Posted by: rosyroadsadventures | February 3, 2012

Internet Hell

Simpson Bay Lagoon, Marigot, St. Martin

We spent most of Thursday trying to get better internet access. We decided to move the boat to a mooring closer to the marina. It was an exercise in frustration and we ended the day with NO internet instead of intermittent internet. A Captain Bligh mood prevailed.

Who would have figured that connectivity would be such an important aspect of our days aboard? On prior boating vacations we enjoyed a brief respite from surfing and e-mailing. Living aboard and traveling we thought it would suffice to get on-line every week or so. If necessary we could go to an internet cafe ashore to take care of our communication needs.

We depend on the internet even more now: weather forecasts, e-mails to family and friends, banking, bill paying, blogging, reading blogs related to future destinations, social networks, cruiser networks, customs information, shopping, reading scans of our paper mail, and this week, preparing our tax return. My nieces post video clips of their activities on YouTube and this is a wonderful way to stay in touch with their lives. Then there is internet phone. We have found that with good connectivity, Google Voice and Skype are better options for us than our cheap satellite phone, which is often frustrating to use, and the dollar per minute satellite phone, which could break the bank.

In practice, going ashore to use internet cafes is a pain. For convenience, connecting our computers through the boat’s wifi system is the way to go. In most places we have been able to accomplish that. Not every day, though, and sometimes with painfully slow service.

St. Martin has been a particularly tough spot because they have so many wifi signals competing for airspace. Busy season and all the mega yachts makes it worse. Bob laments we had better service in Luperon Harbor in the Dominican Republic! There are a couple more options to check out here.

If you can decipher this post it is thanks to an option WordPress has to post text via e-mail and the 3G connection in the old style Kindle that is an emergency browser. It is my first time trying this method for posting and I apologize for any glitches and typos.

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Responses

  1. Looks like your blog updated just fine! Bummer that you struck out with the move closer to marina. Did you wind up staying in your new location, or move back to original spot? I was just commenting to Doug about how impressed I was with your internet phone service back in Luperon! St. Maarten has always been tough. As you said, I think it is all of the mega yachts, with their snazzy electronic systems!

    I gave up years ago and started renting a cell phone in St. Maarten. Last year we went back to our Verizon cell and stuck to texting. This semed to be the most economical for us. Of course, when you have good internet service, your Google Voice was perfect!

    • We stayed in the new spot a few rows closer to the signal. Bob went ashore and visited the marina office and they discovered something was not working right on their end. Then he replaced our wifi antenna with a new and improved version. This is one of those times when we regret not having a huge mast. The sailors can put their antennas much higher. It seems to be working better now. What we won’t do for internet access!!


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