The Sail-World, Powerboat-World and Marine Business News team has been on the road since late July. I am writing this article overlooking Catseye Bay at Hamilton Island, on the morning of the last race at 2008 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week. Late July and early August it was the Sydney International Boat Show, last week it was Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week and next week it will be at Peppers Blue on Blue Resort at Magnetic Island, for the second Sunferries Magnetic Island Race Week. Then it's the Heaven Can Wait regatta at Lake Macquarie.
PHS Grand Prix fleet with Simrad off to a flier ahead of Samarkand
Once upon a time, the big struggle on the road was connectivity.
Back in the early 1980’s, long before the Internet had been invented, we travelled in North America with soldering iron and side cutters and luggable Compaq computers. We had all the kit, because phone systems were non standard and we often had to cut lines, connect to our office computers back in Australia, then resolder wires and test all OK before we left the hotel.
But these days the Internet and Telstra’s Next G network have really changed things.
While phone reception can be dodgy in some places, like at the top of North Molle or on parts of Hamilton Island (right where I am now we have just one ‘bar’) there are great portable aerial solutions.
We have watched our Cruising Editor Nancy Knudsen at work and we’ve taken a leaf from her book and purchased a wonderful 8 db booster aerial. That means we have 5 bar Next G internet USB modem reception as well as equally great Next G phone reception. It will work on a boat, in a car, in a hotel, at an airport....so no matter where we are we don't need to struggle with local internet connectivity.
We have been repeatedly asked where we got this nifty aerial. Here is the answer www.Comnet.com.au
It’s a Next G / GSM 8dBi Omni Antenna Kit - Magnetic Base – the aerial comes in three pieces and screws together for use, so the whole package is less than 350mm high.
Buy one of these with the right attachments for your Blue USB modem and your mobile phone and you can be anywhere. Work some, then go boating!!
PS. No, the Telstra Next G did not work in Qingdao China but the internet was fast there, even if the Great Firewall of China presented a few problems. Now some Telstra shops are starting to stock aerials, so can you check them out too.