Geeking Out in Pago Pago

The highlight so far of being in American Samoa – for me anyway – has been the Internet. I’ve been getting all kinds of stuff done that has been waiting for a good connection. Things were great the first couple of days because there is a hotspot right at the anchorage. So, I was enjoying 24 hour access right from the boat. However, it was too good to be true. On Sunday morning I woke up only to find the WIFI hotspot was not longer visible. It wasn’t long before other boats started complaining over the VHF. I tracked down someone with a working local phone and they called the Internet provider. Unfortunately, they celebrate Labor Day Weekend in American Samoa. So, we still have yet to see it fixed (it’s early Tuesday morning now). Hopefully, it will be back up today.

However, not all was lost. We were able to go to the nearby McDonalds which had a hotspot from the same provider. And, we’ve been able to pick up open WIFI at times on the boat.

One thing I got done shortly after arriving was to finally get my Nexus One smartphone upgraded to Android 2.2. I really wanted to get this update done because it reportedly speeds up the phone a lot, and enables several new applications to work (including the latest Google Earth 1.1 for Android). It actually took me many hours over the course of the past few weeks to figure out what to do, and to attempt several different methods (mostly due to the very slow connections until we got here). But, it’s all done and working great!

I’ve been able to upgrade tons of software including operating system upgrades that are hundreds of megabytes in size. And, I’m in the process of uploading photos and processing videos. I’m hoping to upload some videos of our trip before we leave here.

For months we thought we would not get a good Internet connection until New Zealand. We assumed New Zealand would have great unlimited connectivity. But, we heard (to our horror) from Jason and Lara that New Zealand has expensive and bandwidth-limited connectivity! Apparently they have the highest telecommunications costs of any first-world country. Ugh! Read their post about it.

Yes, I’m a bit obsessed with Internet connectivity. You don’t really realize how vital it is until you are traveling like this and can’t get it when you need it. Most sailors are resigned to the difficulty, but I’m a little more dependent upon getting my Internet fix than most.

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1 Response to Geeking Out in Pago Pago

  1. Jason Decker says:

    Frank, I have to say I am very jealous about the internet access you are enjoying in America Samoa. Even though New Zealand has bandwidth and connectivity a plenty, we must be very restrained with our usage due to cost and megabyte limits. We are paying $30 per week for connectivity. While it is very fast, it also has a 2.4GB limit! I can’t decide which is worse, French Polynesia with it’s slow connectivity or the fire hose we have here in NZ that we can’t use.

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