Thursday, September 15, 2016

Sailing and Boating in Second Life

"Nice? It's the only thing," said the Water Rat solemnly as he leant forward for his stroke. 
"Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing—absolute nothing—half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. "

Kenneth Grahame in Wind in the Willows

Sailing and Boating in Second Life

In Second Life you can mess around in rowboats, or yachts, or pirate ships, or yellow submarines or....well, you get the picture.

The best part is that you don't have to spend any money to start. Several places offer free sailboats, and there are many places to sail.

Pick up a free sailboat:

The one in the top picture was from the Barbarossa Info Hub, but you can get other models at Public Rezz sites like the Bay City Marina in New Port, and from places like Tradewinds Yacht Club and Starboards Yacht Club.

Buying a sailing vessel:

If you want something fancier, you might try Trudeau Classic Sailing Yachts, among others. Since I have never bought anything bigger than a rowboat*, I can't make any recommendations, but I have seen some magnificent yachts and cruise ships that made my mouth water...

Where to sail: 

Here is a short list.  The Blake Sea area is probably the most popular, but anywhere you can rezz a boat is fine. Try to avoid areas where they are having boat races or naval battles

Learning More:

I searched for "Boating" and "Yacht Clubs" and here are some other places to visit

Tradewinds Yacht Club:  I visited a lot of "Yacht Clubs" but I liked this one the best. Nothing fancy, but they have several free sailboats and a small store.   /  The website has calendars of sailing events, links to video tutorials, and even directions on how to build your own boat.

Starboards Yacht Club: In Hollywood, has a large freebie section and a museum. There was a written self-paced course on one wall, as well as a navigation chart.
Something about this logo looks familiar...
If you want something a little less traditional, you can take a free cruise on a yellow submarine in Stonehenge, although I have to warn you that this is in an adult sim, and even reading the landmark description might offend some people.

The $L99 Yellow Submarine

If you are interested in older sailing ships, be sure to visit the the Arcadia Aley Asylum area in Mieville Pond, where you can get free copies of many kinds of sailing ships.
One of the many free sailing ships. 
I like the little Aley battle boat (below). It has an option to explode and leave you in the water surrounded by floating debris.

Hippo, newbs, & chicken not included...

Other ships to visit:

You can find a recreation of the USS Reprisal in the water not far from the Zebrasil Infohub.
A recreation of one of the old flat-decked aircraft carriers. 

There is a recreation of the Titanic in SecondLife now - I think it may be a temporary exhibit, but perhaps they will make it more permanent.  One problem - they want you to visit wearing a human, non-pregnant avatar and they want you to wear formal dress.  An avatar/dress code is unusual in Second Life. Fortunately I had a ball gown.

If you have a magifying glass, you might see the little figures at the bow
 who were having a great time recreating scenes from the movie "Titanic".

Miscellaneous: In addition to other websites listed, there is a Second Life Sailing Forum at http://forum.slsailing.coand a virtual world sailing website at

Wind: There is wind in Second Life, but many sailors argue that it is unreliable, so it is possible to set your own wind, or just ignore it.


For now, you can try out a rowboat at the Tourist Information Center in Cecropia. Click on the bright red rectangle on the pier and a rowboat should rezz.  Left click on the center seat and select "Row" then click again to get oars (you will have to go into Recent Inventory and select 'wear'). After you've got the oars another passenger can board and take the stern seat.  Navigate by using your directional keys or game controller. You can go north for a short trip to the interesting sim of Calleta, or go south and left around the edge of the sim and then head south to take the ANWR channel to Sansar. 

Rowboat in waters near Cecropia. (I used atmosphere settings).

When you stand up, the boat will disappear, so you might want to detach the oars before you stand up.

Note that this version of the rowboat has fewer animations than the original item on the Marketplace.

*I am making a boat now, using several different resources.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Learning to Build In Second Life - Part 1: Places to Learn

When I was a kid my brother and I used to make competing block structures and then shoot at them with a toy cannon. I learned to build solid.

Later we used to make little houses out of hay bales, and when I was a teen I built (with a little help) a horse corral and shed.

Now as an adult my RL building is limited. If I want a new house I will have to buy it from someone else, or work with architects and contractors and follow the building codes -- but in Second Life I can make my own home. "It's not much, but it's home."  It's one of the things I enjoy most in Second Life.

Trying to learn building on your own in SL can be frustrating.

Here is some information to get you started:


Ivory Tower Library of Primitives:

Ivory Tower of Prims - Natoma

Resident Lumiere Noir built the first Ivory Tower Library of Primitives (ITLP) in Noyo in 2004 - but added an annex in Natoma in 2007.  The Tower in Noya no longer exists, but there is a third Tower on Tutorial Island*.  Both existing Towers offer numerous stations which give short notecard tutorials and show examples of dealing with primitives. You can collect the notecards and then experiment on your own in the adjacent sandboxes. See this site for more detailed information. Torley also has a video on UTube.

The first station - hard to miss!

Both of the Towers have several floors of self-paced tutorial modules, but there is some difference in layout and content between the Natoma and the Tutorial Island ITLP like the fact that Natoma has stairs between floors, while the Tutorial Island Tower uses teleports between floors.  Also, I was able to do some of the building exercises inside the Tower at Natoma, but not inside the Tower at Tutorial Island. I would suggest visiting them both.

Note: I found a "Vehicle Laboratory" between two floors, but couldn't find any way to get there except to camming in to the silver rocket there and clicking on it.


Happy Hippo:

This is my favorite building school. I have spent many happy hours sitting in front of their free tutorial boards,  playing with prims. **  They offer many free tutorials, and even provide the textures. 

Starting page of one class 
Step one to building a Roman chair. 
After you've learned the basics from the free tutorials, you can buy advanced classes in their store, as well as pick up some excellent freebies.  If you join the Happy Hippo class you will be able to join group chat and get announcements about classes and events.

Builder's Brewery:

Builder's Brewery offers frequent classes on different aspects of building. You can access their schedule online and add reminders about the classes you want to take to Google Calendar. They also have a store and a Creator's Village.

Class schedule and announcement at Builder's Brewery.


Most of these are places that offer many different kinds of resources, but if you join the groups you will be alerted when they have a building class.

Helping Haven:

Sandbox at Helping Haven

Helping Haven has a wide range of resources for newcomers, and they also offer building classes.

Caledon Oxbridge: 

In addition to their excellent newcomer orientation area, Caldeon also offers many different classes. Classes and events are also posted online.

Class schedule at Caledon Oxbridge 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Lilliputian Isles

This is an updated version of what I posted on my blog Warty Bliggens back in July 2015. I first found out about this chain of islands, and many other places in Second Life, in a 2014 forum post by Resident Curious Hazelnut. She wrote:


yet anther series of islands with a mini quest:


but that got me started.

The Second Life Wiki had a little more information.


Lilliputian Isles

This is a chain of islands themed for unusually small avatars. While anyone can visit, if you're bipedal and under a meter tall you'll find the furnishings scaled to fit you.


Explore this small-scale old stone fortress. Fire off the zap cannons, sunbathe on the rooftop garden, loot some treasure, or sit around and fish.


The Lilliputian Isles off the Northeast Coast of Satori

Although the Lilliputian Isles are off the coast of Satori, they appear to have been completed some time afterwards, so I am putting them in a separate entry.

The best way to visit is to teleport or fly between islands. Be aware that the islands are at the edge of the universe, so you will have to detour around some empty spots rather than fly in a direct line all the time. You can also take one of the frequent Yavapod tours connecting the islands, or you can sail between the islands if you are careful.

Start at Danu. The first clue that these islands were made for tinies is the gate you can see in the wall across the island.  If you are too tall, you won't be able to get through the gate. I couldn't find the Inworld place I got a free tiny avatar last year, so you may have to go to the Marketplace. If you don't mind paying a few Lindens, I like my cat avatar from Kowloon, and my hedgehog from Wynxworks.

The gate in Danu. (In my house, the cat always thinks he is on the wrong side of the door.)
Next stop is the lighthouse in Redoubtable.  If you go inside, you will see that it is called the Tiny Isles Quest Hub.  I do not know why it is called that. A search for "Tiny Isles Quest" leads me to this, and that is the only clue I have so far.

The cat looks in a drawer.
Stop at the small island between the lighthouse and the next large island in Intrepid. You will find a ruined tower, and nearby,  a coracle just the right size for tinies.

As you approach the larger island, the Tiny Isle of Mist, you will get a message that this is a place best explored by night.
Approaching the Tiny Isle of Mist. Environment set to "Midnight".

There is a mini-quest on the Tiny Isle of Mist, but I am not going to give you many clues here - just explore everything and read the messages you get when you touch things. I love the whole island, and wish I had the skills to make a place like this.

There is a Fairy Grove on Brillant, but I have never been able to catch a fairy there.

Genereux has a deserted village. The houses look like vases, or giant pods.  Yet another mystery.

My cat finds the most comfortable pod on the island.

Glorieux is a base for construction vehicles used by the Linden Department of Public Works. One of these days I'm going to find one of the vehicles unlocked....

An LDPW Construction Site 

Next stop, Meauxle Bureaux. This "Mole Village" was originally built by Kayle Matzerath for the 2012 Fantasy Faire (an event to raise money for the American Cancer Society). Instead of being demolished at the end of the event,  Linden Lab acquired the whole build and moved it to this site. The places that used to hold Faire merchants are now furnished to represent homes of the Linden Moles.

Each home is unique, and it would take many days to explore everything. This time I explored a room with a lot of books, a nice fire, and a cozy rug. Oops - when I went outside I saw the sign says that this room was for Michael Linden. I'm sure glad it was not his real home.

Taking a catnap on a soft rug. 
Formidable is a fort placed on an island that has seen recent volcanic activity. Investigate the rooms, try out the guns, but watch out for boobytraps!

I don't know why a cat can't be king!

The last island is Impetueux - there is nothing there especially to suggest it was made for tinies, except that it has a French name, like most of the others.

I hope you enjoy visiting the Lilliputian Isles.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Know the Mainland: Satori

In a world where most people travel by teleport, it is easy to forget what sim or continent you are on in Second Life . This is a brief guide to Satori, the fourth continent.

Yavapod Map showing Satori as it is now. The lines indicate the routes of the Yavapod tours. 

Satori was the fourth continent created in Second Life, after Sansar, Heterocera, and Jeogeot, and the first of the 'eastern' continents. It was started in February 2007 and the land portion was finished on June 18th of the same year. I have read that it was originally called Maebaleia (In Portuguese "Mae" is 'Mother' and "baleia"  is 'whale', so Maebaleia apparently means "Mother Whale") and you will see it listed as both "Satori" and "Maebaleia". If you look at the map, it is easy to imagine a whale with a calf.

Some people thought that "Maebaleia" was too hard to spell, and after a vote on the old SL forums the name was changed to "Satori". One meaning of "Satori" is "enlightenment". It has also been called the "Asian" or the "Japanese" continent, and the frequent signboards echo an eastern style theme.

In March 2007 Second Life resident Dimitrio Lewis flew over the new continent as it was under construction:

To get an historical perspective: In 2007, when this continent was constructed,  the media was full of articles about Second Life. It was less than a year since Ansche Chung's picture had been on the cover of Business Week, and there were many residents wanting land. According to the old forums, the Lindens were auctioning off multiple sims at a time, and some went for very high sums.

One of the map stations throughout the Satori network. 

It was not until late in the next year that the roads in Satori (Route 8, 8A, 8B, 8C, and the Old Wagon Road) were completed.  Because some of the sims that were in the right-of-ways had been sold, many roads have dead ends and are connected by false tunnels with teleports, or billboards with teleports. The map kiosks along the road are a big help.

See the Second Life Wiki for more information on the Satori Network. I have to hand it to the moles that built the roads, considering the difficulties they had to overcome.

A teleport billboard at a dead end. You click on it to be teleported to the other end of the road.

The Dead End Diner 
The terrain consists of higher and lower plains and some plateaus. There don't seem to be any rivers - the lakes are endorheic (closed drianage with no outflow) and shallow. 

Many of the 709 sims in Satori have no road or water access. Because Linden Labs sold a lot of water land all along the shore there are places where you cannot sail because resident's builds block what would have been a nice sailing route. There are still many places with nice sailing, but I believe it is impossible to circumnavigate Satori by sea. Sailing is more popular along the northern shore, because you can sail to Nautilus and some further parts. Flying is popular and there are several busy airports.

Where two roads meet. 

There are several mole-built coastal islands that were built later, which I will discuss in a separate article.

Map of the Mainland Continents - the left is a close-up of the first Mainland, on the right is a map showing all eight Mainland 'continents'. Privately-owned islands are not shown. 

The next Linden Project was Nautilus, then Corsica, Gaeta V, and Gaeta 1. As each of these new regions opened up they attracted new residents, and by the time Gaeta 1 came online the demand for new land had levelled out.

Satori contains many pleasant areas and some of my favorite places, and while there are some very popular areas there is also a lot of empty space.

If you visit:

Start at the Southern end of Route 8 at Bagheera. There is a large map kiosk there. If you follow Route 8 north and then around the curve to start South again, you will come to a teleport tunnel at Bietschhorn. From there you can use the Second Life Map if you want to travel all the routes. I will be making a separate notecard just for the Satori network.

The easiest way to get around would be to take a Yavapod tour - there are three pod stations in Satori - check the Yavapod notecard for exact coordinates.

I am indebted to the following sources:

Ana Imfinity's SLGI Wikia and her contributions to the Second Life Wiki  

I also got information from Virtual Christine’s “Guide to Second Life Geography”,

About naming the continent: apparently there was a resident vote   and the name Satori – the Japanese Continent was chosen. Satori is the goal of Zen.

Old forum guides;  (September 2007)

and from the SL Aviation Wikia

One of the best resources is Dahlia Jayaram’s The Great Balloon Adventure: Satori on issu

- I was fortunate to chat with Dahlia Jayaram when I was wrapping up my final exploration of Satori and she was kind enough to give me a lot of information for my Tourist Information Center and a link to another explorer's adventures in Satori: 

Also see Virtual World Sailing  September 2014

You will not be able to recreate any of these travels - things on the Mainland change constantly - but whatever you do, it will be your own adventure.