Friday, October 30, 2015

Spooks at Tradewinds

Whoohooo... or is it uhuuuuu? I really dunno. It's that time of year again. Spook-time. Spooks, coffins, skeletons and all kinds of bloody outfits are everywhere... Strangely enough kids seem to love it! That goes for the playfull minds in SL as well...
Halloween at Tradewinds
Ahab has been busy again. Not long ago he had the wooden boat show running. Now, it's all about Halloween at Tradewinds. There's all sorts of boats dressed in Halloween suits. Sails and hulls. Pumpkins everywhere.
Boats dressed up
It's quite a view. Too bad we cannot do this in RL. Well, we could, but it would be rather costly. Still, some ppl dress up their boats once a year in a crazy cruise from Copenhagen to Malmø. It's called ØRC. Google it and see how Danish sailors have fun.
Pirates reported
On the east coast of Tradewinds you'll find this "beautiful" tallship, complete with pirates, spooks and a giant squid. There are ehm... things inside, so it's lotsa fun to explore. This dude here I met on the lower deck. He seemed to be in a pretty good mood all things considered...
... and a bottle of rhum
There's another pirateship on the west side. It's not quite as covered with mushrooms, seaweed and other subsea-creatures, but... there's more action onboard. That skeleton thing there kept following me and pushing me around. Sadly, I couldn't get near the chest with the goldcoins... Hmmm... I suppose the Linden Exchange won't take them anyhow.
Would that be gold? I dunno!
In the sand dunes on the North side, there are all kinds of spookyness going on. I won't mention them all as this isn't a spoiler... Suffice to say: There's loads of stuff there to explore. If you dare.
What a cozy neighbourhood
Chests, weird sounds, a couple of bloody twins, a tiny chapel, more spooks, another happy couple and whats nuts. Back at the lighthouse I came across this particularly unlucky individual. I guess he's been sailing a bit too long... Maybe he forgot to bring his ships bisquits...
Allways bring charts and food
What else.. what else... Oh, there's a cute Flying Fizz, Halloween style, hehe. Here it is.
Flying Hallowizz
This next shot is what you'll see at the east pier by the lighthouse. A cannon and a skeleton... Watching the strait. He didn't fire that cannon while I was there, but I don't think anyone sailed by; Sit and wait for someone to pass and if you click the cannon it sends out a cannonball and a grey cloud of smoke.
The rest I'll leave to you, and trust me - there's loads more. If you are looking for a spooky weekend, then drop by Tradewinds YC at Dex, and see just how spooky it can get. Yo ho ho and a really spooky weekend to you all...

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The virtual tourist...

So! I've come across the subject before: The virtual tourist. Not long ago I saw a virtual cruise ship. That was a new thing... There are beaches too, and art galleries and churches for that matter. Castles, woods, skiing and more... Even the Eiffel tower is there though I must admit the real thing is more impressive.
The virtual sun...
However, - sometimes SL is just about quietness or "stretching" the mind after a hefty day at the office. This time I just needed some sun. The RL is nearing winter. Ok, so we're just over halfway through fall but... Yesterday morning my car was covered in ice. Brrrr.
... is a soulsaver
That's when SL is such a cure. Just login and you can have whichever weather and time of year you like. Sunshine, ocean and birds or winter and snow and silence. Whatever mood you're in there's somewhere nice and soothing. Isn't that just wonderfull?
Sitting at the dock...
I never even knew this place. Just searched for beaches et voila there it was... all I had to do was to click "teleport". Now, that would be a nice feature to have in real life. Wake up on Coconut Island, go skiing in the morning and sailing in the afternoon. Woohooo. After a while I found a pier. I think I'll be going back there to figure out if those waters are sailable.

More unboatly posts here.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

A virtual cruiseship?

I was out sailing my lovely and newly updated Ktaba Cirya, when this rather big thing popped up on the horizon. At first I thought they had made a new island, but no! On closer inspection it turned out to be yet another thing I've never seen before: A virtual cruiseship.
A new island? 
I'm often amazed by the things people build. This is no exception, but... I mean for what? The Cirya I can take out and go sailing with a friend. Would anyone do the same with a cruise-ship, or are there passengers on board? Will people be going on virtual cruises round the Blake Sea? Sometime in the future they might. Movies have been made on that subject.
No, it's a cruise-ship
As you can see it's not that big after all. Big enough to be big for the virtual waters. Small enough to still be able to sail around without constantly running aground. Even if it did hit a rock, I am sure there will be help available from the Coastguard. I don't know if there are organised pilotboats in SL. Probably.
An empty cruise-ship
Up on the top deck, I'd expect to see people flocking around the pool and the bar - and the golfcourse, but it was quite empty. Would have been fun to see a full fledged party going in up there. Perhaps the SL Enquirer will have cruises in their add-section in the next issue. Dunno. The cabins look kinda nice, so why not book a cruise right away?
Empty cabins too
Sadly I only managed to get one picture from the inside before she was gone. I turned around my Cirya, but upwind I was not able to catch up and get a closer look. Soon I lost visual contact and after a few minutes she was nowhere to be found. Well, never mind! Off to find me an island where I can drop the anchor for the night.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Flying Shadow launched

So the Flying Shadow was launched. If you dunno what it is, it's a two-seater foiling cat; The virtual edition of the RL Flying Phantom. Here's a few shots from the launch. This first one is just people waiting for Dutch to start his speach ;-)
The wait
Quite a crowd showed up. In fact there were so many of us that I lost count. Time and opportunity for interesting boat talks. Anyway, when Dutch finally began speaking he didn't say much. It almost sounded like he was tired of boatbuilding; That's understandable. The Flying Shadow is a remarkable boat in several ways. It must have been hard work.
The speach
After a few crude sentences from the builder, there was announcments of a Flying Shadow club, regular races, a possible clubhouse and probably merchandise too, but I crashed out; I guess the sim overloaded or something. Didn't hear the whole thing, and to be honest I'd much rather hear the builder talk about the building process and all the inherent frustrations in building such a boat.
So what's so friggin special about this boat? Since the builder didn't bother to tell us, I'll give you my few cents on the subject. It's not the first cat in this virtual world. It's not the first foiling boat either. It isn't even the first foiling cat; We all saw those crazy boats in the Americas Cup. So what's the deal here... Is the Flying Shadow any different from a Nacra 17? Yes, the Nacra flies too... it just doesn't in our little virtual pond.
Details, details, details
Well, the graphics are superb. Nothing less. It's just so precise and delicious. It started with the Laser or was it the VO70?? Somehow I get the feeling that Dutch has taken the graphics to a new level here. There are sheets and trimlines all over, and the hulls and the sails look very nice; But we're getting used to that quality from the Mesh Shop. This time the real snacks are in the small details such as the working carbon  jib traveller, the super nice mainsheet traveller, the user interface and it's options.
Perfect balance
The boat must be balanced to go at it's fastest. Both sailors take part in that. There are main and jib/genakker to trim. Both sailors can do that, simultanously. Plus you need to handle those daggerboards, keep a lookout and steer precisely. Especially the lookout is important; Going 25 knots makes things approach kinda fast. Things as in other boats and islands. And it's fun. It's like a sailboat on steroids blasting it's way down south and across the Blake Sea in only a couple of minutes. I am pretty sure the polar implementation is good enough to make downwind sailing interesting too, but that remains to be seen.

The sail engine itself is a BOSS 3.0; It is yet another step up from the BWind 2.5. I'd call it a supercharged next-gen BWind of sorts.  It's been morphed from 2.0 into 2.5 and then into something much more advanced than the original BWind. The BOSS 3.0 is a very fast, very capable and very responsive sail engine. It handles sim crossings extremely smooth. Even at crazy 25 knots it seems to blast past those dreaded sim borders without taking much notice. That is truly amazing.
Checkout from the launch party
So there... in reality the Flying Shadow is just a modded Nacra. However, in our virtual waters it is
one of a kind. It sails great, it looks great and it is great fun; It is kinda easy to sail, but I am sure it will turn out to be difficult to sail well. Plus the graphics details are superdelicious. Did I mention it's super fun to sail? I didn't? Ok, here goes: It's super fun to sail... Sounds like the perfect weekend project: Figure out the Flying Shadow... I'm in. Cheers...

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Is it a bird, a plane or a rocket?

None of the above... It's tomorrow! This is the latest, greatest, fastest and the most advanced yet from Dutch. It's the Flying Shadow...
When tomorrow comes...
OMG it's fast! I almost wet my pants sailing this... See the real thing here. See it inworld tomorrow. Launch at 2pm SLT, Dutch Harbour. (That's 2300CEST)

Friday, October 2, 2015

Wooden boatshow

There's a wooden boatshow running at Tradewinds. Boats started to arrive a couple of days ago, and now the marina is almost full. I am pretty sure Ahab will be running in circles later today to organize it all.
Wooden oldtimers
There's a handfull of those oldtimers with creaking sounds, many masts, cockroaches and bow spirits, but there are also classics such as 12meters and the Cotton Blossom.
Classics from the 30ies
If these are too big for you, - there are also quite a few smaller boats; Still classics but just not as classy as a 12 meter. Anything from the small Leetlecat to the Shields.
Smaller boats too
... and if that isn't enough there's a couple of giants too... Two wooden Js... Yes, wooden J-boats do exist. Shamrock is one RL J-class that's wooden. Of the older ones - from before 1900 - some were also wooden. Oh, and the new ones aren't all steel... This could be Craig Ktabas Vanya... Even the bronze ones were wooden as they were only tobin bronze plated. The hull itself was wooden.
Pirate ships - guns and everything are both wooden , classics and gigantic. These boats are fantastic builds with so many accurate details it is absolutely breathtaking. Not old enough? There are two vikingships on display too. One of which I have sailed.

Should you want to relax with a boat that runs when you turn the key, this is it:
I've seen quite a few very classy powerboats in SL. Currently there are only two of them at the show. I hope this changes. Yes they stink and they're noisy, but the woodwork still looks amazing.

So here's to a great weekend; If you dunno what to do... pop by and check out the boatshow. Cheers!