Too dark to see - too dark to sail. Yeah well, - that's life in Scandinavia. However, when it's dark it is easier to see the stars. First time in many months I log on and right in front of me I see interesting stuff...
It's a new boat. Oldie but goodie, hehe. I was beginning to wonder if the virtual boatbuilders had given up on development, but no... It is of course made by Dutch of VO65 and Nacra fame.
This time it's the Olympic Star Class! I haven't sailed her yet, but I sincerely hope to do so, while my RL sailing is on pause for the winter. This one is owned by Tasha, and I just might get lucky with her inviting me for a test-sail. OMG there are so many delicious details on this boat it's almost boatylicious.
And finally someone made a decent Windex. I've been bugging more than a handful boatbuilders about that for the past eight or so years. Dutch finaly made one. Thank you. Obviously Tasha needs help setting the boat up, as the Windex trimflaps seem to be turned some 210 degrees from normal, but hey... That's easy. No need to climb... in SL we can just fly up there and fix it. More interesting stuff: Will the mast be able to move forward on a downwind? It appears so... but it remains to be seen. More on this pretty soon... I hope.
Uhh, ehrm... Kids in Second Life? It's kind of a controversial subject. I see quite a few discussions on the internet going: Is it allright for grownups to log in to Second Life disguised as a five year old? I really dunno... Never tried that; Probably never will. But the other way around??? That's another story...
Moored at Tradewinds YC
I've been "hiding" in Minecraft for a while now; Why? I have kids and they love it. Recently I've shown Second Life to a six year old, and whoa... She loves it. It's way more real than Minecraft. That was her spontaneous reaction. Yesterday we went sailing... long trip in one of Ana's motorboats. She absolutely loved it. Just navigating, finding interesting islands, looking for marinas before dark, going to sleep in the boat, waking up, having breakfast and then off to new islands... I wonder if the Lindens realize what potential they are missing out on here..? The ten year old said it even better: Who needs the Sims, when there's Second Life?
Currently it seems Team Scallywag (Volvo Ocean Race) has a man overboard in the middle of nowhere while winds reach 35 knots. Not a very nice situation. To sum it up: There's 2200 miles to shore, winds of 35 knots, approximately one ship in the neighbourhood. Let's then add huge waves and a water temperature of just 9 degrees C. Not for sissies.
It's not always like this out there...
The thing is, once they realize someone is missing it will take some time to get sails down and come about. When the boatspeed is 21 knots, you'll be long gone before the boat has even stopped to look for ya. The waves effectively prevent visual contact. Chances are slim at best. Sending all my hopes to John Fisher and the crew out there...
UPDATE: John Fisher considered lost at sea. It's a sad day for sailing. Thoughts and prayers to John Fishers family and friends. Fair winds on the other side...
Everybody seems overly concerned that sailing will die. I am pretty sure that won't ever happen. Not in SL. Not in RL. Nevertheless, here's an interesting piece from the hand of Jonas Høgh-Christensen. It's about how we develop sailing into a sport for TV - or - how we consider what we the sailors like to do.
Dreaming of summer
To put it differently: Should sailing develop into something worth watching for non-sailors or should it first and foremost develop into something that the sailors like to be part of?
Good food for thought as I lay here, - anchored somewhere south of the Blake Sea.
Me, I think it's gone to far with both the AC boats and to some degree the flying Nacra. Obviously, I reckognize the Nacra as a true athletes boat. By all means go sail it; However, some people promote changes in sailing that will favour only sailors of certain specifik physics. Like 185 and a narrow spectrum of weight. That seems unneccessary. To me it makes sense to widen our sport, not narrow it down to a few induhviduals.
No, I don't look forward to Olympics with only one type of sailors in super-athletic boats. I'd like to see several kinds of sailing, including the Finn, the Soling and other classics. They are all physically demanding, but let's not forget the tactics and all that! It might be hard to capture on TV, but it remains nonetheless the most interesting part of our sport.
I've been busy elsewhere, but now that King Winter has my RL in a firm and frozen grip, it's time to check out those sweet virtual waters again. Yes, it's been a while, but... It's still there.
SL lives on and so does Tradewinds YC. I logged in, rezzed my lovely Ushuaia, and within two minutes another boat passed by. Some things have changed a bit. Ahab has moved his office, and the pier layout is a bit different, but apart from that not much happened.
Enjoying the sunrise
I went sailing and I even met a few ppl from back in the days. One of which told me about an upcoming series of events at Tradewinds. Sailboat events that is. Racing. I better pop in a bit more often to check it out. Right now it's way too cold to go sailing in RL.
In the drafts folder of my blog I found this... It's a lil late but never mind... I'll just click the post button anyway.
Christmas at TYC
Christmas is always nice and warm in SL. I suppose it's kinda like in Australia. I wonder what it's like to wake up after a night-sail and yell: Hey! It's Christmas morning, - let's drop the anchor and go swimming! Can't be that bad...
There's a great writeup about the practicalities involved in building an accurate (sort of) world wide navigational chart over on the Steam Community. It's about the charts in SailAway.
Picture from the process
If you dunno what SailAway is, the do yourself a favour and google it. It's truly amazing. Anyway, the creator of SailAway explains the tech stuff so even humans can understand; Perhaps except for the json-stuff, but I'll add a few words here.
Way back in time, they stored data in a way that took up as little space as possible. On top of that it was fast to read, write and computer those data. Then someone invented XML, and the need for harddrive space and CPU power exploded, because XML makes data grow by a factor of ten - plus it takes loads of CPU to decode and transform into computable data. These days it seems JSON is taking over. Not much is different. If they store the oceans of the world in JSON then no wonder it's a huge database.
SailAway is a huge and fabulous project. I can't really decide if I like it better than SL; But they don't really compare. SL sailing is so much more than SailAway, and yet in some ways it is so much less. Strawberry or vanilla? Hmm...