Apr 12, 201309:50 AM
Swing Set: Cruising Full Time
Bimini Sands Marina
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The weather window we had last weekend came and was gone by Monday afternoon. We made some use of our time here in Bimini and were able to accomplish a few things.
First up was a trip to BaTelCo in Alice Town in the dinghy. I tied up to a dock at the Bimini Big Game Club, and Rosie and Holly stayed with the dinghy because I wasn't sure if they would run us off or not. Plus, Holly would have run off customers at the BTC office anyway.
Two nice women and a young intern staff the BaTelCo office in Alice Town. None of them know what they're doing. I asked the first woman if the sale was still on for the monthly data plan, the one where you can get 1 gig of data for $20 instead of $30. I was told the sale ended last Friday. Of course it did. I said I wanted to buy a BaTelCo SIM card for our iPad anyway and get the 1 gig of data for $30. "We are out of SIM cards," I was told. This part was true, but the other woman said the sale was still on and I might get a SIM card at the local Mal-Mart. Yes, I said "Mal-Mart," it's a small block building just down Kingshighway near Big Game. No signs outside, but "You can't miss it."
All this took an hour or so to find out, but I left the store and went back to see Rosie on the way because the Mal-Mart didn't open for another half hour. Rosie was holding up OK, so I went to Mal-Mart and bought a SIM card. The store is small and stocked with men's apparel in the way of dress shirts and shoes, and probably lots of other stuff if you ask.
Back to BaTelCo, where "Joshua" installed the SIM card in our iPad after activating it in one of their phones. This seems like a simple process, but it took almost two hours. Right before I was ready to leave, I asked how to access the website, so I could add more data service with the two extra cards I'd bought. Ellodie Roberts told me, "No problem, you're already 'in the system.'" I was told to just use my name and everything would be alright. Sure.
Oh, and by the way, Joshua made a mistake and only added one day to our data plan instead of 30. They couldn't fix that in the store, a "technician" had to do it and I'd have to come back the next day. Then, I was told a technician had to be over in South Bimini the next day, and he would come by to fix the problem. "What time would be good for you?" I was asked. I don't know why I bothered to say a time, and in fact I didn't. I said anytime was fine, so Ellodie said the technician would be by at 10 o'clock. I assumed she meant a.m., but in retrospect, I'm not sure anymore.
Monday afternoon wasn't a complete waste. It was calm, so we took the dinghy out and explored around both western coasts of North and South Bimini. I did some snorkeling, too. You can see just how beautiful the water is here in this photo.
On Tuesday morning, I didn't want to start any projects on the boat. In fact, I wanted to wait up near the dockmaster's office, so I wouldn't miss the technician. Ten o'clock came and went, and so did 11 o'clock. At 11:30, Rosie and I had lunch in the restaurant and Donnie, one of the staff here, said he'd call BaTelCo and see when someone would come. He got back with us and said someone would be here around "two-ish." He emphasized the "ish" part.
At 3 p.m., a BaTelCo truck went flying down the gravel road toward the southern end of the island. We figured he had his other business to do and would stop by on his way back to the ferry. An hour later, he went flying back up the road. Minutes after that I was on the phone with Ellodie.
Eventually, one of the staff here who knows the technician, and more about BaTelCo than the BaTelCo workers, added the 30 days to our iPad. Tim said it was the most excitement he'd had all day when I thanked him. Then, he just smiled when I asked him to show me how he did it. So, the whole day was wasted waiting for the technician when Tim had been on site since 8 o'clock that morning. But it wasn't over yet.
I decided later that evening to see how to get on the BaTelCo website to add data later and found out that Ellodie had indeed put me "in the system," but she used a password to register the account. I think she should have told me what the password was, don't you?