July/Aug 2004

The archipelago offers a wide choice of anchorages, though few, if any, give protection from all wind directions. If you anchor off of, or nearby, a village, it�s polite to ask permission before spending the night. It is very unlikely you�d ever be refused, but by asking you show respect, and it serves as a nice way to introduce yourself. The following are anchorages that we found particularly noteworthy.

Deboyne Lagoon encloses Panaeati, Panapompom and Nivani islands. Good anchorage in southeast to north winds can be found off Nivani�s northwest side. The shallow waters off Panaeati prevent one from anchoring closer than 1.5 miles from the shore, but a visit is well worth the effort, as the island is home to the Louisiades� master canoe builders.

Misima Island Bwagaoia Harbor, near the island�s southeast tip, offers good shelter in all but strong southerlies. Here you�ll find the Louisiades� only �town,� complete with bank, post office, a few shops, a bakery and a liquor store.

Panasia Island South of Deboyne Lagoon and west of the Calvados Chain, this raised-limestone island�s lagoon offers good anchorage in southwest through easterly winds. The island is uninhabited but is visited on occasion by fishermen from nearby Utian. There is a tiny beach on the northeast side and a longer sand beach on the southwest coast.

Calvados Chain Composed of many small islets and reefs, this chain offers a wide range of anchorages, though many are suitable only for settled conditions.

Pana Tinani Island Hati Lawi Bay, on the island�s southeast end, offers excellent protection in all but westerly winds. The bay is uninhabited and is a good place to stop for a bit of peace and quiet.

Nimoa Island Situated southeast of Pana Tinani, in the �coral haven,� Nimoa offers good shelter from southerly, easterly and northerly winds. It�s possible to depart the coral haven through passes to the north and east; the latter, termed Snake Passage, demands careful navigation.

Rossel Island The approach to Rossel is through Rossel Passage, leading into a large lagoon. Yonga Bay, situated on the island�s west side, offers good shelter in all but westerly winds. It is a beautiful setting, with steep, forested ridges climbing many hundreds of feet. It�s possible to navigate inside the reef from Yonga Bay to Relief Opening, on the island�s north side; from there it is a short sail to Heron Opening, leading to the anchorage off Jinjo Mission. The latter is best in relatively settled weather.


We used Australian charts, #382 (covers Jomard Entrance to Rossel Island) and #568 (Jomard Entrance to Yeina Island, 1:131,000).


By Ocean Navigator