Monthly Archives: September 2013

Heath Elvehjem injured in MVA


Those sailors in Second Life for the past few years will all know Heath Vercher (‘Heath Elvehjem‘ in SL). He gave many great concerts in SL New England, Sailors Cove, and multiple other locations. Heath often sailed with us, and he always enriched our lives.

Tasha Kostolany today reported that  Heath was recently involved in a severe MVA. Please read her note below, and please, please keep Heath in your prayers.

“Heath Vercher (Heath Elvehjem SL) has suffered the most horrible tragedy in real life.
For those of us that are older than 4 years old in sl you may have enjoyed Heath and his music all over SL. Though he has been mostly inactive in the past couple of years, there are many in our community that know him and have known him well.
[19:20] Misty Sapphire: [19:05] Misty Sapphire: Heath needs our prayers. For all of the loyal friends and family still in this group. Please keep Heath and AJ in your prayers. Tania and AJ were in a car accident yesterday involving a semi. Tania was killed, and AJ is in critical condition. I will pass on information as it comes to me. Please keep them in your hearts and prayers as they go through this tragic time.

Misty Sapphire: Continued Prayers for Heath.
His 2 yr old son AJ died this afternoon from his injuries. May God be with our friend as he struggles with his loss.
Misty Sapphire: And if you check his rl fb, you can be sure
Tasha Kostolany: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Shmoo Snook: I’m sorry, Tasha. Sorrier than you can imagine.
Tasha Kostolany: This is his real life facebook page that confirms it.

You can read more here.


FIYC Anchors in Sailors Rest

FIYC at Sailors Rest -1900pCo-commodores Joy Acker and David Whetherby tell me that Fishers Island Yacht Club -SL is now firmly ensconced in it’s new Sailors Rest home, on the shores of Blake Sea.

Kudos to Drwyndwn Tyne, who completed the new installation in record time. It’s an authentic build with a host of nice features, but I’ll let Joy Acker tell you the details!

FIYC at Sailors Rest -1024p


Nautilus New

NE Nautilus header

Several major changes are underway in the Nautilus region that might have a sizable impact on SL sailing. I’ve already discussed some of those issues here, including the widening of the Knaptrackicon channel that links the North and South waterways, and the associated expansion of DYC by Elbag Gable and RJ Kikuchiyo (full disclosure: I’ve been a part of that project too since 2009).

Although the Knaptrackicon waterway is important, it pales in comparison to several other projects that are just now playing out.

Sailors Cove sim reorganization.

I’ve already commented about the changes at Sailors Cove. I think that most would agree that for a long time SC was the nicest place to live and sail in all SL. 

I think we are all indebted to Patrick and Fanci; in large and small ways, they unfailingly enriched our lives. I’m sure I speak for all sailors, hoping Pat and Fanci can continue as part of this extended family as time and grace permits.

As Pat, Mark, and Nber announced, the ownership of Sailors Cove sims was transferred last week. In some cases sims were either removed, added or translocated. The new configuration could provide some benefits for the groups with particular interests (including pirates, mers, pilots, and sailors).

Here’s a map courtesy of Orca showing the estate and the owner breakdown for the transferred sims.

sailors cove new owners

Here is another, high-resolution map that includes the names and locations of all of the United Sailing Sims and Blake Sea. It might help some RDs with chart formation.

USS Map sep 25 2013 - 2048

Click for 2048 size

Rather remarkably, the changes in Sailors Cove were not the biggest news this week around Nautilus.

Sail like an Irish gent

This week a score of new sims cropped up off the coast of Northeast Nautilus, linked to mainland through the Eastern coastal waterway. The new sims appear to be Associated with the Irishestates group (now known as Sechelles Isles) under the leadership of Irishgent Resident. However, I need to be careful here because I’m not aware of any announcement by Lindens, Irish, or the estate group about this new project. Let’s wait and hear the details directly from them. However, this does give me an opportunity to offer a shoutout for Irishgent:

Many sailors will recall that Francois Jacques was a major investor in Second Wind along with Triumphal’s Charlz Price and Fiona Haworth. Their goal was to set up easily accessible ‘Learn to Sail’ centers across the grid for the benefit of… well, everyone. However, after Fran suddenly died one year ago, it became necessary to find new owners for many of the Sailing Centers that Fran helped underwrite. I posted about this issue and asked for sailors’s help. Irishgent was the first in line to my request. He was not interested in either the cost or the location; he simply respected what FJ had done, and was willing to do what he could to help.

At that time, others closely involved in the project also stepped in and Charlz and Fi decided to retain several of the parcels. It turned out Irishgent’s generous offer was not needed. However, his unselfish willingness to step up to the plate in FJ’s memory in support of sailing left a true, lasting impression with many in SL. Thank you, Irish.

Anyway, here’s an annotated map of the area under construction, with red arrows indicating points where the new simset connects with mainland water. Please don’t trust my map though; the day after I made it, one of the sims had moved to a new spot in the complex, and the land masses and content of many other sims were undergoing active change.

NE_Nautilus annotated

However, the map does show the relation of the estate to the other major waterways in eastern Nautilus. The simset merges with the Coastal Waterway near the Northeast outflow of Dire Strait. From that location it’s a quick sail North to Corsica, South to Blake Sea, or Southwest to Bingo Strait, Nautilus City, and Satori continent.

If you decide to go go visit, there’s a Linden rez spot in the SE corner of Loona in the coastal waterway adjacent to the connection. It’s a tropical sandy atoll designed by Silent Mole, and it nicely fits in with the island theme of the new estate.

Loona 001

A bit further south, just above the entry to the new simset, you’ll find Emin Marina. It has multiple, fun Linden freebies and an ample dock zone suitable for boat rezzing. It’s the work of Abnor Mole.  🙂


Once rezzed, you can sail from mainland Nereus sim across to Anse Etoile Isle in the newly attached complex.

irishgent 020

One there, you’ll find the various regions are quite detailed, and thoughtfully laid out with a coordinated, tropical islands theme.

Perhaps that’s no surprise. Ericaanne Hastings is an experienced, talented designer and builder in Second Life, and her influence is evident in the beautifully themed estate builds already installed.

Having said that, let me apologize again; this is a work in progress, and let’s wait for Irishgent to tell us the details. 🙂


When I started this post, I also planned to tell you what’s new in West Nautilus where Triumphal is rebuilding, and where Elbag Gable is revitalizing a large group of contiguous sailing venues. However, I’m running on too long here already, and I need to go sail!

Next time!


SL Sailing on


This week the Designing Worlds series on Treet.TV posted a 90 minute video on sailing in Second Life, hosted by Saffia Widdershins and Elrik Merlin. The piece was very nicely done and well worth watching; it’s something to share with others who want to learn more about virtual sailing in SL.

I can’t embed the video here, so follow the link to watch it on Treet. If you want the ‘skinny,’ here’s a quick summary.

The show began with a lengthy interview of MarkTwain White at Starboards Yacht Club. MTW set the background, discussing the origins of sailing in Second Life and reviewing key points in the history of the sailing community.


The scene then switches to Mango Yacht Club in Fruit Islands, where Saffia Widdershins interviews David Abbot about his experience racing sailboats in SL.

Screen-2013-09-25_11-00b David then shows off his Mesh Shop VO-70 and takes Saffia for a sail northward through Dire Strait.


The next segment of the program switches to the dock at Danshire Yacht Club in Knaptrackicon, where Elrik Merlin interviews RJ Kikuchiyo and Tod Marlinspike. RJ discusses his long interest and involvement in virtual re-creation of classical maritime builds, focusing on the Eagle and Ernestina vessels docked at DYC. The discussion then focuses on RJ’s design of the village and marina at DYC, and his long-standing interest in lighthouses. RJ ends this segment with a discussion of Fastnet Light, both in RL and in Blake Sea.

Screen-2013-09-25_11-15 Screen-2013-09-25_11-2m8


The show next jumps to the ReneMarine boatyard in Thalipolli for the fourth segment of the program. Saffia Widdershins does a wonderful, wide-ranging interview with Rene Underby and Jethro Sands. Rene and Jethro discuss the design of their marina, and the history of their relationship working together. Rene then briefly talks about the things she tries to emphasize in their boat line, and she and Jethro then take Saffia for a ride on a truly beautiful build.

Screen-2013-09-25_11-20 1-02


That’s the segue to a several minute slideshow by Wildstar Beaumont, showing rather gorgeous images of boats and nautical scenes at several yacht clubs in mainland, Blake Sea, and around Sailors Cove.



The closing interview is with Wildstar Beaumont himself. He talks about his own experience sailing, and gives passing homage to the memory of Mannie Madonna, an early icon of boatbuilding in SL. Wildstar emphasizes the classic battleships he’s fond of sailing, and then with some enthusiasm details the extensive waterways that interconnect continents in SL. He concludes by describing how skippers can now sail SL courses that literally take days to complete.


ship of Line


The video is very well done and a nice tribute to the many people who worked hard to build SL Sailing. The video has a polished, professional feel to it that reflects the skill and considerable effort of the producers; I think it’s an excellent introduction to the whole idea of virtual sailing in Second Life, and I’ll probably start handing out the link to every new person that asks. I’ll prolly hand it out to a whole bunch that don’t ask, too. 🙂

The program is not just intended for new sailors, however. I’ve been around SL sailing for seven years now, but I learned a number of new things while listening to the interviews. For example, it was delightful hearing the backstory to ReneMarine from the perspectives of both Jethro and Rene. In many ways, that adds an additional dimension to the experience of sailing their boats.

(On the other hand, I also learned that after spending months designing and rebuilding DYC, RJ Kikuchiyo still can’t pronounce the name ‘Knaptrackicon.’ 🙂 )

Having said all above, I also need to add that even in a 90 minute video, a vast amount of SL Sailing was left out. The most common boats were not discussed, and race regattas and cruises were mentioned only in passing. I was also a bit amazed when David Abbot cast off from the Mango YC dock in the vid and sailed into Dire Strait. What happen to that huge North Sea installation that’s directly linked to Mango? 🙂

However, as I write these comments the reasons for those omissions become apparent. SL Sailing has grown in size, scope, and diversity over the past years. There are so many facets to sailing now, it’s truly impossible to cover them all in a single ninety minute documetary. In fact, I’d guess one can’t even list all the important sailing headlines in that timeframe. Good reporters have to select vignettes that weave an interesting, factual story that also engages the audience.

In that context, I think Saffia Widdershins and Elrik Merlin, as well as all the sailors interviewed,  did a rather great job. Their video is interesting and informative, and it serves as an excellent appetizer that might leave viewers hungry for more. 🙂

When that happens, I’m pretty confident there are marinas and boatyards and clubs and classes and residential estates across the grid, all ready to help new users hit the water in style. 🙂



New Owners For Sailors Cove Sims

FIYC 022

This past week Patrick Leavitt and Fanci Beebe transferred their sims to other owners within the United Sailing Sims. This effectively brings Sailors Cove Estate to a close. Although the change was necessary and well-handled by Patrick, it’s also a sad event in many ways; Sailors Cove was arguably the nicest place one could live and sail in all Second Life.

I have many fond memories and funny stories about Sailors Cove to share, but today I’d just like to repost the three announcements that mark the new transition.

Posted by Patrick Leavitt to the Fishers Island Yacht Club and Sailors Cove groups on September 15 2013:

The Winds of Change are hitting FIYC and Sailors Cove!

First off, I happily want to name JoyofRLC and David Wetherby as our new Co- Commodores of FIYC. Fanci sends her congratulations too!

Secondly, I am announcing that Sailors Cove Estates is being sold. With Fanci literally fighting for her life from cancer we need to sell. Fanci said it best a little while back: “Its not that we want to sell its that we have to sell.”

I have been working hard on doing what is best for all of the residents at Sailors Cove, Fanci and the Yacht Club. There have been many hard decisions along the way. One of them being where we will call home for FIYC. I decided that the Annex on Sailors Rest is a prime spot worthy of our flag. You may think that is crazy but with the sale of Sailors Cove comes some very cool things in the future. I’ll talk more on that in a minute. 

I have decided that the current home of Clipper bay is not the best location for the Future FIYC. I asked the builder of the club to pick it up so that Clipper Bay can be used for the implementation of the Fanci’s Deep project mentioned below. We are looking at moving it to Sailors Rest if the prims will allow that.

We have been talking with several of our friends of the USS, negotiating for a favorable price for the estate. I am pleased to say that our friends have stepped up and an agreement has been reached. Fanci and I wanted owners that would appreciate what we have built here and try to keep the Estate close to what it is now. We feel we have done that.

Fanci and I want you to know that we have been honored that many of you have chosen to live here at one time or another. What Sailors Cove is today is because each and everyone of you, residents and slip renters, Shop renters and weekend sailors have made Sailors Cove what it is today. I hope you are as proud of that as Fanci , myself and our wonderful Management staff have been.

I would like to introduce the new owners of Sailors Cove. MarkTwain White, Nber Medici (of the Hollywood Complex) and Ey Ren (of the SL Norway sims). Thank you for helping Fanci and may your endeavors be good.

We will be sending out more specific information in regards to the distribution of the Estate. But for now I will be addressing the FIYC yacht club and a new area that will be called Fanci’s Deep on the north Eastern side of the estate. The new theme will be established with a four sim square. It will be a Mer community underwater and on the
surface the new area of the contested waters. Meetings are being held between the USS and Linden Lab. By the time the dust settles on the transfer of Sailor’s Cove to Mark, Nber and Ey the problems in the Blake Sea Contested Waters area should be solved. Part of that solution involves moving the pirate sea battles to Fanci’s Deep. So Fanci’s Deep
will be a key area to improve conditions and relations between three communities: sailing, pirate, and merfolk. That will help the situation immensely.

You may think this is a strange thing but Fanci has always wanted to establish a Mer community in Sailors Cove. She has been very vocal in the USS group to try and find solutions on the problems in the Blake Sea and the WW2 problems. This kind of helps both sides.

Change can be hard, but in this case change is good. I appreciate your prayers and hope they continue for Fanci and her battles. I am excited for the future of SL sailing and where Sailors Cove is going next and that the Blake Sea become a great place to sail once again.

Patrick Leavitt
Rear Admiral FIYC


Posted by Nber Medici to the Sailors Cove group on September 15 2013:

We (MarkTwain White and Nber Medici) wanted to reach out to you, the residents and friends of Sailor’s Cove. Our comments here are primarily addressed to those individuals that are residents of regions that have been transferred to us (not the regions that Ey Ren now owns). We are committed to maintaining the lovely nature of this area that I am sure you have come to love.

In the short run, the rent boxes have been redirected to pay us, so when you pay your tier simply do it as you always have. We will be replacing them with our own, but will need to have time to do that. For those of you that pay by PayPal, please make your payments to either or to depending on who owns the region. If you are currently paying by PayPal, we encourage you to consider a subscription payment.

Joy Canadeo will help you if you need assistance or please feel free to contact either Nber or MarkTwain. Nber is usually more available than MTW.

Keep Fanci and Patrick in your thoughts and prayers as they are in ours.

Fair Winds

Nber Medici
MarkTwain White


Posted by Joy Acker to Forum on September 16, 2013:

To FIYC Members & Friends

You will probably have seen Patrick’s messages about the changes to Sailors Cove and FIYC that are so sad, but so necessary.

We would just like to say “hello” to everyone. We are all too aware that we will be attempting to fill some very big shoes. Fanci and Patrick have built something wonderful. While changes are sadly necessary, we hope to preserve as much of the spirit of it as we can. But to do that we will need everyone’s help and support, so get ready! We will also be doing a lot of listening and getting all the advice we can on how best to move the club forward. Meanwhile the Club’s programs continue: weekly races & new sailor coaching.

Some details are still being sorted out. Patrick’s messages make it clear that FIYC will continue; and will have a clubhouse. Mark & Ey have written separately about the estates and you can see how supportive they are being. We will keep you informed of everything as we progress.

Finally, please take a moment to offer a prayer for Fanci and her battle.

Joy Acker & David Weatherby
Co-Commodores, FIYC.

SC Mar3 2011


Chaos Mandelbrot yesterday announced that the Leeward Cruise at 5:00pm SLT on September 24 would be a tour of the USS estates. “With all the changes to the United Sailing Sims I thought we would do a lap of all (I think I got them all) the sections.”

Here’s the chart; see you Sep 24, 5:00pm at the NYC sim start point. 🙂

LCC 24-Sep-2013


Hotlaps Update, September 2013

Hotlaps Handicaps September 17 2013

Hotlaps 2013 is a sailing format that helps skippers practice skills while doing fun, solo laps that are posted online. The Hotlaps database allows skippers to compare their lap time results with others; they can also contrast the relative performance of different boats that sail under the same ‘trial lap’ conditions.

There are six different Hotlaps raceline locations, and each has its own Hotlaps course: PLUMGUTBREADNUTKNAPTRACKICONLINKOUSSULU, and HEPURN. Sailing a Hotlap takes only ten minutes, and you can do it any time you want, in any boat.

hotlapsposters Just go to one of the racelines and click on the ‘Hotlaps 2013′ poster above the green buoy; it will give you all the info you need.

When you finish sailing the lap you can post it online by clicking a poster that’s labeled “Enter your lap time here.” It’s just as easy as that. 🙂

Sailors have been doing Hotlaps and posting their results since early in 2007, but this year we started a new 2013 cycle in deference to the large number of great, boats that have recently hit the water in SL. Since we began it in January, Hotlaps sailors have logged 442 lap scores sailing 45 different boat classes! Let me give a shout-out to that great group of 68 skippers who did all those laps:

2525, ak Topsail, Andi Merryman, Armano Xaris, B112, B117, B12, BM12, Brett Kjeller, Bunnie, Chaos Mandelbrot, CharliePakk, charliepakk, Dekka, Destiny Wescott, don Berthios, Emelia Azemus, Fearless Freenote, Glorfindel Arrow, gnupf gufler, Hannelore Ballinger, HansMarx, Hay Ah, IDBSDF61, JFos, Joy Acker, Justin Blade, Kain Xenobuilder, Kentrock Mesmer, Kris Hollysharp, Lance Corrimal, laured Cabassoun, Lesbo Charisma, Little Vixen, LucyInTheSky Afarensis, Maiko Taurog, michiya Yoshikawa, Nikif, notohama, nozomimi karu, Ome Audeburgh, pascal kira, Patrice Cournoyer, Pazzo Pestana, Peacy Cortes, Pensive Mission, poko Zepp, Popow Horbaczewski, Porter Tracy, Qyv Inshan, Rebbie Resident, Rim Telling, Ronin Zane, S11D, sailman, Samlara Vintner, SkyBlue Earthboy, Slanty, SteveLL resident, Takabou Destiny, Trapez Breen, VictorCR, Wolfhard Resident, Wrye Diabolito, Xi Larnia, xpaulx pain, yala74, Yuukie Onmura. ~~ WOOTS! ~~

2013 Hotlaps

All that hotlaps data goes into a public spreadsheet that contains multiple, linked pages that sort the results by race line and boat class, color-coded by skipper. Here’s an example, showing the submitted lap data for Plum Gut from January through September 16:

Sept 18 2013 Plum Gut Laps

click to enlarge

You can click the above image to get a larger view, but you can also just go to the live spreadsheet page any time to see the list of entered lap times.

2013 Handicaps

The pool of standardized lap data makes it possible to compare performance of different sailboats and calculate a “Handicap Factor” for each popular boat class.  Hotlaps 2013 uses the Melges-24 as it’s arbitrary reference standard. The M-24 is the Hotlaps index boat, and by definition it has a Handicap of 1.00. (You can see that shown in red in the first data row below).  All other boats have handicap values expressed relative to that standard.  

Here’s the current summary list of Handicaps for all the tested boats at each of the race courses:

summary HH

Each row in the above matrix represents a different boat class and the columns contain the handicap values for those boats for the six race lines.  Slower boats (i.e., those with longer lap times than M-24) have Handicap Factors that are less than 1.00,  and faster boats have handicap factors greater than 1.00. 

handicapsFor example, several sailors tested the Mesh Shop Laser One on each of the six Hotlaps courses. The average handicap values were 0.75, 0.73, 0.74, 0.62, 0.69, and 0.79. That’s a pretty tight clustering of results, considering the varied sailors involved and the differences of each course.

The average handicap for all courses was 0.72, suggesting that the Mesh Shop Laser One is 28% slower than  the Melges-24 on any typical racecourse (The M-24’s handicap= 1.00).

 The figure to the right shows a current list of handicaps for tested boats, averaged over all six lines. The slowest boats in the bunch include the Shelly, the Fizz,  and the Galiko NY32 (which has a Fizz engine). All these boats produced handicaps of 0.50-0.60, evidence they are roughly half as fast as the Melges-24.

Of course, a slow boat is not a bad thing; it just reflects the builder’s design and vision. Several other boats had handicaps as slow as the ones named above in the 0.50-0.60 range, including the Leetle Cat II, the Patchogue II, the RM Pilot, and the ACA Tiny.

Cruiser handicaps.


powered by Rotaru

However, that’s the slow end of the spectum; most cruise boats are faster than that. The cruisers in SL tended to generate handicaps that range from 0.60- 0.90. That means they are 10-40% slower than the Melges-24, at least when sailed with a 15 knot wind. Nearly all Trudeau boats fit in this 0.60-0.90 “cruiser”-group. It’s a realistic speed-spot for them, since most Trudeaus are classic designs of earlier, multipurpose vessels; they are not hotrods.

Many other popular boats also fit in that Cruiser 0.60-0.90 speed-niche. For example, Craig Kbata’s Teleri 20 scores 0.70, Manul Rotaru‘s Beach Trimaran rates a 0.82, and Rene Marine‘s RM-12 comes in at 0.69. Quest Marine has two boats in this speed range as well; the 2M (0.74) and the Scow  (0.85).

bandit 50Analyse Dean’s recent Bandit 50 is one of the quickest of this whole cruising group. It scored a 0.89, placing it just 10% behind the Melges 24 racer. Kain Xenobuilder also has a new cruiser, the Cafe del Mar 75, that uses the same BWind 2.5 engine as the Bandit 50. You might think Cafe’s sailing performance would be similar to Bandit’s, but you’d be wrong. 🙂 CDM75The Hotlaps data shows that the Café 75 is a much faster boat, earning a handicap of 1.12; that beats Bandit 50 by over 20% !!

The Cafe Del Mar is designed to emulate a beamy mid-size cruising boat, but it sails more like an ocean racer. It’s even  12% faster than the lean-and-mean, carbon and glass Melges 24! Wowzers!

I’ll tell you much more about Bandit 50, Cafe 75, and the RM 12 in a separate post soon. 🙂

Racer Handicaps

The third large group of handicaps primarily includes the large, ocean race boats in SL. They all tended to score in the 0.90-1.20 range. 

Q M-24 launchSince Hotlaps 2013 uses the Melges 24 as it’s benchmark standard to set the other handicaps, it’s no surprise that boats that score around 1.00 are also racers. For example, Kanker Greenacre’s Tako 3.3 scored a handicap of 1.03 in this series, almost identical to the M-24. 🙂 

The Quest IACC scored a 0.94, a bit behind the ACA33 Racer with 1.03. The Mesh Shop’s two ocean racers are right in that mix as well; The OD65 ranked 1.10, and the VO70 earned a 1.03.OD-65

It’s interesting to comment that the Mesh Shop VO70 has a handicap that’s identical to  the old  Wildwind VO70 (1.03). That makes a lot of sense since both builders were modeling the same boat, but it’s great to see the consistency. 🙂

Speaking of Wildwind boats, the present lap results clearly show that WildWind is continuing its reputation for building the fastest ocean racers in SL sailing. The Wildcat-45 catamaran scored a 1.12, the WW Open-60 rated 1.07, and the (still beta) WW AC-72 came in with a rather incredible 1.54. If WildWind decides to release it, the AC-72 could be the fastest sailboat ever launched in Second Life. More important, it would be a truly remarkable emulation of this year’s RL Americas Cup racer. 🙂

ac72 crew

Handicaps for History

There are still many boats to test and extra data laps to run to get accurate numbers across the whole fleet. By December 2013, we should easily exceed 500 new database laps, and that data will be added to a pool of many thousand laps on numerous courses dating back a full seven years.

That’s prolly a good time to sit back with a stiff drink and try to make some conclusions about what Hotlaps can tell us about the diversity of boats we all share and sail in Second Life. 🙂


Fossett 2500

Fossett 2500

Although my regards are a few weeks’ tardy, I’d like to give a big THANKS to Chaos, Benny and Rona for their efforts organizing the August  20 Leeward Cruise. The theme was:  Jane Fossett’s 2,500th day in Second Life. 🙂 It was loads of fun, and gave me this opportunity to chime-in with praise for SL cruisers once again.

Chaos, Tory, Manul

The Cruising Club has been around for over five years, and it’s easily the largest and longest-running sailing event in all SL. 

Manul Rotaru and Tory Micheline initiated the concept. With strong support from Saxxon Domela and Elisha Paklena, Manul and Tory began Mowry Bay Cruising Club. It was an instant, huge success, and the MBCC fleet quickly grew in both membership and cruising options. After many months of regular events, MBCC was recognized by pretty much everyone  as a staple of sailing in Second Life. 🙂

At that point, Tory and Manul did an truly unexpected and somewhat amazing thing: They resigned. They had proven their point about the importance of cruising. They were not interested in SL politics, and they certainly did not want to form some sort of “Cruising Monopoly.” (Note: This is just my understanding of conversations from years ago. Please chat with Tory and Manul to get the real info.)

At their request, the cruising group reorganized and became the Leeward Cruising ClubSaxxon again hosted several meetings, and both Blackbird Latte and Cait played important roles, keeping the cruising group alive during a serious transitional phase.

Leeward Cruising

Chaos at helm; Jane, Fran and somebody crewing.

The mantle was then formally passed to Chaos Mandelbrot and Kittensusie Lander. That dynamic duo instantly went into high gear, establishing a regular schedule of challenging cruises and apres sail parties that won the admiration and participation of sailors, grid-wide.

In this context, don’t let me forget BennyThe Boozehound; he’s coordinated the music for over half the cruises since Chaos and Kitten took charge. Benny’s playlists have always been cruise-appropriate, and frequently sailor-specific; he’s set the theme for a litany of sailing adventures in SL. It’s no easy matter to set up the media at a new dock each week, and Benny deserves heartfelt thanks for his dedication to all the SL sailors over so many years. 🙂

The cruises have been successful for so long that Hannelore Ballenger recently posted (with some frustration) that the SL Sailing Association should be

LCC June 21


renamed the SL Cruisers, since cruising was ostensibly more popular than racing! However, of course the issue is not so black-and-white; the truth lies somewhere in-between.

In Real Life, yacht clubs are made up of both cruisers and racers. The cruisers usually strongly outnumber the racers although there is often considerable overlap, and even occasional friction. It’s no surprise that similar community patterns develop in Second Life’s sailing clubs too. Sailing is a highly diverse endeavor.

Well, having said all that, let me add that the August 20 Fossett Anniversary Cruise at DYC/ Knaptrackicon turned out pretty great, with the usual flash mob of sailors and boats in attendance. It also gave me a chance to show off the wonderful, (in fact, rather incredible) recent rebuild of DYC by Elbag Gable and RJ Kikuchiyo.


DYC’s Northwest corner has a permanent deck designed to host LCC visitors and events. 🙂 Benny put it to good use on August 20!

Leeward Cruisers at DYC

Leeward Cruise September 17

Well anyway, that was a few weeks ago. As you read this, you’re prolly muttering to yourself: “So what? What has Leeward Cruising Club done for me lately?

I’m glad you asked! 🙂

LCC 17 Sep 2013

Leeward Cruise September 17

The September 17 05:00pm SLT cruise will revisit Sansara. The fleet will take off from the rez point dock in Valda sim, and move West through the Northern Coastal corridor until it merges with the waters of Bay City. The fleet will then move South to the opposite side of the continent to pick up the Southern Coastal passage heading East.

At the old site of Abbott’s Aerodrome, the hardy group of sailors will turn Northeast again, cutting into the legendary Bay of Space Pigs. An octave of sims later, the group will make landfall at the Sailing Center in Fudo, where Benny will be spinning tunes, and Rona will be waiting with hot chocolate and cookies for everybody. 🙂

See you at 5:00 in Valda!

testing new course

Test driving the route on Monday nite