Monday, April 30, 2012

Mermaid Life

I've been in SL a little more frequently, but not too too much. One reason why I haven't really posted here is because I got myself a mermaid outfit after my last scuba trip, and have discovered life as a mermaid. It's a natural progression, I suppose, since I love the water.

I've played with the look a bit; I want to get a good skin that is green, but doesn't look like I just put a green overlay on top of my existing skin. So far, I haven't found anything like that yet. I tried blue at first, but it just didn't work out. Then I decided green would be better but I'm still not happy. That's going to be a work in progress. You just have to look at my flickr to see what else I've done with the look. I just bought some gills because I was too lazy to make some of my own. They aren't yet pictured, but they will be, eventually.

I didn't realize that there was a mer subculture in SL. It's pretty cool, so far. I've met some nice people while swimming out in the waters as a mermaid. I've gone swimming in some places designed for mer folk. The Haven of Rogues and Haven of Mermaids sim complex seems to be a pretty strong center for mer culture. There are mer groups and one person is kind enough to publish a newsletter for mer folks. I haven't gotten into any of the roleplay for it yet, but I'm a little leery of that. A search inworld turned up a lot of D/s mer stuff and I really hate the idea that being a mermaid is just another kink in SL's BDSM scene. There must be more to it than that. I guess, in time, I will learn.

In the meanwhile, I will continue to explore, either by boat or by tail, the waters of SL. I recently made a very cool trip around Gaeta with a friend. I know, I'm remiss for not posting pics. I will probably just do it again and take some pics next time. There is plenty to see, both privately owned and Linden owned like this Leviathan skeleton in the middle of a sea on Nautilus continent. Don't be fooled by the picture! There is more to see under the water. Details like these make the world so much more enjoyable.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Scuba Duba

I was too tired to post the other part of my travels last night. I decided to go scuba diving! I enjoy scuba in SL. I would love to learn it in real life, but in SL I can look sooo much better doing it. Ha!

I went to a place called Airithia to dive. I found it through SL's search engine. Airithia is a lovely complex of spas, shops, and fun things to do: surfing, tubing, swimming and scuba diving. There are nice cuddle spots all over the sim.

It is a nice sim, very fun. Being somewhat disconnected from SL for a while, I have no real idea how popular it is. It does have some traffic, but the numbers weren't all that much from what I saw. I am afraid that like all other labors of love, it too will be lost in a matter of time.

On to the scuba diving!

The ad in search said that I could swim with mermaids. Well, that's a bit of false advertising. There were places where I could pose as a mermaid, but no mermaid bots or sculpted mermaids to be found. The only mermaids I saw were in ads at one of the shops. Too bad.

I did enjoy playing a mystical harp that I found. It plays Ave Maria and the Moonlight Sonata. If I had a mermaid outfit on, it would have been perfect.

There is a pretty cool sunken ship under the water. If you swim through it, you will find some romantic poses to get your underwater kink on. I passed on that.

I did find a pretty neat glowing grotto with a lot of fish. That's where the top photo came from.

No sunken ship site would be complete without some lost treasure. I found plenty of pirate booty. Arrr!!

After all was said and done, I took the time to explore the island. That water slide in the aerial overview shot above is not as fun as it appears. You can't just hop on the vehicle and slide down, you have to drive it like a car to get down the slide. It needs better physics.

But one nice feature is the fire pit, where you can roast some marshmallows. It sits amid a field of flowers and some kind of ancient monoliths.

It was a fun trip, and I enjoyed getting out and seeing something different. We need to support the people who make these beautiful destinations for us to explore.

Getting Around

Today, I decided to sail a completely different area. I went to Mowry Bay and started sailing Oriel, my Trudeau One, around the mainland continent of Sansara. Sansara is one of the older continents that existed before the massive land boom of 2007 and the subsequent land gluts. It's got a certain charm to it that some of the newer places just don't have.

It's nice when you have communities that respect the water, and don't place ridiculous obstructions in your way. That is not to say that I didn't meet upon any obstructions, but there is an obvious respect for the maritime nature of this section of the continent here.

Sailing Sansara was a unique pleasure. Generally speaking, it's unobstructed. Unfortunately, there isn't an abundance of ocean sims like with Corsica and Gaeta, but there are protected channels so that you can sail around the sims. Even then, sometimes what stops you is the shallow water. I got stuck a couple of times because my keel just couldn't take the shallowness. When traveling mainland inlets, you need a catboat or some other boat with a small keel or retractable centerboard.

I really enjoyed the trip because there is some really unique architecture here. And I enjoyed the diversity of the builds; it inspires creativity. When diversity works to create character instead of vulgarity, it's very powerful and touching.

It is a sincere pleasure to explore SL this way. Now we just need more people committed to maintaining a cohesive world, without excessive abuse of property rights. I am thankful to those who make the coasts beautiful and allow us to wonder at the beauty without wondering how to get off your banlines.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Ridin' Around In My Automobiiiiillle....

Happy Easter, everyone! I hope you all had a safe holiday.

So I went for another sail. This time, I dusted off Joyeux, my J-Class, and I invited a friend along for the sail.

I started out again at Tradewinds Yacht Club, heading toward Corsica again. This time, I took the near passage and avoided the cluster**** heading west. This was generally a more pleasant ride. I ended up going all the way to the beginning of Gaeta. It was long, but fun. Here's the map:

It was not without its hazards, though. I guess I'm just beating an old drum with the banline morons and obstructionists. They will always be there. They are the result of the libertarian paradise that is SL. Because some dummy somewhere griefs other people, people use ridiculous measures with their land and destroy the coherence of the wider world.

Today's featured dick move is the invisible megaprim that stops your boat dead:

I had to turn on the view transparency option to confirm what I thought was happening. Some of these are phantom prims that you can sail through, like the waves that surround many rocks and beaches. But not these. No, these were just sitting there and making life miserable.

But overall, the trip was pleasant and I got to see some cool things. Particularly, this temple on Corsica was breathtaking:

My friend went offline and I decided to finish the sail in Gaeta. Imagine my pleasant surprise to see this:

It's beautiful, but a little dated. It has a huge Christmas Tree, welcoming people and wishing them a Happy New Year. Uh, it's April and Easter has come and gone now. Methinks it's time to log in and redecorate. :)

After passing that snowy wonder, I decided to end the trip. I wasn't going to go the whole way around Gaeta, not tonight. I will try to be on a little more often. Even with the access issues, sailing is still a load of fun.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

One Year Later

Amazing. I didn't realize that it had been a whole year since posting, but here it is.

I haven't been logging in a whole lot. It is sometimes months at a time between logins. And then when Linden Lab made some kind of change to the code that was unfriendly to my video card, I just stayed away since I couldn't help but crash every couple of minutes.

Lately, however, I have tried my hand at logging in and it seems that my video card issues are clear.

I did a lazy sail with the motor today. I just didn't feel like dealing with the SL wind, so I dusted off my first sailing love: Renaissance, my Trudeau Tahiti II Ketch. Renaissance signaled the rebirth of my love for Second Life, after many months leading to burnout. Other than the few close friends I keep, sailing is my true joy in SL.

Life is all about change, and Renaissance is a little dated. Her sailing technology is so much simpler than what is out there now. As much as I love the new boats with the non-flat sail technology, there is a lot to be said for simplicity in things when your life is pretty stressful.

As much as I love Triumphal Yacht Club, I wanted to sail different waters than the Blake Sea. So I just randomly picked a yacht club out of search and landed at Tradewinds Yacht Club. Tradewinds, like Triumphal, is on Nautilus continent. But instead of sailing down to the Blake Sea, I decided to try to motor up toward Corsica.

Bad idea.

As it turns out, it's heavily obstructed once again. Mind you, I made a navigational mistake and missed a set of water sims that connected Corsica to Nautilus in the middle of the continent. I had intended to sail all the way from east to west, to the far western connection to Corsica. Little did I know, however, that that would prove to be an impossible task. Once I got to Cloz, I hit a banline. From the picture, you can see that someone else was also fairly unlucky in the task of passing by, too.

As it turns out, there is no protected path through Cloz or the surrounding sims to get to the open water sims that lead to Corsica. That's a shame. Had I taken the other passage, there would have been a small protected path. Alas, I didn't remember that connection, and I got stuck thanks to yet another sociopathic banline moron.

So instead, I went over to the Fruit Islands and set sail at Mango Yacht Club. It was a beautiful, peaceful ride.

It is sad, though, that people cannot be trusted to maintain the coherence of the world.