Category Archives: Open Seas Project

Kudos to Leeward Cruisers

LCC cruisers navigating Mallard Channel in 2010

I just wanted to put in another plug for Leeward Cruising Club. Cate Foulesbane, Kittensusie Landar, and Chaos Mandelbrot are doing a wonderful job coordinating several cruises each week. A few dozen people usually show up, and they can sail any boat they chose, or join another skipper’s crew. The LCC cruise course is always different, and often highlights a new or interesting maritime region. It’s a great way to learn what’s going on across the grid waterways.

Last night’s cruise tried out the Sansara Southern Passage that I mentioned a few days ago, sailing from New Port Yacht Club in Bay City across the new coastal sims to Abbotts. From there the fleet turned Northwest along the interconnected inland waterways and crossed the whole length of Bay of Space Pigs.  They then turned North to enter the L-Shaped Lake where they finally made landfall at the B & T Outpost on the  Northern shore in Marunogere.
DJ Borday was waiting there, spinning tunes! 🙂

As I mentioned above, the LCC cruises are usually very well attended, and last night was no different! I showed up late, so I didn’t have time to snap pictures of the fleet, but I did save the view from my minimap; if you look at the image to the right, you can make out a long string of sailors at the ‘back of the pack’ as they make way from NewPort into the Southern Passage.

It’s a lot of work to plan and coordinate such an ambitious schedule of sailing events every week, but the trio of Cate, Susie, and Chaos do it with style, skill, and humor. Pretty wonderful stuff, Leeward Cruisers!

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Before I close this note, let me add a side comment. When I wrote about the Southern Passage, I complimented the Linden design in part because the hazardous ‘4-corner’ sim borders (the point where 4 sims converge) were tucked out of the way.

During last night’s cruise we saw a good example of ‘problem‘ 4-corners in the L-Shaped Lake region. If you look at the figure below, you see that most 4-corner points in the Lake are on open water near the shore (yellow arrows), in spots where a boat sailing to windward might gybe. There’s actually a worse problem in Kiha, the sim at the southeast corner of the Lake. Kiha has five islands, so there’s little room to navigate as you work you way through. Unfortunately, the islands are arranged so Kiha has three of these ‘4-corner’ sim convergence points (the red arrows below).

I understand why land owners might prefer this arrangement, and that’s their right; I’m not arguing for any campaign to re-terraform any established regions. I’m just bringing up this point again so sailors know where the hazards are, and I’m perhaps suggesting that estate builders use caution when they design future coastal regions around these dangerous spots. 🙂

This might be a information topic to include in packets distributed by the Open Seas Project.

New Sansara Coastal Waterway

Click to enlarge

Coastal Waterways

Last November I wrote about the Linden Department of Public Works’ waterway upgrades in Nautilus. Overbuilding and residential ban lines in some Nautilus spots made long distance cruising difficult and often pretty frustrating.  It was also hard to argue about it. After all, property owners invest considerable money in their parcels, and the owners have a right to build and manage their land as they see fit. The Open Seas Project started as a way for sailors to work cooperatively with such landowners in a positive effort to keep navigation channels clear.

Last September in public Office Hours, Michael Linden discussed a plan that might fix the waterways problem. He thought it made sense to add Linden coastal water sims at congested choke points along the continental edges.  That way, sailors could bypass blocked passages, and travel around high density residential and commercial zones.

The idea for new coastal waterways was pretty universally supported, but I think all sailors understood the problem couldn’t be fixed overnight. Adding additional water sims would take time and effort… and no surprise, those extra sims cost money.

I doubted the new water would actually happen. Nonetheless, I thought Michael’s comments showed that LL was listening to user concerns and seriously considering meaningful fixes. (Sometimes that isn’t completely obvious 🙂 )

However, despite my pessimism, A month later a bumper crop of new coastal waterway sims showed up in Nautilus! Sailors gave out a pretty massive “WOOT!” that was loud enough to shake the grid!  Many sail clubs immediately jumped in to take advantage of the changes, organizing rather massive sailing events that linked Corsica and Nautilus. 🙂

Sansara Goes Coastal

Sansara and Heterocera 2010

The issues about coastal waterways and navigation routes also came up in public discussions of the Sansara upgrades last summer. Bay City is a great, vibrant Sansara-based community in Second Life, with a nascent yacht club (New Port) and a sizable patch of dedicated Linden water (Gulf of Lauren and the surrounding channels).

However, there was no water route connecting Bay City with the the large seas and multiple sailing groups located in Fables, Ice Bay, Mare Secundus, Mowry, ANWR Conntector, and Heterocera Atoll.

A few ‘coastal waterway’ options were discussed as possible fixes for this problem, but again I think most sailors felt the changes might not materialize. I strongly supported new coastal waters, and I admit “I’ve never seen a water sim I didn’t like.” However, I also knew SL was going through major staff cuts at the time. I didn’t want additional water sims if that meant DPW might lose staffing, or their precious Moles… 

(Don’t worry; no one ever asked my opinion on that topic. 🙂 )

Well, Kudos to Blondin and Michael Linden, and the absolutely great Bay City group for working this out! As Marianne McCann announced last week, a sizeable string of coastal waterway sims were just added to the Northwest corner of Sansara, linking Bay City to the ANWR connector and thence to the entire subcontinent of Heterocera Atoll! Woots!

Click here for full-size chart

Wowzers! The new passage lets you start anywhere around Bay City; if you are new to the area, you might try the Linden dock and rez point in Shamwari (see the pic at the top of this post 🙂 ) Otherwise, you can rez anywhere you want in Gulf of Lauren/ Straits of Shermerville waters, and then just sail Northeast…

If you look at the map, you’ll see that course brings you to a new quartet of sims just North of Shamwari: Hiltrude, Landres, Auda and Pepin. They take you to a wide channel that cuts through Fuschia and Swanhild. That passage will then bring you to open water in the brand-new Coastal Waterway sim of Grifo… but that’s just the beginning.

In an apparent tribute to the Octo-mom of contemporary culture, Grifo is the gateway to an identical linear octet of conjoined coastal sims that run all the way to Cyclops, a venerable sim that forms the southern root of the ANWR channel.

Grin, in case you’re new, or if you’ve been working too hard… or if you’re in complicated divorce proceedings 🙂 … let me remind you that the ANWR channel links the continent of Sansara to the subcontinent of Heterocera Atoll.

Is that important? Well, to many it is. The ANWR region sims have near biblical import for sailors. ANWR provided the Holy Waters that gave rise to the legendary Flying Tako. It was the test-track, the proving ground for the Kazenojin, the  legendary Illuminati of SL Sailing… back in the Ancient Times. 🙂

I wont expand on that, since many sailors in SL know the waters of Heterocera and their history better than I do. I’m excited to hear their comments and suggestions about the new linkage. The “Northern Route” coastal waterway now opens a major passageway that’s full of options and new opportunity for sailors, landowners, and maritime businesses.

This is Sansara’s story too, and Kudos go to all the wonderful people who patiently built communities on the shores of Sansara’s Seas. They deserve all the credit for the great changes across the continent this past year. I’ve listed their names in posts several times before, but today let me give a special shout-out to Bay City and East River Community. They kept the faith in Sansara over several years, and built much of the community we all value there.

GRIN; in that context, on May 14, Bay City will celebrate the great new changes in their corner of Sansara. I’m hoping the local sailors and the massive Leeward Cruising Fleet can join in for that event. It would truly demonstrate how much the new waterways are appreciated, and how much we all depend on each other.

Linden Kudos

Behind the scenes a huge THANK YOU also goes to Blondin and Michael Linden, as well as the whole DPW mole team who worked on the content changes.

Sometimes users (like Jane Fossett) get frustrated over in-world problems and whine a lot. In my case, I wrote several blistering articles a couple years ago on the “Open Sim Crisis” and related issues. I’m sure I’ll complain again, too.

However, let me today give credit where it’s due. From my perspective, the efforts by Lindens to improve communication with sailors over the past several months, in addition to the above-mentioned maritime upgrades, the coastal waterway sim expansions, and the innumerable small fixes they did for individual sailors are all noteworthy. In fact, they are pretty impressive.

So if you’re a sailor, although it may get you a TOS violation, I’d suggest you go hug a Linden next chance you get.
I mean, hey, it’s worth the risk. 🙂 LL isn’t perfect by any means… but their recent track record with sailors shows they are trying hard.
It’s difficult to fault that. 🙂

Open Seas Project

“Nautical activities in Second Life© are getting increasingly difficult due to the many residents who use ban lines over waterways. The purpose of the OSP is to inform and educate these residents on how to minimize the effect ban lines have on nautical activities and to encourage them about keeping waterways navigable.”
Open Seas Project

The Open Seas Project is a joint effort of the East River Community, the SL Coast Guard, and Tradewinds Yacht Club. The goal of the Group is to preserve and promote the navigable waterways in Second Life through education and public awareness advocacy initiatives.

One major objective is to inform landowners about waterways issues and their importance, and then work with owners to minimize the negative effects of obstructions or ban lines. The OSP Website includes a page of information for residents, and the same information is available in-world as a notecard.

The note comes with a set of simple one-prim hazard buoys that an owner can use to mark water obstrucions on their property.

The Open Seas Project also provides a convenient online form tool where sailors can report waterway hazards, overhanging builds, or otherwise  “annoying parcels” they encounter. The form system may relieve some of the drudgery of filing individual tickets for each and every problem you run into while sailing.

However, I think one of the best things about the Open Seas Project is the integration of online information from sailors through a series of in-world networked kiosks.

The network has a central server located at SLCG Station Muirhead that commands all the kiosks; it keeps the information distributed by multiple interactive kiosks up-to-date and coordinated with the online database.

The kiosks can rotate different posters, and give a series of different options when a specific display is clicked by a visitor. You can find a list of current kiosks and their locations here, and the SL Group is here.

Better yet, if you want your own kiosk, just drop a note in-world to Indigo Mertel, and she’ll send you one. They are very easy to set up!