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Sector 3. The Fiji Islands and the Lau Group

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Vanua Vatu (18°22'S., 179°17'W.), 24 miles SSW of Nayau

Island, is encircled by a coral barrier which joins the shore in several places, and encloses a lagoon. The summit is 94m high at the highest point, which overlooks the SE coast.

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Lakemba Island (18°13'S., 178°48'W.) lies 16 miles SE of

Nayau. The summit of the island is a double peak, which rises to heights of 210m and 219m. The island is fringed by a coral reef which extends 1 mile offshore in places; on the N side the reef dries 0.9m, but on the S side, boats can pass at half tide. The sea breaks heavily on the S point of this reef. A lagoon enclosed by a barrier reef lies with its NE extremity about 6 miles from the island. Steamer Passage, which may be found by bringing the N extremity of the island to bear 297°, is encumbered with rocks.

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Vessels with local knowledge may obtain anchorage in the

lagoon, in 24m, sand and coral, entering by Steamer Passage and conning the vessel from aloft in a favorable light. Vessels with local knowledge may anchor off the village of Waini- yabea, on the W side of the island, in 18.3m, sand. This berth is tenable in winds from the NNE to SSE.

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An aviation runway is situated 2 miles to the NW of Tubou,

the main town situated on the SW coast. 3.83 The Aiwa Islands (18°20'S., 178°41'W.), 6 miles

SSE of Lakemba, are 64m and 61m high, respectively. A barrier reef surrounds these islands and extends 4 miles E and 3.5 miles NW from them. The sea breaks heavily on the E, S, and W extremities of the reef.

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Mbukatatanoa Reefs lie about 11 miles E of Lakemba, and

enclose two extensive lagoons separated by a deep, narrow channel. The greater part is a barrier reef, but the middle is broken up by detached reefs and groups of sunken rocks. The sea breaks heavily on the SE extremity of the reefs. There are some detached reefs lying between Lakemba Reef and the W side of Mbukatatanoa Reefs.

Reid Reef, about 4.5 miles NE of Mbukatatanoa Reefs, is an atoll enclosing a lagoon in which there are three islets. Malan Bank, with a least depth of 14.6m, sand and coral, lies

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1.5 miles SE of Reid Reef. There are tide rips around the bank and in the channel between Reid Bank and Mbukatatanoa Reefs. Lakemba Passage, located between Thakau Lasemarawa and

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Thakau Nokeva on the W, and Reid Reef and Mbukatatanoa Reefs on the E, is used by some vessels proceeding between Papeete and Suva. The passage is not recommended except in good weather with extreme visibility, as it is difficult to make land fall when approaching the passage from the E.

3.84 Oneata Island (18°27'S., 178°29'W.), about 13 miles

ESE of Aiwa Island, lies in the S part of a lagoon that is enclosed by a reef about 10 miles long E-W. The island rises to a height of 49m.

Loa, an islet 43m high, lies 0.7 mile E of Oneata and is con- nected to it with a sunken reef.

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There four entrances to the lagoon are Transit Passage, on

the W extremity of the reef; Schooner Passage, 1 mile farther N; Middle Passage, about 1.3 miles SW of the N extremity of the reeff; and Broken Passage, on the N side of the reef, about 4.5 miles SE of its N extremity.

Middle Passage is 0.3 mile wide with a depth of 24m, sand and coral, in the middle, and is considered the best entrance.

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The passage may be found by bringing Loa to bear 123°. A coral head, with a depth of 0.6m, is located on this bearing 0.2 mile inside the middle of the passage; it may be passed on either hand. There is another coral head about 0.2 mile SW of this one, but there is sufficient depth and ample room to pass between the two.

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Anchorage.—Anchorage may be obtained, in a depth of

26m, off the NW end of Oneata. 3.85 Mothe Island (18°39'S., 178°31'W.), 11 miles S of

Oneata, is 2.3 miles in diameter with one conspicuous peak, 180m high. The island is surrounded by a barrier reef which extends 7 miles SSE.

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Anchorage.—Anchorage can be obtained outside the reef

on the NW side of Mothe, in 22m, sand, protected from the E through S to SW.

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There are three defined reefs N and NE of Mothe. Thakau

Lekaleka, Thakau Motu, and Thakau Vau lie 4.5 miles N, 3.8 miles NE, and 10 miles NE, respectively, from Mothe. An isolated depth of 17.7m lies 2.8 miles NNE of Thakau

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Lekaleka.

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Komo Island (18°41'S., 178°37'W.), 6 miles W of Mothe

Island, has a summit 82m high, marked by a clump of coconut trees. An islet, 21m high, lies off the W end of the island and is connected to it by a sunken reef. A coral reef, which surrounds the island, joins the shore on the E side, but N it forms a barrier enclosing a lagoon. The lagoon has moderate depths and a scarcity of coral heads.

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Anchorage.—Good anchorage may be obtained by vessels

with local knowledge near the island, in 9 to 18m, sand and shells.

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West Passage, on the NW side of the lagoon, is 500m wide

and may be found by bringing the summit of Komo to bear 133°. The rocks on the NE side of this passage are sunken and the sea seldom breaks on them.

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East Passage, on the NE side of the lagoon, is 290m wide,

but there are two sunken rocks in it, the S one near mid- channel, leaving a channel 128m wide with a depth of 16.5m, sand and coral, between it and the barrier reef on its E side. This rock is awash and can be easily detected in bright weather. This passage may be found by bringing the summit of Komo to bear 167°.

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Thakau Vuite is separated from Komo barrier by a passage

1.5 miles wide. A sand cay, 0.6m high, is located near its NE end, and is conspicuous in bright weather.

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Olorua Island is a small, but steep island with three humps

on the summit, located 7 miles NW of Komo. The island is surrounded by a reef which breaks on its S extremity, about 1.5 miles S of its highest peak.

3.86 Tavunasithi Island (18°43'S., 179°07'W.), 20 miles

SW of Olurua, is small, wooded, and 61m high. The island is encompassed by a fringing coral reef.

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Vuanggava Island, surrounded by a coral reef, lies 13 miles

SE of Tuvunasithi. This island is 3 miles long, 1 mile wide, and 59m high at its SW extremity and 48m at its NE extremity; a small salt water lake linked underground to the sea, is located at the center of the island.

Kambara Island, 3 miles SSW of Vuanggava Island, is about 4.5 miles long N-S, and 3 miles wide. On the NW side there is

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