Technology at Sea

It feels good to be back and blogging again.  Technically, it’s “posting” as this blog was created offline and I’m waiting to get some quality internet access in order to post it.  It’s all part  of my austerity plan.  For the past week, I’ve enjoyed a cruise from Seattle touching Kitchigan, Tracy Arm, Juneau, Skagway, and Victoria before returning to Seattle.  I wasn’t totally off the grid but pretty close!

Internet at Sea – Yes, there was internet at sea and like everything else it was available for a fee.  I had intended to go completely off the grid but cell phone coverage died so decided to go for the entry level plan.  100 minutes for $55.00.  That doesn’t sound too bad but it’s satellite coverage and slow and intermittent.  I decided to keep the use to daily checks of email from family, Facebook updates, and Twitter to keep tabs on @pmcash.  I am waiting for some solid connections to check out all of the images that have been posted by friends and family.

Internet on Land – At our ports of call, I did take my iPod with me as I don’t do watches anymore.  There were a couple of time where it out whilst touring or shopping and there was a great deal of wireless connections available but typically locked down.  Free internet doesn’t appear to be something that’s embraced at these tourist locations.  That’s too bad; I’ve got to believe that foursquare users could provide some free advertising for them.  Anyway, I did manage to sneak in a couple of peeks while “shopping” when I was fortunate enough to be in the vicinity of free access.  Surprisingly, this place did not have free internet access.  I need to have words with my Teacher Librarian friends to see if they can pull some strings next time I’m in Juneau.

Bling – Across the street, they did have bling though.  Here’s a picture to prove it.  I managed to find a gift for my TL friends that did incorporate bling and libraries…

FourSquare – Speaking of which, this is very interesting.  There weren’t a great deal of locations that were mapped so I got some first finder points although my friend @aforgrave tells me that a couple of the locations were off the mark.  Internet access was so slow that check the location via maps was out of the question.  Interestingly, Andy tells me the locations did make some sense in terms of the ownership of the ship.  Perhaps the router used was in a head office somewhere.  Got to get me a phone.  If you were following, you would have noticed that my trip to Seattle did go through Phoenix.  That’s a whole story in itself!

Brakes – What the heck? – here’s the story.  As we were preparing to board in Detroit, an announcement came over the loudspeaker that there were brake issues with our plane and that there would be delays as a part was flown from Denver.  My first reaction was that this was great that they were fixing it before taking off.  Then, I checked the plane and it looked like an Airbus 319 or 320.  Could Delta who uses Detroit as a major hub not sold them the part instead of waiting for one to be flown in?  That started our little jaunt to Phoenix.

Portable Technology – Aw, we were all a little geeky on this trip.  Me with my iPod instead of a watch didn’t necessarily make me unique.  There were folks with their smart phones and laptops all thoughout the ship and in the internet cafe.  Lots and lots of blackberry and iPhone devices were in sight everywhere.  Surprisingly, I didn’t see a single iPad for the week but did notice a few Kindles as people did some deck side reading.

We went on a bus tour of Victoria last night and my trusty iPod was searching for wireless.  Lots and lots of it but mostly protected.  I don’t understand why a souvenir shop needs wireless access and then protects it…wouldn’t it make sense to get some free advertising as people tweet their finds or locations?  I just don’t get it.

There will undoubtedly be more to come but I’m off to a start anyway.

The star of the show though was the Sawyer Glacier at the end of Tracy Arm.

Uploading from Seattle…

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