August 25, 2006

New England Charm in a Virtual World

There is a new yacht club in SL. This tipped me off to a wonderful new estate.

I did a quick fly-over late last night of the eight sims that make up Cape Cod and quickly decided that they were well worth an extended visit. So this morning, I donned my clam diggers and arrived on the dock for a leisurely stroll through rustic New England.

the yacht clubhouse

The Nantucket Yacht Club.

As luck would have it, Barb Carson, the proprietor of the estate, was in-world and able to give me a few moments of her time. We sat on the beach in Block Island, the newest of the sims, where Barb started a bon fire and told me the story behind New England.

on the beach with Barb

Barb is from real world Long Island. She grew up deep sea fishing all along the the Eastern coast of Massachusetts; spending summers in a fishing boat, soaking up local culture and flavor. When she first came to SL at the suggestion of her brother-in-law, Barb began specualting in real eastate on the mainland. But there was nothing in SL that really felt like home to her. So she bought a sim and made a beach. Then added a fishing village and some shops. The project rapidly became New England, with four additional sims, Kendra Bancroft's (also from Long Island) talents as a builder, Mannie Madonna's boats (seriously, you should see the whaler) and Mathieu Basiat (of Bora Bora Isle) designed the waves.

As far as touist attractions and local interest are concerned, there is live music nightly in the events area, boat rentals, a casino boat and a small church that offers a full compliment of wedding services. The views are breathtaking.

Light House

The Whaler

The New England sims are still a work in progress, but the portions that have been completed reflect the look and feel of New England with a surprising degree of realism. It is peaceful there. The landscape has a very soft and natural feel to it, with land visible below the surface of the water. I am told that schools of native fish are being developed to bring life to the water. So visit now. And visit again in a few weeks as the estate grows and changes. You won't be dissappointed.

Homes and land (and houseboats!) are available for rent - contact Barb Carson or Montecore Babcock for more information.

The Nantucket Yacht Club, Nantucket (91, 65, 21)
Block Island (189, 119, 35)
The Lighthouse, The East End (196, 115, 35)
The Nantucket Marina, Nantucket (103, 16, 21)
The houseboats and Welcome Center, Nantucket (139, 158, 21)

August 15, 2006


In my opinion, there aren't enough caves in Second Life. Probably because without the ability to hollow out the ground, they are tricky to do well. But luckily for me (and other SL spelunkers), Bizarre Berry had an inspiration to recreate the famous painted walls of the Cave of Lascaux. Complete with a hidden entrance (look around for the painted rock when you arrive), Bizarre's cave is a rare treat.

twisty turny passage

Start down the narrow passage way...

into the larger cave find the painted gallery.

As fan of the ancient world, I must say that I was happy to see this pop up in the forums! The paintings have been meticulously scanned and placed to their best advantage. Care has been taken to create a darker, cave-like atmosphere that enhances the experience. Bizarre's creation is a wonderful way to visit the caves. And the only way to visit at the moment - the real Cave of Lascaux was closed to the public in 1963. Carbon dioxide from visitors' breath (almost 1200 a day) was acidifying the moisture in the air, causing corrosion and algae growth.

The Cave of Lascaux, Modesta (98, 61, 58)
For more information about the RL caves, visit The Official Website.

PS There is an Ent avatar in Bizarre's shop!

August 07, 2006

ANWR: In which Ida rants about ban lines.

This weekend, I did a little recreational sailing in my Tako. My journey began on the inland sea in the middle of the main continent. I noticed that there was a way to the coast, turned north and decided to see how far I could go. With the exception of one bizarre land anomaly where I had to portage my boat (at the corner of Tiger, Togata and Moma), I've made it all the way around the northern continent. In spite of the ban lines. I completely understand the desire to keep Creepy People out (and landowners have every right to do so), but I hate ban lines. You can't see them until it is too late.

Usually, running into a ban line while in a physics enabeled boat will knock you backwards in the water, reversing your momentum. This is a hinderance but not a desperate situation, as you can "moor" to stop the motion and then continue on your way. On occasion, a boat will get wedged into the lines and nothing can be done to get it back out. This is what happened yesterday on the northern coast of the northern continent. I couldn't stand up, moor, OR drag myself out with the mouse. I was sitting there, stranded in my boat, angry that I would to have to relog AND litter (the boat would be left behind) when SL was kind enough to inform me that my that my boat was now in my lost and found. Returned from Tickled Pink - TWO SIMS AWAY. So I relogged.

There is an upside to this: I ran across an interesting Linden build in ANWR.

the oil rig

A Linden Oil Rig!

I found this terribly amusing - the pipeline runs across the sea floor to the northern continent. The build itself is interesting and detailed, and has some sort of equipment that generates boxes, sends them down a conveyer belt and through a sliding door.

mess o pipes

I wonder why they need so many pipes.

office space

One of those charts seems to track the progress of the SLRR. I have yet to investigate.

It did strike me as odd that the rig appeared to be abandoned even though the equiptment was still in perfect working order. Perhaps some sort of X-Files-like Tragedy occurred.

Home of the Flying Tako Sailboat, Grey (25, 145, 21)
Portage! Tiger (14, 5, 53)
Tickled Pink, Pandorus (167, 218, 21)
Oil Rig, ANWR (104, 137, 24)

August 04, 2006

Beat the Heat: Visit the Snow Sims

Why not take a break from the opressive heat with a visit Japan in winter? With beautiful architecture, outstanding texture work, mist and snow, Silk Waters Mountain is a stellar example of an immersive environment. According to the current owner's (Snakekiss Noir) profile, the build was originally created by Versu Richelieu and Jova Song, but Snakekiss has expanded far beyond the orginal concept to fill a sim and then some. I had a marvelous time exploring the asian styled village and market place (Yay! Souvineers!) and soaking up the ambiance.

an asian building

an asian courtyard

buddah and some windchimes

I spent at least an hour hiking down the mountain, and I am sure that I did not see everything.

Silk Waters Mountain - the Peak, Verbier (173, 213, 213)
Silk Waters Mountain, Orelle (92, 112, 128)
Silk Waters Mountain - Lowtown, Orelle (192, 237, 106)