UA-31290512-1

Friday, January 8, 2016

Navigation Alert: Tonga Vava'u

This "reality check" is what prompted my
Nov. 6, 2015 blog post.
Yikes!  Navigation Surprise...

In Tonga's Vava'u group we were startled when what showed simply as a "shallow spot" on our navigation chart plotter was in fact an island!  

Warning Other Cruisers: Part 1
I blogged about it, with an emphasis on the importance of not relying 100% on electronics.  




Taking More Proactive Steps:  Part 2
Nonetheless, it seemed reasonable to let Navionics -- that's whose navigation chip we use -- know.  

Problem Fixed:  Part 3

Considering that by the time I contacted Navionics it was getting pretty close to Christmas, I'm impressed that they've since updated their data.  The whole process -- including their requesting clarification info from me and my response time -- took less than a month!  


Updating Your Data:  Part 4


Navionics followed up on my complaint, professionally,
pleasantly and promptly.
In case you are Tonga-bound, here's their response, including how to access the latest updates and register and update our chip (errr... still need to get to that!).

Thank you for bringing this issue to our Cartography Department. Navionics appreciates your input and we are pleased to inform you that the issue has been corrected.  The updated data is currently available through our Freshest Data download which is accessed on the Navionics Webstore.  For instructions on completing an update to your Navionics plotter card, please see our help article on ‘How to Register and Update Your Chip’. Thank you for being a valued and helpful Navionics customer. Have a great day.

Best regards,

Navionics Customer Service

What If You Spot a Navigation Discrepancy?  Part 5

If you find a gap between your Navionics chart data and reality, here's how to let Navionics know.


  • go to the Navionics website
  • describe the discrepancy
  • provide your model,
  • the latitude and longitude where the issue occurred and 
  • ideally a screen shot depicting the problem

After all - it's one thing to provide a warning in a blog, and tell a few folks, but as good a story as it makes, better still to help Navionics or whoever provides chart data where you spot an error) make their product more accurate for everyone.  It's also a good reminder to us users to stay on top of updates.  

Safe sailing!


Location Location
We are well past Tonga, safely in the particularly well-charted long white cloud known as New Zealand.  No nautical navigation issues for a while as we're currently on a pile mooring (S35.43.573 E174.19.793) about to begin a road trip before we return to Whangarei for a haul-out.

Cruising by the numbers
From December 2014 to November 2015 we sailed over 10,000 miles, from Jacksonville Florida USA to Opua, New Zealand.  Since then we've sailed less than 200 miles as will likely remain the case until we resume cruising out of New Zealand as cyclone season draws to a close.  In between with be catch-up posts and stories of our over-land explorations, and given our impending haul-out, likely a boatwork story or three.  We will update our Navionics charts before we resume sailing.