|The Flying Tako As it Comes Out of the Box|
|An Unfortunate Incident occurs on Sweetie's Tako's Maiden Voyage|
Written 4 August, 2007
I've lived many places, but never close to an ocean or other large body of water (TVA lakes don't count, as they're full of NASCAR-loving speedboaters).
So I never learned to sail.
In fact, I've been in a sailboat only once, for about 30 minutes, when a friend took me for a midnight ride on Old Hickory Lake near Nashville.
It was way fun.
But water is everywhere in Second Life, and Sweetie and I are taking advantage of that fact.
A month or so ago, while exploring, Sweetie found a cluster of about 4o interconnecting sims, each with lots of water. We teleported there and I rezzed a freebie sailboat, and we were off.
Sort of. It wasn't much of a boat.
The area was beautiful, with blue water interspersed with beautifully designed islands and studded with the distant sails. We sailed for hours.
Along the way, we ran into some people putting up a start line for a race and they directed us to Kanker Greenacre's shop, where we bought Kanker's Flying Tako 3.2 sailboat (Gray, 33, 151, 22).
At only $L275, the Tako is a bargain. It's a highly-scripted, modifiable boat which is quite easy to command (although, like a real sailboat, difficult to operate). It allows you to set and change the direction of the mainsail and spinnaker, raise and lower the centerboard, and monitor wind conditions and the boat's speed. Way cool.
They say that if you can effectively sail the Tako, you can sail a real life sailboat.
I believe that.
When Sunday rolled around, Sweetie and I took ourselves to the Hollywood sim, where we attended a class for beginning sailors. And there were a lot of them, maybe 25, including the two of us.
I learned something important that day, which is how Horatio Hornblower could sail in a northerly direction when the wind was blowing from the north.
"Oh, so _THAT'S_ what tacking means!"
Once I realized that I could sail within 18 points of the wind, I was good to go, at least insofar as being able to make my boat make headway-- but sailing is complicated, and I'm way confused about things like sheet angle and head angle and positive and negative directions as shown in the Tako's info hud.
But I'm getting there!
Well, Sweetie is a natural sailor, despite that fact that she has turned her boat into concrete.