used either the entrance or the anchorage but understand it to be clear of danger. It is the best way for a vessel approaching from the east to enter the Calvados Chain.
BAG AM AN ISLAND Like most of the islands within the Calvados Chain, Bagaman has a number of bald hills rather as if they had been cleared in the past for grazing. As no beasts are run anywhere in the area one can only presume the lack of trees to be caused by either intensive gardening in the past or poor soil. Whatever the reason the similarity between these and islands along Australia's Great Barrier Reef cannot be denied.
Bagaman Island is the logical first anchorage for a vessel which has just left Misima Island, being within easy sailing distance for even the smallest of craft. The anchorage is over mud in 17 metres off a white beach close to Oisi Village. The holding is excellent and the bay is well protected from swell. Crayfish in abundance can be traded here with the going rate in 1978 being one small cray for two sticks of tobacoo.
PANA NUMARA ISLAND lies a mere four miles west of Bagaman Island and offers good anchoragc over mud. As the map suggests it is possible to move in closer over five metres sand and scattered coral. Alternative anchorage is possible off Malowa Village but the depths are excessive at 25 metres although the village itself and its general setting are most attractive.
ABAGA GAHEIA ISLAND is about seven miles east of Pana Numara Island where anchorage can also be found in the bay in its northern face, It is calm and has good holding mud but access ashore is difficult and only the village on Taifaur Island is of any interest.
PANA WINA ISLAND The best anchorage under the lee of this island during trade wind conditions is in 12 metres off an old plantation where will be seen the remains of a jetty and a rather derelict house.
Approaching Pana Numara Island anchorage.
Vil laße off map
Vil laße off map
The house is owned by a Papuan woman with blue eyes and a wonderful sense of humour, named Lily. Married to an Australian who she has not seen since the Japanese took him away during World War II, she runs the plantation with the help of other village women who live with her. Lily's most recent claim to fame was her giving refuge and comfort to an American couple who were hit by a waterspout off the south coast of the Calvados Chain losing their boat and fetching ashore nearby. They stayed with Lily until repatriated back to the States. The book Waterspout refers to this incident and is published in Los Angeles by Crescent Publications for those interested.
The anchorage is calm and is good holding over mud. Beware of moving in towards Bomalau Village where there are numerous reefs and relatively poor holding.
WANIM ISLAND This is included here not so much to promote it as an anchorage but to advise that the passage between it and the larger Pana Tinani Island is navigable with plenty of water and no hazards except for the usual fringing reefs. As the large scale map shows, there is a minimum of 10 metres in the channel with the only hazard being an isolated reef to the east of the area. This is easily seen as a light green patch in normal conditions of visibility.
The Catholic Mission on Nimoa Island encourages children to maintain old customs. Here we wee a tribal dance being practised.
HATI LAWI HARBOUR To anyone who is tired of meeting villagers at every anchorage and is anxious for a respite from the decks being crowded with inquisitive, friendly people, Hati Lawi Harbour will be appreciated. There are no villages within the harbour and there is only one small patch of sand where a landing can be made easily. It is a calm and ideal place for being alone and perhaps catching up on some shipboard work.
BAG IE This is a government station situated on the north west tip of Tagula (Sudest) Island directly opposite diminutive Nimoa Island. Anchorage can be found over sand off the wharf in five metres or the jetty itself can be used if clear of traffic and only a short stay is intended.
Ashore will be found a trade-store where a scant variety of food is available, water piped almost to the end of the jetty and, over the hill behind the settlement will be found the airstrip, post office and District Officer.
NIMOA ISLAND Tucked immediately inside the southern tip of Nimoa Island is a Catholic Mission tended by one European Father and some European Nuns. Their serenity and integrity of purpose is only matched by the physical beauty of the place which is also reflected by the native inhabitants. Tribal dress and dance is actively encouraged at Nimoa, thus disproving the lie that missionaries continue to discourage native dress where female breasts are actually displayed openly. The opposite is true nowadays with missions well to the fore in encouraging women of the villages to dress as they did when the sun and the sea were their only dictators.
The anchorage is deep over mud and suffers some animation during strong trade wind weather. The next bay along is superior if a prolonged stay is intended where will be seen Nimowa Village. This village provides a possible source for the famous Bagi Shell Necklace which now demands a price of around one kina per inch. They consist of a string of tiny discs of the bagi shell which are collected from the reefs and then patiently cleaned, cut and drilled to be threaded into a line from which might hang larger pieces of the bagi, other shells, carvings, nuts or whatever. For those interested, the recognised place for bagi shell necklaces is at Jinjo Mission on Rossel Island.
SNAKE PASSAGE (not illustrated) will not be found referred to as such on the chart. It is a narrow, very deep and clear pass between coral reefs seven miles south east of Nimoa Island. Its western entrance is called Gold Rush Channel and its eastern entrance is called Yuma Passage. A keen and reliable lookout is necessary and during strong south easterlies. Also a vessel should be either very good when sailing to windward or be fitted with a powerful engine — or both, to enable her to safely stand off the weather entrance as the passage is cleared astern and seaway is being made. It is the logical route for those going to Rossel Island or Rabuso Creek on Tagula Island.
HUDUMU IWA PASSAGE is a reef entrance lying five miles north east of Nimoa Island through which a vessel may safely pass en route to Rossel Island or for the Solomon Sea.
Because of numerous shoals fringing the passage on the inside before the reef proper is encountered, it can cause some confusion as to whether the correct opening has been found, but once close ahead the gap is obvious. A current of up to five knots can be experienced through here and caution is advised.
nuaumu iwa lawjj-
/^Rossel + + Lacjoon nuaumu iwa lawjj-
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