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Old 26-03-2010, 17:30   #1
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Wi Fi in The Exumas

Not having cruised south of the Abacos for many years I am wondering what wi-fi is available south of there, particularly in the Exumas.
Any information would be most appreciated.
Thanks.
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Old 26-03-2010, 19:01   #2
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haven't been there since 2007, but there is wifi available in warderick wells, although pretty expensive - i think ten dollars a day or some such thing.
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Old 26-03-2010, 20:15   #3
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Warderick Wells, Staniel and Georgetown were places I got online this winter. I read a coffee shop in Little Farmers offers it as well as many of the marinas at points further north.

I think Warderick Wells and Staniel were each $10 for a day. I got it free from Exuma Markets in Georgetown, but know there was pay service there as well.

I believe the current Explorer Charts lists many of the places where internet is available.
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Old 26-03-2010, 20:29   #4
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Just got back from Exumas: Waderick, Sampson, Staniel and Georgetown are all reliable places for WiFi. Some might reach your boat, others you go ashore. Very few free ones anymore, most are daily or weekly rates. Possible others are Black Point, Farmers and Highborne.
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Old 27-03-2010, 07:14   #5
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I just came across a website that listed the following:

Highbourne Cay (Exumas)
Normans Cay (Exumas)
Warderick Wells Land & Sea Park (Exumas)
Compass Cay (Exumas)
Pipe Creek (Exumas)
Sampson Cay (Exumas)
Staniel Cay (Exumas)
Black Point (Exumas)
Farmers Cay (Exumas)
George Town (Exumas)

It did not say if the marinas were password protected, pay or free if you are close enough. I read in another blog that the Emerald Bay Marina provides it free for guests.
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Old 27-03-2010, 12:06   #6
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We have been in the Exumas for three months and have rarely been without wifi from Normans Cay to Georgetown. We have a very good wifi extender which is almost a necessity if you want to use wifi onboard. Many people bring their laptops ashore and sit outside a provider, such as a marina or store. Exuma Wifi is available from Warderick Wells to Staniel Cay (maybe a little beyond). You buy the prepaid card online or in one of the marinas or stores. It is $10 a day, $25 for three days, $55 for seven days, and another price for a month. They do limit the usage. I've been getting the three day card and it's good for 750 MB. I think the one day is 200 MB.

In Georgetown there are a few free sites. Exuma Market (large grocery store) provides free wifi, although you have to bring your computer into town and sit outside the store. There are several providers you have to pay for, although you need a wifi extender to get it from your boat. I used Harbour wifi, which was a prepaid card for $15 and lasted a week.

At Black Point, free wifi is available at Lorraine's Cafe and also at Scorpios Bar, although they do expect a small donation at Lorraine's and I believe you have to buy something at Scorpios. Lorraine has what amounts to a computer lab set up for cruisers so you don't even need to use your own computer, although everyone does. They don't broadcast outside their buildings, so you have to come in to town to use wifi in Black Point. We don't stay at marinas, but I believe in some of the marinas you are able to use their wifi.

If you are lucky, you will pick up "free" sites, although I don't think they are intentionally "free." Someone just hasn't figured out how to password protect them yet. I've occasionally found one, but they aren't reliable and don't last for long. Weíve heard that each year in the Bahamas there are fewer free sites.

Phone service is usually good and Batelco towers are all shown on the Explorer Charts. We have found it a good idea to have a Bahamas phone, or any phone that isn't locked and can accept one of their cards. During the three months we have been here, I have called my daughter every night for under two minutes on the Bahamas phone and have spent about $75 so far. (She is 30 years old and autistic. This is something we have always done Ė well worth the price for me.) There have only been a couple of nights when we haven't had phone service.

We have also had very good luck using a MagicJack phone when we've had Internet service. Skype phones probably work just as well. Weíve discovered that the connection is better when you call someone on a cell phone, rather than a landline.

Another interesting bit of communication service in part of the Exumas is free TV. If you have an antenna and an HDTV on board, you will be able to get NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox and several Bahamian stations from around Staniel Cay (maybe a little farther north) to Barretarre. The satellite is in Little Farmer's Cay and broadcasts out that far north and south. Boats with Follow Me Direct TV and other Satellite TV services lose the signal at various points in the Exumas as they head south.

These are the places we have stopped so far in the Bahamas, and have rarely been without Internet or phone service. The only cays without good service were around Lee Stocking Island, Rudder Cay, and Musha Cay.

Going south:
Bimini
Nassau
Normanís Cay
Hawksbill Cay
Warderick Wells
Cambridge Cay
Pipe Cay
Rat Cay
Sampson Cay
Thomas Cay
Big Majors
Staniel Cay
Black Point
Little Farmerís Cay
Rudder Cay
Leaf Cay
Georgetown

Going North:
Lee Stocking Island
Leaf Cay/Normanís Pond
Rudder Cay/Musha Cay
Galliot Cay/Little Farmerís Cay
Blackpoint
Big Majorís Cay/Staniel Cay

Jan
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Old 28-03-2010, 18:34   #7
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Jan - curious as to what wifi extender you used. It's clear you were able to pick up wifi many places I couldn't with my fairly modest one. I think an upgrade might be in order for me.
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Old 29-03-2010, 20:06   #8
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We got our wifi extender from Wifi Solutions WiFi Solutions Lynx in Ft. Lauderdale. The units are made by Al Francone who is a cruiser and lives aboard his sailboat. They aren't cheap, but I feel you get what you pay for and ours has gotten very strong signals almost everywhere we've been. Right now we are anchored between Tamarind Cay (Rat Cay) and the mice. We are at least 3 1/2 miles from Sampson Cay where the signal I'm using is coming from and I am getting a total of 16 wifi signals right now. Most, of course, are encrypted. Our unit works with both of our computers, a PC and Mac. It cost $425. One thing I like about it is that it is plug and play. We run it up a halyard and a long USB cord goes into the computer. We downloaded a driver for it and that was the only thing we did before it was operational.
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