situated within the settlement. A light, shown occasionally, is exhibited near the town. In good weather, an- chorage for small vessels is available off a village 0.8 mile N of the main village, but the vessel’s engines must be kept ready for immediate departure. A small wharf used by lighters lies adjacent to the anchorage; however, the channel to the wharf requires local knowledge.

Rarotonga

2.42 Rarotonga (21°14'S., 159°46'W.) lies about 110

miles WNW of Mangaia and is the seat of government for the Cook Islands. The New Zealand High Commissioner resides at Avarua, where the offices of the administration are situated. The island is about 6 miles long E-W, and about 4 miles

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wide. The island is volcanic in nature, the mountains rising to sharp peaks covered with vegetation. The highest peak is Mount Te Atu Kura, 643m high.

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49

The fringing reef surrounding the island is steep-to, extending for 0.3 mile on the S side and 0.5 mile on the SE side.

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Avarua Harbor, on the N side of Rarotonga, is N of the

passage which leads through the barrier reef to the town of Avarua.

Avatiu Harbor, located 0.5 mile W of Avarua Harbor, lies outside the barrier reef.

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Winds—Weather.—The Southeast Trades dominate the

area. At Rarotong,a 25 per cent of the winds are E and SE. Next in frequency, at 9 per cent, are S winds. These S winds are most frequent from May to September. North and NE winds blow most often from December to February. Calms in the Rar- otonga area occur about 13 per cent of the time.

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Tides—Currents.—The spring range of tide is 0.6m. The

tidal currents in the approach to Avatiu harbor normally sets to the W. Reports have stated that a W set, with rates of 1 to 3 knots, may be encountered in the harbor entrance. It has also been observed that N winds send a swell into the harbor causing rips and cross channel sets in the entrance.

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Aspect.—When approaching Rarotonga from the W, red

obstruction lights mark antennas and other obstructions within the vicinity of an airstrip situated on the island’s NW side, as well as an aeronautical beacon shown from the same general location. These lights should not be confused with the lights of Avarua and Avatiu. The obstruction lights and aeronautical beacon are shown only when an aircraft is expected.

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The large fuel tanks W of the harbor, and white cylindrical

tanks on the E side, are the most conspicuous marks seen when approaching Avatiu.

Anchorage.—Anchorage, in 40m, can be obtained about 650m NNE of Avarua Harbour East Breakwater head.

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Caution.—A local magnetic anomaly has been reported to lie at the position 21°11'S, 159°45'W.

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The local authorities should be contacted for the latest

information on depths and aids to navigation before anchoring or attempting to berth here.

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Avarua Harbor is no longer used by commercial vessels and

the leading lights have been discontinued. 2.43 Avatiu (21°12'S., 159°47'W.) (World Port Index No.

55740) is open to shipping with a draft of 6m or less, but ves- sels should keep in mind the cautions listed below. Range lights, in line bearing 193°, lead from seaward to the harbor basin which will accept a vessel up to 90m in length. Two wharves are available; the outer berth (NE wharf) has a length of 135m, with depths of 4 to 7m alongside while the inner berth (SE wharf) has a length of 128m a with depth of 4.8m alongside. The S wharf is 115m in length and permanently oc- cupied by small fishing vessels. The W wharf is 45m long, with a depth of 2m alongside.

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The police boat of the Cooks Islands is stationed at the W

wharf. Vessels using the NE wharf must tie up with the bow towards the exit.

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A dock accessible to small vessels has been built in the W

part of the port. It has a wharf with 4m of water alongside where ships can tie up by the stern and a landing stage set aside for debarking passengers from ships that anchor.

Conspicuous tanks are charted on the NE side of the harbor. Pilotage.—Pilotage is available and recommended for Ava- tiu Harbor. Vessels should send requests for pilotage through

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