By Grey Lupindo
Now that summer is here, I wanted to go sailing. Unfortunately my sailboat inventory was really limited until a friend took me to Tradewinds Yacht Club, located at Dex (174, 32, 24). At Tradewinds there are free sailboats and a very supportive sailing community. They give lessons as well easy-to-sail freebie boats.
Tradewinds Yacht Club states that they are a group that wants to have fun with SL sailing. Their official statements reads, “Tradewinds Yacht Club is home to the independent minded sailor– what we're about is just having fun without the politics – we really mean it when we say “sailing first". To support this ideal, there are plenty of free sailboats and lots of places to hang out and things to do when you aren’t sailing. Races are held every week. They even have some buried treasure chests hidden around the sim.
One of my first stops was the SL Sailing History Museum that is being created by Tasha Kostolany at Tradewinds Yacht Club at Dex (185,11,28). The Museum is located inside the lighthouse and shares space with a Coast Guard post. Kostolany’s notecard states, “This room will give you a brief overview of how we have progressed in sailing from the start to where we are now....Click most every object to get more information.” Although there is a lot more to be done, the museum a great place to learn about early SL sailing. This isn’t the only sailing museum in SL, but it looks like it has the potential to become the best.
The most prominent display is about Kanker Greenacre, whom Kostolany describes as the “father of SL sailing”. He was rezzed on 5/16/2003, making him a very early SL resident. Approximately two years later, in June, 2005, he released the first SL sailboat, the Tako. Kanker Greenacre also developed “race wind”, which was more stable for sailing than the real SL wind, as well as other racing items. In order to promote sailing, the SLSF (Second Life Sailing Federation) was organized, and it remains one of the largest sailing groups in SL. Even more importantly, he shared the Flying Tako sailboat and its sailing code so that others could use and develop sailing ships.
To get a good overview of Tradewinds Yacht Club, you can take a free balloon tour at Dex (146, 17, 29). When I typed in “ap start”, the balloon began warming up the burner and soon rose into the air. The tour started at the harbor and boat store. From the air you can get a good look at the bay, the lighthouse, and the channel. To the south is the Siracusa sim where you can sail through The Channel. The tour passes into other sims and islands and past the Salliohsis lighthouse. Tradewinds is attached to over 500 sims of sailable water, and I had only seen a small portion of them. When a Distance Warning note told me that the next waypoint was 647 meters away, I decided to end my tour. Although I was enjoying the balloon ride, I was anxious to set sail.
Tradewinds Yacht Club is following Kanker Greenacre’s example by giving away a lot of valuable sailboats. Of course there are some larger and spiffier models for sale, but the free ones are the ones most likely to appeal to newbie sailors or residents. They offer a great way to try the sport without spending a lot of Lindens.
My favorite boat is the Becky’s Baby Sloop 2-0 created by Becca Moulliez. The sloop is easy enough for novice sailors like me, but it can be adapted for a more challenging experience. What makes it my favorite is the color coded HUD that helps me learn how to trim the sails. If I can keep the HUD green, I’m good to go. According to the instructions, once I gain experience I can skip the HUD and sail by feel for a more advanced and realistic sailing experience.
For a novice like me, the Becky’s Baby Sloop is amazing. It has a rocking motion and sound as the waves slap against the boat. The lower view angle and many others features make sailing it feel very real to me. According to her notecard, this version is the result of over two years of advancements and refinements. Moulliez wrote that other ship builders, such as Balduin Aabye, Qyv Inshan, Noodleqt Exonar, and Manul Rotaru, helped by giving advice, testing and donating some of their components and improvements. There are others available, too, and one day I’ll try them out. For now, however, I’m content to learn with the Becky’s Baby.
Tradewinds Yacht Club is connected to the Coastal Waterway, which is easy to sail through and leads to the Blake Sea. Information about sailing options, including maps and rezzing sites, is available at their website https://sites.google.com/site/
Tradewinds Yacht Club, located at Dex (174,32, 24).