Monday, April 14, 2014

Where In The World Is Istaboa?

Well, it has a nice ring to it — Istaboa's in Sarasota.

Marina Jack's in Sarasota to be exact.

Haven't been posting much on the blog as of late, we've been pretty busy spreading wireless internet around marinas. onSpot wifi has gotten pretty good at this and there are some who say we're really good. That's our intent.

Wanting to get a quick start on our newest hotspot, Will and I took off from Jupiter on a Saturday morning and made way for Sarasota. We were hoping to get across Lake Okeechobee, but a storm turned us back. So a night at River Forest in Stuart made for short run, but rather safe than sorry, the boyz and I enjoyed a quiet night with a beautiful thunderstorm streaking across the horizon.
We made it to River Forest Marina on the west side and were barely able to find a place to tie up. The marina was full of boats waiting to be pulled out and put into storage for the summer.
Again, the next day started early for the short run to Ft. Myers and Legacy Harbour.

Ran into our old friends, 'Broulee', at both River Forests. Nice catching up with them.

Idling into the Caloosahatchee River as the sun starts up.

We easily made it to Ft Myers and tied up at Legacy as planned. We had talked to Eric the Dockmaster and he said he was interested in improving his WiFi hotspot at the marina,
So we woke early and motored down the Caloosahatchee, across Pine Island Sound, and headed for Boca Grande Cut to run out to the Gulf of Mexico. Istaboa hasn't been on the Gulf for years; it was an unusually nice day.
We ran in the shallow water of the Gulf till we made Venice inlet then turned in and headed north on the GICW. After negotiating a few bridges and dodging a multitude of tourists on rented pontoon boats we spotted Marina Jacks and Sarasota.

What a nice marina! What a nice town! Why have Mel and I always passed by Sarasota and never stopped? It's a cool little city full of seemingly nice folks. Too soon to tell, but it may be our new favorite town in FL.
Lots of culture, art, diversity, we never found a bad restaurant, and music was everywhere we turned.

So here we are, all nice and snug, tied up on a T-Head at Marina Jack's.
It's nice to be able to take Istaboa to these marinas and do our work while aboard. It's working from home, but home's the job site. It also provides us the same environment our customers must contend with.
Blasting WiFi through the fiberglass walls of a boat is a difficult task to do successfully. Istaboa's very thick walls make for a great test bed. We turn on everything that uses radio frequencies, causing as much interference as possible, then go to work on our access points, tuning them to cut through the RF muck. Our next challenge is harnessing that refined signal and making it usable under these conditions all the time, 24/7/365. We do it. We've cracked the code. We're not kidding.

So the work started immediately. No rest for the weary. Craig drove over from Ft Lauderdale and the team was assembled. Will, Craig, and I started building a Better Marina WiFi Hotspot. The boaters at Marina jack's are going to love this internet experience.

More on the project later, and Mel returns after a, too long, stint in Memphis caring for her mother.