Barbarossa Bombs

sea mines in barbarossa 005While practicing on Friday for the Schiffsratten Long Distance Race, my boat came to a sudden halt in Barbarossa. I thought I hit something, but I had plenty of depth and there was free water all around. My boat started moving again, so I ignored the momentary interruption.

Well, the same thing happened on Saturday during the actual race! Chaos Mandelbrot was skipper and we were traveling full-tilt toward the Finish, trying to make up time for a bad crash earlier on the course.

Well, in the exact same spot, “Ka-bam;” we stopped dead in the water, losing momentum and falling further behind. However, this time I looked more closely, and cogitated on the problem. Wowzers, I suddenly remembered there were submerged mines in Barbarossa!

The lead-in picture above shows what I’m talking about. The egg-shaped objects are tethered to the seafloor, and they move away when you hit them. (but no, they do not explode!)

mine are keel ready

Nonetheless, the submerged mines are substantial hazards to navigation, particularly to race boats trying to cross the sim at breakneck speed.

The picture above shows a large, phantom platform I submerged to demonstrate the depth of these obstructions. The mines easily extend more than a meter over the plate, meaning that any boat on an unlucky course that has a keel of 0.5m or greater could hit these things.

barbarossa NE

As far as I can tell there are only three floating mines in Barbarossa, but there could easily be many more in other locations I’m not aware of. The coordinates for the Barbarossa trio are indicated above, so you’ll know to give them a wide berth the next time you sail the Blake border islands.

Looking at that above image, I’m particularly impressed that the sim’s standard NE-corner Rez Zone lies immediately adjacent to a submerged object  intended to blow the boats up! 🙂

blake sea chart rev7

click to enlarge

Having said all this, I’m pretty sure LL and the DPW want sailors to spend more time on the water. The submerged mines are part of the Linden DPW’s humor, trying to keep us all paying attention. After all, sailing is an inherently dangerous sport, and skippers have a responsibility to know the waters they sail in.

blake sea chart rev7 dangerLet me elaborate this point.

Take a look at the above Blake Sea illustration from the summer of 2009. It’s Michael Linden’s  nautical chart of Blake Sea waters, done with RJ Kikuchiyo’s assistance. 

Just North of Barbarossa Island you’ll see an area marked ‘danger.’ I’ve enlarged that section and highlighted it in pink to the right.

Well, for three years Lindens have published charts showing this region of Barbarossa was ‘dangerous.’  It  was up to the sailing community to figure out what that meant.

In fact, in that regard, the Blake charting was very typical of real-life navigational maps. They often contain disturbing things. 🙂

The chart below is a picture of the approach to Boston Harbor. On the full-size map, you can see that the blue arrow I inserted on the figure is pointing to an unexploded, submerged mine that’s reported to lie right in the middle of the inbound merchant traffic lane. (Yikes!)

13267 mod

Click to enlarge

I’m bringing this issue up to remind sailors about the hazards of Barbarossa, but also to raise a larger point. I’m thinking we would all benefit from more accurate navigational maps of SL’s waters, similar to the conventions used in real life and in the style shown above for Blake Sea. That might sound like a difficult job, but I think the time has come. There are many sailors, and there are only a small number of truly critical, high traffic sailing areas. We could all work together to develop a consensus foundation for sailing, and even upgrade the charts and  courses over time.

I also think there might be a strong role here for assistance from the Second Life Coast Guard. Accurate, standardized charts, the consensus criteria for SL Aids to Navigation, and appropriate info for waterway hazards (like submerged mines) all seem like the province (and perhaps the mandate) of the SLCG.

Maybe I’m wrong about that, but I don’t think so. 🙂

Blake Sea Dining Guide


11 responses to “Barbarossa Bombs

  1. Sure Jane, it is time…
    For real travelers, skippers included, is not so difficult read about real maps, schemes and draws about zones and geological descritptions.
    Time ago my not so bad race courses maps were “rare”, “overfilled” and in general discarted for most “sailors” and “racers”. Only a few approved and suported about.
    Just was an approach to how a map shoud be, inspirated for historical and nautical contemporary maps.
    But I’m pretty sure “knowledge” has her place with all of us, specially how a map description shoud be find in real life, why not inworld?

    Fair winds!

  2. The mines were noticed last week by a sailor and comments were made in I believe the SLSA Group chat. I went to Barbarossa just to look at them and along the way met a member of the SLCG. She said she was reporting them to the Lindens as a hazard to navigation in hopes they would be removed or lowered. I guess time will tell if they do but I suspect they added them just to make things more exciting for sailors and boaters.

    Updated nautical charts of the water ways of SL would be great!

  3. I’ve never been a fan of Barbarossa anyway. I had told M.Linden. Since ths hub thingie came up, Turnbucke race line did ot work anymore, griefer attacks appeared, script errors as well and Turnbuckle area is a crap. Better avoid crossing Barbarossa while You’re in a race.
    I have not made this experience with these bombs though.. will check tomorrow.
    (I wonder.. couldn’t these bombs be removed easyily by one of the BS group?)

  4. Balthazar Fouroux

    An enjoyable article, Jane. I spent a while anchored near the mines today and twice notice floating boat wreckage in the water. I snapped a photo on the second siting, yet when I touched it, it vanished without a trace.

  5. I remember when don berithos did the sl vuitton cup there where objects placed at the sims arround arafura sim that did not fit in and where hazardous for good sailing races.. I think it’s a usual thing so to say that i have seen over time. Also i think due to the possible rapid changes that linden can make in this.. it will be hard or not feasible to make reliable maps.
    I’m pretty sure for example when it comes to shallows or depth from the blake sea linden have changed it several times over time when i have been sailing there.

    Maybe it’s just part of the fun to have uncertain things inside here.. I bumped myself at several times in things in this course grins.

    • Yes, I agree with several of your points.
      Things change, and maps need to be updated. For example if you look at the Blake Sea chart I posted, it includes the ‘Isle of Liliput.’ That old six-sim estate has not existed for some time.
      I’d think redoing charts and ‘chart templates’ are the responsibility of the clubs that sail those waters, and I think it’s something the Coast Guard is traditionally interested in as well.
      I’m also pretty sure either group would get DPW advice and resources to help do the job, whatever that ‘map job‘ turned out to be.
      The place I’d start is RJ Kikuchiyo. He knows this issue better than anyone. 🙂

      I also agree with your comments about ‘uncertain things.‘ If I hit a submerged mine in open water during a race, it’s my responsibility, not the race committee’s. As I said in my post, “Sailing is an inherently dangerous sport.” 🙂

      There is maybe one big exception. If a race committee puts a mark near a serious, known obstruction, then I think it’s the committee’s responsibility to tell the competition fleet about the hazards. That was not a problem in the current LDR race, but I thought it was a relevent issue during the 2010 SL-Vuitton Regatta, when two great skippers slammed into a submerged wreck in Rachel sim.

      Actually, I think Armano went on to win that long race series! 🙂

      SLV-T Final Four

  6. I remember several bumpings of me in T-One World Cup into sandbanks and a wreck near a lighthouse at FruitIslands course (but that was probably just sillyness of myself; besides that, I liked the bumping sound of boatie ;-)).
    I agree with Armano, that such risks are sometimes just part of the regattas and if we can take them with a smile, it can be fun too.
    All in all, we had much luck. Only one crash. I expected much more and was a bit nervous, because I did not have this “where is next rez area-HUD”.

    Concerning “Armano and Hay will win”: hey, Macho Man’s are/ is on way to fight very hard!!! 😉

    LG* Silber

  7. my posts in here needed a long time to got moderated.. and my posts weren’t even bad..
    I don’t want to ask about giving ok to it anymore, it makes me tired, Jane…. 😉

  8. Haha I’m imperfect,
    and didn’t catch your post, sorry!
    and yes, I think we accept the reasonable hazards of the course,
    and make it fun.

  9. I’m always towards accepting hazards, even “crashes” don’t need a re-rezz nor “rescue-wind” hud. I crash, I loose.
    But I think this is very useful for avoiding horrible building disrupting landscaping, etc… Have a look on the Lance’s Dolphin site:

    • I’ve never tried this out, but it’s an interesting idea that could enhance visibility and speed viewer rez in densely cluttered regions. Thanks for bringing it up! 🙂

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