Reality Check

by wdh5988@sailmail.com


Hello Monday! I bet you are all wondering where your Monday OddGodfrey post is. Well, to relieve any fear, let me confirm we are alive and kicking, mostly kicking. When I committed to write this blog, I knew in some remote places there wouldn't be internet. I knew whenever I found internet, I was signing up for a slow connection. I figured that I could get some internet - however slow - where ever groups of humans live. My plan was to buy data cards for our cell phones whenever possible. If that isn't available, I would find wifi at some business or another like McDonalds or Starbucks or whatever foreign version of the same provided connectivity. If that didn't work, I figured there would be specifically designated internet cafes I could use to get the job done. It didn't occur to me that there are large swaths of peaceful, beautiful, relatively well built places that would have no internet available for my use.

As we arrived in Atuona Bay, Hiva Oa I was very hopeful I could catch up on all the backlogged posts from Isabela Galapagos, set up some back story posts to cover us while we are exploring remote anchorages throughout the Marquesas, and maybe even get started posting our experience in Atuona. A white, freshly painted wifi tower sat atop the crest of the cliff next to the bay. When we opened up our computer, an internet screen popped to life indicating that for a mere $100 for 100 hours we could experience the magic of internet from the comfort of our boat. Andrew broke out his credit card and began typing in numbers. CONNECTION WITH SOCIETY after 22 days at sea!

We knew this was too easy. Andrew pushed "submit" and instead of accepting his purchase, the website took him back to the cover page. The definition of insanity is to undertake the same task expecting different results, but nonetheless both Andrew and I tried the internet purchase process at least twice more before accepting that it wasn't going to work. So, we placed "find internet" on our to-do list for when we headed into town.

In town, we hunted and hunted. There is no internet cafe. There is one business called Salon de Thea that boasts "Wifi" on its sign, $10 per device, per hour. Nonetheless, we head in hoping to be able to access the log in page for the wifi available in the bay and complete the purchase from Salon de Thea's internet. We pay, we log in, the little ball spins on our phones....thinking, thinking, thinking for 25 minutes of our one hour internet session. I breathe and work on my patience training. I converse with a nice woman from France making her way through her own adventure. Finally, we access the internet, and by the time our one hour session is up we accomplish one thing: we obtain our own internet log in password for the service we can receive on the boat. GLORY! Now we are set!

Back on the boat, we load up the internet. It is slow, but it works. I am able to load approximately 1/2 of the photos required for each of my posts per three hour session. But, since it is available on the boat, I can do other things like cook dinner, clean, sleep in 20 minute spurts while the photos load. This is going to be great! I get 2.5 posts prepared and then ZAP! On Saturday night last week, I receive this message on my screen:

"INTERNET IS NOT AVAILABLE"

We think it is a temporary fluke, so we accept the inevitable and wait for Monday morning to arrive. We figure whomever mans the post office (where this internet is based) will want to surf the web and will reboot the server as soon as they get into work.

Monday night, the internet worked again. Tuesday morning:

"INTERNET IS NOT AVAILABLE"

Wednesday:

"INTERNET IS NOT AVAILABLE"

Thursday:

A little bit of wifi on Thursday night, but it was not powerful enough to load a single picture.

Friday Morning:

"INTERNET IS NOT AVAILABLE"

At this point, we really wanted to move on from Atuona and explore more of the Marquesas. So, I figured, I would just have to post via our ham radio -- without pictures -- like I did on the passage across the Pacific. Here is the plan going forward. I will post text only using the ham radio. Whenever we find internet (likely in Papeete, Tahiti next month) I will go back and add pictures. If you prefer to keep up on a weekly basis, you will have text but no photos. Otherwise, you can binge read once in a while and hopefully receive all your new posts with pictures loaded.

I know, I know, it irritates me, too. Just breathe and thank Al Gore for setting us up with such lovely high speed internet in the US.