Even in darkest Guatemala wifi is essential for any credible marina. Pontoons may be in the last stages of decay, the restaurant floor subsiding into the lagoon, the water supply fetid but if you can't offer wifi and an internet connection nobody is going to come!
At Mario's where Diana, our resident electronics conehead, keeps the wifi channels suitably reamed, the conversation at breakfast is not about halyards reefing or anchor scope but about the joys of 1-click for iPod, Cynthia's tremulous first steps into the blogosphere (hilarious, take a look) and why you should consider a GPS mouse ($45 from Walmart) over a $350 Raytheon chartplotter replacement ariel.
This last conversation arose because no sooner had we bade a tearful farewell to Debi and Roy with breaking hearts, and the belief we may never meet again, than they were back because none of their instruments were working! Debi likes to compare Mario's to the Hotel California, where you can "checkout, but never leave" and yesterday this seemed painfully apt!
Another interesting conversation was the extent to which we come to depend on all these technical marvels. and the dangers of having them all interfacing so that when one goes belly up the whole lot do.
Cindy and Mike, have a Tacktick anemometer. These wireless instruments, a British invention, interact but do not all fall over when just one of them goes wrong. Cindy is delighted with Tacktick. The various components are solar powered and she takes the windspeed display to bed with her! Personally I prefer Little Ted, but there you go, no accounting for taste. The joy of her bedmate is that you can lie at anchor while the squalls go by, whimpering quietly as the needle hits maximum!
Of course the glory of this technology on a fully laden boat is its compactness. Mike reckons he can get 300 full length movies on his 80 gigabyte iPod and doesn't go cross eyed holding it 6" from his nose!
Bit concerned about the lookout on a night watch though....
Cindy said she was hooked when she got Stardust on her iPod. We have Sikaflex on the teak deck, barnacles on the bottom and Cuba on our minds. But we don't have an iPod. The peer pressure mounts!