Monday, August 25, 2014

Foul weather experience

We had a few rainy days this summer. So I went to SL to catch the sun. I found it, but I also found the worst virtual weather I've ever experienced. However, it all started beautifully. Somewhere in Folkvang...
Smooth sailing in the sunset
I accidentally found the viking ship, and when I hopped on, it (the ship) asked me if I wanted to go on a journey. I accepted and a whole story unfolded before my eyes. A true story of a viking journey.
The ravens cage
The attention to detail was quite unique. The ship had cargo covered with blankets or cow-hides,  barrels with I-dunno-what plus sheep and then there was the cage for the obligatory raven. The vikings used the raven to find the course to land - if they got lost at sea. Release it and see where it goes.
Arriving somewhere
So, I just sat there... the story was rather lengthy but interesting. However, the scenery was amazing. In fact it was so overwhelming, I'll admit I was too busy looking and taking pics to catch all the details of the story.
The waves were amazing too. They are difficult to catch on fotos in RL; They're even more difficult to catch in SL, but they're a pretty big deal. The SL waters may look watery and wet, but in fact they're flat as a pancake. Here, they had me worried. The waves.
Quiet night
Just as in RL the wind eased a bit at night, so here's a shot upwards. Pretty. Pretty realistic and pretty sleep inducing. It was so nice, but it wasn't gonna last...
This is what woke me up. It is - by very far - the worst virtual weather I have ever experienced. Lightning struck more than once near the boat. The wind picked up and closed in on storm. The waves grew taller and taller while heavy rain filled the air... Foul weather indeed.
Where's my horn
After a hefty night this was the morning... fog. Loads of it and thick too. Quite exciting in that scary way. Ahh, but not that scary. After all I kinda knew I wouldn't meet Emma Maersk or any of her siblings. That's comforting. Still, I had no horn and no charts... Hmm...
Staring at the horizon some 50 meters ahead expecting anything can be exhausting. Here, I finally saw some rocks. Good? Bad? Dunno yet. 
Let's find land
After a while the sun broke through and it was time to test the raven. Here she is... flying, circling, looking for land, and after a few minutes she took off. I followed.
Ahh, yes... the sun is back
Not much to see. I mean, - no land. The sun was up though, and that always helps cheering me up. Happily I splashed forward in the same direction. The Raven was out of sight, but finally...
Finally. This chalcky rock appeared and I knew the journey was about to end. Not with me being lost at sea, but with me landing somewhere... presumably nice. Maybe there'd be a pub nearby, so I could get a beer. I won't tell. Go check the journey yourself... it all begins somewhere in Folkvang.

Update: Yes, all pictures are 100% true and unmanipulated screenshots.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Powerboat show

There is a powerboat show running at Tradewinds. I dropped by to catch a glimpse of all those peace-disturbers before I went shopping for TNT.
As if I'd do such a thing. Nah. However, I always keep old ropes and have them ready to throw out overboard. Just in case some fired up gazoline-sniffer comes too close, hehe.
Carpenters corner
Seriously, it is a nice show. There's loads of fancy looking smokers, and there's even a carpenters corner, where you can see how boats are built.
There's only one problem with the boatbuilders shed. It is way too tidy to look real, but apart from that there's a lot of really nice details.
Check the two pics above here. It would seem one is the unfinished version, and the next one is what it looks like when finally done - after 7 layers of varnish and wax and what's nuts.
Miami Vice
Not into classics and oldtimers? Go modern. This looks kinda like Miami Vice. Ok, it's like what... 30 years ago, so even Miami Vice is now officially antiquated. Still, I am sure there are fans out there.
Let's tan
Me, I am not really a fan of anything that antiquated, noisy and environmentally incorrect, but this next one got my attention. Now I just need a bikini and a drink... how come these things don't have drink dispensers?
Japan is also represented
Anyway, there's enough to see if you're into this sort of thing. I'll admit that some of these boats look really nice, and it's clear that the builders put a lot of work and pride in their creations. Too bad most of the boats cannot be taken for a testride. The roaarrrs that you'd expect to hear at a show like this are kinda absent. But it's still worth a visit. Definately.

Link to earlier Power Boat Show at Tradewinds. Click the category for more power-boat-stuff.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Size matters II

So it's been scaled a bit. The new Moth. I really like that. Here's a picture of a little Moth-talk. Not sure a kilt is the best outfit for Moth-sailing but hey... not my problem.
It looks pretty good on water too. Err, well not the kilt. The Moth. Plus I fit nicely on the trampoline - feeling I am just the right size, whereas my new Scottish friend felt the boat was now too small for him, teehee.
See... size is important
Strange problem in a virtual world. Click a few buttons and your own personal self has a suitable size. Or better yet: I have shoes that resize on my command! Why not have resizable boats and end the size debate once and for all??
I decided to check it out for real, so here's me taking off from Tradewinds Yacht Club. Still not sure what to think about that experiMental wing-thing, but at least it won't break no matter how I crash. There is one interesting thing about it though: I wonder how much extra speed it would give me compared to a standard sail. Hmm.
Speedy Gonzales 
Speedy it is. It's probably so dangerous we ought to wear helmets like those sissies in the Americas Cup. Duh. Maybe not. We can only fall into the water here. Soft water full of itsu bitsy bits. It probably won't hurt much, and the hull probably won't break into sharp edges either. 
Head on / chicken
So, if the speed is 43 knots, then a head to head crash would be like hitting full stop from 86knots or so? Maybe those helmets are a good idea after all, teehee. You need to react pretty fast here. Sometimes you only have very few seconds from first visual to impact. 
Better get back to safety. It's a fun boat. It's right sized, still too fast, and still too easy, but there's supposed to be an expert mode. I'd better try that, so stay tuned. And the subject? Well, here's Size Matters I. And here's that other Moth for reference.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Another virtual Moth

Just back from 14 days at sea... ahh. The flooded mailbox says "U gotta try that new Moth", so I did...
A moth with wing(s)
Compared to the first virtual Moth this one is a bit more detailed. That's because of the mesh technology not being available back then. Another difference is that this one has a wing. I am not entirely sure I'd prefer a wing in RL. Wings are more expensive and much more fragile than sails.
However, in SL that really doesn't matter. There is no damage done no matter how you crash. Yet. Another difference is that this one runs on a modded BWIND engine. This has implications for serious sailors as BWIND has difficulties implementing the full set of environmental quirks needed for a full sail simulator. Currents, waves, shadows and more... See this...
It's working!
However, kudos for taking on a task like this. Building a new boat with different characteristics such as a foiler isn't excactly easy. The new Moth seems to work allright, though the sailing feels a bit shaky. Oh, and it is way too easy to get it up and foiling. The windangle and windspeed doesn't seem to matter much. The balance is also too easy to handle, both in foiling and nonfoiling "mode". Still, this boat deserves more investigation and tests...
Size matters
Xeriko commented that it looks too big. I can only agree, so here's a shot of a real Moth. The person carrying the moth is around 1.80m tall. No, it's not me. I am holding the camera. It is a very small boat that easily fits into a box that easily fits on the roof of even the smallest cars... The real Moth is a single seater. It seems the Dolphin Moth is meant for two people??

Once again, I'd like to stress that this is not about the new Moth being bad or wrong or anything. I haven't given it a thorough testride, but it appears to be great work. It's just a littlebit too big to feel like a real Moth.

PS: OMG! Totally unrelated. Totally amazing :-D