Click on the map to get started or on the green marker above to go to the first leg of the voyage.
You can also order and download the entire three log books as ebooks to read on your phone or tablet. You'll find the reading easier and more consecutive and the color photos larger. Just click on the buy now button of your choice on the left side of this page.
The research expeditions of the Moira took us to New Zealand, Australia, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, the Solmon Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu, Wallis, Western Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga. As an environmental consultant to the UN I also visited many other pacific islands.
The period from the end of the Log of the Moira until the turn of the century was one of direct experimentation on the the psychology of island populations - trying to discover ways of changing the environmentally destructive habits of the people that were steadily damaging the coral reef environments of their island homes. The basic idea was to get the island societies to actually perceive what they were doing and how it was harmful to themselves and their children.
I knew it would not be easy. Our experience with reshaping Australia's political and social views on holding dolphins and whales captive for circus performances had taught us a great deal about changing public attitudes and I knew that the millions upon millions of dollars spent every year on environmental aid projects were not having any noticeable impact on the steadily declining environmental conditions of the Pacific islands.
Our activities from 1983 until 2011 are summarized in various websites including www.richardchesher.com, tellusconsultants.com and, more recently our professional photography activities in New Caledonia and Vanuatu
There are a lot of interesting stories from those projects, and most of them were never written up in such an entertaining way as the log of the Moira. Mostly because we were serious about our goals and recognized the need for political discretion if we ever hoped to succeed.
I was 60. I decided that enough was enough. If I couldn't move ahead, I'd go sideways.
Freddy and I created the Rocket Travel Guides to Vanuatu and New Caledonia
Millions of people dream of having a vacation in the South Pacific. Millions of people actually do visit the south Pacific islands, and two popular locations are Vanuatu and New Caledonia.
I had, while acting as a consultant to the UN, taught a course in the use of remote sensing for the use of resource management at the University of the South Pacific. The idea was to create geographic information systems for travellers. At the time Google Earth was just getting started - our guides were far in advance of Google Earth.
Our first guide was a cruising guide to Vanuatu. This was an enormous success with the yachties but we made a horrible mistake. It was not "locked" against piracy. In those days it was just not possible and not many yachts had CD burners aboard. We thought we would get income from advertising and sell the guides for a small fee to cover the cost of making the CDs - we started out charging $20. Well, the mistake was that the guide was so great that everyone started copying it and giving it to their friends. The yacht cruising community is pretty small and within 6 months we could not sell a single guide. Worse, we could no get any advertising because if we could not distribute more guides we could hardly expect to add new advertisers and the old advertisers saw no reason to pay again.
Our next guide was the cruising guide to New Caledonia. Likewise a great success and a horrible disaster because it wasn't locked either. We have completely redone both guides and they have been locked now for 9 years but the old first copies are aboard every yacht that enters Vanuatu and New Caledonia Guide Nautique Nouvelle Caledonie. Despite the early errors and the vast improvements in the software and information the yachties prefer a free copy to a good program. Lately we have just published, in coordination with the Noumea Ocean Yacht Agency, a brand new Virtual Reality website on the New Caledonia Lagoon.
One of the major reasons Freddy and I decided to make travel guides was because I love taking photographs. But I really don't need or want 50,000 photos that are never looked at. Vanity photography does not appeal to my scientific nature. The travel guides became a terrific way to take photos of fun and interesting places and activities. Thousands of our images have appeared on travel websites, magazine and newspaper articles, brochures, catalogues, on the sides of buildings and even on busses.
We set up photo libraries online to assist in the use and distribution of our images. These include the New Caledonia Lagoon virtual tour, the New Caledonia Photography library, New Caledonia Accommodation Photos.
Freddy also set up a website to offer some of her exquisite hand painted silk scarves with designs inspired by the New Caledonia Lagoon. It's a neat website. Not to mention her wonderful Mermaid Art - virtual reality images of mermaids in the New Caledonia Lagoon.