Wednesday, March 19, 2014

SL Sailing Pro Tips: A Lighthearted Look at Second Life Sailing

Now that Port Trianon is open and the Shared Seas of the Duché de Coeur & Rocca Sorrentina have become a reality I've set my sights on becoming a Second Life sailor.  It hasn't been easy and though I've had to swim for my life more times than I care to count I have learned a few things along the way. Calling them "Pro Tips" may be a bit of a stretch (though it does have a nice ring to it!) but they may help novice SL sailors figure out their port from their starboard.  Have a look & see what you think!

First things first; take my hard-earned advice and make an effort to get to know your sailboat, especially if you intend to do any racing.  Being a "last minute" person myself, I've suffered the embarrassment of backing over my competition at the starting-line when I really meant to move forward.  Fortunately, they're a forgiving bunch!

Public sailboats are available at the docks of Port Trianon & the beach of Rocca Sorrentina.

The green & brown sailboats from the Duché are for singles & groups; these are the ones used for racing. The blue sailboats are for couples that like to cuddle though they can also be used as a rather awkward single.

With the Duché boats make sure you "sit" to the right of the rudder otherwise the boat, thinking you are a passenger, will not follow your commands.

Duché Boats' Keyboard controls:

Tap the Up Arrow to move forward (you don't have to keep holding it)
Tap the Down Arrow to stop

Hold the Down Arrow to go backwards; Right Arrow to go right, Left Arrow to go left.
Use Page Up to speed up (there are 4 speeds); Page Down to slow down.

That's all there is to it.  Now find some open water & start practicing!!

Even though it limits the opportunities for showing off my shapely ankles, I thoroughly enjoy wearing the fashions of the 18th century especially since the magic of Second Life means that corsets are comfortable and long skirts never get dirty trailing through the mud.

However, those long skirts do become a literal drag when captaining a sailboat.  Now don't get me wrong, I've seen many a fine lady win a race even with a soggy skirt slowing her down.  I've also seen damsels in distress forced to ditch their skirts and continue on in their "glitch" pants or, horror of horrors, trapped upside down in a capsized ship with their skirts floating around their heads and their bloomers exposed.

So ladies, next time you compete in a race, reduce the land impact of your clothing & try wearing some trousers.  I think you'll be glad you did especially when you encounter the following hazards!

Whether they are natural, man-made or LL-made, sailing hazards are out there just waiting to sink your boat.  I do my best to avoid them but when (inevitably for me) they do occur I do my best to recover.  Here are some lessons I've learned.

The Duché de Coeur is full of bridges!!  The sailboat race course has two types of bridges; those that you can fit your mast under and drawbridges.  If you touch the deck of a drawbridge it will raise so that you can pass but be warned as it lowers automatically.  If you dawdle you run the risk of being struck on the head and crafty competitors have been known to use this as a tactical manoeuver.

For those using their sailboats to explore the interior of the Duché, rumour has it that some of the brown sailboats have masts that allow you to pass right through low bridges.  Use at your own risk.

I highly recommend the Navigator Challenge to help you get your bearings.

Region Boundaries aka the End of the World.  You can try to sail off the end of the world but there are always consequences.  Sometimes you just get knocked backwards by the strong tides, other times you meet the dragons that love to hang out there.  Study your map and stick close to the coast.

Region Crossings; a curse of Mother Nature or Linden Lab?  Region crossings can be frustrating & unpredictable especially during a weekend sailboat race.  I like to think of them as being caused by the whims of Mother Nature while deep in my heart I'm cursing LL every time my boat sinks.  Region crossings can't be avoided but you can better your odds of making it across by knowing where they occur and proceeding with caution.

There are two triple-region intersections on the Shared Seas, one at  Provence Coeur-Aquitaine Coeur-Aquitaine Coeur Sud and another at Provence Coeur Est-Provence Coeur Est2-Provence Coeur Sud2.  Slow down, plot your course and stick to the coast.

Note that some region crossings may temporarily give you an "out of body" experience. Don't panic!  If it looks like you're floating at the bottom of the sea give yourself a moment or two to recover.  Many times you will find yourself back safe-and-sound in your boat.

If you do find yourself shipwrecked make the best of it.  Don't give up!  Quite often you can manage to swim to an abandoned boat (it's surprising how many of them end up littering a race course), jump in and continue your journey.  Worst case, during a race you will earn an honourable Shipwrecked achievement:

And oh the tales you'll have to tell!

Bonne chance!


SL Sailing Pro Tips: A Lighthearted Look at Second Life Sailing by  on 2014-03-19
A lighthearted look at sailing the Shared Seas of the Duché de Coeur & Rocca Sorrentina.

Images: Tatiana Dokuchic

Find Tatiana Dokuchic on Google+

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