Technological Breakdown

7 Jun

The last few days have been sheer hell! Well, that’s a slight, or maybe even a gross exaggeration. But, it’s true to say that my level of contentment has been significantly diminished.

The weather has been fine, no tempests to contend with. We haven’t been shipwrecked. The company we have kept has been congenial. No, the problem has been with our internet connection. My name is Lu and I am an Internetaholic!

We’d had a lovely few days after our little trip to Istanbul slowly wending our way south through the Eastern Sporades. We went from Mytilini 50 miles down to the tiny island of Oinnouses, where we found friendly people and good shelter from a brisk southerly wind. 2 nights there and we took a short hop across to the island of Chios, first staying in an abandoned marina jut north of the main town for a couple of days, then heading 18 miles south to a gorgeous sandy bay at the end of the island…and this is where the trouble began.

Ormos Kamari, with the tiny village of Emborios at its head, doesn’t have room for many yachts but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in terms of looks. The water in the sandy-bottomed bay is crystal clear and, apart from the south east, it’s pretty sheltered with cliffs on both sides of the bay. There are two or three tavernas fringing the shingle beach, none blasting out deafening music until the small hours. It also apparently has good mobile phone coverage and that should have meant that we’d get good a good Internet connection…except we didn’t.

We have a contract with a Greek Internet provider, Cosmote and use the SIM in a mifi router so that more than one device can be connected at once. The router indicated that there was a strong signal but to no avail. The World Wide Web was Dead Slow or Stop 😦 .

After 2 nights of being mostly out of touch the world we moved on again, 40 miles south to the island of Samos. This time we were in a big commercial harbour of a reasonable sized town, Karlόvassi. The omens all looked good. 5 big strong bars of signal on the router…but a frankly pathetic connection to the Internet. We thought that maybe the router had been damaged or was malfunctioning in some way so tried it in the original Cosmote dongle. Still no joy. It was only as we sailed away from Greece towards Turkey that the blessed thing sprung into life with a connection faster than the speed of light (a little exaggeration creeping in again!), just as our Greek contract will be temporarily useless to us and we’ll be relying on getting wifi from cafes, restaurants and marinas.

The shocking thing about this tale is how discombobulated I have felt having had my Internet ‘fix’ withdrawn. Maybe if we were clearly in a network ‘dead zone’ with no coverage at all, I would have adjusted and got on with it. But the frustration of expecting to get connected and being continually thwarted was really quite unsettling and definitely a symptom of an unhealthy dependence. What better way then to loosen the grip of the demon Internet than to spend 2 or 3 months without an onboard connection whilst we’re in Turkey? That would obviously be the sensible route, wouldn’t it? But it seems that this cyber- temptress is more wily than me. Within hours of checking into Turkey, I talked the skipper into at least making enquiries about Turkish Internet options. Somehow, we’ve ended up back on the boat clutching a shiny new dongle. It seems that I’m a lost cause!

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3 Responses to “Technological Breakdown”

  1. Sara June 7, 2013 at 9:25 pm #

    Hope you’re over the withdrawal symptoms now, sis!! Keep on writing – always look forward to the next instalment! Sara xxxx 🙂

    • peteandlu June 8, 2013 at 5:28 am #

      Thanks :-). Can’t use the iPad on the new dongle though 😦

  2. Claire Proctor June 9, 2013 at 6:42 am #

    Lu, I know exactly how you feel. So frustrating being out of touch. We were mostly in and out of contact until we reached Greece and got our Vodaphone dongle going and still can’t get connections when moored in some lovely bay with cliffs, etc. Argh! You have my sympathies. Glad all going well apart from that! x

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