Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Buff Staysails TV-show

The AC circus is moving faster than any other sailing event I've ever heard of. Some people like it; Some people don't. In the latter category we find Vincenzo. Me, I still dunno what to think.
The new Sailrocket? E.T.'s dad? No, it's the AC45...
The editors at Scuttlebutt aren't quite sure what to think either. In a post called "Just what America's Cup needs", they talk about sugar over substance. I think "All candy diet" would have been a better title, but nevermind. While we're all hoping for the better, another blogger takes us to a sneak preview of the upcoming AC circus in a post called "Buff Staysail's ACWS TV show". It's soooo funny.

Oh, and if you look up the Sailrocket and start thinking: Yeah, life begins at 40 knots, then think again. It could be that life starts in a foiling monohull at 30 knots.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Potato, potahto

SL sailing is nice and easy; Lean back with your favourite coffee cup, grab the mouse and click a little to sail. Hit F1 to shout "Protest". F2 to hoist the spinnaker. F3 to gybe it. No sore arms from pulling sheets and halyards. Couch potatoes will love sailing a modern fourty-footer like this, and that's why I call it couch potato sailing. Not to be mean; Only to be fair :-)
This is SL; I can still answer the phone.
Real sailing is nice and easy too; Heel over, grab your favourite brand of beer, and if your boat is properly balanced, you will only need to adjust the tiller occasionally to sail. That might not be entirely true for a Moth, but many other real boats feature couch potato sailing; So there... Potato, potah-to. However, it can be the excact opposite too; Gybing 90m2 of spinakker in 12m/s wind can be both tough and wet.
This is RL. The cellphone is no good here.
Often the spinpole is flying over your head, so pushing the pole forward and in place takes both muscle and  training. Me, I am often on my toes to reach the spinpole, so when a wave hits, I am flying too. Anyway, I am out sailing. Please leave a message after the tone, and have a grreat weekend.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Power Elixir

Speaking of powerboats, - this summer I actually tried one. I was out sailing with friends, visiting a small island; Just a short sail from Tradewinds, and this dude appeared out of nowhere motoring about. He had such a funny name, Zimzalabim. I simply had to go and say hi.
Riding with Zimzalabim
Never really liked powerboats. I guess it has to do with too much city life. The noise and the smell of machines, cars, trucks and trains. Besides, the concept of relying on an engine just isn't my cup of tea. However, "Zim" persuaded med to go for a ride in his gorgeous Elixir, built by Eta Carver.
Full speed ahead, Tradewinds in the rear mirror
Eta Carver is well known for many fun projects such as paragliding and RC-sailing. Like most of her projects, this one is not only what it appears to be. There's more. This boat comes with wakeboarding. I am gonna try that sometime and post about it. Never tried it RL, but I suppose its kinda like snowboarding.
Off the coast of Schiffsratten YC,
So what else can you do with a powerboat like this? Well, it will take you around the beautifull islands of the southern seas in the blink of an eye. So it's good for exploring sailable areas. I suppose it's good for picking up girls as well, so here's me cruising on the backseat.
Cruising... looking for the minibar.
I was kinda expecting to find a minibar, but it wasn't there. I guess drinking and driving at these speeds really isn't a good cocktail anyways. Luckily I had a virtual coke in my backpack. Anyways, "Zim" sailed around, while I enjoyed the view and almost felt the virtual wind in my hair.
Back home at Tradewinds YC.
Thanx for the ride. For a powerboat this one is really nice. Classy looking, and with a lot of lovely details. Room for at least four people plus the driver, wakeboarding, sunbathing and.. well, bring your own drinks.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Powerboat show at Tradewinds

Tradewinds Yacht Club is at it again. In between the racing, the building and the partying, there is allways time for a boat show. This time they've scraped together a rather impressive amount of powerboats.
Two of a different kind...
Now, I am not much into powerboats, but it is amazing to just walk around and see all these boats. Some are more polished than others, and some are even little pieces of art. Above you see two very different boats. Here I was, thinking SL was more peacefull, and then a torpedo boat pops up.
But Officer, the light was yellow...
Here's a couple of the speedy ones. Not sure they can outrun the Torpedo boat, but they surely can't outrun a torpedo. They are fancy though. Boys with toys. Why is it always a blonde on the side? This next blue one looks fast too.
Runs good on nuclear power?
It's 160 miles to Chicago, We have a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and were wearing sunglasses....Hit it! I always wanted to say that :-D
The big picture.
If you like powerboats, this is definately the place to go. The show runs at least a week more, so there is still time. Dunno how they manage to find all these items for shows, but it's great fun to see all the creativity in SL on display. Tradewinds Yacht Club truely never sleeps.

More on boatshows... and much more info plus details of each boat on Tradewinds Yacht Clubs site. Link right here to the right. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Blue water cruising in a Tetra 35

Blue Water sailing is different. There is day cruising, offshore sailing, and then there is Blue Water cruising. It's the ultimate thing: Living on board for an extended period of time at sea, on a boat built for that. No where to go, no way to get off, no marina in sight, no ice creams. It is catch your own dinner, and hope the watermaker works. If you are out of gin and tonic.
Almost Blue Water Cruising
Technically speaking virtual Blue Water cruising isn't possible. First of all, the virtual oceans aren't big  enough to let us sail for days and not see anything but water. Secondly, it is too easy to leave simply by logging out. Anyway, the water is Blue, and the Tetra 35 sailing yacht is a nice looking boat. Plus, there are dolphins, whales, reefs and other marine life to watch and explore. Fish to catch even.
Looking for dolphins in the sunset
The Tetra is well suited for a weekend cruise. It is about the size of a Hallberg Rassy 352, the (now x) boat of Alex and Taru. Have a coffee and go see. However, the Tetra looks a bit more like modern family cruisers, such as Granada 35 or Hanse 35 to mention a few real ones. Comes with pretty much standard equipment, room for at least four people, and it will make any sailor feel good, just by the looks. Worked for me. Seemed to work for Skip Ravin too.
Yes, it sails too. 
It has a nice hull, and a nice set of sails. That includes a spinnaker, and it is pretty easy to sail for one person. Nice animations, nice sounds and all in all it almost felt like sailing. I was just enjoying the cruise, keeping a lookout for dolphins and coconut islands, but I did notice the lack of telltales and compass. Oh, and on a real Blue Water cruiser you'd have scuba gear. Yes, there are at least a couple of really nice scuba areas in the virtual oceans.
Motoring about looking for a mooring spot.
Sound like a dream? It is. Regretfully, the Tetra does not come with a modern sailing engine, and the boat is constructed way too complicated. Loads of technical problems. Halts at sim borders, sails in weird positions, numerous crashes. All this might be due to technical imperfections of SL, but the fact remains: If you want a sailing experience, then you are probably better off with a Q-2m, a Flying Fizz or maybe ReneMarines Cutter.
Sailing into the blue horizon
Nevertheless, looking at the picture above the Tetra supports the dream of sailing into the sunset. I just hope the boat will be updated. Then I am gonna get me one.

Monday, August 15, 2011

J-Class relaxation

Logged in to get some sunshine. The RL weather continues to be grey and rainy. By chance I met this guy out to test his boat, so here we are, - sailing across the Blake Sea. Winds not too strong. Perfect opportunity for me to get some sun.
Me on a J-Class from Trudeau
Besides, I never sailed a J-Class in SL before. It was kinda nice. The sails are flat like a pancake though. Too bad. Such a pretty boat, otherwise. I guess an update will take care of that.
Coconut Island? Nope, Windlass...
After a while we reached the southside of Blake. Sandy beaches with palmtrees began to pop up everywhere. Just what I needed. Set relaxation to one hundred percent, take off the helmet (!) and enjoy quite the opposite of Extreme Sailing. Ahh... those dreams... 
Relaxation set to 100%
On a day like this, Second Life ain't too bad. In fact, the weather in SL is usually a tad better than in RL, but enough talking... there is RL racing to do. After all they said the sun would pop out later today. Thanx for the ride, Ravin.

If you're a sucker for classics, you might wanna check the Bolero, the Trudeau One and the Folkboat.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Flying Fizz racing

Had a great day racing. Started with two wins in the Shelly Fizz of the coast of Tradewinds Yacht Club.  The Shelly Fizz is still a great little boat with many realistic features. Then I went on to race the Flying Fizz, and phew... I gotta tell ya: I need more practice. First race I came 6th out of 7. Bad start. Didn't know the way round the course. Capsize and what not.
El Megro hunting me back home...
Nope. These aren't excuses, - just explanations. If you don't win, then at least analyze and realize why you didn't. This one is easy. You can't win a Fizz race, if you aren't sharp. The Fizz nuts know their stuff. That's why I don't have pictures from the race; There is no way I can take pictures while racing.
I waited a little as u can see on my telltales
So, these pictures here are from right after the races, when I raced ElMegro back home to Tradewinds. I hope you can see the action. Anyway, the second race was much better. Good start, good boatspeed and will you look at that... I came second, or was it third? What's important is, that it's possible to beat these Fizz-nuts.
Close race the rest of the way to Tradewinds
Didn't win the third race, but I didn't come last either, so I was happy. After not racing the Fizz for ages... more than half a year, this was encouraging... What's even more encouraging is that we sailed  under full ISAF rules, - and even better... people start to know and act by the rules. Some even withdrew after making a mistake. Protests were handled with a smile, and Silber Sands did a great job as RD. Thanx all for a great time.
Back at Tradewinds after a great sailing time
So, - here's me back at Tradewinds Yacht Club - all smiley and light-hearted, - and a bit tired after some great and fun sailing. Yum. Let's have some more.

More pictures of me and my Flying Fizz in No Comments.

Friday, August 12, 2011

A sip from reality

This summer I had the opportunity to try a mini12. It's a beautifully (Swedish) designed one seater, built over the R-meter rule. I mentioned it before in a post about the Q-2m. Talking to an inworld friend about these boats, made me put a few pics up here.
Me noodling around in a mini12
We call it a mini12, but it is really an International 2.4 meter; Fully classed and all. Jib, main, but sadly no spin. Well, I've seen one with a spin, but it was unclassed and homemade.
Cockpit view, telltale barely visible in the jib from this angle.
Anyway, they are huge fun to sail. Mine had hand controlled rudder. The other one was steered with the feet using two pedals. So how about it? Maybe We can get Qyv to shrink the 2m, which is actually a little over 7 meters long. Small  boats need smaller courses and fewer sim crossings, right?
I am on starboard but too late...
Incidentally, - what is reality? If there is water on which you can sail, it's real to me. Only difference is these boats come with a pump. Real water makes u wet, makes the boat heel more, and it slows u down. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

No comments

Right. These pictures really need no comments. They clearly speak for themselves, and I will let them...
Flying Fizz on a beat
Let me just say, that the Flying Fizz provides a very intense and realistic sailing experience; One of the best available. Any RL sailor will feel right at home.
Downwind building up speed
Naturally, it adds to the experience that Marin knows precisely how to handle the jib and when to hoist the gen, when and how to hike, and when and how to adjust the power of the sails. You can adjust the depth of the sails individually.
The Fizz was born with an on board speedpuck
I don't really need to tell you, we had a great time, do I? More on that later, in a post called Destination Paradise or sum-ding. If you never tried the Fizz, then get one at Tradewinds Yacht Club. It is free, and it is great fun. And if you keep capsizing, I'll be glad to help. If the Fizz is just too much, try the Baby Sloop.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Cutter sailing revisited

After a vacation it is usually time to tidy up and stuff. When you do that, you often find old - and sometimes dear -  belongings long forgotten. That's how I found this:
The Seagull sailing at sunset somewhere west of Tradewinds.
It is called the Seagull. And here I was thinking the cutter from ReneMarine was my first cutter..! Ok, so maybe Rene's cutter is a bit more detailed, but this one actually sails pretty well for its age. It has a BWIND sailing engine, and it comes with that nice little trimming vane that changes colour indicating the trim.
Sunset on a beautiful beach...
The boat is very easy to sail. It also seems quite stable. I went for a longer ride. Sailed west through Balduins Channel from Tradewinds, then down south through Knaptrackicon and then - after a while I turned east to reach the Blake Sea. Then up north and home to Tradewinds. All this with no crash.
A narrow passage...
Quite amazing actually. The boat also has room for passengers, so it is well suited for relaxed cruising with friends. However, it might be - in this version - it is a little outdated. Not sure if a newer version is out. Didn't seem like it. Never mind that. It is not a racing boat, but it sails well. I wouldn't mind taking the Seagull off shore.
Open sea ahead
I've never met the builder, Tomha Zymurgu. I went to his shop, and you can still get the Seagull there; It is also available in the shop at Tradewinds. BTW, there is something more exciting at Tomha's shop... a dinghy called the Flying Dolphin; Sadly it wasn't for sale.
Back home through Blake
Anyway, as you can see, the Seagull is a great cruiser; I had a very nice time sailing her, and there are plenty of places to go cruising, so no excuse... go see the islands.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Virtual Callypso

Just back from a rainy sailing holiday. Yuck. I logged in to sunny Tradewinds Yachtclub to see what's been going on. Ok, so they found a winner of the ACA 2011. Congrats. Details on metaversesailing. Talked to Bea about the new ACA boat version 3.1. Much improved it seems. More on that later.

Tradewinds is running a powerboat show, and I will shoot a few pics from that later, but what did I see, when I logged in?? I saw an almost mythical ship, and here it is:
The mythical ship at Tradewinds
It is of course Jacques Cousteau's Callypso. I've said it before. The creativity in Second Life never stops to amaze me. Look at all the details.
Details, details, details...
It is a faithfull replica of the ship, complete with the helicopter, zodiacs, and the little sub. Yup, it's all there. Amazing to walk around on this ship, which - I suppose - most people have seen on TV.

Here's another view. I also sat in the heli, but I didn't know the commands to fly it. Kudos to Jacques for his amazing work for the ocean and its inhabitants, and what a beautiful build by Sweecahcahche Ah. Hope I got the name right. The rainy holiday? Someone asked me to share a few pics. Not sure it fits this sailing blog though. Will think about it.