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Old 16-04-2009, 10:12   #16
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Just found this thread and we are heading out this fall from Vancouver Island south to Sea of Cortez then hopefully Costa Rica. This free internet-I would need WIFI. Does that come with most laptops or do I have to purchase an account? As for the cheap internet --how do I access that? I am a computer user for many years but not on the sea. Learned the other day about mobile broad band and understand that is a purchased UPS or phone card that connects with Satelite but not redialy available in for the sea of Cortez. Correct? or has that changed. Totally understand the trade off of crusing and land living.........just want to have what I need before I leave land. Thanks for all your info.
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Old 16-04-2009, 10:21   #17
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I'm sitting in a slip in La Paz. Yesterday I listened to internet radio all day. Free.

Many people seem to be pretty happy with the Telcel 3G internet connection once they get away from the city.
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Old 16-04-2009, 10:41   #18
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Doing the homeschooling yourself with the kids will make a vast improvement on relationships. 20 hrs a week internet connection will make you a slave to this system. The idea is to become self suffecient, and free from the everyday. Do you really want to coordinate your cruising around 20 hrs a week of internet time, so someone else can teach your children? I would think this will add stress, and unhappiness to your cruising.

Anyone who has cruised for sometime, or done passages. They know keeping a tight schedule like that causes you to make very bad decisions on when to, and where to travel. I would find another way to school the kids.

Yes, I know this thread is from last year, but it will be brought to life again. Just as it has been brought back to life now......i2f
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Old 16-04-2009, 12:59   #19
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My daughter wants to take a few college classes while cruising with us in Mexico this year and for exactly the reasons stated above we have decided to enroll her in classes that have a work at your own pace policy. There are only a few colleges that provide this type of schedule but I cannot see it working any other way while cruising.
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Old 16-04-2009, 13:24   #20
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You should be more friendly to techs, they are people to! Oh well, let me thing about that.

Often times we are confused that just because something is readily available that it is not extremely complex. Getting bidirectional feeds from an to a satellite 22 thousand miles away while moving, in water, that's rocking, in a corrosive environment, has no reliable power supply, no readily available support tech, fast, in a geographically remote area, reliably, and cheaply... may be a bit much.

There are lots of satellite communication systems that meet the bill. They are just not cheap. You could look up Globalstar and/or Iridium satellite phones. The equipment is getting "relatively" inexpensive, but the on air time is going to get... EXPENSIVE at 20 hours a week. Oh, and it is not very fast now-a-days with all the visual content being pumped on the web.

So, you may want to consider regular touches at marinas or harbors. Or perhaps something like Verizon mobile broadband (I am not sure about the coverage, you have to be close to a cell tower).

To quote the famous Z. "Sucks, huh?"
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Old 16-04-2009, 14:02   #21
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You should be more friendly to techs, they are people to! Oh well, let me thing about that.

If that was directed to me? Then you misunderstood my intentions. It was meant to be friendly advice. Trying to keep a schedule like that will keep you in marinas, or at least next to them. At least to me the reason for leaving is to leave. To explore, and disconnect from the pressures.

When we cruise for months at a time. We seek out the internet, but it is every couple of weeks. To do banking, and let people know we are alive. That adds up to a couple of hours every couple of weeks, and at our convenience.

Doing 20 hours on probably a 5 day week. Takes 4 hours a day from your life. Everybody gets through life differently, and sees it through different colored glasses. My goodness if the 20 hr week a thing works for them, then bless them!

I will say it again, because it is sound advice. To be cruising, and keeping a schedule that depends on a timely fashion to use the internet. It will sooner, or later put you in some ugly situations with weather. Of course this is just IMHO after sailing 14k cruising miles.........i2f
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Old 16-04-2009, 15:03   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teamfshnakd View Post
I am not very "tech" friendly,
Okay, my wife is right, I am not very funny, even though I keep trying!

The info is accurate as I know it, but I was trying for a spot of levity!

Ahh... Thats better!
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Old 17-04-2009, 09:20   #23
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OKIE DOKE
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Old 17-04-2009, 13:45   #24
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Your best bet is like this:

1. Get an unlocked 3G/HSDPA data card which will fit your laptop. This will cost you $150 or so, not $1500.

2. Sign up for an unlimited data plan with one of the Mexican cell phone companies (Movistar or Telcel; I think Telel is the one with good coverage in Baja but check first). This will cost you about $35/months for "unlimited" data (actually, 3 gigabytes but that should be plenty). These are post-paid plans, so it could be tricky without an address. Use the first marina you check into as your address and pay immediately enough to cover several months service.

3. If that doesn't work, then you can sign up for an AT&T international data plan for $200/mo for 200 megabytes/mo of data.


And away you go. You'll sometimes have 3G data, which is faster than dialup but slowe than broadband. Sometimes you'll have Edge data, which is like a decent dialup connection. You will not get a signal everywhere (Los Frailles, to name one place, has no cell phone signal).

You can improve the range by putting a cell phone repeater or antenna/amplifier at the masthead; better yet a fixed high power marine GSM phone like the Ericsson W25, which is what I intend to put on my boat. But that's a bit like gilding the lily; as long as your coastwise and can tolerate being without coverage a couple days here and there, you'll be fine with the regular data card.


When you are in marinas, you will often have free WiFi (like in La Paz), so you'll be using the cell phone system not all the time.
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