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Old 16-08-2006, 09:23   #1
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A Cruisers Wi-Fi Directory

Hmmmm. I got an odd little notice when I logged on: "Hello KaptainKen it appears that you have not posted on our forums in several weeks..." which invited me to post something ... anything.

So, here goes: Is there now or should there be a Wi-Fi directory related to cruisers? Is there one on this forum that I have overlooked?

It seems like more and more areas are becoming Wi-Fi enabled. Some are available at marinas (free or for a fee) and some are accessible even from anchorages or public docks. All other things being equal, a directory listing wireless internet availability could make the difference between choosing one transient marina over another (for a layover when cruising), or anchoring at a particular place instead pressing on to the next. It would give a computer equipped cruiser a chance to answer e-mails, pay bills, up date blogs, etc.

Many public libraries have internet access, but many have restrictive time limits for non-residents. For example, ten minutes in Block Island, Rhode Island and that's at a "stand-up" terminal.

If any of the 3000 plus Cruisers Forum members here know of Wi-Fi enabled marinas, docks or anchorages post them on this thread. Include fees (if any), range, reliability and whatever comments you might think useful for fellow cruisers. Personal experience would be better than "Someone told me they got a wireless connection near ...."

If this is a good idea and lots of posts are made, I'll consolidate them and post a directory organized in some way or another from time to time. That is, I'll do it unless someone else volunteers or the administrators here have a better way of organizing this.

I'll start:

Oriential, North Carolina: Free Wi-Fi connection at "The Bean" coffee shop at the head of the harbor. Range extends to include the free public dock also at the head of the harbor and directly across the street.

Midway Marina, Coinjock, North Carolina: Free wireless internet with dockage.

Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts: The Public Library has terminals available free for non-residents for a limited time period, however a free wireless connection can be made within a few feet of the front entrance even while the library is closed. "Sit on the stairs and hook up!'
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Old 16-08-2006, 09:37   #2
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This is a decent idea, but perhaps to make it more useful the wifi location could be placed on a scaleable map with the "range" of the station indicated by a circle.

If the map were "intereactive" so that people cold place a WiFi station on it and not rely on someone else to program it it would be like a wikipedia type resource.

The map could be a link on this Site and would only require some basic "programming"...

What say you?

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Old 16-08-2006, 10:43   #3
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In an attempt to secure our system I played around with War Driving a bit after we installed the APs here at the office. During that process I ran across this address. I have not looked at it in a long time so I can not vouch for its accuracy.

http://www.wifimaps.com/
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Old 16-08-2006, 13:07   #4
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Annapolis Free Wifi

Annapolis now has free Wifi...we used it earlier this summer on a mooring above the Spa Creek bridge...Skipper Bob at one time included little Wifi symbols for places that had it but those I do not believe were free to the public, his newer editions have deleted some of those...Charleston like a lot of cities is putting in city-wide Wifi now whether it will be free remains to be seen...also Out Island Internet in the Abacos, which is not free, mentioned they were going to expand this fall to include Governor's Harbor, Eleuthera and GT, Exuma in the spring...but we'll believe it when we see it...
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Old 16-08-2006, 13:24   #5
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That Map thing is dumb.

What you want is a map where you can zoom to a location and SEE the location of the hot spots and their range.

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Old 16-08-2006, 13:50   #6
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That is what it used to do... right down to the home APs in the houses along the bay and if they are secured or not. Is it not working any longer?
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Old 16-08-2006, 14:56   #7
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Interesting comments, so far.

defjef: An internet map of hot spots would be nice but you already have to be connected to view it. A "Wiki" style directory would be better because it would be up-datable on a continuous basis and a cruiser could print it out before a cruise and at any convenient point en-route. (I don't have the expertise to set up a wiki, but I'm a good list maker.)

A certain amount of organization would be still be required. Probably by cruising "areas". R2boat mentioned Annapolis, which would be in the Chesapeake Bay area, Charleston would probably be included in an ICW list and the Abacos which would probably be in a "Bahamas, Abacos and Turks and Caicos" group. A geographically random list of Wi-Fi access points would be cumbersome to the point of being useless. For example, a cruiser in the Florida Keys should not have to wade through tens (hundreds?) of listings along the New England coast to find a Keys hot spot he could use.

Pura Vida: By "...home APs..." do you mean personal residential access points? I'm not sure of the ethics of jumping on to a private or business wireless access. Probably be best to include only APs intended for public access.

Keep the suggestions and listings coming.
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Old 16-08-2006, 15:14   #8
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Hey Ken...what is the WIFI situation there now at Vero Beach on the moorings?
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Old 16-08-2006, 15:16   #9
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It would be nice to have the WIFI list and info live in the CaptainWiki Cruising logs. It would give you one stop shopping for best anchorages, WIFI spots, provisions, etc.
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Old 16-08-2006, 15:29   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R2boat
Hey Ken...what is the WIFI situation there now at Vero Beach on the moorings?
There's a pay service but the range is not the best, you have to be on a mooring near the fuel dock.
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Old 16-08-2006, 19:34   #11
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KaptainKen and all,
Good point and I agree that there are definate ethical challenges to WarDriving. Personally I have only used the methods as a way of testing my own networks. I buy all the software I don't write (and music too). Anyway enough of my soapbox. The site used to provide lists of known access point and some were private while others were public. It was simply the most comprehensive list I had seen.

Recently I contracted with Nextel Sprint and got a wireless cell card in the deal. I love it.
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Old 18-08-2006, 08:07   #12
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Hi again;

Thanks for your input and comments. After a couple days consideration I have come to realize that Wi-Fi accessibility is, after all, only one aspect relating to the selection of a marina or anchorage. And a "Wiki" type user editable list is best for this sort of thing anyway. Randy is right.

So, why re-invent the wheel? I checked out a couple of existing Cruiser Wiki's and found CaptainWiki already has a Wi-Fi hotspot list in the process of creation.

It is at http://captainwiki.com/index.php?title=WIFI_Hotspots

I signed up and found I am "user number 89" so, obviously it's new. At present CaptainWiki has a unfortunate lack of ports-of-call descriptions ... but, I guess it's just starting up. I plan to make a few entries and I suggest others do the same. Just ordinary stuff will do, I guess. After all info that "everyone knows" has to be learned the first time. For example, it took me four trips down the ICW before I learned that there is a free dock for transients in Portsmouth, Virginia.

That sort of thing.
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Old 14-11-2006, 22:18   #13
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CaptainWiki.com

Hey, it's been awhile but I'm new to this forum and just came across a mention to my site CaptainWiki.com! I am open to suggestions of how to make this Wifi page a little more usefull. However, I think the way to go is to add the Wifi info into the actual marina/island or anchorage that it applies. Let me know if you have any more suggestions about the site or WIFI page.

Cheers!
Ben
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Old 18-11-2006, 12:58   #14
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Thumbs up wifi access

in annapolis the area down town near fawcetts has a free hi speed wifi
that is ad driven it covers most of spa creek.
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Old 19-11-2006, 04:22   #15
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Sitting here on a mooring in Stuart FL (Southpoint Anchorage) with free WiFi... It's good!!!
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