by Liv Leigh
Don’t forget that behind each avatar
there is a real person with real feelings…
Silber Sands’ profile does not come with light and easy words. As new as she may be for some people in the community, she shows her character and personality, from her love for dogs and Leetle Cats to the way she mastered sailing a Fizz in the Cup. Liv Leigh interviewed her: a story about new beginnings, unknown courses, a fascination by the sea and her ideas to pick up sailing in real life.
I don’t want to race like a robot… so, unknown courses would be fun.
You: I was reading your profile a bit. I was attracted to the poem in it, by Hermann Hesse.
Silber Sands: Yes.. I adore him since my teenage and this special poem means a lot to me.
You: I see.. may I ask a bit more on it, or is it too private?
Silber Sands: Well.. no, it’s not 😉 every time when something ended in life.. I read it.. and it helps me to overcome things and start new.
You: I was wondering if it has a special meaning to you in SL as well..
Silber Sands: hmm.. yes, it has..
Silber Sands: I started in SL in February 2007.. and one year later, I had my first and only relationship here, it ended in December2008 after 10 months.
You: That is a long time in SL.
Silber Sands: It was a weird time.. but it brought me something new: sailing in SL 🙂
You: Did it also bring you together with the ‘Schiffsratten’?
Silber Sands: Yes, in some way.. there was no relation, but I was searching for something new. I know that if I would be still in this relationship, I would have never found the SRYC. Let’s say: I was free for what I really love: sun, sea, community 🙂 Before, all was dark, it was a dark relationship..
You: So sailing.. gives a sense of freedom to you?
Silber Sands: Yes, I like it a lot, and I am thinking about making a sailing-licence in RL as well. There are special offers for students where I live.
You: You are no RL sailor yet then I suppose.
Silber Sands: I am no RL-sailor, and I had to learn a lot about the rules, I am always afraid that someone shouts “protest” to me. That actually happens a lot in the trainings. 😉
You: Quite fanatic trainings then. Maybe other clubs could learn from it. Would you have anything special in mind, if you start to sail in RL? A boat, a place..
Silber Sands: Hmm.. I’d love to sail in the meditteranean sea. But I think, I’ll have to start on the “Alster” in Hamburg 😉
You: A city with a seafaring history.
Silber Sands: yes, that is true, our harbour just had its 820th birthday.
You: The second largest port in Europe.. before SL, did the sea or sailing or boats attract to you?
Silber Sands: yes, a lot, once I was sailing in Greece with a “fishing-boat”, an old Greek invited me and a friend, that was so great.
You: Before the Fizz Cup started we met once I think. You were thinking of subscribing. did you race a lot before and how did you think the cup would be for you?
Silber Sands: Some people of our Yachtclub said that everyone should subscribe, so did I. But then, I got a little bit afraid and thought I would maybe have absolutely no chance. At the first event, Manni Lusch could not start and everyone said “Silber, take his place”, so I rezzed my boat and raced. Maybe, that was the best thing, like “to jump into the cold water”.. otherwise, I would have been too nervous.
Silber Sands: ..and probably never took part;)
You: I understand. I guess you were still new to racing at that time.
Silber Sands: yes, absolutely.
You: Many new sailors are intimidated at first. What would you say to them now? With your experiences so far?
Silber Sands: I would tell them: Just do it! It’s much fun and not important if You win! To take part means all!
You: Yes.. and taking part has brought you to a nice position in the rankings so far I think. You can still make it to the Silver cup finals.
Silber Sands: Haha, that is my target: the “Silber”-cup 😉 just kidding. Well, I had some luck, at the second event there were only 3 boats in my group.
You: I hope it s not intimidating 😉 We did not name it after you on purpose 😉
Silber Sands: Silber=silver in German.
You: So.. that is your goal now.. try make the silver finals?
Silber Sands: To be honest… no, I just would like to win at least one race… sighs. All in all, I think, I just got my goal, I take part at this event. I met some wonderful people from so many parts of the world. When I started here with sailing, I had no idea about how huge this sailing community is, I thought, it would be one sim with a little bit water around;)
You: And a lot of competitive people. How do you look at the endless trainings for the Cup? I know for instance I got a bit tired near the later weeks in the cup last year.
Silber Sands: I must say, that I do not practice so much anymore, maybe I should do more… some people seem to train every day.. hmm.
You: Yes.. What do you think of the fanaticism that encircles the cup.. the sometimes boundless ambition of a group of people who want to win a bunch of prims in the end?
Silber Sands: I think, that is too much… at our trainings in the Yachtclub, we sometimes do unknown courses.. I’d like to know how it would be to make some races with unknown courses… Would be funny.
You: Yes, that is interesting. It brings up skills that some of us would associate with ‘real sailing’.
Silber Sands: Yes. I don’t want to race like a robot… so, unknown courses would be fun.
You: If we bring that back to your sailing in SL, do you often go to new places to sail? Or like to explore new areas?
Silber Sands: Yes, I did with my loved “Leetle”, and sometimes, we make a regatta with some people of the YC.. well, more cruising, to Honah Lee for instance, where the surfing waves are. A few days ago, we were surfing there with a balloon, that was fun 😉
You: Would you have a particular spot you like to sail very much.. a favourite?
Silber Sands: Hmm.. no particular.. I like places with many islands around, there are so many things to see. By the way, it is also nice to cruise with the Fizz.
You: Does that mean the Fizz is also your favourite boat, or would that be the Leetle Cat or another?
Silber Sands: I have only 4 boats… Leetle, Twenty, Fizz and the sweet Shelly. The Leetle is my fave, cause I started with it.. and a friend made the textures for it. But concerning having a realistic feeling of sailing, I prefer the Fizz indeed..
You: Maybe I asked this before in another form: What would you advice new sailors?
Silber Sands: Jump into the cold water and do not feel uncomfy if nothing works at the beginning. Enjoy the community here and the kindness of the people.. Dare to ask any questions and stay away of pink boats 😉
You: Would you paint your own boat pink? In RL or SL?
Silber Sands: I just tried yesterday at a training with Tim Warrhol. It did not work for me, but for him… not fair! 😉 In RL, I think, I’d like to have a boat like my Leetle is.
You: Before I forget to ask: What else do you like to do a lot in SL.
Silber Sands: I like to collect photos.. Snapshots of what happens in my virtual life.. since I am at the Schiffsratten, I spend most time here on the sailing area… Not all the time sailing, we are very often at our YC or at our camping site and do talk or make “nonsense”. I am happy that I found them, a great community.
Silber was kind enough to provide us with a translation into English of Hermann Hesse’s poem ‘Stufen’:
As every flower fades and as all youth
Departs, so life at every stage,
So every virtue, so our grasp of truth,
Blooms in its day and may not last forever.
Since life may summon us at every age
Be ready, heart, for parting, new endeavor,
Be ready bravely and without remorse
To find new light that old ties cannot give.
In all beginnings dwells a magic force
For guarding us and helping us to live.
Serenely let us move to distant places
And let no sentiments of home detain us.
The Cosmic Spirit seeks not to restrain us
But lifts us stage by stage to wider spaces.
If we accept a home of our own making,
Familiar habit makes for indolence.
We must prepare for parting and leave-taking
Or else remain the slaves of permanence.
Even the hour of our death may send
Us speeding on to fresh and newer spaces,
And life may summon us to newer races.
So be it, heart: bid farewell without end.
–Hermann Hesse, 1941