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Sailing New Caledonia Vanuatu
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Whale watchers are having a great season in New Caledonia. The humpback whales have come close to Noumea and last week were cavorting just off the Meridian Hotel! The weather is splendid too.
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SeaMercy.org has been helping islanders in the South Pacific for years and doing a great job. This year they are planning a major expedition to Va nuatu with several volunteer yachts. You can join the fleet or make a donation to the effort to help the villagers of Vanuatu rebuild after the devastating Cyclone.
http://www.seamercy.org/civicrm/contribute/transact?reset=1&id=20
Donations: Sea Mercy is a US based 501(c)3 organization (Since 2012) and all donations are tax deductable. We use the secure PayPal processing for credit card and PayPal donations. Cyclone Pam Devastates the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu ...
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Internet for Yachts in New Caledonia hits 4G.

3G mobile phone coverage is excellent in New Caledonia and yachts can enjoy good internet and phone service in most of the lagoon and island anchorages. In February the local telco, OPT, began a 4G mobile service that boosts data speeds. 
The 4G network has 55 base stations in operation with 57 more planned by the end of 2015 and 38 new sites in 2016.
New Caledonia 4G network will ultimately consist of 150 sites, 75 with Band 3 1800MHz, 74 with Band 20 800MHz  and one, in Noumea, with Band 1 - 2600MHz
If you have an UNLOCKED Australian or New Zealand smart phone or modem it will work fine on 3G in New Caledonia. But you might be limited to Band 3 of the 4G network because Australia, New Zealand, the US and many other countries don't use Band 20 (800 MHz). 
New Caledonia mobile bands and frequencies:
4G Lte Bands 3 (1800MHz), 7 (2600MHz), 20 (800MHz)
3G WCDMA Bands 1 (2100MHz H-IMT), 8 (900 MHz E-GSM)

Once you arrive in New Caledonia you can buy a pay-in-advance "Carte Liberte" welcome pack. Once you install the sim card in your phone or modem,  the telco has devised a nutty system for accessing a data connection. When you are ready to get data you send an SMS to one of three numbers with IMD (stands for Internet Mobile a la Demand) as the message. 
For example if you send an SMS to 1110 you get one hour of data for about 100cfp (about AUS$1.00).
Send the SMS to 1111 and you'll get 24hrs Unlimited data but the speed drops to 250Kb/s after 20MB. That costs 420cfp (about Aus$4.20).

For more information visit: 
http://www.cruising-newcaledonia.com/internet-new-caledonia.html
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Wow!!! This is the most amazing weather site I've ever seen. Thanks to Marc on IETA for sending me the link. You HAVE to try this. I have also added the link to our marine weather page on our cruising websites.

https://www.windyty.com/?surface,wind,now,-21.744,168.618,7
Ubercool wind animation all over the world. Wind and weather forecast for kiters, surfers, pilots and anyone else.
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The 2015 versions of our guides are now online. We have made a number of changes on the guides - updates of information, new images, new anchorages, and improvements to make the guides work better on Windows tablets. 

Vist your online membership page to update to the latest versions by download or DVD.

If you purchased your guides prior to April 2012 you will need to update by going to http://www.cruising-newcaledonia.com/upgrades.html
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If you want to use our cruising and travel guides on a Windows 8.1 tablet you are in luck. Not only have the prices of Windows Tablets dropped to android levels but there is now a wonderful little app (free) from http://www.lovesummertrue.com/touchmousepointer/en-us/index.html. When you install this tiny app the whole tablet screen becomes a virtual trackpad. This means you can now have a cursor, move it around, position it exactly where you need it, see roll-over tool tips, pop-ups, and actually resize windows easily; all of which were next to impossible except on very expensive Microsoft Surface Tablets - and they need a stylus to do it. So pop $200 or less for a Windows 8.1 tablet and you can use our guides in the cockpit, on deck, in bed, or the head :-)
I put a tutorial on setting up touchmousepointer here:
http://www.cruising-newcaledonia.com/using-the-cruising-guide-on-tablets.html
TouchMousePointer is desktop application for Windows 8, Windows 8.1 or later. For tablet PC or convertibles PC slate mode. Requires touch interface. Like a touch pad(track pad) pointing device on screen by touch interface. It's on-screen touchpad.(on-screen mouse / mouse emulator / mouse ...
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Have them in circles
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The world's best weather site just got better with an improved user interface, pro-level weather predictions and details for any location in the world, and an astounding 14-day animated weather preview.
 
https://www.windyty.com/?-21.500,165.500,5
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Boats headed for tropical cruises should honour and promote the Code of Anchoring in Reef Environments (CARE) ; Anchor in Sand, not in the Coral. Here is the link to a video about CARE on Youtube
https://youtu.be/5f0dykqfwaA
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Vanuatu suffered extensive damage from one of the worst cyclones in the history of the Pacific. Remote villages in Epi, Efate, Erromango, Tanna, and Aneityum were devastated.
If you are planning to visit Vanuatu this year your assistance in bringing needed relief supplies to the remote villages would be extremely welcome. If you can help with relief delivery – Please contact YachtAid Global info@yachtaidglobal.org
For more information visit:
http://yachtaidglobal.org/wp/
You can also assist by donations to Yacht Aid.
March 15, 2015 Cyclone PAM damage to Vanuatu. Click the link below to see the UN situation report for Vanuatu. Vanuatu OCHA_VUT_TCPam_Sitrep1_20150310. Please help us help the people of Vanuatu – devasted by Cyclone Pam – over 80 islands direct hit, the largest Cylone ever in that ...
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We have updated the cruising guides to New Caledonia and Vanuatu so they are compatible with Mac Yosemite 10.10 plus we added some new images and information. You can update your Mac version for free - just contact us from the menu on either website with the email address you used when you purchased the guide. 
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I discovered that a lot of people were accessing our cruising guide sites on mobile phones. So I have restructured the sites to be Mobile-Friendly. Now you will have a better experience when using your mobile phone to visit  http://www.cruising-newcaledonia.com and http://www.cruising-vanuatu.com
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Here is the French presentation on protection of sea birds in the New Caledonia Lagoon during nesting season:
 ·  Translate
De nombreuses espèces d'oiseaux marins nidifient sur les îlots durant la saison chaude. La présence humaine engendre des perturbations et met en péril leur survie. Quatorze îlots dans le Grand Sud ont été identifiés comme étant des sites majeurs de ponte. Lorsqu'ils sont équipés d'un mât à ...
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Sailing in New Caledonia and Vanuatu
Introduction
Here is the latest information about sailing, cruising, and yachting in New Caledonia an Vanuatu. We'll keep you posted on what's new and invite all those with a maritime interest in Vanuatu and New Caledonia to share their nautical experiences, photos, and information about cruising in these fascinating South Pacific island countries. We appreciate feedback on our cruising guides to New Caledonia and Vanuatu.
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Richard.Chesher