Category Archives: Sansara

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


Sulu Adds a Hotlaps Course

three pines

Samlara Vintner’s designed the latest Hotlaps course for the  Linden raceline in Sulu. It’s a straightforward upwind/downwind course with an added,  short reach leg. Sailors need to pass through an upwind gate in Baltic, so it might take a little practice to figure out the optimal tack points, but that should make it fun.

The classic course should be great for Hotlaps using a standard 15 knot wind blowing from the SouthWest, and Slanty Uriza’s already logged an initial Melges-24 ‘index’ lap time of 0:09:33.

Sulu Hotlaps 2013 ver 1

If you want to try out the course (or match Slanty’s time), you can rez at  the Three Pines Sail Center in Oswego. There’s also a 50x50m rez zone in Sulu, located just West of the raceline. As usual, all the info you need to do a Hotlap is in the notecard above the green windsetter buoy. 🙂

Linkous and Bertrada Racelines

Linkous and Bertrada

Kudos to the Linden Department of Public Works! This past week they opened two new Linden raceline parcels that should greatly expand sailing opportunities in SL!

Zindra Zailing

The first is an 80m raceline in Linkous sim. Linkous is located in Zindra‘s Ursula Bay, a broad expanse of open water that’s interconnected with the other  water regions on the Adult Continent.

This is great news. Although Zindra opened quite some time ago, it’s never had a raceline. That fact made it hard to build a community of committed sailors on the continent. Nonetheless, sailors were always interested in sailing Zindra, and several “roadtrips” were organized to cruise the Linden waters. Xi Landia was a prime mover to get an SL Coast Guard station in Ursula Bay some time ago, and Leeward Cruisers made a point to hold grand excursions on Zindra’s seas on more than one occasion. When I ran around the coastline last week, I was happy to see an LCC flag flying from a nearly dock!

But let me give the biggest shoutout to Kip Zabaleta (Óláfr). He’s a Leeward Cruiser, but he is also associated with Hillcrest College in Zindra’s Hessen and Vanauken sims. Kip’s trying to teach sailing from Hillcrest’s docks, and he clearly saw the need for a community-based Linden raceline someplace in the area. I think that made sense for everyone, and Linkous seemed a good, central location.

Zindra raceline

If you look at the map, the new Linkous raceline has a N-S orientation, with a default wind from the West at 15 knots. (you can add your own notecards for any other conditions). There are also new windward/ leeward buoys in Truland and Gurbsyk, and new reach buoys in Mullinax and Trinoo (see the chart above for colors and coordinates).

For sailors’ convenience there’s a Linden Rez Zone in the NW corner of Linkous, but it’s not yet open to rez boats (I’m guessing that problem will be remedied soon). It’s no big bother though; if you want to sail Linkous, you can easily find a rez point on the East shore of Ursula Bay or rez down at Hillcrest’s docks as indicated on the map above.

Bay City Marine

Bay City now has a major raceline in Bertrada too!

Bay City Alliance

Bay City is one of the oldest, smartest, and most creative communities in Second Life. It’s located on the far West end of Sansara continent and it has it’s own Linden harbor, the Gulf of Lauren. It even has it’s own yacht club, New Port. Until recently however, Bay City was disconnected from most sailing events because it was geographically isolated and it was truly impossible to sail from Gulf of Lauren to any of the other great sailing regions on the continent.

Well, thanks to Linden DPW that has all changed. Beginning two years ago, LL expanded Bay City. They then added several dozen new coastal water sims that form both a Southern and a Northern waterway passage, linking Bay City to major seaways East in Sansara.

This was a fantastic boon to sailors, as it added many more options for long-distance cruises and personal sailing fun. However, even though the waters were now open, Bay City’s sailors were still limited; there was no local raceline. The closest one was 25 sims away from New Port Yacht Club.

The best spot for a new raceline close to Bay City wasn’t obvious. If you look at Gulf of Lauren, it’s a great ‘harbor,’ with considerable space to cautiously navigate between local traffic boats and other obstructions. However, there’s no area you could dedicate to a full size race line, with adequate water for a competition fleet to maneuver before and after the race gun goes off.

Bertrada Raceline

It made more sense to put the line in Bertrada, a sim on the Northern Coastal Waterway. As you can see from the diagram above, Bertrada lies in a row of 10 contiguous water sims, and it’s nicely suited for windward/ leeward racing. The new line is therefore oriented North/South and it has a default East wind of 15 knots (but sailors can add their own notecards). The red arrows above also identify two new race buoys, a yellow nun in Grifo and a blue nun in Luitgard.

The raceline in Bertrada is also well situated for longer distance races. As shown below (pink arrows), a fleet traveling East can turn North in Cyclops sim and sail through the ANWR connector to Heterocera. They also have an option to go South through the islands and into L-Shaped Lake.

The line’s also positioned to accommodate distance races starting West (green arrows). The fleet can turn at the mark in Grifo and then proceed into the Gulf of Lauren, go through Shermerville Strait, and continue as far as Bay of Space Pigs or beyond.

sansara Dec 2012 annotated 1351

The new addition will strongly enhance the sailing options in West Sansara, and it’s a pretty great Christmas present from Linden Department of Public Works to SL Sailors everywhere.

So when you have a moment, go try out the lines in both Linkous and Bertrada. And if you happen to sail over any Rodents on a sea floor artistically arranging the plants, placing an ancient shipwreck, or programming exotic sea creatures… please stop for a sec and say THANKS to the Moles. That’s DPW working for you. They are building content, and they are trying to guess what will make you smile. They do a darn good job at it. 🙂


Sansara Raceline Redux

Click to enlarge

Here’s an updated map of the major Sansara waterways showing the locations of Linden racelines across the continent, including the new Sulu line. I’ve also added a 5814×3614 version of the map here.

There are now three Linden racelines in Sea of Fables, and three more lines on Linden water in Sansara’s Mare Secundus (Margery sim), Mowry Bay (Hepurn sim) and the ANWR connector (Suduffco sim). There’s an additional, privately funded raceline operated by Free Adriatic in Grant. It’s open to the sailing community, and I need to write more about it soon.  Rikki Reichmann is in charge there; she took over from Joepie Korobase and Francois Jacques, and she’s kept the faith. Talk to Liv, or actually talk to Rikki if you want to know the story. 🙂

Anyway, two years ago there were numerous discussions, JIRAs, and open meetings with Lindens concerning Sansara sailing issues. The end result was very nice; it actually far exceeded what sailors originally asked for. In fact, all of the racelines I just mentioned above were either installed or upgraded as part of that Sansara Sailing Refurb two years ago. The racelines were only a tiny part of the many additions and content enhancements that benefited sailing.

Legacy Lines

Two years is a long time however, and the new Sulu raceline was a good opportunity to take another look at the Sansara racing hardware. 🙂 Today I just want to talk about the racelines, but I’m sure people have other issues as well. 🙂

The image sequence to the right shows three racelines I want to focus on; they date back to May 10, 2010. Two and a half years is a long time in SL, but I’m pretty sure the lines have aged gracefully. Yuu Nakamichi did the scripting and he was pretty good at it. 🙂

However, here’s the problem. When I showed up to try out each of these race lines this week, I dropped a boat on the line and had it thrown back to me. The error message said: “Parcel is full.”

Actually, this is a known raceline issue. Lines are usually placed on their own parcel so they can be endowed with unique permissions. No surprise, those parcels are pretty small and tend to be rather long and narrow. That means the default prim allotment for the raceline is meager. In principle that’s not such a bad idea, since it saves resources and limits potential for exploits and griefing.

Here’s the parcel detail for the Margery raceline in Sansara; the other two I noted above are similar. The Margery parcel can accommodate 105 prim but it turns out the line installation eats up nearly all of them, leaving only nine prim free for sailboats crossing the line! It’s no surprise I couldn’t rez a boat on that plot!

The Fix is In

There might be many solutions to this issue, but I think there’s only one obvious, best fix. Today the Adriatic and Margery lines got “update therapy” with a dose of Hay Ah’s current raceline remedy. The new installations weigh in at a mere 25 prim. In Margery that leaves eighty prim free for crossing boats. 🙂

There are more advantages, of course. For example, the two upgraded lines can now network with all the other lines in Fables and Mowry Bay; that will increase the options for a variety of distance races and point-to-point cruises. 🙂

As of the moment, ANWR‘s raceline is the only line not upgraded to the system. The parcels are more complicated there, which is, maybe, appropriate.

ANWR is where SL Sail-Racing was born; it’s the old Tako test track. The spirits of Kanker Greenacre and the Kazenojin still inhabit those waters, and it could well take a few more days of meditation to encourage those parcels to update. 🙂

In the meantime, go try out the upgraded lines in Adriatic and Margery, and then stop by and visit all the great sailing sites in Sansara! 🙂

SULU Raceline

click to enlarge

There’s a new Sulu raceline in Sea of Fables. Samlara Vintner and Slanty Uriza advocated for one near the “Three Pines – Come Sail With Us” resource center in Owasco, and the new line in Sulu seems to fit the bill. 🙂 The line is intentionally short (40m) for small boat races, and it has a 45 degree orientation, facing Southwest.

Sailors can rez boats nearby, either at the Sailing Center or in a Sulu rez zone just West of the line. The rez parcel has a green-yellow buoy in the middle.

One small detail: In order to install the line it was necessary to pull two yellow buoys that formed a race ‘gate.’ This should not be an inconvenience though, since the new raceline can also serve as a gate, and it has roughly the same orientation and dimensions.

Oh, and Kudos to Hay Ah for making sure Sulu got the newest raceline hardware. Hay tells me she even has a solution for the ‘undeletable racewind notecard‘ problem! If you don’t know what that is, don’t worry; Hay’s got it covered! 🙂


Six Sailing Centers Change Hands


Nearly two years ago Francois Jacques, Charlz Price, and Fiona Haworth launched the Come Sail With Us intitative to tell users about sailing in SL. You’ve all seen the great video:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Fiona Haworth describes it this way:

The Come Sail with Us Program was started by Francois to provide 6 sailing hot spots with self paced learning and information about the wide world of SL Sailing as well as public rezzones and great hang outs.
This was a labor of love for our team and our mission was to spread the word about the SL Sailing community in an easy to digest format for those interested in participating. We all remember times in our early days of SL where things were overwhelming or there was a lack in beautiful/friendly places to explore. We designed each of our resource centers to be self sufficient and lovely places to explore or relax. Additionally, we included free learning materials as well as free sailing vessels so there is no costs to the visitors.

With Fran’s passing, the future of the six sailing annexes was uncertain. However, this past week several wonderful people stepped up to support all six of the sites. Woots!

Charlz Price and Fiona Haworth will continue to care for four of the Come Sail With Us sites:

The Epi Sailing Center is located in Fudo, next to Sansara’s L-Shaped Lake and the Bay of Space Pigs.
The Three Pines Sailing Center is located in Owasco on the East shore of Sea of Fables.
The Mare Sailing Resource Center is in Mare, just Northwest of the Hepurn raceline in Mowry Bay. Charlz intends to rename this site in memory of Fran.
The Dancing Waters Sailing Center is in Thorkell, along the northwest corner of Nautilus’ coastal waterways.

Chaos Mandelbrot is the new owner of the fifth site.

His Aspen Sailing Center in located in Icy Bay, and it has an Artic theme.

Aquarius Paravane stepped up and took charge of the final site:

The Grandtree Sailing Center is located in Stinson, on the Sansara ‘Southern Passage’ that links Bay City to the waters lying East.

Big, big thanks also go to IrishGent, ChiliMorena, and Diamanta who all offered to take on a Center fully, as well as to Mark Choral, don Berithos, and Nber Medici who offered substantial support to keep the sites open.

Once again, I’m amazed at the kindness, thought, and generosity of so many great sailors in Second Life.

Far East Yacht Club Drops Anchor in Borden

After a long vacation, Far East Yacht Club (FYC) is back on the water! The new (old) clubhouse is in Borden sim, on the North coast of Sansara‘s Sea of Fables.

Borden is a great spot! Both GGYC and DYC had docks there two years ago, and Free Adriatic is just a short dinghy ride East.

Two years ago the Linden Department of Public Works began a major upgrade of the Sansara waterways that included several handfuls of new water sims and considerable new content designed with sailors in mind. Six new racelines were installed, including a large, updatable one in Arafura, right next to the new Far East dock! My guess is that line will get plenty of use, now that FYC is in town. 🙂

Here’s the nautical chart for Sea of Fables, Sansara’s inland sea that LL calls “a sailor’s dream.” The red marks identify a few of the Linden Points of Interest.

From FYC a sailor can also cruise the connected waterways that lead north to Mowry Bay and Mare Secundus, west to the Gulf of Lauren, and across the ANWR channel into Heterocera. There are literally endless possibilities for long cruises or distance races using the networked features of the Arafura raceline.

So OK, Far East; when’s the next Sea of Fables Regatta?

Takos to the Max

Max Starostin is back!

Max is a founder of Far East Yacht Club, and he’s been away from SL Sailing for far too long. 🙂 Today he announced his first race since he returned to the grid: Takos from the Arafura Raceline. Takos? It hasn’t been THAT long, Max! 🙂 I’m guessing he was just being nostalgic today.

Temi Sirbu, rokuonji Tomorrow, Bunta Beck and Como Canning joined him in Sea of Fables, and just like old times the fleet took off with Max in the lead.

Bunta Beck crossed the line in the #2 spot, and all three boats hung in tight for the beat to the top red mark.

Over the reach leg to Green, Max consolidated his lead and the Sirbu/ Tomorrow team struggled to catch up with Bunta Beck.

Here is Max on the run home; he finished a full minute ahead of the others.

I’m not sure quite what happened to Bunta Beck (the last leg was out of my draw distance), but when the fog cleared it was Temi Sirbu and rokuonji Tomorrow coming across the line in the Runner Up position. Bunta bravely recovered and sailed in 20 seconds later.
Here’s the final damage report:

Winner: Max Starostin ID51 Race time: 00:08:40
– Start: 00:00:04 — Last lap: 00:08:36
Runner up: Temi Sirbu ID13 Race time: 00:09:45
– Start: 00:00:11 — Last lap: 00:09:34
#3: Bunta Beck ID01 00:10:14
– Start: 00:00:08 — Last lap: 00:10:06

In case you were wondering where Como Canning was, I think he slept through the whole thing!

Como Canning

Welcome back Max!

More Grief

A few days ago I wrote about griefing attacks, and the damage they do to SL growth. I cited a few recent attacks, including one at Mowry Bay, by something called “VR6 KABOUL .”

Well last night Sansara was hit again. Chaos Mandelbrot discovered the attack while sailing a test-drive of the Tuesday Leeward Cruise route. As he landed on the Second Wind dock in Fudo, a snowstorm of colored circles, posters, and ‘zombies’ flooded over him, as shown in the pic above. Second Wind’s Francois Jacques immediately came to Chaos’ assistance, and Ranger Upshaw from the Second Life Coast Guard followed right behind.

Francois shut off scripts and object entry into the Fudo Sailing Center, but that didn’t solve the problem. The griefing flood came from outside the sim, and attack objects all stopped at the sim border. The picture above shows an impressive mountain of zombies piling up on the seafloor boundary just outside Fudo.

Ranger Upshaw then helped identify the location of the emitter source for the attack, and Francois recruited assistance from the Linden concierge to deal with it.

Within an hour the skies cleared again and the zombies (as well as all else) disappeared.

Hopefully Lindens can get to the root of this problem and prevent it, particularly since the poster logo for last night’s attack looked very similar to the Mowry Bay grief episode I discussed before.

We need these disruptions to end.

Griefing, Then and Now

Mowry Bay Mayhem

Two months ago the Mowry Bay region was hit by a griefer attack. It was not alone; several other popular spots were also inundated by a flood of flying posters that announced:


On behalf of SL Sailors, let me offer Kudos to the SL Coast Guard for their response. They stayed on top of the griefing problem everywhere it impacted open waterways. That wasn’t so easy: the attack lasted several hours, and it took considerable Linden support to suppress the multicentric mayhem that ensued.

VR6 KABOUL seems to be the source of this terrorist sim-spam shutdown. I don’t know who VR6 is, but its notable that Emilly Orr posted similar pics of a griefer attack in the Neko-Zone. Her logos were somewhat different, but they were all labeled VR6 KABOUL. The spammed textures in Mowry kept changing design in a similar fashion to Emilly’s griefer, too.

I’m guessing VR6 is the latest in a series of grid-wide terrorist groups, whatever that means.

Sixty Second Global-Griefer History

Griefing has a long, multifaceted history in Second Life.

Way back in December 2006, CNET sponsored a conference honoring Anshe Chung, SL’s first inworld-enterprise millionaire.  It was a pretty significant milestone; it revealed SL had a future and showed SL was more than a fun web platform. SL was actually a capitalist tool (I use that phrase with all kindness); it deserved our respect and admiration. 🙂

The CNET  2006 extravaganza celebrated SL’s “Coming of Age.” People could live and work in SL, and some could do quite nicely at it!

However, the story didn’t stop there. SL was still a diverse, creative, and unruly community, and so I guess its no surprise SL users were unready to accept a uniform code of creativity and marketing progress. Many were still stretching their wings… many still finding the limits of possibility in such a novel, virtual environment.

key: FP=Flying Penis

Anyway, that’s sort of my understanding, and it explains what happened next. The stage for the  CNET event was deluged by a Flood of Flying Penises. (Cough)

I guess it’s no surprise that happened, given the enthusiasm and creativity of SL residents. Lindens were certainly at blame also, since the communication between individuals and community groups had fallen to serious, dysfunctional levels.

What might have seemed silly turned somewhat- semi- super- serious several months later, when Chessmaster Vladimir Karpov held an important press conference to advocate for political rights in the nascent Russian democracy. His real-life event was — incredulously — grief-attacked by a platoon of penises in flying formation. (OK, I apologize. That comment was inappropriate; I mixed military metaphors.)

Anyone online at the time was left gasping in wonderment. After all, what was real, what was Web?
Which was Worth keeping?

I admit that some of the comments attributed to the SL Room 101 griefers at the time of the CNET attack were among the funniest, most intelligent commentary on SL from that era.  I won’t give you the links because I’m not sure which ones are truly legit, but I’m sure you can easily find them posted and reposted from back then.

I’m writing this short article because I now think things are different. SL has moved on, and griefing is neither humorous nor productive. It’s simply no joke, and it halts the trust need to allow solid, creative users to invest in Second Life.

I think many old icons of Second Life would probably agree with my sentiment here. Griefing was once a common part of a growing-up process in SL… but now it’s time to genuinely grow, and make sure griefing stops.
But that’s just my view.