Thursday, June 30, 2016

It's so real...

The landscape and seascape in SL can be truly amazing. It isn't always, but many places around the big oceans are really nice. Palms, blue water, small sandy bays, diving resorts and houses with their feet in the water. Some areas have loads of small islands with houses, heli-platforms and what's nuts. Here's a sample chart from an area like that somewhere in Fruit Islands:
Small islands in the North Sea
The yellow dot is me and my view. These areas are fun to sail in a small boat that sails well at a realistic speed. It takes a lot of navigation, and upwind it's really hard work to avoid spending time on the beach. Some islands allow that... Others have security systems installed and they will teleport you away. Just you. Not your boat. Anyway... the islands are sooo sweet. Here's a closer view:
This particular island was nice enough to not have an automated alarm system, so here's a shot from the garden. Just so you can get the idea of how exquisite this area is. I mean, who wouldn't wanna stay here for a weekend..?
A view from the garden
Sadly it isn't my island, and it isn't my Ushuaia moored there, but the thing is... it could be. Futhermore: Just off the coast I met Arwyn Silverweb and Cooky Swindlehurst. They were out to dive; Here's a shot of the to of them... Diving in SL is great. In fact it requires an entire series of posts to justify it... This is just off the coast of this "house-sized" island:
Diving in SL is great
The thing is, however nice these areas are, I always thought they were a virtual thing only. Not from the real world. That gave me mixed feelings about spending cash for one. Not any more. They are real. Just have a look at this one from the dreaded real world:
An island exported from SL to RL

Yes, it's real. Complete selfsustained island with pier, helipad, pool and a reef protecting it all. It's called "East Sister Rock Island", and you can see it right here on google maps. It's in the Florida Keys, and it's for sale... Get it right here. There's even a video. The only problem is... it's USD8.5M, which is more than many ppl make in a lifetime. I guess that's why they can sell the islands in SL; They'll set you back only a tiny fraction of a fraction of the real thing... Still, I know now that I need to add the Florida Keys to my bucket list.

Found one that's round and has a pier, a pool, aircon, a reef and all the other stuff except the helipad. I suppose you could set it down on the beach, but it will blast some sand around...
An island that made it from RL to SL
Yes, that's me floating in the pool... dreaming of the Florida Keys... Cheers!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Shy patrol boat

Hmm... This has been anchored here for a while now. I thought I'd hop on board and have a look. Looks like a powerfull ship with no guns? There should be a button to push somewhere.
The shy patrol boat
Strangely, when I clicked it to hop on... it moved away from me. I did shower today, so it's either the system messing up or the boat that's just being shy. Will try again sometime soon.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Whats' that sail up front?

This morning I found a strange picture in my mail... It's very much about sailtrim and how you help guests and newbies to find their way around the boat.
Labels are always helpful
I suspect these labels here were made by a couple of witty teenagers. Question is: Are all these hauls really for the fock? Have a great weekend out there.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

An old friend

I am not always out sailing new boats. A few days ago I saw someone sailing a Tako. That's a rare sight. I suppose u never forget ur first love. The Tako wasn't mine, but...
Downwind, great balance
Seeing the Tako made me browse my memory for elderly boats. The first one that came to mind was the QSM40 from Qyv. One of the absolute first boats with curved sails. Then I came to think of the Bolero; Made by Balduin Aabye. The Bolero took a step into the future with telltails and swim animations. Very nice.
Island hopping
I loved sailing the Leetle Cat II round the North Sea. Very nice little boat. Cute too. It's probably one of Trudeaus cutest. Speaking of cute Qyv has made a few of those... The Q2M is such a sweet lil daycruiser, but the tiniest of the cutest boat still is the Q2mR.
Coastal upwind
What else was there in the old days?? Ahh, the Trudeau-One... Very nice boat. Also has a few anims and poses. Looks great too. Another great little thing was the Racing Laser by Becca. It kinda never really took off. Perhaps it was too easy to sail. Still it was a nice little beginners boat.
Looking for open waters
Then there was the virtual Moth... Oh what fun. Not an entirely finished project, but a fantastic build at the time. The Moth was sort of the opposite of the Cutter from ReneMarine. Another very nice looking boat. Beccas Baby Sloop sorta ended trip down memory lane; It was extremely popular at the time. Still a decent sail for a beginner. However, I want more action, so I launched another old friend and sailed around Pslande with a new friend. So much fun with virtual boats...

Monday, June 20, 2016

Exotic Boats Show

Some quest Ahab is on here... Coming up this summer: Exotic Boats Show! Can't wait to see it...
Exotic boats 
Today everything has giant code zeros, bow spirits and foils; If you see a boat without foils you can be sure it will have a swing keel and plane on an upwind in 6 meters per sec. So Houston we have a probem: When foiling is so yesterday, what's an exotic boat these days?

Friday, June 17, 2016

Pirate Bay?

Here's a little something for the boys... Went sailing in the Ushuaia with a friend. Had a great trip down south-east; Nice steady wind and an almost clear blue sky.
Watch those reefs
After crossing the Blake Sea we wanted to have a break and test the anchor; See if it holds. Found a beautiful mooring spot. Just as we had dropped the anchor, we spotted yet another beautiful bay that needed exploring, so anchor up...
See that bay over there?
... engine on. As we approached we realized that someone was already there. At least some boat was there. Noone was around though, so we dared to moor and have a look around.
Moored in ...
Turns out the island was a pretty little paradise. Beautiful garden and views plus a nice house. Dunno who lives there, but that little boat sorta inspired us to call the place...
Pirate Bay
Pirate Bay! Never saw a pirate look like that. There's pirates several places in SL waters. The classic ones. Not the ones in high powered ribs roaring the east coast of Africa. Anyway, I got the feeling that my companion wouldn't mind meeting one of those... Have a great weekend...

PS: The mooring was kinda working but not working. More on that in another post.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A little fishing boat

Was just out sailing; Nice trip with Daniel around the Blake Sea SE areas. When we came back I noticed this little fishing boat. Nicely moored on the west pier:
A little fishing boat
I don't think I ever saw it before. In fact fishing boats are rare in SL. It's probably because there's not a lot to catch. We do have fish though. Usually they're found around diving spots, so they aren't really meant to be caught... Anyway, the builder is pretty well known. It's Carbon Philter. I wonder if the smoke coming out of the excaust has been well filtered... Check it out while it is still moored at Tradewinds YC.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Weekend quiz

I've seen quite a few creative boat names, and I must say that Second Life Sailors are just as creative as First Life Sailors. Here's three names I've seen in both worlds: "Second Wife", "Too Slow" and "Anadyomene". However, an old friend emailed me this, and it takes the name game just a step further...
An original boat name
And here's the quiz: What's it say? There's a bonus question for the Second Life Sailors: Where was the picture taken. Guessing the boat type is too easy, so no quiz there! Have a great weekend...

Thursday, June 9, 2016


Just a shot from a bit of cruising. Sailed around Blake with Craig, and we stopped by the old greenhouse. It's an ancient but still fantastic little island. Yes, it's the Ushuaia in the back. When I was about to leave for Tradewinds - this view was just so much of a Kodak-moment I had to shoot it; If that expression still exists... Kodak...
A truly fantastic location.
Someone once brought me to see the greenhouse - many years ago, wayyy back when I was brand new to SL. Sadly I don't remember his name, and I also have no pics from the trip. It was before I started blogging and all... As far as I remember it, it seems pretty much unchanged since then. Which makes it even more fantastic.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Cargo-ship or explorer

There's always something going on at Tradewinds. Yesterday, while I was tanning on my new and delicious Ushuaia, this thing was roaring about by the west-side pier.
Never saw it before, but it does look kinda interesting with all the boxes, cranes and what not gizmoes stuck on it. Plus the name is funny. BTW: What are those yellow spots there on the side?
... or Explorer?
In picture two there's a platform of sorts on the starboard side. It could maybe be used for launching some kind of deep sea explorer equipment. Not that we have a great deal of deep seas to explorer. I wonder wat is the deepest spot in Blake? What's the deepest spot in all oceans of SL?

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Night Sailing with the Ushuaia

I love night sailing. It is different from day sailing in so many ways. Sailing in the dark does something, - plays with your mind, - sharpens all senses. You pick up sea-scents that you'd never notice at day time. You hear sounds that seem to be there only at night. You feel more... and you have to, cause you can't see a thing. It's kinda like switching from brain-control to heart-control...
Sailing into the dark
So I thought I'd take my new and shiny Ushuaia for a trip in the dark. Just to get to know her... See how she compares to both old and newer favourites. See if I can "feel the force". I was in for a nice surprise. Not that she's easier to sail in the dark, but she does sail pretty well just by the feeling. No staring at screens. No weird hiccups. Everything works as you'd expect from a real boat, and that's what I like. Let's call it "natural sailing".
Light ahead!
The night sailing experience itself in SL is pretty good. I mean, it is dark and there are differents sounds everywhere. The sea-scents we'll have to do without. For now. However, there are plenty of lights to sail by. Nav buoy lights. There are quite a few lighthouses too - spread all over the grid. A little too many of these are really just there for decoration. They look nice, but they don't really serve a purpose.
This one here is the all time classic Sharp-Tooth-Isle, which I have rounded in more virtual boats that I care to count. The Viking Long Boat Roar Ege being one of them. As you can see - it's quite dark here; The moon was hiding behind clouds, but a few nautical  miles down the road I had a beautiful moonlit night.
That turned out to be very useful (the moonlight) as I went inshore through a couple of small islands with no nav buoys at all. Very interesting. Unmarked reefs to the east, big island to the west. Boats, piers and tiny islands inbetween. Way too busy to take pictures. Especially as I was going upwind and the Ushuaia has quite an aggressive weather helm. Not a complaint! Just taking a note. I suppose the hull shape would give a weather helm in RL too. It's pretty much a scaled down version of the VO65, and that has weather helm. I'd be happy to be able to trim some of this away though.
Open sea again
As mentioned the virtual seas are full of meaningless lighthouses, whereas there is (still) a lack of meaningfull nav buoys. Some areas are better than others. The North Sea has a few correct buoys indicating shallow waters and stuff. The Blake sea is a bit too littered with stuff that lights up for no apparent reason. Perhaps it is time to tidy up and possibly upgrade, Mr. Blake? For instance, there's a map giver that sends out more light than the entire pool of nav buoys in that same area. Pretty ugly actually. Dunno why it has to be so shiny... 
Two nav buoys
Here are two nav buoys. Click the image to them better. There's really no reason why they are just there, but they do look nice. The white one resembles a traffic separation thingy. It sits north of an island!!? Maybe to split up traffic on either side? The red one is just - ehm - there. Well, and you can't sail much east of it. So maybe it's just the wrong buoy at the right place?? Or - it is really a red - marking the portside of a path..? Could be...
Another two
Here's another two... The blinking red is just a pointer of sorts. The triangular one on the right is a startline buoy - not lit at night. Luckily it is a balloon type of buoy so no damage is done if you hit it. By the way, - note how much my boat heels over. The Ushuaia and the VO65ers are meant to be sailed like this. It's in their DNA... or at least in their hull-design. It isn't meant to be sailed flat. It's meant to go max speed while floating on it's edge. A family boat? Maybe, but the kids legos will pretty much fly around in the cabin as if in outer space.
Land ahead!
Here's the small island east of Tradewinds YC. It's a nice view, but the island is completely unmarked. I suppose there is no need for that as there are no reefs surrounding it, but a tiny flash on a stick would have added just a tad of finishing touch. On a dark stormy night that piece of rock would have been as invisible as the now famous reef in the Indian Ocean. Incidentally, I recently heard from one of the danish sailors that it was in fact pitch dark when they hit it.
Beautiful night
If only the moon had been out they'd have seen it - well not the reef but the island right behind it. Moonlight can be rather strong out there. When the moon is the only source of light - at all - it can pretty much light it all up. Check out this shot, which I kinda like. Zoom in and note the faint yellow light in the back. It's actually marking shallow waters, so there's one meaningful buoy. Except it should have been a South marker. Oh, I wish we had better marks and better charts... 
Going home
... and here's another one... The Tradewinds Lighthouse overlooks 270 degrees of open water. It's well placed there. It could have been a sector light. Being green in the 270 waterish directions and red in the last 90. I suppose Tasha want to keep it as close to the real thing; The smaller red light is actually on the other side marking the entrance to the west side marina. Could be sectored as well. Well, better get back at my mooring spot in time for a morning coffee.
Ahh... I just love the morning at Tradewinds; It only gets better with a freshly squeezed espresso. Yummy. So how was it then..? I love it. The boat seems fast and responsive, and it doesn't act up in unspected ways. It's really smooth on a downwind, whereas upwind requires a bit more attention due to the weather helm. Perhaps cruisers will find it a bit tedious. I almost did, but then again a boat like this would rarely sail on a straight line by itself. The trimming? Supereasy. There are lamps indicating trim and there are luffing sounds and telltails. Doesn't get much better. Well, perhaps there should be an automated fender function. I just realize that I sailed around with fenders out. Duuuh. And there are no decent nav lights. The light command turns on engine light plus starboard and port side, but there's no rear light. Unsuited for night sailing! Anyways, I had a great time sailing the Ushuaia. Will take her out for a dayspin anytime soon... Unless 1st Life calls for some real sailing. 26C and 5 meters from east. Sounds like summer... Cheers...

Friday, June 3, 2016

A new dawn?

Ok so maybe the Ushuaia doesn't excactly represent a new dawn, but still... it kinda dragged me back in to SL after a longer "vacation". It appears to be a very interesting boat. Not only does she sail well. She looks good too, and on top of that there's like a hundred fancy animations and poses.
Dawn at Tradewinds
All in all there's lots to explore and figure on and in this boat. I like it so far. It is definately one of the most complete packages I've seen in SL. Makes me feel so "Gone sailing". Better make some plans for a summercruise.
A new sailor, Austeen, popped up nearby. In picture one he sits in his Nemo in the back. He yelled hi, so I invited him over for a coffee. Too early for beer at sunrise. We had a nice non-alcoholic boat talk. Anyway, the Ushuaia comes complete even with a built-in espresso machine. I could definately live with that... in RL. Check the real thing too... it's called ELAN S5. Espresso machine not included... Cheers, and have a great weekend.