John Nicholls' articles

  • Captain James Cook in Vanuatu

    - 6 years ago
    Captain James Cook in Vanuatu 27/10/1728 - 14/02/1779 James Cook was the second son of nine children, from a simple Scottish farm labourer (James) and his Yorkshire wife (Grace). He was born in a two-roomed thatched cottage in Marton Village, Cleveland County, England. The young James chose early to be a master mariner and discoverer. His passion to master astronomy, advanced mathematics, the intricacies of seamanship and surveying, the arts of command, visualizing and planning ruthlessl…

  • The peopling of Oceania.

    - October 26, 2013
    The peopling of Oceania The earliest ancestors of Oceanian peoples were probably living at least 75,000 years ago in South East Asia, which then consisted of a unified land-mass known as Sunda. The more adventurous of these peoples attempted, for the first time in human history, to navigate the open oceans to the east, probably using simple canoes to travel from island to island in the direction of Wallacea. By 50,000 years BP, they had reached the sub-continent of Sahul - which today compri…

  • MT. YASUR VOLCANO, TANNA ISLAND

    - September 29, 2013
    Our earth is an enormous thermal machine, the disintegration of its radioactive elements supplying the energy that moves its continents at its surface. Volcanic activity results from the continual movement of matter within our planet, generating volcano ranges in the expansion zone (ridge) generally under the ocean surface, or those of convergence, or subsidence. “Hot spot’ volcanoes represent a third category. Vanuatu’s volcanoes are located in one of these areas of convergence, where the…

  • HISTORY - TANNA ISLAND

    - September 29, 2013
    Tanna emerged from the sea only about one million years ago, much later than other islands in the archipelago. Tanna was first populated approximately 400BC. The inhabitants traded with neighbouring islands including the Kanake of New Caledonia. Captain Cook sighted the island’s Yasur volcano glow from afar and anchored in a small bay on the east side of the island in August 1774. Naming the bay Port Resolution after his vessel. He attempted to climb the volcano, but because it was tab…

  • Tanna Island our home.

    - September 29, 2013
    Tanna is an island where tourism is new to local inhabitants. A small number of guesthouse, village “bungalows” and “resorts” have been established by the local villagers and do not fit any Western standard of accommodation criteria. Most are built of local materials (wood and leaves), floors can be mats on dirt or bamboo; beds are made of locally processed wood; toilet facilities can be very basic; running water is not common. Food is always locally grown and what is available on the day.…