Haymet Rocks

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1924 map of Central Polynesia, with Haymet Rcks und Orne Bk (lower part, in the middle)

Haymet Rocks were reported by J.E. Haymet, master and owner of the cutter Will Watch, when on passage between Auckland and Rarotonga; in 1863 the cutter passed between two rocks and struck on the northern of the two, damaging her false keel. The rocks are said to extend over a space of about a quarter of a mile, to have been distinctly seen, and with apparently 7 or 8 feet water on them. Mr Haymet gives their position as 27°11′S 160°13′W / 27.183°S 160.217°W / -27.183; -160.217, which would place them about 135 miles W 1/4 N from the position assigned to Orne Bank.

These rocks were unsuccessfully searched for, in the position given, by HMS Satellite in 1886, and again by the French Government vessel Fabert in 1887; the latter vessel spent three days in the search under favourable circumstances of wind and weather, running over some 253 miles within a radius of from 20 to 25 miles of the position assigned, and with no result. A depth of 68 fathoms, rock, was found by the Fabert in 24°7′S 158°33′W / 24.117°S 158.550°W / -24.117; -158.550.

In December 1882, however, Lloyd's agent at Rarotonga reported that the Haymet rocks were supposed to exist about 150 miles SSW of Rarotonga, and therefore right in the track of vessels bound from Auckland to that island, who always give this supposed position a wide berth. If this information is correct, these rocks are about 240 miles NNW 1/2 W of the position as given by Mr Haymet and still shown on the charts; and it is not surprising that both the Satellite and the Fabert failed in their search at an entirely different locality.

It was suggested that the Haymet Rocks were a remnant of sunken island Tuanaki.[1][2][3]


  1. ^ "THE MYSTERY OF TUANAKI ISLAND", Pacific Islands Monthly : PIM, xxii (7): 104, 1952-02-01, ISSN 0030-8722 
  2. ^ Coppell, W. G. (1973). "About the Cook Islands. Their Nomenclature and a Systematic Statement of Early European contacts". Journal de la Société des océanistes. 29 (38): 46. doi:10.3406/jso.1973.2410. Retrieved 2018-01-18. 
  3. ^ Stommel, Henry (1984). Lost Islands: The Story of Islands That Have Vanished from Nautical Charts. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. p. 60. ISBN 0-7748-0210-3. 

 This article incorporates text from Pacific Islands, v. 3, a publication from 1900 now in the public domain in the United States.