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Thursday, May 27, 2010

May 28, 2010

The past week has been strange. Our wifi has not been working, so we called the guy who owns the service. He came out to the boat, fiddled around with our external antenna, disconnected our router, looked thorough our bag of cables and parts, took some things including two spare routers that we had, said he would trade us these for an external antenna for my laptop which he would sell me for $289 but that he didn't have in stock just now, then told Frank that his laptop needed to be serviced to make it work more efficiently and left the boat with all this equipment saying he had another appointment. After the smoke cleared, we realized he not only had some expensive equipment but Frank's computer as well and we didn't really know what had just happened. My head was spinning because I couldn't believe how smooth this guy was. We got Frank's laptop back the next afternoon but have no idea what he did to it because it seems to be working the way it was before. Meanwhile I researched the antenna that the guy wants to sell me, and found it on Amazon for $39.00. I do not think I will be buying his! I have left it up to Frank to deal with what we are going to do about that guy taking our "stuff". I'm too angry to deal with it.
Digicel is one of Fiji's cell phone operators and has just come out with their broadband stick. We can purchase one for $99.00 and pay 04/mb of usage, via "top-up". Several of our friends who had gotten fed up with the wifi guy, had bought them and were very pleased. Frank and I decided to follow suit. We went down to the Digicel shop and bought one. It would not work on either of our laptops (his Dell, my Mac), even after several yachties tried to assist. We took it & Frank's Dell to Digicel to see if they could get it to work. After 4 more hours of their fooling around, it would not work, so they took it and told us they would get us a new one. They were out of stock but more are coming in on Wed. That was on Monday. They now have our $ and our stick.
Then we heard that we could get a sim card for our Vodafone stick. There is no longer a Vodafone dealer in SavuSavu, so we ordered one to be delivered from the Vodafone representative who comes once per week. He arrived on Tuesday but with the wrong type of sim card. He assured us that one would be delivered to us by 8:00 AM Wednesday morning. It did arrive, and Frank and I spent the better part of the morning trying to get it to work on either his Dell or my Mac - Is this Déjà vu or what!?!? Fortunately Bob and Kim from Northern Winds had arrived from Opua the previous day so Bob helped Frank get his installed. It will not work on my Mac, although the materials state that it will. Apparently these things are so new to Fiji that they aren't configured.
Tuesday, we received a message that our CV joint/shaft had been shipped and were given a tracking # from DHL. YAY!
Wednesday arrived. Digicel said our stick didn't. DHL said our shipment would be here in the afternoon. Frank's Dell went haywire - we got the big bad loud alarm and a scary blue screen with white writing that said some intimidating things. We shut it off. We took both laptops into the wifi guy's shop to try to download security updates on his and for me to check our emails on mine. Our friends on Mahurangi have not been heard from for over a week and they supposedly departed Opua on May 17. They are not responding to emails (Sailmail) or radio calls. I was hoping to hear from them. I did get an email from them saying they were securely anchored at Minerva reef and had a story to tell us when we see them in Fiji. Thank God they are safe. The internet was so slow it took me over an hour and a half to download his security update. Then we got the blue screen again. We packed it up and walked it down to SavuSavu computers, which is run by an American guy named Erik. He said he would need to keep it to run some diagnostics. OK. Fine.
Wednesday afternoon arrived. DHL said the part did not. It will be here Thursday AM. Digicel said come back at 8:00 AM, Thursday.
Thursday arrived - no shipment and no Digicel stick. Most of our friends have now left and have gone cruising and diving. Thursday evening we are sitting at the yacht club waiting for Kim and Bob to go to dinner. Cell phone rings. It's DHL. The part just came in on the plane - they are driving it over to us at the yacht club. Hip, hip, hooray! Frank stowed it on the boat and we went out to a lovely dinner. We made plans for Friday to install the part, go to Customs to get checked-out to leave here, hit the market, pick up Frank's laptop and hopefully get our Digicel stick.
Friday morning we got up early and installed the new CV joint and shaft. It was a two-person effort and we merrily made it our first priority. We then got a call from Digicel. The stick is here! I trotted on over with Frank's new Sony laptop because his Dell is still in the hospital. Frank headed over to see wifi guy about our stuff he took the other day.
After many failed attempts the Digicel ladies got it to install, and then said all we have to do is buy the "top-up" so we can get online. I told them we had already bought the top-up and that they should apply that. Uh Oh. That top-up went with the other modem/stick. I said, OK, just give us another one. They called the main office. Can't be done. It went away with the other stick. I said OK, give us a credit for the amount and we will apply a new top up. It doesn't work that way. They said come back tomorrow. I said "No". They said come back after lunchtime. Meanwhile a horn honks, someone yells my name. I turn around to see Frank driving away with wifi guy and yelling, "be back soon". I gathered up our stuff and walked back to the marina, plopped down with a book and ordered something to eat. It is 10:45 AM. Frank shows up at noon. (be back soon???). We return to the Digicel place where I leave him and go to pick up our Dell from the hospital. The Dell is fine. There seems to be something we are plugging into it that is causing these problems - perhaps the Iridium Sat phone - that is making it unhappy. I took a few minutes to get online and check emails and send a couple. A friend sees me online and mentions how sad it is about the loss of (a mutual friend whom I will not name). I didn't know, so I asked. Turns out my friend checked into a hotel and committed suicide. I'm crushed. I packed up everything and went back to find Frank. He is still at Digicel. He still hasn't gotten to Customs to turn in our paperwork. So off he goes and I stand there wondering what is going on. It seems there is some difficulty getting the top up loaded. Frank returns an hour later - it is now 4:00. The Digicel people have blown out the stick and now it doesn't work. They have no more sticks. We got our money back and left. I felt so sorry for those girls at the counter.
So, we are back on board Destiny. It's 5 PM. We are going to get cleaned up and go for a nice dinner with Kim and Bob. We're checked out of SavuSavu. Tomorrow morning we'll hit the market and take care of a few last minute chores that didn't happen today and be off. We are heading to Viani Bay to do some world-class scuba diving and some snorkeling.

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1 comment:

Judy and Bill aboard S/V BeBe said...

And people back home think cruising is like being on vacation all the time. Sorry to read of your computer/internet woes. Hope the CV joint repair went smoothly and that you experience no more boat problems.