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84

Sector 3. The Fiji Islands and the Lau Group

mile E of the passage. From the passage, the S extremity of Nggelelevu bears 080°.

The flood tide sets out of Rendell Passage at a velocity of 0.3 to 0.8 knot; the ebb is not as strong.

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Vetauua Island, fringed by a coral reef which extends from 0.1 to 0.3 mile offshore, lies 16 miles WNW of Nggelelevu. Nukusemanu Reefs (16°17'S., 179°31'W.), 9 miles SSW of

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Rendell Passage, and Nanuku Reef, 28 miles S, are the N and S parts of a sunken reef.

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In the lagoon enclosed by these reefs there are several coral

patches on which the sea breaks heavily in strong E winds. On the submerged banks which form the boundaries of the lagoon, there are many tide rips and the sea breaks on them in places.

Nukusemanu Island, located on the reefs 12.5 miles S of Rendell Passage, is 18m high to the top of the trees. There is a passage into the lagoon NW of the island.

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Heemskercq Reefs, sometimes awash, occupy the middle of the E side of the lagoon.

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Nanuku Reef, steep-to, forks to the N 5 miles from its S

point; the E branch is submerged, and in light winds only breaks occasionally. The W branch maintains its sunken char- acter and joins Nukusemanu Reef.

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Nanuku Levu (16°43'S., 179°28'W.), a small islet 21m high

to the tops of the trees, lies about 1 mile N of the S extremity of Nanuku Reef.

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Adolphus Reef, about 4 miles in diameter, lies 3.5 miles NE

of Nukusemanu Island; the sea breaks heavily on the SE part of the reef and on the NW horn.

3.70 Nukumbasanga Island (16°18'S., 179°16'W.) lies on the E side of a small reef 3 miles E of Adolphus Reef.

On the W side of the lagoon formed by Nukusemanu and Nanuku Reefs, there are two isolated reefs; Pitman Reef, awash at LW, lies 9 miles SW of Nukusemanu Island, and Mil- ler Reef, about 10 miles SSE of Pitman Reef, breaks heavily in strong S winds.

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Ringgold Channel, between Nukusemanu and Budd Reef, is

8 miles wide and apparently clear, except for the two reefs described above.

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Budd Reef (16°31'S., 179°37'W.), about 6 miles wide and

11 miles long, NE-SW, encircles six islands. The reef lies 7.8 miles E of Rambi, and is separated from it by Rambi Channel. As the reef is partly submerged, the sea breaks on it in certain places.

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Thombia Island, 1.3 miles S of the N extremity of Budd

Reef, is the highest and farthest N of the islands in the lagoon. The island is 180m high and forms a conspicuous landmark for those navigating among the reefs N and E.

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The other islands enclosed within Budd Reef may be seen on

the chart. 3.71 Gangway Rocks (16°38'S., 179°49'W.), 4 miles NNE

of Tavenuni, has two rocks that are awash at LW. Some of the rocks have depths of about 1.8m. The sea breaks here occasionally, but is never heavy. An isolated 7.3m patch lies about 0.6 mile N of the rocks.

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Taveuni (16°50'S., 179°59'W.), about 4 miles E of

Navukana Promontory, is 23 miles long, NE-SW, and is 5 to 8 miles broad and rises to a height of 1,241m. The island is

Pub. 126

3.72 Vuna Point (16°57'S., 179°53'E.) is the W extremity of Taveuni; it lies 13 miles S of Somosomo.

Vuna Reef, enclosing a lagoon, projects 2 miles W from Vuna Point. A light is situated on the W edge of the reef. Somosomo Strait, separating Tavenuni from Vanua Levu, is

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4 miles wide. In the narrowest part, islets, rocks, and reefs extend from both shores reducing the navigable width of the channel to 1.3 miles. The depths in the channel are over 183m. The reefs on either side of the strait are of irregular formation and seldom break. There are strong tide rips on the sunken banks on the W side and should be avoided. Vessels without radar should not attempt to pass through the strait at night. In the narrows the flood sets SW and the ebb NE. The tidal

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current turns 2 hours after and 4 hours before HW; the speed varies 1 to 3 knots according to the wind and the age of the moon.

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Directions.—Radar navigation is particularly useful in the

narrows, as the reefs bordering the channel cannot be seen easily. Koro Levie, a beacon 0.3 mile NNE of it, and a beacon 0.7 mile W of the islet are reported to be radar conspicuous and handy.

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A mid-channel course of about 204° should be steered

through the narrows, keeping in mind the strong tidal currents here. Caution should be exercised if navigating by radar alone, as strong tide rips are created in the narrows when the tide opposes the wind. These rips might be interpreted as echoes from a reef.

3.73 South Cape (17°01'S., 179°55'E.), 4 miles SE of

Vuna Point, is the S extremity of Taveuni. It is the termination of a spur from a conspicuous hill, 298m high, about 1.5 miles N.

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Lavena Point, 14.5 miles NE of South Cape, is low but con-

spicuous, and is the only important promontory on the E coast. A coral reef extends 0.5 mile E of the point. Mbouma Rock, a 7.3m coral bank, lies 2.3 miles NE of the point.

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Mate Rock, with a depth of 5.5m; Breaknot Rocks, with

depths of 1.8 to 5.5m; and Champion Rocks, with a depth of 3.7m, lie 2.5 miles N, 2.3 miles NNW, and 3.5 miles W, respec- tively, from Naselesele Point.

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Koro Levie (16°46'S., 179°59'W.), a small islet 46m high,

lies about 0.8 mile offshore, 8.8 miles SSW of Naselesele Point, on the E side of Somosomo Strait. It is a useful land- mark for the strait, and can be seen on any but dark nights. Reefs, awash in places at LW, surround the islet.

Phillips Rock, with a depth of 3.7m, is a small coral bank 0.9 mile N of Koro Levie which never breaks.

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Anchorage.—Anchorage may be taken off the village of

Somosomo, 7 miles SSW of Naselesele Point, in 49m, with the S tangent of Koro Levie bearing 255.5°, distant about 1.5 miles.

usually covered with clouds during SE winds. A radio mast is situated on a peak near the center of the island.

Naselesele Point, the N extremity of the island, has several small islets extending NNE from it.

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Anchorage.—Anchorage is available 1 mile WSW of the point, in a depth of 30m, sand.

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