FoRK: Vacation Spots, relaxation havens and damn fun places to visit

R. A. Hettinga
Thu, 11 Apr 2002 20:35:27 -0400

I've gotten to do some pretty cool things, all because of the net and
cryptography. Now that the bubble's burst, I expect that I'll never get to
do anything that cool again, so I might as well brag about it, now. :-).

<> would be a good example.

At 10:36 AM -0700 on 4/11/02, carey wrote:

> What is the strangest, most interesting, or truly awesome place you've
> either: a) Ever been to or b) would like to go.

<Waving right arm wildly> Ooooh! Ooooh! Me! Me!.

How about: Seeing a total eclipse. Framed nicely over a smoking Volcano. In
the Caribbean. From the deck of a chartered high-speed (30-knot) catamaran
ferry. Full of crypto-geeks. :-).
shows Montserrat. We parked the ferry, called Voyager, on the right hand
(East) side of the island, which you can see in the second picture, there
in front of the pyroclastic flow, where they said the water boiled for two
days after the eruption in the previous year. On that day, the ash-cloud
was blowing the other way, towards the west.  On the way back to Anguilla,
we went around to the other side and saw Plymouth, the main city, buried in
three stories of ash as we went by. Going north back home to Anguilla, we
left all the islands to our right, the water smoooth a glass. When we
cleared Saba into the open water for a bit, the front of the boat started
bucking around like a bronco. There was a bunch of us up there, holding
onto the bow rails, or sitting on a long rubber fender, and it felt like we
were riding this giant jet-ski, uuuup the wave, and dowwwwn the wave. I
don't know whose camera it was, and I never got to see it, but I shot this
great picture of John Gilmore, wearing my big floppy Tilly hat, sitting on
this oblong fender-thing, riding it like Slim Pickins rode the bomb in "Dr.

> This tangent was started, probably some time ago, when Rohit mentioned the
> idea of dark parks,

I got one for that, too. ;-).

On the same trip, at midnight a couple of days later, I stood exactly on
the corner of a beach that makes a 45-degree turn, and looked, straight up,
damning the light-pollution -- until it dawned on me that the "pollution"
was the Milky Way itself. A chart of Anguilla is here:

Shoal Point is the pointy bit on the upper right corner of the island. The
beach really does take a hard right. It's just weird as hell.

Finally, in 2000, we chartered a big sailing cat instead of getting hotel
rooms for 7 people. We hired the local wireless-guerilla to paint Sandy
Ground's harbor with 802.11, and it was geek heaven. Later on in that trip
we took the cat out to a marine sanctuary called Prickly Pear Key about 3-4
miles off of Anguilla.

So, imagine various young people in various stages of undress (none
completely! get your mind out of the gutter :-)), a few of the world's best
cryptographers talking shop in the nets on the bow, a blender cranking out
banana daiquiris non-stop -- and, hoisted up the flag-lanyard is an an
omni-directional antenna. Follow the antenna cable down, through the cat's
front hatch, to the dining table, where the cable pigtails into a PBG3
Lombard's WaveLan card. Around the PowerBook stand 4 geeks in shorts and
sandals, and unwashed for days. One of them says, "This is just too Kewl...
We can get Slashdot all the way out here!"

Imagine a whole island covered with clandestine, literally illegal, WaveLAN
antennae. Directional ones stuck on walls. Omni-directional ones hidden in
PVC pipe with an anemometer spinning on top for decoration. You can almost
hear someone yell, "Cable & Wireless? We don't need no stinkin' Cable &


<Ducking now, as people throw various bits of rotting vegetation...>

R. A. Hettinga <mailto:>
The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'