Internet in the Caribbean

john martin <symoondog@...>

If you want solid coverage all the time and all over, nothing beats a sat phone for calls and e-mail. Its expensive, but if you have to be in constant touch,it's the answer. Regardless, you shouldn't leave the dock without a quad, unlocked cell phone or blackberry. This unit can be used all over the world. They can be purchased on E-Bay or other places. Make sure it is a quad and its unlocked. By purchasing a sim card for the phone from the provider in the Country you are in, you will have a phone no. and can place local cheap calls and reasonable long distance ones. This is a real help if you are getting work done in the particular Country as the local workers always want to call you back, or you have to get in touch with them. We use digicel in a lot of islands. Sim cards are $20.00 including $10.00 in talk time. Top up cards are sold everywhere. You can buy a modem for your lap top for $30.00. Then you pay $40.00 a month for internet. Skype doesn't work that well all the time, but you get great internet even 3 or 5 miles off the island. Calls to the U.S. is .35 cents a minute and crystal clear. We stayed for a while in Los Roques off the coast of Venezuela, they had no wi-fi but they had cell phone coverage so we had internet and cell phone the whole time while at anchor. The carrier in Grenada didn't have a modem when we were there so we used the blackberry for internet and cell phone, using there service of course. Another big advantage of having a phone no. in the country you are in, is that if your family has an emergency they can just call you. I have found the WiRI wi -fi hot spot the best for getting wi-fi. Its simple to use. Just clamp it on your railing and plug it into your cigarette lighter. It makes the whole boat a hot spot, no need to plug anything into the computer. You will find most anchorages have someone that will sell you a signal as most other signals require a password now a days. All marinas have there own wi-fi, but again they charge if you are not staying there. The exception is Martinique. There phone service is two expensive and wi-fi is non existence I'm writing this from Bonaire while on a mooring, from my lap top via Digicel. Very reasonable. John "Moon Dog" SM 248

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