New Caledonia Cruising Guide

 for News and Feedback




Enjoy these sailing and science adventures on your ebook reader (available in mobi and epub formats)

Error of Expectations ebook

Error of Expectations €5

Interval of Surprise ebook

Interval of Surprise €5

Megabeast Perception ebook

Megabeast Perception €5

The Complete Series of all three ebooks.


Silk for your mermaid.

Hand Painted silk scarves

Hand Painted silk scarves from this Magic Sea

How do I stop Windows 10 and other programs from doing background uploads and downloads while I am cruising?


A friend of ours uses a Satellite phone for connecting to the Internet while cruising. He was going nuts because his data download bills were insanely high even when he was just doing a couple of emails.

He KNEW something was uploading and downloading in the background but could not discover what it was or how to stop it. This can also be a major pain with data connections using mobile phones, especially when cruising in a foreign country.

The first suspect is, of course, Windows 10 which does background uploads and downloads without letting the user know. Windows 10 is especially difficult because Microsoft won't let you turn off automatic windows updates.

The second suspect is the computer maker. Lenovo (which my friend was using) is notorious for installing spyware that uploads and downloads information without the user knowing about it. Dell does it too, but not to the same extent.

The third suspect is Chrome and/or Firefox.

So how do you stop what's eating your mobile data?

#1 - CRITICAL - make a restore point so you can undo any changes that mess up your system.

Click on the start button or the magnifying glass icon and enter Restore Point - click on the Create a Restore Point link in the list that shows up.

When the window below opens, click on the create button, enter a name for the restore point, and save it.

restore point

Windows 10

Windows 10 doesn't let you stop automatic background downloads, but you can put it off when using a satellite or mobile phone connection.

The very easiest way to stop Windows AutoUpdates is to use the simple, tiny program called ConfigureAutomaticUpdates tool . After downloading right click on the program and select "run as administrator" - The program starts and is just one single window. Read what it says and click on the button that says "Disabled" and click OK. Windows won't download anything until you run the program again and click on "Enabled".

That takes care of Windows auto-updates but there may be other sneaky apps that will update in the background.

Here's what you need to do. Click on the little magnifying icon on the task bar - or click on the start button - and type SETTINGS into the window.

When the settings window opens click on the Privacy Icon

Windows 10 Privacy

Now go down the list of items in the left menu bar and in the right column, turn off anything you don't want sneaking uploads and downloads in the background.

Windows 10 Privacy Protection



Turn off all the other hidden data-use parasites in Windows 10 "Schedule Tasks"

You'll be floored when you see what little data sucking creatures are hiding on your computer; especially if you have a Lenovo.

We now go to the Schedule Tasks window where your computer releases those data parasites into the wild.

To open the schedule tasks window, Click the lower-left Start button or the magnifying glass icon and, enter schedule in the empty box and select Schedule tasks from the results.

When the Schedule Tasks Window opens click on a folder icon in the Task Scheduler (local) menu. this will reveal Named actions scheduled to deploy in the background.

Click on a named action in the center column and in the right hand menu click "disable" - You could delete some actions - like sending customer satisfaction information to Lenovo - but it might not be a good idea to delete some of the actions under the Windows list. Disabling an action will let you come back and enable it again if your computer freaks out. Don't go wild here, just get rid of marketing ploys like Customer Experience Programs etc.

Windows 10 Schedule Task Window

I disabled the following actions in the Microsoft Tasks:

  • Customer Experience Improvement Program (disable all 4 actions)
  • Windows Error Reporting
  • Windows Update (Not needed if you have used the Configure Auto Update tool above - If you didn't use that tool you can disable the first 6 named actions, leave sihboot enabled. ) - you will need to enable these again when you are using a normal Internet connection and want to download updates again.

There's MORE Data parasites lurking on some computers.

Lenovo's Superfish scandal reveals that some hidden software uploads information about your computer activities without you knowing about it and displaying advertisements in your browsers (with you paying for the advertisements in data-use).

Dumping the Superfish:

Open the Windows Control Panel, select Programs and click Uninstall a Program. Search the list for VisualDiscovery. If it is there, click the program and select Uninstall. If it WAS there, you'll need to go one step further and uninstall hidden certificates for Superfish.

Click on the Windows Start button and enter certmgr.msc in the search box. Launch the certmgr.msc program, click on Trusted Root Certification Authorities, followed by Certificates. Search through the certificates for anything mentioning Superfish Inc. Once you have found the certificates, right-click them and select Delete.

Taming Your Browser (Chrome and Firefox)

Click on the Chrome menu (or press Alt+E) Select Settings. Click on the link titled 'Show advanced settings' Under the section headed 'System' untick the box next to "Continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed"

Both Firefox and Chrome will update to the latest version in the background without telling you, munching happily on your mobile or satellite data use.

Older versions of these browsers let you turn this auto-update off. No Longer. To protect you from cyber nuts and their own incompetence in making an unsecured software system, the auto-update is now a bit of a challenge to turn off. Here's how to do it:

Note: This also turns off auto-updates for other Google apps on your computer - like Google Earth.

For Chrome, Click on the start button or the magnifying glass icon and enter msconfig in the box and hit enter. It will open the System Configuration Window.

In the System Configuration window, click the Services tab. At the bottom, check the box "Hide All Microsoft Services". This will hide all the services related to Microsoft so that you don't disable essential services. Under services section search and find Google Update (gupdate) and Google Update (gupdatem).

Disable Google Chrome Auto Update

Uncheck both the Google Services and click the Apply button. Click OK to save the settings.

You can also uncheck any other service that is eating data in the background (like Dell Customer Connect, Dell Digital Delivery Service, Dell Update Service)

Firefox at least will let you set up the browser to notify you when an update is available, but won't download it and install it untill you say it's OK.

Click on the menu icon in the top right of the tool bar and select Options. Then click on Advanced and select "Never Check for Updates" or "Check for updates, but let me choose whether to install them".

Updating When you Get Back

You DO really need to update your browsers and Windows OS when you return to a port and have a good WiFi or land-line Internet connection.

Bookmark this page so you can return here and reverse what you have just done when you are ready to update your system again. :-)




Call Richard 87 95 63 to purchase the guide directly from the author or purchase the guide from Chloe at Yacht Agent Noumea Ocean Services- her phone number, email and location are on the Noumea Ocean website.

Cruising Guide to New Caledonia DVD

Order the 2017 Cruising Guide to New Caledonia on DVD

Includes the companion Activity and Travel Guide.
Works on Windows (XP or later) and MacIntosh (OSX 10.7 or later).

This is an excellent gift for someone who plans on cruising, chartering, surfing, kayaking or diving in New Caledonia.

There is an extra charge to mail the DVD to an address that is not your billing address and they cannot be mailed to a mid-Pacific Island address, like Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga or Samoa.

Terms of Sale and Privacy Statement

Mailed to your Billing Address

Euro €125.00.

Mailed to a Transient Address

Euro €145.00.

DVD nautical guides to New Caledonia and Vanuatu

Special 4 Guide set:

Cruising and Travel Guides to Vanuatu and New Caledonia

If you are also planning to cruise Vanuatu, we have a special offer for all 4 guides that includes the New Caledonia cruising and tourism guides plus the latest Nautical Rocket Guide to Vanuatu and it's companion Travel Guide to Vanuatu.

There is an extra charge to mail the DVD to an address that is not your billing address and they cannot be mailed to a mid-Pacific Island address, like Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga or Samoa.

Mailed to your Billing Address

Euro €210.00.

Mailed to a Transient Address

Euro €220.00.


If you have a good fast Internet connection you can download your guides now.

After payment you will be transferred to a page with installation instructions and download links..

At the same time you will also be sent a receipt for your purchase and a separate email with the links plus detailed installation and activation instructions. You need that email to get the download and activation instructions and access to the online activation center so if you don't see it in your inbox check your spam box.

The links are only valid 48 hours so be ready to do the big downloads within 48 hours before making payment. You HAVE to use a download manager because these are big files.
We recommend

The downloader assures the download will be uncorrupted. Many people who do not use a download manager have problems and waste their time and mine with download issues. In the end they use a download manager program and have no problem. So do it right the first time, please, the download manager program does not cost anything and will greatly speed up the download for you.

Windows Download New Caledonia

Requires XP or later

Installation file for the cruising guide is 386MB and the companion Activity and Travel Guide 481MB - Euro €125.00.

Mac Download New Caledonia

Requires Mac OSX 10.7 to OSX 10.10.2

Installation file for the guide is 403MB and the companion Activity and Travel Guide 561MB - Euro €125.00.

Windows Download
Vanuatu + New Caledonia

Requires Windows XP or later

Installation files for the 4 guides to Vanuatu and New Caledonia are 220MB, 480MB, 386MB, 481MB - Euro 210.00

Mac Download
Vanuatu + New Caledonia

Requires Mac OSX 10.7 to OSX 10.10.2

Installation files for the 4 guides to Vanuatu and New Caledonia are 225MB, 494MB , 403MB, 561MB - Euro 210.00