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Pujada Island, 113 miles long, 12 mile wide, and attaining a height of 485 feet (148 m.), divides the entrance into two deep, clear channels. The island has been cleared and planted to coconuts on its northern end. The southern part is covered with secondgrowth timber. The shore reef on the western side is about 100 yards wide, about 200 yards at its north end, and gradually widens on the east side until it attains its greatest width of 400 yards at the southeast end. Two small sand islands, on coral reefs that bare, lie 34 and 112 miles southeast of Pujada Island. They are separated from each other by a narrow, foul channel, and from Pujada Island by a channel 14 mile wide with a depth of 4 fathoms (7.3 m.) of water. Both sand islands are conspicuous objects, and Pujada Island forms an excellent landmark for entering the bay.
Danivan Island, 105 feet (32.0 m.) high and covered with trees, lies on the east side of the bay about 34 mile northwest of Taganilao Point, with which it is connected by a reef having 512 fathoms (10.1 m.) of water over it. The island has a sand beach on its eastern side but is rocky on the west and a wide coral reef bares to the southeast.
Good anchorage may also be had 1 mile northward of Batiano Point in 15 to 20 fathoms (27.4 to 37 m.), 12 mile offshore.
Guanguan Estero is entirely filled by coral reefs, which extend nearly 1 mile offshore between Licoc Point and Guanguan Point.
MATI, the seat of government and the most important town of this section, lies at the head of Pujada Bay. It is connected by road and trail with the towns on the east coast of Mindanao and with Lupon on the east shore of Davao Gulf. It has regular steamer communication with other ports of Mindanao and with Manila, and is an important shipping place for hemp and copra. The people are mostly Visayans, with one Moro settlement, Bábiasan, at the mouth of the Guanguan Estero and another one, Bajucan, in Balete Bay.
There are a number of small stores but business is generally in the hands of Chinese and Japanese traders. Oil and gasoline are not obtainable but fish, fresh beef, pigs, and vegetables can be purchased in the town. There is a constabulary post, and a radio station maintained by the Bureau of Posts.
A reinforced concrete landing has recently been constructed. It affords berth for one vessel at the end where, in November 1938, there was a depth of 20 feet (6.1 m.) of water. There is no fresh water at the dock, the town supply being furnished by cisterns and wells.
Mati Light, latitude 6°57' 04" N., longitude 126°13'01" E., is fixed red, visible 7 miles, and exhibited at an elevation of 36 feet (11.0 m) from a white concrete tower at the shore end of the pier.
Anchorage may be taken up off the town of Mati in 15 to 18 fathoms (27.4 to 32.9 m.), sand bottom, about 400 yards from shore.
The western shore of Pujada is steep-to, the land high and heavily wooded. A detached rock lies 12 mile eastward of Camansi Point, while the shore reef fills the indentations northward and southward of the point. Cabayan Point, 1 mile southward, is a high, rounding rocky point.
Lacutan Cove has a very irregular shore fringed by a wide coral reef with a 312-fathom (6.4 m.) shoal nearly in the middle of the cove.
Tataidaga Point and Daca Point are the southeast and southwest extremities of the peninsula separating Balete Bay from the main body of Pujada Bay. Shoal water extends some distance off these points and they should be given a berth of at least 1/2 mile. The headland is partially cogon covered, and, having streaked appearance, is fairly prominent.
Balete Bay (Chart 4625) affords perfectly protected anchorage for small vessels. About 34 mile northwestward of Daca Point, the entrance channel is narrowed to 200 yards by a shoal with a least known depth of 14 fathom (0.4 m.) of water over it. Beyond this shoal anchorage may be had in 16 to 20 fathoms (29.3 to 37 m.) of water, or near the head of the bay in 8 fathoms (14.6 m.), mud bottom. Wide coral reefs border the shore with mangroves at the head of the bay. No river enters this bay, though the gently sloping valley would indicate its existence.
Makumbol and Magum are two small unimportant settlements on the southwest shore of Pujada Bay. Fresh water can be procured but with great difficulty at these places.
Tumadgo Point is a crumbling cliff rising to a height of about 800 feet (244 m.). Back of the point the land rises in irregular ridges to Mount Hamiguitan, 5,345 feet (1,629 m.) high.
THE COAST.–From Tumadgo Point the coast trends 188° true for 30 miles to Cape San Agustin. The first half of this stretch of coast is characterized by steep clifflike points, from the top of which the land rises steeply to the higher mountains. The cliffs are of soft rock, which are undermined by the heavy storm seas striking this coast, and the fallen rock forms huge boulders on the narrow ledge between the high-water line and the foot of the cliff. Between the several points, of which Macaonan, Nagas, and Salasala are the most prominent, are narrow valleys that rise steeply from the shore and are not noticeable from offshore. A large rock 10 feet (3.0 m.) high lies on the edge of the shore reef 23 mile eastward of Kabuaya.
Luban Island, 219 feet (67 m.) high, has an almost perpendicular cliff face on its eastern side, gradually sloping to the mangrove shore line on the western side. A large rock 25 feet (7.6 m.) high lies close to the cliff face. Luban Island is connected to the mainland by a coral reef that bares at low water. At high water small launches drawing not more than 4 feet (1.2 m.) can pass back of the island into a small lagoon in front of Luban town. Entrance to this lagoon from the south side is made difficult by numerous boulders on the reef.
About 3 miles northward of Lagum Point there is a decided change in the character of the vegetation. The country to the northward is heavily wooded with large trees and has a decided jungle appearance. To the southward the trees are stunted, and from a distance offshore the many large-leaved palms have the appearance of nipa houses.
There are no good anchorages along this coast. In case of necessity, however, anchorage may be had at several places. Outside of about 1 mile from the shore there is a constant southerly current. Inshore there is an eddy, and the direction of the currents seems to be influenced by the tides. Heavy tide rips and swirls are encountered around Luban Island and southward.
Cape San Agustin and San Agustin Reef have been described on page 309.
CURRENTS.-A constant current southward has been observed on the east coast of Mindanao, especially at a distance of beyond 4 miles from shore. Within this distance the tides preserve their influence in some places, but near the projecting points the current remains constant." Northward of Mayo Bay this current shows itself in strong races, which increase on approaching Pusan Point, where they attain their greatest force. They are very violent off Lacud Point and also off Lambajon and Bagoso Points. In order to lessen the effects of the current, a vessel should keep a good distance offshore. Near the coast the sea is always very rough and choppy, and vessels suffer a good deal from it.
Palmas or Miangas Island, latitude 5°33' N., longitude 126°35' E., lying 48 miles south-southeastward from Cape San Agustin, is about 11% miles long northeast and southwest and 23 mile wide. The greater part of the island is low and covered with coconut palms, the land being only about 5 feet (1.5 m.) above high water. The northeast part of the island rises to a series of hills, the highest of which is 365 feet (111 m.). The northeast corner of the island is a sheer, vertical cliff 150 feet (46 m.) high. The island is surrounded by a wide coral reef. A break in the reef in front the village on the southwest shore is the best and practically the only landing place for small boats. The survey vessel anchored off this break in the reef in 17 fathoms (13.1 m.) about 200 yards from the boulder line, putting a small anchor on the reef to prevent dragging off the ledge into deep water. This place was protected from the heavy northeast swell which prevailed at the time.
The southeast anchorage is found about 13 mile east-northeast from the extreme south end of the island in 18 to 20 fathoms (32.9 to 37 m.) of water, sand bottom, with an ample clearance from the shore reef for moderate-sized vessels. This anchorage is subject to swirls and tide rips. A strong southerly current splits on the bank, extending more than a mile off the north end of the island, causing violent overfalls and boiling water in that vicinity and a considerable eddy near the reef to the southward. The mean range of tide was found to be about 312 feet (1.1 m.).
The island of Palmas (Miangas) was declared to belong to the Netherlands by the Arbitral Decision of April 4, 1928, on the ground that, as it had been since about 1700 in the continuous and undisputed possession of the Netherlands, Spain had acquired no sovereignty over the island and that the United States as Spain's successor, therefore, had no claim to it.
6. SULU ARCHIPELAGO
(Charts 4707 and 4722) The Sulu Archipelago extends from Basilan Strait on the southwestern extremity of Mindanao for 220 miles in a southwesterly direction to Alice Channel, off the northeast coast of Borneo and comprises more than 300 islands of various sizes. These islands can be conveniently divided into three principal groups—that of Basilan on the east, Jolo in the center, and Tawitawi to the west. The many smaller groups of islands will all be described under the headings of the three main groups.
The inhabitants, over 300,000 in number, are nearly all Mohammedans, of Malay race, speaking a Malay dialect which they write with Arabic characters, though English schools are now slowly making headway. They are considerably advanced in civilization and are engaged in cultivating rice, fishing, and the rearing of horses, cattle, and poultry. Several rubber plantations on Basilan Island are well past the experimental stage and lumbering is quite an industry on the same island. The principal articles of commerce are tortoise shell, trepang, edible birds' nests, pearls and pearl shell, rubber, and copra. There is regular steamer communication between Zamboanga, Jolo, and Manila. Local travel is mostly by Moro vinta or small motorboats or sailing vessels.
(Charts 4511, 4540, and 4543)
This group of islands is a part of the Province of Zamboanga. Basilan Island, which with the southwest end of Mindanao, forms the Strait of Basilan, is the largest and principal island of the group. It is 32 miles long east and west and 20 miles wide. The greater part of the island is mountainous and is heavily wooded. The highest peak, Mount Basilan, 3,317 feet (1,011 m.) high, lies somewhat southward of the center of the island. Many of the higher mountains are frequently covered by clouds. The shores are largely bordered by a low belt of sand and coral debris on which mangrove swamps have formed. There are no large rivers and no good watering places. Many of the small rivers can be entered by boats only at high water and most of them are impassable on account of fallen trees at a short distance from their mouths.
MALAMAUI ISLAND lies off the northwest coast of Basilan Island, from which it is separated by Isabela Channel. It is 370 feet (113 m.) high. All the available land is under cultivation, mainly planted to coconuts, the valuable timber for which the island was noted having nearly all been cleared off. Panigayan is a small settlement near the western end of the island.
Malamaui Light, latitude 6°44'43'' N., longitude 121°59'23'' E., is a fixed red light, exhibited at an elevation of 36 feet (11.0 m.) above mean high water from a white concrete tower on the eastern point of Malamaui Island. The light is visible at a distance of 7 miles through an arc of 75° between 190° true and 265° true and in Isabela Channel as far south as the town of Isabela.
There are two small boat landings on Malamaui Island opposite Port Isabela. The former constabulary landing has a face of about 12 feet in length and a depth (June 1937) of 9 feet (2.7 m.) off it. A small plantation landing lies about 300 yards eastward with a fender pile 15 feet eastward of the wharf. The depth alongside was 11 feet (3.4 m.) (June 1937). Gravel roads lead inland from both landings.
Lampinigan Island is about 58 mile east and west, 188 feet (57 m.) high, and lies 4 miles westward from the western entrance to Isabela Channel. It is covered with coconuts which grow to the water's edge at many places. A boat landing with 9 feet (2.7 m.) of water alongside is located at the village in the bight on the south side of the island. Small vessels call occasionally for copra.
Pamelukan Bank is situated about 2 miles westward from the west side of Malamaui Island. From the position where 34 fathom (1.4 m.), the least water, is found the highest part of Lampinigan Island bears 227° true and Moro Island 103° true. The remainder of the bank has from 5 to 10 fathoms (9.1 to 18.3 m.) of water over it.
There is a long shoal westward from Pamelukan Bank, stretching east and west for 4 miles, which has two patches of 334 fathoms (6.9 m.) on it, lying, respectively, 134 miles 347° true and 2 miles 305° true from the summit of Lampinigan Island. Besides these shoals there are several banks northwest of Malamaui, on which the least depth found was 6 to 8 fathoms (11.0 to 14.6 m.). Strong and irregular currents and tide rips are found in thé vicinity of all these shoals.
Malamaui Road, southwestward of the island of the same name, affords a safe anchorage for vessels of all sizes and is particularly convenient when they make Port Isabela after nightfall when the entrance into the channel would be dangerous. The holding ground is good and strong winds are rare.
The shores are generally low and bordered by coral reefs. Abreast the streams there is usually sufficient depth over the reef at high water to permit entrance of a ship's boat, and it is advisable to make landings at these points, as there is frequently enough surf to damage a boat attempting to land along the shore at other places.
A coral shoal with 13 feet (4.0 m.) over it lies 114 miles 238° true from Moro Island.
The best anchorage will be found southwestward of this shoal in the vicinity of San Rafael Bay, and small vessels can lie close in eastward of Balatanai Island.
In approaching this anchorage from the northward Pamelukan Bank is the only danger to be avoided. Unless there is sufficient light to make out Balatanai Island and the high land behind it, it is advisable to pass westward of Pamelukan Bank and head for Lampinigan Island, which usually can be easily distinguished. The general character of the land makes it difficult to estimate distances at