Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sitting on the Dock or Sailing in Second Life

Sittin' in the mornin' sun
I'll be sittin' when the evenin' come
Watching the ships roll in
And then I watch 'em roll away again, yeah

I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away
Ooo, I'm just sittin' on the dock of the bay
Wastin' time*

When one of the docks at the marina near my cabin in Second Life became available I thought I might rent it and explore the world of sailing in SL. No, that is not my boat. That big sucker belongs to my landlord, who has two of them, one for personal use and this one which he rents out and remains permanently docked.

No, this one is mine, a very small Flying Tako, with a red hull. It is the very latest version and it comes with a centerboard and a spinnaker as well as the main sail, for a more authentic sailing experience.

You can see the difference between my little boat and the big yacht as I bring her home to dock. A process fraught with stress, let me tell you. But so far I have managed to bring it back home each time.

Now sailing in SL is powered by actual wind. I have no idea how Linden Labs does it, but real life sailors compete in races in Second Life quite regularly and I must go sometime to observe them, to see how it is done. There are sailing classes in SL but I never seem to remember to go at the right time, however I have taken the self directed course at the Starboards Yacht Club. It's still a bit of a mystery to me but I am enjoying it. This boat comes with all kinds of information readouts on the screen as you can see here. They are called HUDs or heads up displays. I don't have really know how to make much use of the information, but I am learning on the fly.

You can see one in the upper left corner and another in the lower right hand corner. They give wind direction and speed and other information, along with adjustment options. Do I sail in real life? Only as a passenger. But in SL it is a lot of fun and you can never drown or if you crash into the land, it is no big deal.

I was in a bit of a quandry whether to buy the Flying Tako or the Flying Fizz. When you can't make up your mind, buy both is my friend's motto in Real Life. So for once I decided to try it in SL and after a bit I succumbed to the Flying Fizz as well.

Now this one, with the blue hull, is a different experience altogether. Giving a much wilder ride as you can see here, it really whips along and I did crash it once. But no serious damage. I just teleported home and took another one out of my inventory and set off again.

Now I don't always rip about the SL seas in my sailing boats. Sometime I go canoeing. I don't actually own a canoe, but my landlord thoughtfully provides one for his tenants in another lovely area he owns so I pop over there sometimes and take a more sedate ride on the lake.

Nothing like paddling along enjoying the sunset, a very relaxing experience indeed. It makes a change from sailing or "just sittin' on the dock of the bay, wastin' time".

Click to enlarge the photos.

* Otis Reading, 1967


Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Delightful SL thoughts! Now I am dreaming of a sailboat.

Gledwood said...

I still don't get what second life actually IS. Do you watch it like a cartoon? Or create it yourself like a stills cartoon strip? How is this done?? Do you get music?? Is that lady your avatar then??

Janice Thomson said...

My goodness all the thrills without any real danger and damage - doesn't get any better than that! :)

Liz said...

You are so with it, jmb!

Just catching up. Love the statue in the women's memorial.

And your posh frock. You haven't changed at all!

CherryPie said...

I am still struggling with getting things to work on my blog. I am sure I could never figure out SL.

Moggs Tigerpaw said...

JMB, That looks like real fun, maybe you can take me out for a ride sometime. I do love to jet ski.

Talking of sl. I bought myself a vespa the other day, to get round the city I am staying in at the moment.

I figure the handling is probably quite realistic. I have crashed several times, twice I went off the edge of the road and into the ocean.

The first time I had to swim for the dock, the second time a nice guy rescued me * sigh* *flutters eyelashes * ^_^. He was cute too.

Gledwood, Did you ever play what they call a "first person shoot 'em up game"? Sl is a bit like that, only infinitely versatile. You control your Avatar with keys and the mouse, navigating through the 3D world of sl.

Ian Lidster said...

I love 'Dock of the Bay' and am always saddened when I think that Redding died before it was released and became a mammoth hit.

jmb said...

Saintly Nick, you can make dreaming a "reality" in SL. Well almost.

Gledwood, you actually take part in the "cartoon". Yes their is all kinds of wonderful music, either like a radio or you can go to concerts. That is truly amazing and yes that is my avatar.

Indeed Janice and you don't get wet when you end up in the water.

Thanks Liz. A big time waster but I enjoy it.

Cherie the learning curve is a bit steep but there are lots of people willing to help or so I have found.

Moggs, I have not figured out the dry land vehicles yet, I could not even get my car to go. But I am doing quite well with the sailing vessels, well except for one inexplicable crash.

Ian, I love that song too. Wasn't it sad that he died that way. When I hear the word dock that song springs straight into my mind.

Thanks to everyone for visiting and commenting.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

What an adventurous "second life" you are having, jmb!

Donnetta Lee said...

Oh, hubby would have fun with that. We have a 33 foot sailboat named the Dreamcatcher. She's very pretty. I don't go out on her because I get too sea sick! hahaha But he enjoys taking her out. She's a live aboard. Even has a flat screen TV. woohoo. I do better staying in the house! Or sailing in the SL way. D