Category Archives: Heterocera Atoll

Sansara Southern Passage

Bay City's New Port Yacht Club

Over the past several months the Linden Department of Public Works has been working gangbusters on upgrades, additions, and lots of innovations across the Sansara continent. Many of these changes involve the waterways, and although Sansara was once called the ‘Old Continent,’ it’s quickly turning into a shiny, new showcase for cruising, sail-racing, diving… and pretty much any other water sport you can think of.

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A few weeks ago I posted about the the new “Northern Passage” there. It’s a string of coastal water sims that run along Sansara’s Northwest continental shelf, linking Bay City’s Gulf of Lauren with the “ANWR Connector” waterway that goes to Heterocera Atoll.

Oh; in case you’re not familiar with all the names and locations in that part of the SL grid, well, no worries; Sansara now has the best maps of any continent in Second Life! A few weeks ago I posted Icarus Fallen’s recent, wonderful cartography, and if you’re interested, his maps are a great place to start. Icarus makes truly beautiful charts that are based on input from many people; the maps include all the current, consensus names of Sansara’s diverse land and water regions.

Although the the Northern Passage is too recent to show up on Icarus’ chart, you can get the info about it here. It’s a fantastic addition that finally links Bay City’s New Port Yacht Club with the extensive water regions further North and East. Unfortunately, that route doesn’t permit easy access to the Sea of Fables and Ice Bay, two of the largest and most popular sailing areas in the continent.

Well, two days ago that problem was solved! A new waterway, the¬†“Southern Passage,” just came on line. It’s a 10-pack of very thoughtfully-planned coastal sims on the Southwest side of Sansara, linking the Bay City water in Luna Palisades with the eastern boating areas that connect through Abbotts and Rosedale. The new waterway was first mentioned nine months ago during Linden Office Hours, and woots, it was worth the wait! ūüôā

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The chart above shows the new simset outlined in red (East Luna is also new, but outside the outlined area).

I commented above that the new Linden coastal sims were ‘thoughtfully-planned,‘ and I meant it. It’s worth dropping by to take a look at the details of the new installation.

You can see some of the features on the above map. For example, click to enlarge the graphic then look at the new sim edges. You’ll see that DPW put the region boundaries slightly on the land side of each water sim; that means you’re less-likely to hit a sim border with your boat when you’re trying to gybe near the shoreline.

If you race a lot, you know what I’m talking about. You’ve probably noticed that most maritime estates give parcel owners a thin edge of water along with their property. That’s very understandable, but it also inevitably means there are sim boundaries and/ or ban lines exactly where a boat needs to gybe when moving upwind.

Well sailing fans? That issue wont happen in Sansara’s new Southern Coastal Passage!

Since I’m already whining here about sim border crossings and sailboats, let me add another point. I’m pretty sure most sailors would agree the ultimate danger to frail watercraft in SL are the ‘Four Corner” points. Those are the spots where four sims come together to form a ‘singularity‘ on the map. Hitting a four-corner with a fast, script-heavy boat while you have crew aboard is generally considered pathologically reckless behavior in SL.

Well never fear, because LL DPW has your back. ūüôā Look where the four corners are in the new Southern Passage! Nearly every one is nicely positioned in an out-of -the-way spot that won’t interfere with either sea (or land) activities.
Nice design! :-
)

And please, go look at the terraforming of the newborn sims too; its just getting underway, but what’s installed is actually quite nice. There are several islands on the West end of the passage with good channel depth between, and there’s a natural peninsula breakwater where the sim-passage turns South. There are also seawall palisades on either side of that waterway as it passes the Sandboxes, and then there’s a wonderfully rugged coastline full of inlet rugations as you approach Abbotts. I know it’s all still largely unfinished, but wow, I love it! Kudos to LDPW for a very nice, detailed job, and for all the obvious thought that went into the addition!

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Before I end, let me also give another big shout-out to the great people from Bay City. Over the past few years their work with LL and DPW helped build a great community in West Sansara, and the new Northern and Southern passages will provide a great opportunity for sailors grid-wide to go visit, sail, and plan regattas with the Bay City dock crowd. ūüôā

As I’ve commented before, big Kudos go the Marianne McCann for all her patient advocacy for the new water links this past year, and let me also give a hi-five to Holocluck Henley too. I made it over to the new sims as soon as I heard the waterway connection was ‘going live.’ No surprise, Holo was already there ūüôā and was kind enough to give me an inspection tour of the install. It still had that fresh paint smell. So…

Nice work, Bay City, Sansara Sailors, and LL DPW.

Woots!

Let’s Sail!

When you visit, be sure to watch where you're going; I took a bad turn!

Racing Sansara

 
The opportunities for sailing in Sansara and Heterocera¬†are¬†pretty widespread and wonderous, and the new sim-changes seem designed to enhance sailing¬†excitement.¬†The Lindens and the DPW Moles have done a pretty¬†great job and¬†deserve a big thanks from the sailing community. With that preface and mindset, now let me complain a bit, since any good sailing area needs options and opportunities for both cruising and racing. Unfortunately, Sansara’s three racelines in Hepurn, Adriatic, and ANWR are¬†old, buggy¬†and inadequate, and the recent Linden changes have actually made¬†things worse there. Let me explain, and begin with¬†Mowry Bay.
 
Mowry Bay Yacht Club, headed by it’s Resident Janitor Saxxon Domela,¬†was founded nearly five years ago.¬†¬†It’s the oldest, continuous mainland sailing group in all Second Life, and frankly, if you don’t know Mowry you don’t know SL-Sailing.¬†¬†Check back in the history of many sailors and nautical estate owners in SL and you’ll find¬†quite a few¬†Old Salts who cut their teeth at Mowry, and still express their rather¬†primordial Mow-mow genes. ūüôā¬†Mowry has always been a¬†focus for sailing innovation and simple good fun, from the days of the 2006 ¬†SLSF Cup to last year’s pretty incredible Mowry Sprints Regatta¬†that came down to an epic duel¬†between Gemma Vuckovic and Epicurus Emmons.
 
However,¬†in the opinion of many, after¬†nearly five¬†years of continuous dedication to the SL sailing community¬†Mowry’s sailing program is now dying. Here’s why:¬†
 
MBYC races off the Linden Hepurn raceline.  That raceline is only 40m long, and the line scripts date to Kanker Greenacre and Myrrh Massiel from the the summer of 2006 and the  SLSF Cup. The raceline is buggy, difficult to use, and exploitable; but wait!!! it gets worse!
  
As part of the Sansara upgrade, DPW recently pulled out MBYC’s race buoys and replaced them with daymarkers.
¬†HELP!!¬† The daymarkers may look authentic, but they are truly useless as SL race marks. The daymarkers¬†are phantom, the colors cannot be seen from a distance, and they do NOT show up on mini-maps or the World Map.¬†Last week this¬†supposed ‘upgrade‘ brought Mowry racing and solo laps¬†to a screeching halt.
 
The ANWR raceline is even worse!
The ANWR Oil Rig is a Second Life Start Landmark, and it exemplifies the subtle (and mildly perverse) humor that makes SL a fun place to be. ANWR also has¬†a venerable, and historically important Linden¬†raceline that¬†was the¬†old Kazenojin Seiringu test track and proving ground for the Tako. If you sail a boat in SL,¬†it most likely owes it’s legacy to countless sailors¬†who did windward/ leeward laps in ANWR in years gone by.¬†
 
Well, that ANWR raceline is still there, and its accessible from Sansara, but the raceline is not usable. 
As you can see below, the ANWR raceline has an old SLSF windsetter that’s set to Linden Maintenance Group, so only Lindens can race there! ūüôā Given the grand enhancements in Sansara I mentioned in my prior post, the loss of the ANWR raceline¬†could bring one¬†close to tears… but don’t start crying yet.
 
 
Sadly, the third Sansara raceline in Adriatic raceline fairs little better.
It’s another 2006 leftover from the SLSF Cup, and until a few days ago there was a four-year-old banner overhead¬†with a fixed windsetter locked to Linden maintenance. Elisha Paklena filed a JIRA¬†complaining about¬†the Adriatic raceline on January 8, 2007¬†(yes, kids, three and a half years ago). The JIRA is now closed, but the ‘problem’ was never really fixed. At the moment there is no wind setter,¬†but the 2006 raceline is still nearly unusable¬†given its¬†40m length.
Sometimes “Size Matters,” at least with race lines.¬†¬†The top¬†image above shows a Trudeau J-Class crossing the Adriatic line.¬†The second image shows a¬† J-Class lying parallel to the line.¬† A 40m race line may have been great for Takos in 2006, and it may even be sufficient for a Fizz¬† race today. However, it doesn’t work for the large majority of current racing boats in SL that want to use the line.¬†At the time I’m writing¬†this article, don Berthios is planning to use Adriatic for the SL-Vuitton Cup, with external cooperation from the WYTC and Golden Gate Yacht Club. The ACA-33 boats for that contest are 23m long, over half the length of the present¬†line. By comparison, the Blake Sea-Atlantic raceline is more than three times longer than Adriatic!
 
Size isn’t everything, however. Sansara is a¬†large sailing area, with rather vast interconnected waterways that span much of the continent and extend into Heterocera. It would be¬†a great place¬†to hold¬†‘distance’ races that travel from one raceline to the next, and there are multiple sailing groups in Sansara that would jump at that opportunity. To make it possible,¬†the three Linden racelines¬†need an upgrade. Let’s hope it happens.
 ____________________

Sailing Sansara

   

Sansara is Second Life’s original continent. The name for this huge region¬†refers to¬†a Sanskrit term for¬†a Hindu concept of continuous motion¬†in the physical world, and according to Linden Lab, the name Sansara was assigned to the¬†original landmass¬†¬†“in order to resolve… ambiguity.”¬†

(Cough;¬†maybe that’s¬†a stretch… When was the last time you pulled out¬†a Sanskrit dictionary and¬†an old¬†copy of the Bhagavad Gita to ‘resolve ambiguity?‘ ūüôā ).

Anyway, don’t¬†let that name stop you;¬†Sansara has¬†a venerable history¬†that’s closely¬†entwined with¬†the development of SL Sailing, and DPW is busy adding new sailing features!

SANSARA AND HETEROCERA   

Sansara is honeycombed with interconnected waterways, and it’s linked by a one-sim corridor to¬†the smaller,¬†Northern land mass called Heterocera Atoll.¬†

If you click on the chart below, you’ll get a¬†2048×2613¬†pixel map of the Sansara waters that¬†includes the sim names for much of the area; it¬†reveals the large number of¬†navigable waterways¬†that adorn the continent.¬†¬†Actually, you can sail¬†for many hours¬†exploring the¬†wide open¬†lakes and seas linked¬†by narrow channels that extend across Sansara, and if you want even more, you can continue cruising Northward¬†and enter¬†the inner seas of Heterocera!

¬†Perhaps its no surprise, there are many sailing groups located in Sansara; here’s a chart template below showing the locations of a few of the clubs, groups, and communities around Adriatic Sea. It also shows the locations of race buoys, Linden racelines (in red) and private racelines (in pink).

 I wanted to talk about Sansara here because the Linden Department of Public Works is currently busy upgrading a number of nautical features across the continent, and it may be a good time for sailors to make suggestions regarding the features they might like to see.

For example, while I was writing this article, Mirtoon sim sprouted a new set of islands. Thanks to Naughty Mole, who was busy at work there adding content yesterday!

Changes are also planned for Icy Bay.¬†Southwest Sansara has an extensive ‘Snowland Region‘ made from a large collection of ice-encrusted¬†sims as shown in the figures below.¬†Although Snowland is one of the largest SL regions without a major waterway,¬†it’s eastern edge¬†drops into Icy Bay, a region composed of a half-dozen¬†arctic-themed water sims. Icy Bay presents a nice change of pace for¬†skippers familiar with SL’s traditionally warmer sailing themes.¬†DPW is planning more content features there, including snow and ice on the water.

  

Probably the biggest content change, however, is¬†Mare Secundus, a newly-defined region of a dozen maritime sims located in the waters west of Mowry Bay. It’s still in progress, but you can’t miss the¬†four-sim, serpentine string of islands that form a¬†“2” on the map shown below. Go visit¬†the region and see for yourself; it’s very nicely done, and it’s hardly secundus class!
[If you do go take a look, a bunch of us are having a debate over the origin of the term “Mare Secundus.” I have three or four suggestions, but my guess is they are all wrong ūüôā ]