New Nudist / Naturist estate in Second Life

BLNE

Outside the main office. I’m actually behind it. Front door’s on the other side.

Some of you may know of my experience with the Eden Naturist estate being less than pleasant. Not on a personal level, but in that they do not allow any non-human avatar elements other than mermaid tails… for “realism” sake they allow mermaids. Yeah… so their policy still grates me…

I’ve been looking for ‘nudist / naturist’ places I could go to and actually live the naturist motto of “be yourself” in SL since 2009… Even during my ‘PG only” phase I was looking for the purpose of finding such a place for everyone else.

It always baffled me that the community that said it was all about “being your natural self” had such up-tight rules about who you were allowed to be…

It wasn’t just Eden… It is frankly a whole LOT of these naturist places in SL, that seem to be a space for only “their kind of people”… One set of odd-rules leads me to thinking about ‘everything else’ and then generally starting to feel uneasy even when I popped in with a ‘rule fitting alt’.

So that negativity aside… On to the positive.

I found it. I found the place I’ve been looking for.

BLNE_Home

My SL Home on the estate.

And it’s been waiting for me since January, but I somehow didn’t notice it.

Blue Lagoon Naturist Estate is an estate of 24 sims subleased out from the Anshe Chung system of estates. There are a whole lot of spots of different kinds left for the taking too.

BLNE_Map

A lot of availability – in part because they keep adding sims. They let you move a few times a month, more if you pay a service fee. So I’m guessing as they expand people spread out.

Split between two basic themes by a hole in the middle. The southern half of the estate seems to have ‘coastal beach’ as it’s theme and the northern half of the estate is ‘temperate evergreen coastline / lake’ in theme. Baja California or Seattle coastline for a west coaster like me. Am told the northern sims take some of their intention from the Nordic countries. If that’s true it just puts more points into the basket of reasons to visit that part of Europe someday…

BlueLagoonSailing_009

The bridge transitions us between ‘beachy’ and ‘temperate’.

The things in geography and greenery that make me feel ‘at home’ are simple: water, hills / mountains, evergreen trees, and the smell of eucalyptus. Eucalyptus has no natural relationship to this, being an Australian tree. However the San Francisco Bay Area was taken over by Eucalyptus trees in the late 1800s or early 1900s as a greenery plan; so I grew up with that smell as a way to know I was “home” when coming over the hills that separate us from the San Joaquin valley. Efforts to return native wildlife and plantlife have since removed a lot of that smell, but I still feel “grounded” anytime I smell that tree.

BlueLagoonSailing_011

These mountain-top bridges often mark transitions in climate zones.

Er… eucalyptus tangents aside… can’t smell through SL… the northern half of this estate otherwise really hits my “this is perfect” button just right.

The layout of the place is friendly to exploring, driving, and sailing; as well as to having a nice ground level home (skyboxes are allowed above 3000m and even some already set up for rent).

The rough center of the estate is a hole with no sims in it. This does mean that along the edge of that there are a few odd looking spots with edges, but they have mostly smoothed things over to look natural. I have yet to ask if the plan is to fill this in over time. In January, my snooping through old notecards tells me, this was 9 sims. Now it is 24. So the place is growing and might not be done growing (hopefully).

As seen in the images, I had a lot of fun sailing the circuit of the estate, and I highly recommend it. In my time here I’ve also seen a number of other people sailing by me.

This estate is not a ‘social dead zone’ even if the sims are mostly residential and only about half filled. There is an active club at the center of the estate, on Rising Sun Isle.

BlueLagoonSailing_021

One of the 3 times I’ve been to the ‘club’ – the other two times had about twice this crowd. Not too small or too busy. Enough to be social and not laggy.

– where they do multiple events throughout the week. If you are unsure – go to some events. From this same spot you can get all the info you will need on sim rules, contacts, open rentals, and even catch an automated bus tour around the estate. I was encouraged to take the bus several times by enthusiastic estate managers.

The estate group also has some friendly chatter in it. Join the group, get a spot, and even before you say anything to anybody you’ll start to feel the community around you. That leaves me with a very good impression.

BlueLagoonSailing_017.png

A spot for rent in the ‘temperate climate’ north half of the estate. Keep or replace the house.

Parcel cost seems to be just under $2L / prim per week. I am paying about $844L for 469 prims. This varies by parcel kind. Boat slips are very cheap, boat houses are cheaper than parcels, islands and parcels are similar to the rate I’m paying. If you rent a boat house, you can remove it and put in your own boat house – but you have to stick to theme. Likewise on parcels, you need to fit a general zone theme. No rezzing an urban skyscraper and beach trees on a northern temperate estate, and no parking your spaceship on the beach of a beach-plot. But the themes are pretty easy to fit with.

BlueLagoonSailing_014

This area reminds me of a swamp. Boathouses with a road one one side and river on the other.

I will leave you with a series of visuals below, and a little note for many of them. Come on by, explore, and rent a parcel. Especially if you are an SL Nudist. And feel free to come visit me if you see me on the estate.

BLNE_Home_Chair

Sitting on the deck of my new SL Home.

Now that I’ve kind of moved here, I have a good amount of mainland land I’m looking to sell off. Starting with my plots on Blake Sea and Roadside Zindra. I looked at the financials on this. I am paying $844L/week. As I type this that is US $3.35/week. In my area, that is called “1 double latte” at a local coffee shop. Easily affordable.

But I could use with trimming my mainland tier a bit, and I will use this as an excuse. More actually about time commitments – I want to be in this community, and I have mainland parcels I haven’t been to in months… so… trim the land I don’t use. Use the land I have.

BlueLagoonSailing_007.png

Boat Houses in the background.

BlueLagoonSailing_015

Some of these small islands can be fully sunk for a water-only parcel. Some have part of the estate on them. Several available in both climates.

BlueLagoonSailing_022

Skydome rentals in the main office. LOTs of availability here. These are un-built 60m diameter domes to put anything you want into. And they give 300 prims / 450L per week.

Skysphere_001

What a skysphere gives.

By contrast the two skybox styles give Stockholm: 100 prims for $150L week, or Uptown: 150 prim for $225L week. These come slightly pre-furnished.

The domes and skyboxes are all on the same sim. My suggestion would be to disperse them throughout the estate for better load balancing.

BlueLagoonSailing_012

The roads and waterways will give you quite an enjoyable tour.

BlueLagoonDriving_001

Roadways connect across the whole estate by going underwater in the southern sims.

BlueLagoonDriving_004.png

And in the northern sims, two functional ferries cross the river.

BlueLagoonDriving_002

A small airport exists in mid-estate, on the sim north of the main office.

BlueLagoonDriving_003

Apartments in the background there are for rent.

BlueLagoonSailing_019

Bouthouses in the southern sim have a unified theme if you keep their design.

BlueLagoonSailing_018

The apartments in the background, with a walkway down to the waterline / swimming area.

There is a whole sim sized racing track in the sky on the sim with the airport:

BlueLagoonRaceTrack_001

BlueLagoonRaceTrack_003

Play with a free racer here.

 

34672180072_fbffb33143_h

My Home on Blue Lagoon Naturist Estate before I furnished it. This building is by “Tobias Convair”.

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Bunny Needs a Boat… but what are my choices?

BunnyNeedsABoat

So now that I have some great water lands in both Keroo and Chloris, and a tiny spot in Nuba… I need boats.

Well I have a sailboat, and some of alts do too, but not Bunny. That got me on a tour of boating options and I’m finding this strangely difficult. Where are the reviews? Where are the opinions that say “this one is great, but that one is no good”?

Where is even the absolutely biased shopping blog that is about nothing but getting you to buy junk from merchants that are giving the blogger free stuff just so the blogger will never dare speak the truth? Some absolutely biased place like all those SL fashion blogs… I couldn’t even find that blog…

I know there’s an unspoken… well actually even spoken in some circles, rule in Second Life that forbids being honest about product.

So I’m on a bit of a hunt to find some good up to date sailing options.

That means it has to be mesh, it has to have a modern sailing engine, and it has to be low enough in Land Impact to be used even in small parcels like my Nuba plot where I have barely 40 land impact available. Preferably 32 and under – the old limit for SL vehicles.

While I’ve looked over quite a few options myself, what I’m really hoping to do with this is spark someone out there to start reviewing boats in general, or to at least put together a list of options.


EDIT:
http://atlanbade.bplaced.net/sls/sailship_datasheet.php
– That’s a list of different boats by features, without review opinions. That’s about what I’ve been seeking right there.


EDIT:
Found this today:
https://sailinginsl.wordpress.com/buying-a-boat-in-sl/
– That introduces some of the major boats. I found that because I ran into a Nemo 3 vendor on a random mole build, and then googled Nemo3 to see if I could fix the locked camera… and that blog came up. It has a part 2:
https://sailinginsl.wordpress.com/sailing-in-sl-how-to-start/


 

As for myself, I already have the Loonetta, Bandit IF, and Boss 225V:
BunnyNeedsABoat_001

Today I took Bunny on a tour of some options. Well actually I went to grab screenshots, the other day I went out and tried all the demos of these.

I started with the Rene Marine 30 and Clever. They might be good. Though I did see some issues with one of the other boats at the shop:
BunnyNeedsABoat_002.pngBunnyNeedsABoat_003
Notice the water. I guess this was OK in the days before Advanced Lighting. I’ve seen a number of boats like this that hide the water with an invisiprim – something that was officially “broken” a few years ago. Invisiprims simply do not work if you have Advanced Lighting on.

Something more basic might be in order, and I really like the SweetPea from BanditBunnyNeedsABoat_005
But this one is kind of a weird sailing system. You can’t adjust the sails. It is a bit too beginner. But it is a bit fun. If you happen to try it out there is a very funny animation for ruining it and then repairing it set to the old theme music of Benny Hill.

The opposite extreme would be the Ktaba 20 MX:
BunnyNeedsABoat_007
I’ve demo’d it, a friend has it. It is very nice, but very race centered and tricky to use.

The Bandit 25 claims to be a racer also:BunnyNeedsABoat_010
But its actually rather easy to sail. Its just kind of plain on animations – unlike most boats from Bandit you can’t even get inside it and sit on any of the furniture. Granted that is the same as most boats. But this one visually looks like it has an explorable interior, so it comes as a surprise when you find out it isn’t.

Other than specific boats there are questions about the different systems they use.

I’ve encountered three different prominent wind systems in Second Life now, and I really don’t know how to judge their differences.

Bwind, WWC, and Bandit’s proprietary system BOSS. My first impression is that WWC is the way to go. Bwind is easy to ‘cheat’ – a simple command and you can set the wind to be coming from any direction you desire. That makes me feel that I’d be too tempted to get myself out of a spot by just changing the wind rather than learning to master Second Life sailing. BOSS on the other hand is a black box. A closed system of one shop, means you’re at the whims of that one designer. WWC is oddly the oldest of them, but if Ktaba is any indication it can do quite a lot when done right. I’d just need to see how it works with some other items.

I would love to see some opinions on these different systems, or even corrections where I have them wrong. So little is said in comparing them that I suspect a lot of people have the wrong ideas about them. An information blackout against honest critical reviews of product and systems helps no one…

Probably by the time any notable number of people read this, I will have found the choice I desire. So again this is all just about getting things flowing. Getting some information or maybe getting someone with more knowledge to start putting out the information on what boats are out there in Second Life, how they work, how they rate, and so on.

As to my water lands in Second Life, feel free to visit any of them, linked in the images below:

My spot of land in Keroo, at the source of the Zindra river that feeds the main coast:
KerooWaterLand

Some water land off the coast of Satori, connected to Blake Sea:
ChlorisWaterLand

A tiny spot in Nuba, deep in the river channels of Satori, Second Life’s oldest continent. I am not sure how long I will keep this spot:
NubaWaterLand

 

 

Sailing in Second Life – or, how to get tossed by banlines

Well, hopefully you won’t get tossed by the banlines (and later in this I’ll give note to some products designed to help avoid that problem).

Sailing is one of those things I’ve spent quite a few years in Second Life actively -avoiding-. Very much a mistake on my part. A month or two ago I was wandering around in Blumfield – one of the Shermerville sims, trying to talk myself out of buying the land I eventually bought there (see my post on the Rastafarian Church I built there). Some random guy who’s name I can’t recall started chatting me up, and offered to show me around the sim. It ended with us on a sail boat wandering around the island until I was suddenly disconnected. When I got back I IM’d him, but he never responded. Oh well – he seemed a nice sort and I’d have liked to chat with him more, but I guess my sudden vanishing on him went down poorly.

I did get a pic or two though:

It left an impression in my mind that lingered around. It was kinda neat to wander that small area on a boat – and it looked like a very good way to see things. Forward a bit and I was standing around on my land in Bay City when they announced a weekly driving event was about to start – and they were starting a few meters from my lot where there’s a public rez zone. Zipped over to Marketplace and bought a car:

And found that while I bought one that was amazingly hard to drive, it was a -LOT- of fun.

So I started thinking about the possibilities. Dug around in the old inventory and found a spaceship freebie, did a little wandering, and realized I needed more… I started buying cars… then I found a nice water lot, and needed a boat:
Sampan from [TUFF]
And that’s how I found myself obsessed with Sailing in Second Life.

This is a great way to explore the grid. You can zip by many sims and look from a distance, you can get some great screenshots, you can have fun looking at things from an angle many people miss. Bring a friend along and it can be a very fun social experience to chat about what the two of you find together.

There’s probably no better way for a new user to Second Life to get a very fast and yet very detailed look at the world of Second Life than to jump on a boat and go.

More experienced users can try joining some of the many sailing groups and participating in races, social events, and assorted other mischief.

Skill freaks can get a wind based sailing vessel and try to handle the thing. BWind is a free wind based engine used in many popular boats, including some freebies available at Tradewinds. I highly recommend trying it out, but only after you first master a regular vehicle or two. Wind based sailing is a little harder, and could likely cause you to give up in frustration if not already ‘hooked’ on vehicles. But for the hooked, its a very fun challenge.

In my Getting Started in Second Life Guide I’ve recently added a sailing section where I mention a few good places to go to start. I’m going to repeat that here, and then add a few more.


Beginning vehicle users will want to start by getting their first boat. You can get a free one here:

Or go to Tradewinds to challenge yourself to wind based sailing.

All three of these locations will let you rez a boat in the water and go. But in Barbarossa its a little tricky. The rez spot starts in the water, or can be found on a dock on the opposite side of the island.

You can also go to my water land in Honawan and simply sit in my publicly usable Sampan. Click the seat in the back near the rudder and choose to sit, and just drive away. Don’t worry – it’ll rezz another one for the next person to use.

ps: You can also use my land here (and any of my other land) to rez your own vehicles – land, air, or water. Return time is 5 minutes so you shouldn’t have any trouble.

Good spots to go sailing in Second Life:

Blake Sea
Blake Sea is a vast area of water and coastal sims, with the overpriced Nautilus island continent in the middle (overpriced because for an island, all the lots lack water access – yet they’re 5 to 10x more expensive than other double prim land). Your best bets for sailing in Blake Sea are to start at either Tradewinds or Barbarossa Infohub. It takes a little looking around to find them – but there are two rez points in Barbarossa. Nearly if not all of Tradewinds allows rezzing.
Barbarossa Rez Zone
You can easily spend days wandering the vast expanse of sea provided to you from Blake Sea, and as you do you will discover many more rezzing spots. Landmark the ones you like for future reference. There also appear to be a lot of groups devoted to Blake Sea, which search returning 48 results. I’d suggest joining “Tradewinds Yacht Club” as the starter for the area even though it wasn’t listed on those results – as its situated right there in the region and is a sailing and ship building group.

There is really so much of Blake Sea to explore that I wouldn’t be able to do it justice unless I had a blog who’s sole purpose was Blake Sea. Am told that the area Tradewinds is in is not Blake Sea but Nautilus – but its all one body of water to my eyes on the map. I guess once you get into the sailing groups you’ll learn the differences as they refer to them.

EDIT:

Apparently there is a Blake Sea code of conduct. Curiously its part of a Blake Sea pilots group, and not present in any of the sailing locations. BUT, the pilots group owns a LOT of water sims in and around Blake Sea; and they will ban from all of those sims people in violation of these rules.

Before you scream harsh and unfair go get the rules. They are mostly about ‘no griefing’ – but a few deal with not flying too low (stay above 100m) designed to keep the pilots and sailors from having conflicts. Teleporting into the rules sim via search forces you to violate one of its rules – the rule about not loitering on a runway. The landing point is the middle of one of the runways. Oops. 🙂 So try this location instead.

North of Bay City and within the Bay City Canals
This is a new sailing area for Second Life. And as of this writing parts of it are still under development, including a neat hidden island that we hear will eventually have its own rezzing spot. The Bay City sailing region stretches from the western end of Bay City, all the way north and east to the Shermerville Sims, and yet still further east on the south past four sandbox sims and on to touch mainland. The waters here are full of critters, shipwrecks, and curious finds. The coasts have odd buildings dotting the linden beaches, lighthouses, and other particulars. And then you hit Bay City itself – and the entire canal network therein which can be reached from the sea. Sadly Bay City residents have walls blocking them from direct water access – but they do have a few boat docks, such as the one in New Port, and the one in Shermerville’s Shamwari is also quite nice.

While much smaller than Blake Sea, Bay City’s waters are not to be missed. For the longest possible trip, rez your boat in the airship terminal of Truro, and edit it over into the adjacent water. That’s the far west end. Sail through the canals until you hit open water or are done with exploring the city – and then go for it.

Sansara’s Deep Water
If there’s 80m deep water anywhere else in Second Life, I’ve not yet found it. If you know where it is, please tell me. That said, there is a very nice inland sea to Sansara that is quite deep. Sadly the Lindens have not yet done much with all of that depth – though I did once come across a mainland road at the -bottom- of the sea here. This is where I have my own water lot, which by the way allows for rezzing. You can also ride my Sampan, as I mentioned earlier. My lot’s not a bad place to start, being close to one end of this chain of great lakes. In overall scale it is smaller than the Bay City water – and segmented into lakes and the channels that connect them. Because of its nature much of it borders privately owned land – and now and again some fool has put up banlines. So you will want a banline scanner – just in case. At the moment I’m only aware of two lots that have banlines right on the sim edge, at the south west corner of ‘Pine’ and along the south side of ‘Timmerman’ – sadly both in locations that are otherwise well worth going near. The island just south of Timmerman is a nice site to see, even if only as a screenshot backdrop. While smaller, because it does border so much land – its almost more worthwhile to explore. Sailing these great lakes will let you see many builds people have created, and if you can find more rezzing spots, you can use them to take ‘day trips’ up onto the land.

Sansara’s Ice Water
Just to the north west of the deep water is a second series of lakes, this time only 40m deep. The two bodies of water meet at two waterfalls – so if you have a boat that can drive on land or fly you can jump between them. With a friend we even drove up on the beach in a submarine, looking rather silly for a moment, and the fell down into the lower water table. This body of water shares the same attractive nature as the deep water – it borders a lot of different builds making it an ideal way to see what residents of Second Life are up to. I refer to it as the ice water due to a section that has icebergs in it left by the Linden Moles. Lots of shipwrecks under that ice by the way – but I’ve yet to find anything resembling a 1912 steamliner.

So far for boat rezzing I have found:

  • Doc’s Offshore – a tiny piece of water connected to somebody’s land elsewhere in that sim which has been thankfully left build enabled. DO NOT abuse this person’s trust or you’ll spoil it for all of us.
  • A linden plot in Ross that has 5 minute return set. Its in the river on the edge of the ice lakes, literally right where the waterfall hits. But its on the side that leads into the lakes. This is a nice spot in that the builds right next to it show off how some residents build into the terrain so well rather than just stamping their lots flat.

    Southern Continent’s Inner Sea:
    This one is a relatively small sea as sea’s go. But its still very much worth looking at for two reasons. First it contains Michael Linden’s home on an island in the midst of it. Second, it contains a volcano island with an infohub. Curiously neither of those two places has a rezzing spot for boats. At the time there was a boat maker (Telling Marine) along the shore of this sea – who had rezzing enabled. I’ve gone back in December of 2011 and found the whole area full of security orbs at ground level that will teleport you home.

    So now looking for a rez spot along this ocean that is not near the hostile orbs…


    (You can see me on a Bwind boat in this shot. It was seriously hard to cross that body of water and reach this volcano with it – but the challenge made it more rewarding. I did get tossed and DC’d when I entered the sim just north of the volcano that has an infohub – be careful there if the infohub is busy when you go. My boat ended up crashed on the shore of the hub, and I managed to reconnect and get back in it before auto-return took it.)

    Prontopia (Zindra)
    Surprisingly enough, there is a -lot- of water over there. I’ve not found much yet in the way of rezzing zones. So far just two:

    • a little spot that’s barely in the water (TEQNIQ) – you’ve got to drop your boat just right onto the south side of the road.
    • Zindra sim itself. Right on the river and has rezzing enabled. This is probably your best spot to start from. Note that the giant linden building just off from the river does -not- allow rezzing. Just drop your boat in the water though.

    Zindra is surrounded on the west and north by water, and its main rivers all feed out into this water. If you’re adult verified, this is a great way to explore some rather unusual scenery – some of which will be very nicely done but some of which could easily offend many.

    Banline Avoidance

    Banlines are the bane of any vehicle user. Flyers can at least fly above their reach, and cars can stay safe on 99% of Second Life’s roads (save for a few Linden Roads that cut into private land, and do so where the private landowner put up banlines). But water users have no such luck. Very often we’re sailing close to the coast – and will be crossing through private lots by intent or by accident. You’re going to get zapped. Probably once per trip until you get the hang of it. When it happens you’ll often find your avatar sent to coordinates 0,0,0 and stuck there. Even if you can teleport out, the servers lose track of some part of you… and often you can’t get back on your boat even if you can find it.

    The only solution is to log out and back in again, and try to find the boat before auto-return gets it. This by the way is why I adjusted the return on all the land I own up to 5 from the 1 I used to use. 5 minutes gives people time to find a vehicle if its my land it got sent to – because it doesn’t always end up stuck to the walls of the banlines (though its nice when it does… and I wish such vehicles could not be auto-returned AND would eat up the prims of those banline people… but that won’t happen. 🙂 ).

    Of course… you can try to avoid getting zapped in the first place. And there are a few products in Second Life designed to help you with this. Check the shop in Tradewinds, along the wall you can see a couple competing items.

    That’s probably just a starting point. Marketplace and other shops likely have a lot more devices, groups, and information.

    This is just a starter guide. Hopefully you’ll be able to get yourself a boat from the advice I’ve given, explore some of the spots I’ve described, and be on your way to joining a few of the sailing groups and finding a lot more to do in Second Life than you’d have thought to consider before.

    I’ll be editing this over time with additional comments, and am looking for advice on more tips or spots I can add in.

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