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more calm periods than the Coral Sea because it is closer to the equator and therefore closer to being out of the trade wind belt.

But it is not completely out of the belt and therefore its dominant wind during winter is the south east trade wind with the north westerly blowing during January and February. Calms predominate during transitional periods and can occur with remarkable frequency right in the middle of a winter season.

Any wind-borne current will naturally flow with the wind but in the Solomon Sea there is evidence to suggest it can also run diagonally across the wind from the east. This can easily set a vessel west so this drift potential should be allowed for in the plotting of courses.

Vessels laying for Rabaul remain within Papua New Guinea and therefore no formalities beyond a normal checking in to local customs on arrival are necessary. Those heading for Bougainville are warned that in passing through the north western extremities of the Solomon Islands they are, strictly speaking, obliged to clear in and out of that country at the Shortland Islands which lie close under Bougainville Island.

If no stop is made at either the Shortlands or the Treasury Group then no law is broken, but if a stop is made you automatically commit yourself to the payment of Solomon Islands lighthouse dues which, in 1978, were $100.

The first anchorage illustrated and described in Area D is the Treasury Islands which are the north western-most group of the Solomon complex. Those stopping there after the Solomon Sea crossing are again reminded that it is your obligation to first see customs at Shortland Island. My inclusion of Shortland and the Treasury Islands is intended only to form an overlap between this book and a future cruising guide to the Solomon Islands.

KEY MAP

PORT MORESBY

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