Richard and Frederique Chesher
New Caledonia and Vanuatu Tourism Photography | Tourism Guide to New Caledonia | Tourism Guide to Vanuatu
Cruising Guide to New Caledonia | Cruising Guide to Vanuatu | Mermaid Art | Contact Richard Chesher
Consultant on Sustainable Development for Small Island Developing States - professional CV
Vanuatu Cruising Guide - the Nautical Rocket Guide to Vanuatu
This is the story of the publication of the Nautical Rocket Guide to Vanuatu. Click here if you are looking for the cruising guide to Vanuatu itself.
In 2000 I realized that the new millinnium marked the end of my 15 year series of experiments in how to change the behaviour of communities to improve the health of our planet. I was 60 years old and I knew that for the next 8 years the planet would be in the "dark ages" as far as environmental improvement was concerned. I just didn't feel like doing more reports and studies for the UN and the experiments on getting communities involved in protecting their reefs and coastal areas were essentially complete. It was time to do something else.
Freddy and I had no intention of stopping our cruising migrations and were then migrating seasonally between Sydney and Vanuatu, stopping off in New Caledonia on the way. I decided to use my contacts and training in remote sensing and satellite imagery for resource mapping to create a cruising guide to Vanuatu.
We started building the Cruising Guide to Vanuatu by assembling all the satellite imagery of Vanuatu, the charts, sailing directions, all previous published and unpublished cruising guides, and scanning aerial photographs of the known and likely anchorages provided by the Vanuatu Lands and Survey.
The idea was to create a visual database - known technically as a Geographic Information System - and I had in mind this concept - Imagine you are in a space ship above Vanuatu and had powerful instruments that would enable you to look anywhere in Vanuatu and zoom down and see it at very low altitude - even on the ground. What better way could there be - short of actually cruising there - to know what was where and what to expect.
This was before Google Earth got going and even today our guide still has features that Google Earth does not - such as the ability to overlay depths on the images. Here is what it looks like : Screenshots of the Cruising Guide to Vanuatu.
The guide uses a series of simple icons to overlay information on the satellite and aerial images - depths, navigation aids, sailing directions, routes, gps points, anchorages, and buttons on the islands and anchorages themselves to reveal what a cruising skipper will find on arrival. We give exact details on marinas and moorings in Port Vila as well as where to tie up the dinghy and where to get fuel for yachts in Vanuatu
The guide also provides information on Vanuatu maritime Weather for cruisers with information on what to expect and how to get local and long range forecasts. There is a section showing a satellite image of the entire south pacific with routes to and from Vanuatu along with details on ports of entry, and clearance formalities for Vanuatu