Wednesday, April 29, 2009

#3 - Gibsons to Secret Cove

Morning dawns on us in Gibsons.

Another beautiful sunny day on BC's Sunshine Coast, of course! Flat seas, no wind, a tug or two and pretty scenery. When motoring in flat seas under autopilot, there's not much to do except monitor the engine gauges, check the course, and watch for logs and junk in the water.

With all that's going on in the news (the Pig Flu, the Republican defector, Lakers B-Ball, American Idol, and not wanting to miss the next Viagra spam email) it would nice to "be connected" while the boat is motoring along. We usually have internet connection when in port via our BBX marina service here in the Pacific Northwest. And getting internet access offshore via satellite is no technical challenge, except for one thing: it costs BIG bucks. So to keep busy, Alex adapted a technique learned from Max to get mobile internet access: war driving!

Normally you would get a laptop with external antenna mounted on the car roof, and drive about town gaining internet access through someone else's home wifi router. On the Wild Blue it's called "war boating"! We already have a wifi bridge with power amplifier on top of the radar arch, and can receive and transmit wifi extra long distances. Since we're cruising up the coast near many homes and businesses we see many wifi signals.

A sample of the many wifi access points open to "war boating".

Once we find a strong wifi signal that hasn't been secured, we tell the Linksys Bridge to connect. At 9 knots speed about a mile offshore, we can hold a good signal for about 5 minutes worth of internet access. Just enough to download the email, read Google news, etc. For today's cruise, we wish to thank Allock Family Net, Bernsteins Network, linksys and default for leaving their wifi networks open to us boaters!

After 2 hours of "war boating" we arrived at Secret Cove and gave some thought to continuing onto Refuge Cove. We'll do that tomorrow. We've been to Secret Cove many times. Pat remembers it for the CYC cruise where she hand-crafted 150 meatballs for the crews. Good times.
Secret Cove Marina is still pretty low on activity so far this year.

The BC commercial prawn season usually starts around May 1st. So the prawners are amassing here at the Secret Cove public dock where the excitement begins in just a few days.

See you manana.