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Old 05-03-2021, 01:32   #1
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Stuart Island WA San Juan Island area

I don't even own a boat yet, I am 2 years out from that. But I am looking to talk with folks that have experience in and around Stuart Island, Roche Harbor. I am thinking about semi-retirement, living at anchor Reid Harbor. The very first thing I need to know is what is the internet like.

I said semi-retirement, I am going to need 24/7 internet to continue to work, and I mean 24/7 people contact me at via internet, whenever they need me. That is the most important thing. Doesn't have to be super fast internet, I am not streaming video. If I have to spend 10k up front for super dooper equipment to achieve what I want, I need to know that up front because it affects what I can spend on the boat and I have to look for a boat that can support that kind of power usage or at least look at up grading so that my boat can do it.

I have tons of questions about this area 1) because I can visit a friend in Duncan BC just 25 miles away and 2) I can spend time with my granddaughter 60 miles away in Tacoma.

I know for a fact I can get solid internet from Iridium because I used Iridium when I was in Iraq in the middle of know where, but it is extremely expensive and if I had to use the same system for what I am doing now, it wouldn't work. Cost would over ride profit. Iridium does have Iridium GO for sailors, I have never used it and will be writing Iridium. But generally people who are in the area should know just how good is the internet in the area and I am not talking about living at the marina at Roche, but anchored at Reid Harbor which is only 5 miles away.

I can't even consider Reid harbor unless I know what the internet is like right now. Then there maybe others out there that know a place you can live at anchor in the general area that already has good internet.

I am a custom load broker for independent truck drivers, in other words I am guy who has done what they are doing, and I know each person, what they like, what they don't like, that means they have to be able to reach me 24/7 and I have to be able to look at loads and negotiate any time day or night. That is why it is called custom you won't have to sit around waiting I will find something for you now. And that is why I need 24/7 internet.

I don't mind spending 10K for equipment, I can write that off as long as I have good connection. I know I can go through Iridium and get exactly what I want but it is more than 40K and and you are charged by the min, that does not work for me. It worked in Iraq because you the tax payer paid for it, ( I don't like when people say the government paid for it, it was your tax dollars)

Anyway anyone who can help here ???
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Old 05-03-2021, 01:54   #2
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Re: Stuart Island WA San Juan Island area

Quote:
Originally Posted by gent48dd View Post
I don't even own a boat yet, I am 2 years out from that. But I am looking to talk with folks that have experience in and around Stuart Island, Roche Harbor. I am thinking about semi-retirement, living at anchor Reid Harbor. The very first thing I need to know is what is the internet like.

I said semi-retirement, I am going to need 24/7 internet to continue to work, and I mean 24/7 people contact me at via internet, whenever they need me. That is the most important thing. Doesn't have to be super fast internet, I am not streaming video. If I have to spend 10k up front for super dooper equipment to achieve what I want, I need to know that up front because it affects what I can spend on the boat and I have to look for a boat that can support that kind of power usage or at least look at up grading so that my boat can do it.

I have tons of questions about this area 1) because I can visit a friend in Duncan BC just 25 miles away and 2) I can spend time with my granddaughter 60 miles away in Tacoma.

I know for a fact I can get solid internet from Iridium because I used Iridium when I was in Iraq in the middle of know where, but it is extremely expensive and if I had to use the same system for what I am doing now, it wouldn't work. Cost would over ride profit. Iridium does have Iridium GO for sailors, I have never used it and will be writing Iridium. But generally people who are in the area should know just how good is the internet in the area and I am not talking about living at the marina at Roche, but anchored at Reid Harbor which is only 5 miles away.

I can't even consider Reid harbor unless I know what the internet is like right now. Then there maybe others out there that know a place you can live at anchor in the general area that already has good internet.

I am a custom load broker for independent truck drivers, in other words I am guy who has done what they are doing, and I know each person, what they like, what they don't like, that means they have to be able to reach me 24/7 and I have to be able to look at loads and negotiate any time day or night. That is why it is called custom you won't have to sit around waiting I will find something for you now. And that is why I need 24/7 internet.

I don't mind spending 10K for equipment, I can write that off as long as I have good connection. I know I can go through Iridium and get exactly what I want but it is more than 40K and and you are charged by the min, that does not work for me. It worked in Iraq because you the tax payer paid for it, ( I don't like when people say the government paid for it, it was your tax dollars)

Anyway anyone who can help here ???
Hi,

I don't live in the SAn Juans but I have sailed there - just last summer. In general, internet in the islands sucks. Sorry for the language but internet is bad there - unless you are paying the big bucks for being in a marina.

You might be able to find a good phone connection (we sometimes were able to - but it was spotty). If you can find an anchorage with a really good mobil phone antenna - you can hotspot off your phone.

I suspect that if you anchor off Annacortes - you might find a good connection there. Anchoring off Port Townsend is also a possibility

The more remote your anchorage the worse your connection will be.

I hate to disappoint you - but at the moment there is no cheap reliable internet for cruisers. Skylink will be up and running in few years - then it will be possible
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Old 05-03-2021, 02:54   #3
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Re: Stuart Island WA San Juan Island area

If you want to be in the very north area of the San Juans, like Reid Harbor, you'll need a cell plan that includes Canada, as you will connect as often to a Canadian tower as to a US.
Here's a discussion
https://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/...nna-43905.html
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Old 05-03-2021, 04:35   #4
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Re: Stuart Island WA San Juan Island area

I am holding off on any major coms package because there is a good chance something like Skylink could be a major game changer. Right now a cell booster, external antenna and a phone for a hotspot. looks like the ticket. Skylink is just starting to advertise in the Philippines. I have no idea what kind of antenna will be necessary. Good news is you wont have to hump a PRC-77
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Old 05-03-2021, 08:51   #5
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Re: Stuart Island WA San Juan Island area

Check out Steve's site. He's from the area and pretty passionate about the tech: https://seabits.com/recommended-systems-plans/
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Old 05-03-2021, 09:44   #6
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Re: Stuart Island WA San Juan Island area

Tmobile 5G coverage is getting better every day in the San Juans. I live and work in Friday Harbor. Last summer when we are anchored in Reid Harbor there was minimal cell coverage but that might have changed by now.
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Old 05-03-2021, 09:48   #7
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Re: Stuart Island WA San Juan Island area

The limit for anchoring in the San Juans is 30 days in one place, then U have to move minimum 5 miles away, the only suitable provisions are Friday Harbor, others with not much selection in Roche.
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Old 05-03-2021, 09:49   #8
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Re: Stuart Island WA San Juan Island area

Quote:
Originally Posted by gent48dd View Post
I don't even own a boat yet, I am 2 years out from that. But I am looking to talk with folks that have experience in and around Stuart Island, Roche Harbor. I am thinking about semi-retirement, living at anchor Reid Harbor. The very first thing I need to know is what is the internet like.

I said semi-retirement, I am going to need 24/7 internet to continue to work, and I mean 24/7 people contact me at via internet, whenever they need me. That is the most important thing. Doesn't have to be super fast internet, I am not streaming video. If I have to spend 10k up front for super dooper equipment to achieve what I want, I need to know that up front because it affects what I can spend on the boat and I have to look for a boat that can support that kind of power usage or at least look at up grading so that my boat can do it.

I have tons of questions about this area 1) because I can visit a friend in Duncan BC just 25 miles away and 2) I can spend time with my granddaughter 60 miles away in Tacoma.

I know for a fact I can get solid internet from Iridium because I used Iridium when I was in Iraq in the middle of know where, but it is extremely expensive and if I had to use the same system for what I am doing now, it wouldn't work. Cost would over ride profit. Iridium does have Iridium GO for sailors, I have never used it and will be writing Iridium. But generally people who are in the area should know just how good is the internet in the area and I am not talking about living at the marina at Roche, but anchored at Reid Harbor which is only 5 miles away.

I can't even consider Reid harbor unless I know what the internet is like right now. Then there maybe others out there that know a place you can live at anchor in the general area that already has good internet.

I am a custom load broker for independent truck drivers, in other words I am guy who has done what they are doing, and I know each person, what they like, what they don't like, that means they have to be able to reach me 24/7 and I have to be able to look at loads and negotiate any time day or night. That is why it is called custom you won't have to sit around waiting I will find something for you now. And that is why I need 24/7 internet.

I don't mind spending 10K for equipment, I can write that off as long as I have good connection. I know I can go through Iridium and get exactly what I want but it is more than 40K and and you are charged by the min, that does not work for me. It worked in Iraq because you the tax payer paid for it, ( I don't like when people say the government paid for it, it was your tax dollars)

Anyway anyone who can help here ???
We work remotely from our boat to support our cruising lifestyle and from our visit to Reid Harbor last year I can tell you that T-Mobile didn't work at all for us and we were able to get workable ATT by using a halyard to raise our hotspot up the mast.
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Old 05-03-2021, 09:54   #9
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Re: Stuart Island WA San Juan Island area

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Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
Hi,

I don't live in the SAn Juans but I have sailed there - just last summer. In general, internet in the islands sucks. Sorry for the language but internet is bad there - unless you are paying the big bucks for being in a marina.

You might be able to find a good phone connection (we sometimes were able to - but it was spotty). If you can find an anchorage with a really good mobil phone antenna - you can hotspot off your phone.

I suspect that if you anchor off Annacortes - you might find a good connection there. Anchoring off Port Townsend is also a possibility

The more remote your anchorage the worse your connection will be.

I hate to disappoint you - but at the moment there is no cheap reliable internet for cruisers. Skylink will be up and running in few years - then it will be possible
T-mobile worked for me well, traveling from harbor to harbor in that area, and covers Canada no additional charge. And Starlink is accepting pre-orders, just got one for my home in Los Angeles Harbor.
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Old 05-03-2021, 09:54   #10
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Re: Stuart Island WA San Juan Island area

One of my favorite islands. Iíll be there I a couple of weeks😀

Cellular service has improved a lot in the area. It can be done with the proper cell plans(s) and booster setup (I have streamed content while at anchor in both Reid and Prevost Harbors on Stuart). However, itís not easy and you need to anchor on the right places to get out of the land shadow and have the right booster. ...

Iridium may be a better choice for you for a lot of voice calls. Long term, Iím routing for the Starlink offering.
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Old 05-03-2021, 10:15   #11
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Re: Stuart Island WA San Juan Island area

I think you would have to choose your anchorage in Reid very carefully. It's basically a basin surrounded by pretty tall hills making it the good anchorage that it is.

For your purposes I think Friday Harbor or Anacortes would be a better choice. Still very pretty and closer to provisions. Good luck to you!
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Old 05-03-2021, 10:22   #12
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Re: Stuart Island WA San Juan Island area

That's our primary cruising area. We use out hot spot, and can get internet in Prevost. You might also consider Westcott/Garrison for a bit stronger signal. Beautiful areas.
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Old 05-03-2021, 12:05   #13
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Re: Stuart Island WA San Juan Island area

Quote:
Originally Posted by gent48dd View Post
I don't even own a boat yet, I am 2 years out from that. But I am looking to talk with folks that have experience in and around Stuart Island, Roche Harbor. I am thinking about semi-retirement, living at anchor Reid Harbor. The very first thing I need to know is what is the internet like.

I said semi-retirement, I am going to need 24/7 internet to continue to work, and I mean 24/7 people contact me at via internet, whenever they need me. That is the most important thing. Doesn't have to be super fast internet, I am not streaming video. If I have to spend 10k up front for super dooper equipment to achieve what I want, I need to know that up front because it affects what I can spend on the boat and I have to look for a boat that can support that kind of power usage or at least look at up grading so that my boat can do it.

I have tons of questions about this area 1) because I can visit a friend in Duncan BC just 25 miles away and 2) I can spend time with my granddaughter 60 miles away in Tacoma.

I know for a fact I can get solid internet from Iridium because I used Iridium when I was in Iraq in the middle of know where, but it is extremely expensive and if I had to use the same system for what I am doing now, it wouldn't work. Cost would over ride profit. Iridium does have Iridium GO for sailors, I have never used it and will be writing Iridium. But generally people who are in the area should know just how good is the internet in the area and I am not talking about living at the marina at Roche, but anchored at Reid Harbor which is only 5 miles away.

I can't even consider Reid harbor unless I know what the internet is like right now. Then there maybe others out there that know a place you can live at anchor in the general area that already has good internet.

I am a custom load broker for independent truck drivers, in other words I am guy who has done what they are doing, and I know each person, what they like, what they don't like, that means they have to be able to reach me 24/7 and I have to be able to look at loads and negotiate any time day or night. That is why it is called custom you won't have to sit around waiting I will find something for you now. And that is why I need 24/7 internet.

I don't mind spending 10K for equipment, I can write that off as long as I have good connection. I know I can go through Iridium and get exactly what I want but it is more than 40K and and you are charged by the min, that does not work for me. It worked in Iraq because you the tax payer paid for it, ( I don't like when people say the government paid for it, it was your tax dollars)

Anyway anyone who can help here ???
We spent time at Reid and Provost last summer due to the border being closed. At Prevost we walked to Turn Point Lighthouse and noted a few real estate signs posted if your interested. A few years ago there was a tiny floating home in Reid occupied by a photographer selling his wares to the cruisers. He later moved to Deer Harbor and put it up for sale and it must have sold as it is now gone. I found it a very pleasant home.

Stuart is remote and about as far north as you can get on the water in the U.S. except for Point Roberts. The small school closed a few years ago but the building remains...not a bad walk. The Harbor can hold a lot of boats but there is absolutely no support save a marine pumpout; everyone living there must be totally self sufficient.

My wife is a real estate broker and has conducted business via cell during our travels through BC and up to Alaska. She uses Verizon with an unlimited data plan and Canada package when in Canada. In the most remote areas there is no service. I used it via a "hot spot" last year for the first time while working on my boat at Port Townsend and found it slow but workable.

The nearest "corner" market to Reid Harbor would be Roche Harbor but product choices are limited and prices high. The nearest "full" market would be Kings in Friday Harbor, but its not a Safeway and again prices higher than you might pay on the mainland...and there is no guarantee the anchoring spot you left will be available when you get back.

Despite only 25 miles away visiting your friend in Duncan BC could be problematic. The most appropriate Canadian Customs entry would be at Sidney and, of course, you would have to clear U.S. Customs upon return as well at either Roche or Friday Harbor. There has normally been a ferry that runs through Friday Harbor to Sidney (I've used it) and that might be more efficient than using your boat and paying the annual U.S. Customs fee if it is over 30'. The last I knew the Sidney Harbor marina required an advanced reservation.

Good Luck.

~ ~ _/) ~ ~ MJH
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Old 05-03-2021, 13:01   #14
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Re: Stuart Island WA San Juan Island area

Quote:
Originally Posted by gent48dd View Post
I don't even own a boat yet, I am 2 years out from that. But I am looking to talk with folks that have experience in and around Stuart Island, Roche Harbor. I am thinking about semi-retirement, living at anchor Reid Harbor. The very first thing I need to know is what is the internet like.

I said semi-retirement, I am going to need 24/7 internet to continue to work, and I mean 24/7 people contact me at via internet, whenever they need me. That is the most important thing. Doesn't have to be super fast internet, I am not streaming video. If I have to spend 10k up front for super dooper equipment to achieve what I want, I need to know that up front because it affects what I can spend on the boat and I have to look for a boat that can support that kind of power usage or at least look at up grading so that my boat can do it.

I have tons of questions about this area 1) because I can visit a friend in Duncan BC just 25 miles away and 2) I can spend time with my granddaughter 60 miles away in Tacoma.

I know for a fact I can get solid internet from Iridium because I used Iridium when I was in Iraq in the middle of know where, but it is extremely expensive and if I had to use the same system for what I am doing now, it wouldn't work. Cost would over ride profit. Iridium does have Iridium GO for sailors, I have never used it and will be writing Iridium. But generally people who are in the area should know just how good is the internet in the area and I am not talking about living at the marina at Roche, but anchored at Reid Harbor which is only 5 miles away.

I can't even consider Reid harbor unless I know what the internet is like right now. Then there maybe others out there that know a place you can live at anchor in the general area that already has good internet.

I am a custom load broker for independent truck drivers, in other words I am guy who has done what they are doing, and I know each person, what they like, what they don't like, that means they have to be able to reach me 24/7 and I have to be able to look at loads and negotiate any time day or night. That is why it is called custom you won't have to sit around waiting I will find something for you now. And that is why I need 24/7 internet.

I don't mind spending 10K for equipment, I can write that off as long as I have good connection. I know I can go through Iridium and get exactly what I want but it is more than 40K and and you are charged by the min, that does not work for me. It worked in Iraq because you the tax payer paid for it, ( I don't like when people say the government paid for it, it was your tax dollars)

Anyway anyone who can help here ???
We're looking at some major advances in internet coverage in the next two years but it's anybody's guess what it will cost. Right now your bigger problem is probably more related to finding a place that will allow live aboards as the options seem to be shrinking in alot of places.
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Old 05-03-2021, 13:11   #15
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Re: Stuart Island WA San Juan Island area

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
If you want to be in the very north area of the San Juans, like Reid Harbor, you'll need a cell plan that includes Canada, as you will connect as often to a Canadian tower as to a US.
Here's a discussion
https://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/...nna-43905.html
THIS, my cell up there in the northern islands would often link to Canada. I once (years ago) got a big "roaming" bill not knowing I was linked.
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