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WiFi Going South – A Cruiser’s Companion By Kent Trompeter

The particular ISP was “OII,” he anchor is down and and as I was to discover, it had set, a cool beverage is in the entire area in and around your hand and a sight for Marsh Harbor covered with sore eyes magically appears WiFi. You signed up once and on the PC screen, “One or as long as you could get a sigmore wireless connections are nal from “OII,” you could get in range.” Without leaving the connected. The area was not boat, we can check e-mail, without competition, as Cocheck weather and—if we CoTels (Cocoanut Telegraph) have a good connection—we also provided service, but it can even “phone home.” was not as widespread as On the other hand, if that “OII.” We had service with magical message doesn’t “OII” from Bakers Bay to appear, we climb into the Little Harbour with few if any dinghy and go ashore looking service outages. for the ubiquitous “Internet As we continued south Cafe.” through the Abacos and I do not profess to be the Exumas, WiFi was a hit-andexpert on WiFi or on the best miss proposition. We found spot for WiFi in the Caribbean. WiFi at Sampson Cay, and at I can only provide informaWarderick Wells, WiFi was tion on the experiences we’ve available, but you had to go to had on Southern Mist II in our the Exuma Park office and sit travels from the west coast of on the porch in order to use it, Florida to Trinidad. but it was a great view! The Once we left the United WiFi users linking up in Georgetown. further we sailed down the States and tossed the cell Exuma chain, the fewer instances of WiFi were found. phones happily into the Gulf Stream, communication boiled Finally Georgetown! Georgetown would have WiFi. After down to the VHF, SSB and the Internet. Our first stop was all, they have a couple of regattas every year, and hundreds West End, Bahamas, where they were still re-building after of boats show up. Nope, no WiFi. Not at Hamburger Beach, the hurricanes of 2005 pretty well decimated almost everynot at Volleyball Beach—not even anchored in the little cove thing on the tip of the island. WiFi was not available and in town. Internet connection was not available at the docks. We had After Georgetown it was Long Island, Rum Cay to go ashore and use the computer in the marina office, or and then Mayaguez. WiFi was available at Rum Cay we could use the Internet connection in the customs office. providing you sat outside at the picnic bench along Our next stop was Green Turtle Cay where we were with a thousand swarming mosquitos…we didn’t anchored in White Sound. We had WiFi available at anchor, need to check e-mail that bad. provided by the Green Turtle Club, and at the time, it was Leaving the Bahamas in our rearview mirror, our next free of charge. We next found ourselves anchored at Bakers stop was the Turks and Caicos. Like most other cruisers, our Bay, and I could look ashore and see the WiFi antennae. The first stop was Sapodilla Bay, and it does not have WiFi. It signal was excellent and it was easy to sign up and sign on.


42 June 2007


Southwinds June 2007

Southwinds June 2007