It’s been a while since I posted something about my sailing outings in the SL seas, so here are a few pictures of my latest trip with the Leeward Cruising Club (LCC) Sunday, August the 30th. I crashed at some point when entering the last quarter of the plotted route. It was so unexpected (roll eyes). This time though, I don’t know if it was due to the usual lagginess on sim crossings, or if it was a brief network disconnection, because this weekend was mercilessly plagued by generalized Internet outages across the mid/west US that affected a lot of online services (though I don’t know if SL was among the afflicted).
By the way, my boat is still missing, so if you see an unmanned white and red Bandit IF (as the one in the pictures, sans skipper) somewhere on the shores of a west-southwest Blake sea charted territory, let me know. It’s not a stylish drone, it’s probably my boat (yep, it’s that small). It hasn’t made its way to my Lost and Found folder yet, so I’m afraid it may be littering someone else’s peaceful bay.
From my point of view, teleporting from one sim to another conceals SL distances so much that you hardly have a clear notion of all the space you may have covered in that couple of seconds. Beyond the classic lifeless screen marking the transition between your point of departure and your destination, there is no easy way to sensibly be aware of that expanse. In contrast, spending some time traveling by boat, watching as objects –sometimes abruptly– enter and leave your field of view in real time, and then arriving at some other port (even if there’s nothing of that sort) gives the simulation the e-motion-nal perception we residents deserve to grasp the mental picture of SL’s vastness. Me thinks that drifting at a normal speed, as in a sailboat, makes this virtual world more “authentic” to the mind of a transitional human like me, and so I prefer sim-hopping this way to doing the Star Trek thing. Unfortunately, only a fraction of the grid is interconnected, so sailing is not a reliable option to get everywhere.
Watching as time goes by while you go from one place to another has always been part of the traveling experience in RL. We don’t like it that much (even all the waiting in airports, bus stops or train stations add to the mischievous equation) and would certainly welcome a method of transportation that would cut distances close to none. But so far, moving faster has been the only solution. Appearing somewhere else instantly may only be achieved on a mental level, and places such as SL already offer that service. So let’s say, welcome to the future…