Newsletter #284

Newsletter #284 - September 16, 2015

Mr SIM Card

>>> Mr SIM Card >>>

When cruising to other countries, figuring out cellular access can be challenging. Most people are confused by SIM access, data plans, roaming, and the best way to maintain voice and data connectivity for a reasonable cost. We've all heard the horror stories of wild cell phone bills due to unexpected roaming and use fees. Now, there's a better way.

The least expensive way to use cellular voice and data in another country is to obtain a SIM card and a plan from the country. The SIM gives you a local phone number and avoids the voice and data roaming charges. But there are two issues - having an unlocked phone for the foreign SIM, and obtaining the SIM and enabling a plan.

We'll skip the unlocked phone issue and cover that in another segment next week. Remember that you'll need an unlocked phone which could be your existing phone or a new, inexpensive phone you need to purchase.

Our Bahamas experience last winter is a good example of the hassle you can face when obtaining a foreign SIM card. To inexpensively access the 4G cellular service that is now available in the Bahamas, we needed a SIM to use with our unlocked iPhone. The Batelco office was 1 mile away from the marina. We walked to the office and were told, "SIM's will be coming on Tuesday." So the next Tuesday, we walked again to the office. Still nothing.

Over the next 8 weeks, the office never received blank SIM cards. We were leaving the marina and its WiFi, and needed continued data access. The marina manager, Hans at Great Harbour Cay, learned that one of the markets in town had received some blank SIMs. He drove us to the market and $25 later, we had the SIM card. Then he drove us to the Batelco office to register the SIM. $30 later, we finally had a SIM card that gave us reasonably-priced cellular access in the Bahamas. It just took 10 weeks to make it happen.

So here's the better way - Mr SIM Card:

They work with a variety of countries to obtain the SIM cards, send the card directly to you, and then register the SIM and the plan with the host company just before you'll need it. It allows you to obtain the SIM card before you leave and skip the hassle.

They have a page for just about every country you'd visit by boat. The costs are pretty similar to the native costs - it would have cost us $60 with Mr SIM Card versus the $55 we spent. They also provide a variety of plans that didn't seem possible through the Batelco office directly.

But it gets even better...

Mr SIM Card is interested in having more boaters use their services. We'd like to promote the companies that help all of us. So we had to ask them - how about a discount for ActiveCaptain users?

Starting today, they're offering $5 off any purchase for Bahamas SIM cards. Please realize that we're not receiving fees or special discounts or payments ourselves. Everything is going to ActiveCaptain users. To access this special discount, use this web page to view and purchase the SIM cards for the Bahamas:

Report your experience on the ActiveCaptain Facebook group so others can see.

>>> MX Mariner >>>

A quick note about the latest version of MX Mariner for Android released this week. This new version has full route storage and sharing implemented. It also includes support for the latest ActiveCaptain API's for some great capabilities coming soon. The feedback about this update has been wonderful as users are starting to see the incredible advantages of being able to have cloud storage for routes along with a simple way to move them to other apps and products.

Check out MX Mariner for Android in the Google Play Store:

Make sure the products you like have this route sharing capability. It costs the developer nothing and gives you benefits that you will use for years to come. Have developers contact for everything they need to add it to their product.

>>> Defender 1st >>>

Watch this spot every week in the emailed newsletter for the Defender 1st special promotion. To sign up for the newsletter, create a new ActiveCaptain account at:

...or log into the ActiveCaptain website and select My Account at the top right of the page and make sure the Newsletter checkbox is checked.

Remember - Defender 1st: one product, one week, one incredible price.

When you're thinking about purchasing boating supplies, think of Defender first.

Dylan and Dee Dee are continuing the series on their blog about safety harnesses onboard. All this while still attending to their regular crew responsibilities. You gotta admire their work ethic. Or better yet, drop off a treat if you see them on aCappella's bow. You can always check in on Dylan and Dee Dee by going to:

Karen and Jeffrey Siegel
Castine, Maine
sharing the experience
Social Navigation for Active Captains

Newsletter Archive
We are currently merging the different ActiveCaptain websites into a single website.

Because of this, all later newsletters are being only put onto the ActiveCaptain Help Center found here:
ActiveCaptain Help Center : Newsletters

Older newsletters will be duplicated here until these pages are removed.

2016-03-02 #308 - Unexpected Benefits
2016-02-24 #307 - UK's MCA
2016-02-17 #306 - Chartplotter Support Questions
2016-02-10 #305 - One Giant Leap
2016-02-03 #304 - Bahamas Internet
2016-01-27 #303 - Community Anchoring
2016-01-20 #302 - Sharing Your Identity
2016-01-13 #301 - ActiveCaptain is...
2016-01-06 #300 - MMXVI
2015-12-30 #299 - The Power of Sharing
2015-12-23 #298 - Joyful times
2015-12-16 #297 - Thoughts of Cuba
2015-12-09 #296 - The Power of Love
2015-12-02 #295 - Windyty
2015-11-25 #294 - Mary Had a Little Lamb
2015-11-18 #293 - DeLorme inReach
2015-11-11 #292 - Celebrating Furuno
2015-11-04 #291 - Your ActiveCaptain Identity
2015-10-28 #290 - iPad/Android Tablet Owners
2015-10-21 #289 - The Top 5 Things...
2015-10-14 #288 - Skype
2015-10-07 #287 - Locations 1.2
2015-09-30 #286 - Cell Phone Frequency Issues
2015-09-23 #285 - Cell Phone Unlocking
2015-09-16 #284 - Mr SIM Card
2015-09-09 #283 - Route Storage & Sharing Continued
2015-09-02 #282 - Route Storage & Sharing
2015-08-26 #281 - Here's What You Told Us
2015-08-19 #280 - Bahamas 2016
2015-08-12 #279 - What is Services Missing?
2015-08-05 #278 - Aqua Map for Android
2015-07-29 #277 - Obtaining Critical Mass
2015-07-22 #276 - Our Backup Anchor
2015-07-15 #275 - Which Anchor is Best
2015-07-08 #274 - Pocket Mariner's SeaNav
2015-07-01 #273 - Services Galore
2015-06-24 #272 - Canvas and Upholstery Services
2015-06-17 #271 - Locations, Locations, Locations
2015-06-10 #270 - Keeping Track of Everything - 4

Archive Complete list of all newsletters
ActiveCaptain articles Read the award winning nineteen part series on mobile phones on boats.

Learn how to train your canine crew to use the "poop deck" and a unique way to get them into the dinghy.

Find out what's in our ditch bag and see what unusual products we have found invaluable on our cruises.