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Old 21-03-2012, 14:23   #1
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Internet in Dry Tortugas?

I'm supposd to leave tomorrow with my father to sail to the Dry Tortugas. Circumstances at work require me to keep in touch. I understand there are no mobile phone towers in the Dry Tortugas -- anyone know whether there is any kind of Internet service at all? Otherwise I'm going to have to rent a sat phone
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Old 21-03-2012, 15:46   #2
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Re: Internet in Dry Tortugas?

The park rangers have internet via satellite, but they won't share beyond publishing the daily weather forecast. You'll have to bring your own.
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Old 21-03-2012, 16:36   #3
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Re: Internet in Dry Tortugas?

I was just there last month in a 15 ft catboat. (Trip West of Key West) There is no cell coverage or internet. The rangers post the weather forecast each morning and there is a VHF radio with an antenna mounted very high for public use.
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Old 21-03-2012, 16:57   #4
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Re: Internet in Dry Tortugas?

Satt phone or SSB are about your only options. Does your Dad's boat have an SSB aboard?
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Old 21-03-2012, 17:00   #5
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Re: Internet in Dry Tortugas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmacdonald View Post
I was just there last month in a 15 ft catboat. (Trip West of Key West) There is no cell coverage or internet. The rangers post the weather forecast each morning and there is a VHF radio with an antenna mounted very high for public use.
Ah yes, there are VHF repeaters in the area so VHF might be another comm option.
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Old 21-03-2012, 17:02   #6
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Re: Internet in Dry Tortugas?

I see a satphone in your future
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Old 21-03-2012, 17:07   #7
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My claim to fame in Dry Tortugas was as a volunteer there about 14 years ago, I set up their sat phone modem and networked it to the 3 other computers in the office. I also painted cannonballs :-)

Things may have changed since then (although somehow I doubt it), but it was very slow (4800 baud on a good day) and really only used for CC:Mail, official business and some approved R&R web browsing. It would have to be a fairly serious emergency for them to let visitors use it.
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Old 21-03-2012, 17:56   #8
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Re: Internet in Dry Tortugas?

Sat phone it is! Thanks for the input!
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Old 21-03-2012, 21:41   #9
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Just reading this again.. Back in the day, there used to be a a sat based payphone that took credit cards (voice only, no data).

Cost was something like $10-15 a minute. A few years ago when I was out there, I don't recall seeing it, but it could have been moved.. Anyone know if it's still there?

BTW, don't rely on the VHF repeater. It was sitting on a corroded metal post in the middle of the ocean halfway out there from Key West, and would "occasionally " be fixed whenever it broke.

So, yes.. A satphone of your own is what you'd want. On the plus side, the smelly, rusty, rough looking boats that seek shelter there might be interested in swapping fresh grouper and shrimp for some airtime, although the absolute best currency is a case of bud.
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