Monday, November 4, 2013

Night sailing

Few things are as immersive as night sailing. That goes for sailing in RL, but it also goes for SL sailing. There are differences though. Virtual nightsailing it is not as inherently dangerous; Which is good because the buoys, markers and lighthouses in SL only make sense on rare occasions. At night it is even worse. Most virtual lighthouses just send out a white blink. There's usually (if ever) no zones indicating safe waters or anything. It seems these are called sector lights; We call them zone lights.
Night sailing
The lighthouses and the buoys really deserve a separate post. They are closely linked to the missing charts of the virtual oceans. Luckily the virtual GPS - or rather the virtual electronic chart if you like - works great and just like you'd expect. Here's me and Dutch sailing the Cafe Del Mar in the beautiful virtual moonlight. I was in the passenger seat, so I am not quite sure, where we are, but it is somewhere south of Tradewinds.
The wind was medium strong, but we were inshore so the waves were not too bad. The wave simulation is not described in the manual, so I cannot comment upon it. It's nice, but I dunno what to expect as BWind boats have no concept of wave simulation. Let's stay with nice. The boat tosses around and you get the impression that there are waves. In any case the Cafe Del Mar seemed to like inshore sailing. I was getting kinda sleepy from all those small rolls and the lovely sounds from the bow wake.
Dutch at the helm
Here's Dutch at the helm of his latest toy. Note that Dutch is so cool he has to wear shades even at night. Anyway. I suspect this is the one boat he likes the most; While I absolutely love the VO65, I gotta admit the Cafe Del Mar is a very nice cruiser. First of all it sails very nicely. It feels like a racer, not like a cruiser. The accelleration is good, and the rudder is very responsive. In fact it feels almost as the VO65, which is no coincidence, since it is sort of a touring version of a VO65.
Ok, it doesn't look much like a VO65, and I'll admit that at first I hated that boathouse he put on top of the deck. However, once you come to terms with the rooftop design, the hull itself has very nice and modern lines. And is it complicated to sail? No, it's supereasy and intuitive. As already mentioned, this boat is easy on the rudder and very lively. Almost like a dinghy. No need for huds and numbercrunching. Sail by feel. I love it. It works great - even on this rather big 75 foot yacht.
Here's a shot of those lines. Looks like sunup. We must have changed course. Yes, even in the virtual world the sun comes up in the east. Sunup is coffeetime. Hehe. It's a good thing we're on a Cafe Del Mar. There's loads of stuff inside, and almost all the little gizmoes work. There is also a coffeemaker. Didn't see a watermaker, but then again I didn't look for it either.
Gizmoes inside
Here's a peek at those gizmoes inside. Besides the coffeemaker, there's a shower, a couch and a table plus a huge bed in the bow. And you can sail the boat from that panel right inside the cabing. It's great for foul weather even though this boat clearly is meant for easy sailing and easy onboard living. Yes, you can race the Cafe Del Mar, but no... it's not really meant for that. Still, - note the telltails. They work, but they are positioned somewhat strangely. For instance I cannot see the headsail telltails while steering.
Blue water cruising
This is what the Cafe Del Mar is really meant for. Yes, you wanna click this picture and fullscreen it. It's virtual cruising. Blue water cruising even. At least in SL. It would need more long distance cruising gear to cross the pond in real life, but it sure is big enough. Size matters differently in SL. I sailed around the new Seychelles in SL in this, and for that it is too big. I'd much rather be Fizzin around those islands.
Blake Sea cruising
For Blake Sea cruising it doesn't get much better than this. If you are looking for a cruiser that is more than a daycruiser, the Cafe Del Mar is a step up from earlier times. I know I've been looking for a boat that sorta supported virtual on board living. There are others, but the Cafe Del Mar takes it to the next level. It sails nice, it looks nice and you won't get claustrophobia from staying on board over the weekend. Even if you bring a few friends, there's enough space.

More nightsailing here.
More liveaboard here and here.


  1. Great pics!
    I loved the line: "It is sort of a touring version of a VO65 ..." :-)
    Here's the link to the Meterverse review of Cafe del Mar too:

    1. Thanx Jane. Your review is - as always - well written and extremely thorough.


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