Creating the Rocket Cruising Guide to Vanuatu

Creating the Rocket Cruising Guide to Vanuatu

This is the story of the publication of the Nautical Rocket Guide to Vanuatu.

In 2000 I realized that the new millennium 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 of the Fossil Fuel Cartel" as far as environmental improvement was concerned (turns out the fossil fuel cartel is still going strong in 2018). 

I didn't feel like doing more useless 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 aboard the Moira. At the time we were 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.

A Cruising Geographic Information System for Yacht Captains

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Vanuatu by assembling all the satellite imagery of Vanuatu, the charts, sailing directions, all previous published and unpublished cruising guides, and scanning aerial photographs of the known and likely anchorages provided by the Vanuatu Lands and Survey.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 and underwater. 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 really got going and even today our guide still has features Google Earth does not - such as the ability to overlay depths on the images. Here is what it looks like : Screenshots from 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 

Once yachts are in Vanuatu they need information on things like Internet in Vanuatu , Vanuatu Money, Festivals in the out-islands of Vanuatu,  Mobile phone use in Vanuatu and Postal Services.
Superyachts all buy the Vanuatu guide and they can get them through the Superyacht Services in Vanuatu and from Yachting World Marina in Port Vila.

The Cruising Guide to Vanuatu has been super popular with cruising yacht captains and we keep it up to date with improvements and new information added as soon as we find out about it. Yacht captains that purchase the guide also get the Rocket Travel Guide to Vanuatu as a bonus and have their own online user pages where they can update the cruising and travel guides, purchase a second license for a backup computer, and see tutorials on using the guide.


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