Deja Vu Sim Crossing

deja vu sim crossing

Instant Replay

Here’s an interesting issue. When a boat sails into a new sim, it will often suddenly jump back twenty meters or so and then resail that distance.

To illustrate this point, here’s a small outtake from a video of the S4L 12M Qualifying Races.

deja vu2

click to enlarge

I’ve also posted a few frame captures below. In the first image (A), TEAM WYC2 approaches the Finish on a Run, with EUREKA slightly astern. Image B was captured slightly later, when WYC2‘s bow touched the line. You might think the race was over at that moment, but you’d be wrong. As shown in Image C, WYC2‘s boat suddenly jumped backwards a considerable distance; you can even see the boat’s wake in front of the bow. Image D shows the boat retracing it’s path, cutting the line a second time.

If you play the above video again, you’ll notice that Eureka also shows the same, strange behavior. As it nears the line, the boat sudddenly jumps back roughly 20m.

This is a significant effect that could easily disrupt a close race. Did WYC2 actually finish in Image B, or did it finish several seconds later in Image D? So… what’s going on here?

Funny Numbers

I’m pretty sure the problem above has nothing to do with the race line in Breadnut; I think it happens because the boats cross a sim boundary just before they finish.

Sailing across a sim boundary optimally involves a seamless hand-off of data from one simulator to the next, and that process requires efficient communication between server and client. This sounds straightforward but in practice it’s often imperfect, particularly when several vehicles are trying to cross the same border together. I sailed my first SL boat race back in 2006, and on that day every single boat crashed on the sim edge. 🙂 Although many things have improved in SL since then, sim crossings sadly remain a near death-defying challenge for many virtual skippers.

I’ve been sailing the Trudeau 12 Meter quite a bit recently, and it turns out to have very funny behavior at sim borders. Let me show you.

In the figure below, I’m sailing a boat on a beam reach in 15 kn wind. I sailed West in Linkous while taking a snapshot of the display every second. As the boat moves west within the sim, the X- position coordinate on the interface correspondingly decreases.

Linkous numbers

click to enlarge

In the first image above, the boat is at Linkous (+19).  A few seconds later it should enter Van Daemo sim, but instead the interface reads Linkous (-2) and next reading is Linkous (-8). I assume these negative numbers mean the boat is already moving into the next sim, but the asset “handover” is not yet complete. Proof of this comes one second later, when the interface reads Van Daemo (+241), implying the boat is already 15 m into the sim.

This all makes a certain amount of sense, and is hardly worth talking about; however, what happens next totally confuses me. (Okay okay, I admit that’s not hard to do)

Anyway, as my boat sails further west In Van Daemo, the horizontal position coordinates should continue to decline. The first two frames shown below demonstrate exactly that, with X-positions of  (+235) then (+230). However, the third frame below is one second later, and it registers (+251)! In other words, the boat suddenly jumped back a full 21 m !! The boat continues from that point on it’s original heading and with most of the previous momentum. At average rates of speed, I’d guess that will cost a racer roughly 4 to 8 seconds overall every time it happens.

This is the same problem shown in the video at the top of this page.

Linkous numbers 2

click to enlarge

This sudden “jump back” effect is consistent across many grid locations, and I don’t think it is unique to any specific group of sim server candidates. So far I’ve only looked for it in 12 m boats, but I think the problem is likely far more widespread and server-related.

Having said that, let me also add a few more observations:

  1. The effect is present in Trudeau 12 m traveling under engine only.
  2. I don’t see the effect when walking across a sim border.
  3. I don’t see the effect when driving a small outboard across a sim boundary.
  4. I don’t see the effect when sailing Wildwind OP60.
  5. I do think I’ve seen the effect in some Qwest boats, but I haven’t looked carefully yet.

Chaos Mandelbrot (LCC Admiral and SL-Pundit-In-Residence) tells me this issue of ‘bounce back’ after sim crossing is already widely known and it’s been prevalent across the grid for several months. Nonetheless, I can’t find any good discussion of the problem, and I’d love to hear from someone who can explain what’s going on here. 🙂

DilSpi 2

Sail4Life 12M Final Four Will Race On July 11


The S4L 12M Qualifying Races on June 20 were a real thrill, with 16 seasoned SL teams battling it out to earn a spot in the annual Sail4Life Regatta FINALS. After 12 hours of competition only four teams remained afloat. This quintessential quartet will now go on to race in a FINALS event on July 11 in North Sea.
The FOUR FABULOUS FINALISTS are: (drumroll please!!!)

1. TEAM WYC1Bunnie Mills, 彡NOZOMI彡 (Nozomimi Karu), いんちゃん™ (Infrared Razor), 寅次郎 (Torajiro Whitfield), あやちゃ (Ayahoshi), Кαηα (Rairu370)
2. TEAM PENGZILLAChaos Mandelbrot, Bennythe Boozehound
3. FLORIDA SAILS —  James Munson
4. TEAM WYC2 いお (Io Littleboots),  Sachbee Resident

Here are the numbers as the Qualifying Heats played out:


The next stop will be the FINALS shootout in North SEA!!


Nber Leads Blake Raft-Up June 15

sailforlife_raftup adj

Nber Medici is hosting a Raft-Up Party this weekend in the middle of Blake Sea to benefit the Sail For Life cancer fundraiser!

When: Sunday June 15, 11:00 – 4:00 SLT
Where: Crow’s Nest (Fastnet Lighthouse)

 Nber says:
The Third Annual Raft-up is here again, almost to the day!
Blake Sea Mayhem!
Dancing! Fireworks!
Tons of all sorts of boats!
Multiple Goings on – you name it!
 G Winz will be in the middle of it all, spinning tunes!
Feature Donation push : “Bid Us Bald!” will showcase
a number of folks, including yours truly!
I’ll see you all there with drink in hand!
So get your floating thing:
a power boat, sail boat, personal watercraft,
surfboard, or a really cool ducky swim ring
and come join us in the center of Blake Sea
for a truly epic raft-up party.  
We’ll have four sims, plenty of open water,
excellent music, and one huge floating party!!!! 
This sounds pretty great! 🙂
raft_014USS Raft-up 2008

See you all in Blake on Sunday!


Sail4Life Twelve Meter Regatta Gets Ready

12m Regatta 2015d

The S4L Twelve Meter Regatta is less than two weeks away! Many great SL sailors have already clambered onboard to compete, but we still have have two or three racing slots left. Sign up here to join us to race, to have fun, and to support Cancer Research!

If you join the regatta, wondrous things will happen: you’ll get a free Trudeau 12 Meter Raceboat plus optional sail and hull textures by Diamond Marchant and J Trudeau. If you talk to Jane Fossett (that’s me), you’ll also get Offshore Racing Gear courtesy of Jane and Surfwidow Beaumont!

But most important… if you join the S4L 12M Regatta you’ll help drive the SLSailing’s RFL campaign to fund cancer research, and that’s no small deal. 12meterCancer is a brutal, relentless disease that’s been around since the dinosaurs. Basic science now has the tools to work out the fundamental pathophysiology of many common tumors however, and it looks like the finish line is finally in sight. If we join together world-wide, maybe we can find the necessary resources to stamp this dread disease out, once and for all.

But more on that later; I need to talk about the Regatta!

Racers, staff, supporters, and spectators should all join the 2015 S4L 12M REGATTA group in Second Life ( URI= secondlife:///app/group/8f139750-7e6a-038f-2d5d-2c51f6cbdd26/about). We’ll post updates and then do play-by-play in chat for all the race action in North Sea the weekend of June 20-21.

S4L 2015 12M Qualifying CourseFor all Race Teams, please note I’ve opened threads on and VirtualWorldSailing that include the Regatta Rules and all updated info. You can find details there on the Qualifying Races, including the chart and wind conditions! Sailors who have questions or concerns might find it easiest to post their issues there for all to see and respond to.

I have much more to say about the boat, S4L, and omg the wonderful donors to this regatta, but maybe that will wait until next time!

2015 Sail4Life RACE Regatta

2015 Sail4Life 12 Meter Regatta

2015 Sail4Life RACE Regatta

Relay for Life (RFL) is Second Life’s major charity fundraiser.  RFL supports cancer research, and sailors play an important role through SAIL4LIFE, the RFL team that unites sailors grid-wide in this important endeavor.

So, please,  get up off your collective butts and join me in a rousing mega-shoutout for Winnie Sweetwater! Winnie is the Chair of SAIL4LIFE again this year, and wow, she’s done a great job! With the support of her stellar S4L 2015 team, Winnie’s organized a remarkably fantastic program of events this spring to support S4L!


In fact, if you have a pulse and a temperature greater than room air, I’m guessing you prolly already know all about this…

But hey,

Just maybe here’s something new:

With Winnie’s approval, I’m thrilled to announce the ‘official’

June 20-21, 2015

So forget all the Prozac! This is what you really want! 🙂 Let’s SAIL!

Regatta Sail teams are going to compete aboard the new Trudeau 12 meter racer in qualifying trials on Saturday, June 20. To accommodate sailors worldwide, the Saturday races will be split into four different timeslot events that host four boats each.

The winners of Saturday’s timeslot race series will then advance to a Finals sail-off competition on Sunday, June 21. The Finals Time will be determined in advance by the skippers, to make sure the event planning works for everyone. 🙂

As part of that planning, to make things easy all the races this year will be held in the wonderful expanse of North Sea, and hosted by that legend of SL Sailing, Elbag Gable. Tactical maven Ldewell Hawker (Hawk) will be in charge of race course design, and the incredible Hay Ah will make sure the racework infrastructure goes as planned. 🙂

This regatta will be great fun for both sailors and spectators. However, we also know it’s likely to be an ultimate shoot-out event that brings together the very best sailors in all Second Life; in past years, scant seconds determined victory. Under that kind of intensity, judging ends up pretty critical. I’m therefore absolutely thrilled to announce that the 2015 judging team for this regatta will be Bea Woodget (#1 judge), Joro Aya, Silber Sands and Soro Dagostino. I think they are the all-time dream team for virtual sail-racing. 🙂

Woots! In fact, overall I think the combo of staffing, location, a cutting-edge boat, and hands-on support could truly make this regatta the ultimate ‘be-there‘ sail-race event of 2015!

Are you ready to join in?
Well, here’s how:

  • Go to the ENTRY FORM and sign up! You’ll see all the details there.
  • This is a Team Race, and each team entry is asked to pledge $L5,000 to support S4L as the entry fee. The team can make that donation later, any time prior to the race, in any kiosk.
    Please Note: We will have several wonderful donors supporting this regatta, so any team that needs sponsorship to help pay the Entry Fee should just contact Jane Fossett; we’ll figure it out. 🙂
  • Each team that signs up will receive a FREE 12 METER YACHT courtesy of Jacqueline Trudeau. 🙂 That covers your entry fee right there!
  • Each team will also get personalized, numbered sails for the regatta hand-crafted by Diamond Marchant. Alain Gloster’s already signed up, and he gets sail 01 ! Alain’s has all the experience and skill, and given his recurrent near-miss performance over the past few years, I’m pretty sure his Eureka entry will be the boat to beat in 2015! 🙂
  • Here is the in-world URI for the 2015 S4L 12 meter regatta group! Please join, if you’re a racer or a fan! secondlife:///app/group/8f139750-7e6a-038f-2d5d-2c51f6cbdd26/about

Anyways, joining-up is as simple as that!

The regatta will need tons of help event-organizing and team-building, so PLEASE contact Jane Fossett if you can help! I’m trying to reach everybody, but hey… I’m slow… so please drop me a message if I haven’t called you yet and you can join in. 🙂

I’ll post links to discussion threads and in-world support groups for the regatta very soon, to make sure everyone can get involved!

March 3 Leeward Cruise Will Sail SIYC to DYC

March 3 Leeward Cruise

Once again I’d like to give a big shout-out to the Leeward Cruise group. LCC is by far the oldest and largest active sailing group in all Second Life, and I’d wager it’s the most fun too. Chaos Mandelbrot and Kittensusie Lander are the sailors in charge of this ongoing major regatta, and each week they get tons of support from a growing group of appreciative skippers.

T12m beta

This Tuesday (March 3) Chaos Mandelbrot’s LCC fleet will do it all again. The fleet will collect on the docks of Seychelles Isles Yacht Club in Glacis Isle.  The club is in a full sim, so skippers can rez boats with ease, and accommodate a large, rowdy crew. 🙂 The fleet will take off at 5:00pm SLT sharp, so get there early!

(What? you don’t have a boat?
Hey, no problem!!
No one is left on the dock!!)

MAR3 2015 LCC-- SIYC to DYC 1024

That’s the course for the March 3 cruise, above.

The fleet will sail South along the Eastern shore of Nautilus, then take a turn around the Fastnet Light Memorial in the center of Blake Sea. They’ll next tack South and West to skirt Nautilus City, finally turning North through Brenda’s Channel. From that point it’s a straight shot up to Knaptrackicon and Danshire Yacht Club, the gateway to Dire Strait.

If you are new to SLSailing and and don’t know the routes yet, don’t worry. LCC has you covered. 🙂 Diamond Marchant will give you a Navigation HUD that includes all the waypoints, so you can’t get lost! (Make sure you ask Diamond about her super sail-designs too 🙂 )


Once you reach Knaptrackicon, make landfall on any of the docks there. You’ll then easily know where to go.  Just look for the after-sail crowd already dancing to BennyThe Boozehound‘s music stream!

LCC july 24 2012


First Sailor, Fifty Years Later


“ A man may die,
nations may rise and fall,
but an idea lives on.”
– JFK, 1963

(Note: I want to acknowledge the websites and resources of Sailing Anarchy, YachtPals, the JFK Library, and several document databases. I found wonderful images and numerous docs that let me cross-validate fact details.)

This past November we observed the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States.

A half-century ago, Kennedy’s administration was often termed “Camelot.” That nickname referred to JFK’s lofty aspirations for change, but it also stood for the dream team he recruited to Washington to help achieve his goals. (In contrast, it may be worth noting that the nickname for George W. Bush’s executive team was…  “The Vulcans.”).

In any event, JFK’s aspirations for a new global understanding in the early 1960’s  came to an abrupt and violent end by an assassin’s bullet on November 22 1963.

Since that time the image of JFK’s unfulfilled potential has grown to legendary myth, and today JFK remains an icon of a distant, pivotal decade. Our present, collective view of JFK is certainly clouded by time. Nonetheless, one theme resonates true for me, since it speaks much to JFK’s character: The 35th president was a life-long, serious sailor.


JFK’s first boat was a gift from his parents on his 15th birthday. The boat was a Wianno Senior  and it was named “Victura.” JFos Oct 2008 KnockaboutIt was a gaff rigged, 26ft wooden knockabout design; a humble, multipurpose boat that also served as a local inter-club racer. To my eye the boat looks a hell of a lot like the 2008 SL Trudeau Knockabout sloop (although the Trudeau boat had a modern Bermuda rig). 🙂

JFK fell in love with his Victura ‘knock‘ and he kept it close in the family. Years later Victura was the boat he used to teach his wife and children to sail.  

In fact, Victura still lives today. If you ever make it to Boston, Victura is up dry-docked and safe in a boat frame at the JFK Library. The wooden mast is stepped and the boat is fully rigged, waiting to launch.

JFK and his brothers were also avid sail-racers, primarily in Star class and Big-boat events. As a Harvard undergraduate, JFK and his older brother Joe Kennedy won the prestigious McMillan Cup, the oldest intercollegiate yacht racing competition in America. 🙂 After JFK became the U.S. President, the Harvard Crimson announced the 1962 McMillan Cup with typical dry humor:

“The Harvard Yacht Club opens its spring season by participating in the Annual McMillan Cup Regatta, held at the Naval Academy. Two races are scheduled for Saturday on the Chesapeake Bay and one on Sunday. … “This event has been won in the past for Harvard by such well-knowns as George O’Day, gold-medal Olympic winner in the 5.5 class, and one John F. Kennedy, better known for his touch football prowess. …”

As President, JFK was never far from sailing. Although he inherited a 92 ft presidential power yacht from the Eisenhower administration, it’s no surprise that Kennedy preferred a sailboat.JFK and Peter Lawford Soon after he came to Washington, JFK worked with the Coast Guard Academy to fit out a Marconi-rigged Sparkman and Stephans yawl named Manitou (62ft LOA, 44ft LWL) that served as the “Floating White House”  for the remainder of his tenure in office.  🙂

JFK’s presidency managed a series of epic issues that helped define the 20th century. Perhaps the most serious was the Cuban Missile Crisis, a confrontation that could have easily escalated into global nuclear war. (Perhaps it goes without saying that a nuclear war would have been bad for sailing.) 😦

Remarkably, Kennedy and Khrushchev had the wisdom to reject  much of the “expert” advice of their own military leaders who promoted the conflict. The details are well-described by Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara in Errol MorrisFog of War. Here’s an exerpt:

JFK and Khrushchev were on opposite sides of the world physically and  philosophically, but they were able to reach a joint consensus in the midst of crisis. They stepped back from the widening abyss that emerged before them. jfk-sailing-doodleFifty years after that apocalyptic moment, many are now commenting on these past events, and honoring JFK’s legacy. Pundits keep trying to distill in prose the special qualities that defined JFK’s greatness and leadership.

For me, it’s not that hard. After all, JFK was a sailor. 🙂 Sailors are used to responsibility at the helm, and they know the need for courage and clear thinking in the face of stormy seas. JFK’s personal doodles perhaps reveal how important sailing was to him. Sailing was more than a physical challenge; it was also a guiding metaphor for his life. Take a look at the thoughtless sketch in the figure above-right. Kennedy scribbled the  note while in conference during the nuclear crisis in 1962. At the bottom of the drawing, JFK included a picture of his knockabout, Victura. To me, the sketch shows Kennedy’s animus at the helm as he tries to beat windward through a sea of truly horrific obstructions.

Several years later,Senator Ted Kennedy expressed the same view, confirming this thought. In December 1969 Ted Kennedy hand-wrote a personal holiday note to McNamara, saying:

ted Kennedy not to RSM

Dear Bob,
The Victura sails well in gentle breezes and stormy seas, and it meant so much to the President and Bob to have you there.
With Christmas love

As we all know, John F. Kennedy was assassinated by a sniper’s bullet in Dallas, TX on November 22 1963, a year after the Cuban crisis.

The night before his collision with history in the city of Dallas, JFK landed in Houston. Kennedy slept at the Rice Hotel, and left early the next day for the short plane flight to Dallas.

The hotel staff discovered another doodle that JFK absentmindedly left on his bedside night-table.

JFK-Rice HotelThat last pencil sketch was a again a small sloop; some think the sloop is Victura. I’m not so sure on that point, though; the drawing lacks sufficient detail to tell.

However it hardly matters, since the doodle clearly show2s that JFK’s last thoughts were once again focused on sailing.

Kennedy faced a difficult reelection campaign that year, and he was en-route to tour a contentious state that held many electoral votes. It’s therefore perhaps no surprise JFK took a personal moment to inhale strength from his experience as a sailor.

JFK was the U.S. captain, and all the responsibility rested on his shoulders. In a short, highly contentious interval of history, he was one of the rare few with the knowledge and experience to confidently take his nation’s helm. He was a sailor; that’s what sailors do.

2013 Kennedy_Cup

It’s no surprise the U.S. Intercollegiate Offshore Big-Boat trophy became the John F. Kennedy cup in 1965. I guess it’s also appropriate that Fair Harvard sailed to win the first Kennedy Cup, and that NAVY won the second. Since then, however, it’s all been up for grabs, and Cal Maritime is the recent offshore powerhouse team!

Let me end this short tribute with Kennedy’s comments from the 1962 Americas Cup regatta. His words were genuine, inspirational, and fifty years later, they still ring true:

I really don’t know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, except I think it is because in addition to the fact that the sea changes and the light changes, and ships change, it is because we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have, in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch it we are going back from whence we came.

– John F. Kennedy- 1962 America’s Cup