Balloon trips

The news about Abbotts Aerodrome closing brought me back to my balloon again. Since last year I am in posession of a Terra-Kojima balloon, which is a very nice toy for exploring Second Life.

The balloon can be used to go from one spot to the next. The HUD enables you to choose between several ways of flying it. You can set it’s altitude, direction or speed. But you can also just let it float with SL wind and/or let the altitude be regulated with the burner, which you can open or close. This way you’ll never know where you’ll end up. I found it to be a fun way to discover new spots. Even in your own neighbourhood you may discover that you have hidden gems, just around the corner.

The balloon is even completely customizable. You can alter the textures since it is mod, but it also contains a series of presets, available through a ‘painter HUD’ and the possibility to apply your own logo to it.

And last but not least, for the real die-hards, it offers the possibility to create guided tours around an area, a feature that I have used myself at Tradewinds:

The Terra-Kojima balloon can be found at Abbotts Aerodrome, until it’s closure september 1st: Or at SL Marketplace:

Naturally, if you just want to try it out, you can visit us at Tradewinds and try our tour balloon. If you click the post for it, it will rezz. Sit in and and say ‘AP Start’ to start the tour.. Or ‘help’ for info on how to get around with it otherwise.


Abbotts Aerodrome is closing

September 1st will be the end of an era and a terribly sad day for all of SL. Today I received news about the upcoming closure of Abbotts Aerodrome, one of the true iconic places in Second Life.

More than 7 years old, Abbotts was found in January 2007 by Apotheus Silverman and Cubey Terra. The place is featured in many in-world and real-life publications, online and on print. Cubey’s skydiving equipment is used all over Second Life and so are many of the vehicles that are sold at Abbotts.

The aerodrome itself is the heart of the western part of Sansara, Second Life’s oldest continent.

I first received the news through the Second Life community blogs, but there must be more information about it.  The reasons behind closing the airport are unsure yet, but it seems to be either financial or disagreement with Linden Labs.

Link to the blogpost:

Link to Cubey Terra’s own announcement on closing:

Abbotts Aerodrome can be found here:

Liv Leigh spotters get new facilities

Thanks to Tradewinds Yacht Club’s Tasha Kostolany, fanatic Liv Leigh spotters now can enjoy their own cabin. The simple wooden shed contains some information about Liv Leigh and a couple of warnings for the unknowing. A one metre tall fence offers the needed protection against sudden attacks.

The stand provides some information about Liv Leigh’s usual habitat, the ‘race director’s chair’ and habits (sitting AFK, with or without sign above it’s head). A pair of binoculars is included for a better view, but not necessary as the cabin brings spotters right in the middle of Liv’s territory.

Visitors are kindly requested not to feed the animals, as they might get sick. Visitors are advised to not stand at or lean on the fence as this might result into them becoming food for the wildlife.

The cabin can be visited at Tradewinds Yacht Club:

Flying Fizz races at Waypoint Yacht Club

For a long time now the weekly Flying Fizz races at Waypoint Yacht Club has been one of the toughest sailing competitions in Second Life. There have been exciting cups the past few years, with great champions emerging at them, but still the highest level of sailing is mostly seen in this simple weekly event organised by Taku Raymaker. The WYC Flying Fizz races are held every thursday at 6AM. for months now they use the same course and same startline. You will also see many of the same racers back there. If you ever plan to start or watch: expect some 8 boats there, about half of them a SLSA Top-10  ranked Fizz sailor. I am one of them, but due to inactivity (and hard work by other racers) my ranking  has dropped from 3rd spot to outside the top-5. Today I raced again, for the first time in over 2 months.

ziz Kidd, 3rd from right wins the June 23rd 2011 edition and gets his boat placed at Winner’s Row

I did well. I raced in 2 of the 3 races, securing a 3rd spot in race 1 and keeping a second spot in race 2 after an exciting downwind sprint to the finish, keeping ziz Kidd, the later regatta winner, behind me. Miwha Masala, hii2newsplus Writer and ziz Kidd each won one of the races. Kind of a surprise, as one would expect ‘The Fizz Queen’ Miwha to rule the event. It is clear though, that after the ACA Trophy 2011 Miwha has to regain her momentum again in her much -feared white dinghy. And oh yes, it was pretty laggy too, that doesn’t help usually.

Blondin Linden leaves

May 28th I received the news that Blondin Linden has left Linden Labs. I heard this through an in-world notice sent in the SL Sailing Association group.

Blondin Linden, who was a community manager responsible for Zindra, Bay City and Nautilus, was a key contact for the sailing community in Second Life. His work on the Blake Sea Community Partnership Program and later the modernization of sailing areas on Sansara and Nautilus continents made him one of our primary contacts. He was approachable, active in-world and would listen to the community. Occasionally he even showed up at an event as spectator. It is easy to see why he was appreciated.

Reportedly he sometimes had a hard job within the Labs being community manager, especially when it came to issues on the zindra adult continent, his superiors being not always as sensitive to customer questions and criticism and his in-world contacts blaming him for things that were beyond his power.

I haven’t heard yet why he left and where he will be going now. Let’s just wish him well and thank him for everything he has done for all of us. Also, let’s hope we will get a community manager back now who lives up to Blondin’s standards.

The Tinytanic – Unsinkable!

I first encountered the Tinytanic on Snapzilla. It could not be overlooked: few steamships have such impressive bows, making them tower high above the waves of the Atlantic. Engineered by the tiny squirrel Vic Titanium, the Tinytanic is built to last through the ages, one of the greatest ships ever!

The Tinytanic, photographed by Sea Warcliffe

You can simply not imagine something as silly as an iceberg sink this one, 2000+ tinies aboard..

And I don’t think this will happen. A day or two after it’s first sighting by me, the Tinytanic moored at Tradewinds Yacht Club, where it can now also be seen. I still need to ask the maker about the controls, but it sure is lots of fun already!

You can see this fun little jewel at Tradewinds Yacht Club in Dex for a little while, but it is also moored at Dreams/87/69/24/.

Shipping cargo between SL’s continents

I have seen Balduin Aabye build a nice freighter over the past period. One of the prototypes to it was present at the Tradewinds working Boat Show 2011. After a long time of bugging him and stalking him around his shipyard, I finally managed to get hold of a copy when it was released. I took it out on a trip the next day and guess what? I didn’t even crash!

The boat is slow and nothing like the fancy mega yachts that Second Life is swamped with. It is a true work boat, one that makes you look like you are shipping dirty cargo around all over the place. That makes for a change!

‘And why would you need that?’

Well… It is fun! And I personally like slow boats that enable me to IM with people without crashing into others all the time. 😉

I have to thank both Balduin Aabye and Tasha Kostolany for this article, as I have cannibalized their work and research heavily for it. You can find Tasha’s article on this wonderful new boat here:

Origins of the boat
The name Nauen belongs to a type of cargo vessel common for bulk cargo transport on Lake Lucerne in Switzerland. some of the older barges are now being used as party ships for events.

You can find some more info on the RL boat here:

The boat in Second Life
The boat as built in Second Life is a very detailed replica of the real Nauen Republik. It has a number of interesting special features. It is 31 prims only and hand painted with especially crafted textures.

When entering the boat, you can open the door to the wheelhouse and walk in. The helm position offers a nice view. Page-Up activates the engine and gets you going! The diesel engine sounds great and, as you would expect with a cargo vessel, it steers slowly. Be patient when changing course, this is not a raceboat!

Wheel, rudder and screw turn and rotate as you accelerate or turn the boat. She has got a headlight and navigation lights which can be switched on/off by chat command.

Much fun is the ability to haul cargo: you can attach a number of pre-made cargo types from menu. All you need to do is get seated and click the vessel when done so. The boat even includes a tutorial to create your own cargo attachments.

The boat can also be repainted if you prefer it to be in a different colour scheme. You can find the templates here: There is also a tutorial on repainting the boat.

Controls to the boat are easy. The arrow keys and page up/down get you there. Controls are specified in the notecard with the boat. The instructions to the boat can also be found at Balduin Aabye’s website:

Boat Specifications
LOA: 26.7m
Beam: 6.5m
max speed: 9.5 knots
Nr. of crew: skipper & 5 passengers
Permissions: modify/copy/transfer

Prim count:
Nauen: 31 prims without attachments
Safety attachment: 10 prims (worn)
Party attachment: 21 prims (worn)
Cover attachment: 4 prims (worn)
Gravel attachment: 2 prims (worn)
Footbridge: 4 prims

You can see the boat in Dex and buy it at Balduin Aabye Yacht Designs, also in Dex: