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Old 02-08-2012, 20:47   #1
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The Great Loop

Hello, New to this world but I am eager to dive in head first. I am trying to convince my wife that we need to sell everything and live the rest of our lives circling the loop. I am a computer programmer and will need to maintain some activity in the rat race, but I have one big concern that I am wondering about. Maybe someone fluent with the loop can provide some insight.

If we take the intercostal waterways up the Atlantic coast, are there cell signals suitable to carry the data required for a reliable Internet connection? Large files can be burned to disc and dropped in the post, but some connectivity to deal with clients and emails will be required. Is that possible while out on the water?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks very much in advance for feedback.

Brian.
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Old 02-08-2012, 21:31   #2
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Re: The Great Loop

It all depends on your service provider and the amounts of data you want to pay for. You would not want to send tons of data over Iridium. I don't see any problem with wireless although it would be spotty in some areas. I have lots of websites, I don't have any problem updating them anywhere in the world. There are tons of hotspots everywhere around the world.
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Old 02-08-2012, 22:17   #3
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Re: The Great Loop

2 years ago we did the bottom part of the loop, from Mobile up to Nashville, and back, haveing a 1500 mile range with the boat we were in we had no fuel problems. The trip was fine we had a great time, with just the wife and I we still had no problem with the locks! And we ate the fish we caught and are still alive and kicking, of course we eat the fish in Louisiana so we are used to brown water fish !!LOL We saw folks getting fuel by walking or takeing a taxi to a service station in a little town near a marina that had no diesel fuel, and bringing back jerry jugs of diesel. Nice trip have fun and I hope ya air Conditioning if ya go in the summer you will need it LOL
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Old 02-08-2012, 22:19   #4
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Re: The Great Loop

O and I forgot ! we had AT@T and Connie had service over half the time ! so her I Phone worked and we had internet with that !!!
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Old 02-08-2012, 23:04   #5
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Re: The Great Loop

Just like you have to watch for weather windows, you will have to plan being away from the internet at times... However, I travel to some far out there places an am surprised that the cell phone still works. I think most places along the Great Loop are now fairly developed anyways.

You can always look into getting a good cell phone signal repeater/amplifier too.
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:29   #6
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Re: The Great Loop

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Brian.
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:42   #7
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Just came down from Chi south to Fla & up to New England.

I'd estimate I had 3g Verizon about 60% of the route. Many parts of the Illinois River, the Tennessee, the Ten Tom and Mobile river had 1x or less. Also parts of the Carolinas & Va are 1x or less. Guestimate of about 10%, maybe more, had no data at all.

I was surprised to see many places in Long Island Sound with 1x as well.
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Old 03-08-2012, 09:23   #8
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Re: The Great Loop

Welcome aboard, Brian! You may find the most difficulty getting the right service for the Canadian part of the trip without getting hammered in the wallet...but there are ways to deal with that, too. In the US, if you need a constant connection, you may have issues on parts of the inland rivers and a few spots in the wilds of the east coast; however, if being off the net for just a day here and there isn't an issue, a 4G mi-fi, iPhone, or android phone opened as a hot spot for your laptop should work great. If you get desperate, just about every town has a cafe or library where you can catch up. Verizon is hands-down the best U.S. coverage according to all the cruisers I talk to. Hope you go, and have a great adventure! Keep up on the issues on water levels and fuel availability on the rivers and canals. I'll keep an eye out for you.
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Old 03-08-2012, 09:28   #9
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Re: The Great Loop

Verizon bought out alltell in the last year. You should have good coverage now through North and South Carolina.

Dale
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Old 03-08-2012, 17:45   #10
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Thanks folks, for all of the answers. I am looking forward to the adventure. Still a little convincing to do with the wife. She is not as eager as myself. My argument is strengthened by the ability to continue to work and collaborate on projects with customers/clients. We do have Verizon and I do have hotspot capabilities with the phone. The repeater is a great idea and may be a worthwhile investment.

Thanks again for the input and the warm reception to your forums. Happy boating folks!
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Old 03-08-2012, 18:29   #11
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Re: The Great Loop

Brian, I would suggest considering two approaches to wifi connections. Get a data plan from Verizon, they have the best coverage, and set up a wifi "amplifier" on the boat. There are a gazillion post here on the subject. We have used our wifi set up from Houston to the Keys and from the Keys to the Chesapeake and were only offline while out in the Everglades at Indian Key and Shark River. Everywhere else we had wifi. The Verizon data plan will cover you when an open wifi signal is not available. You may find some isolated places along the inland river where coverage is spotty but they will be very few. Most Loopers report almost no loss of coverage. We are outfitting our boat for the Loop as we speak and plan to start in 2013. I hope everything works out for you. I would suggest you look at the AGLCA website and even if you are not a member you can access many members blogs and websites. Perhaps some reading for the Wife might change her mind. Good luck. Chuck
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Old 23-08-2012, 21:23   #12
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Re: The Great Loop

Aloha and welcome aboard!
Good to have you here and I hope you've found your answer.
kind regards,
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