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Great Balloon

Adventure Riding The Winds Through Every Second Life Continent

Gaeta V by Dahlia Jayaram


In dedication: To the many who have come before us. To the many who will come after us. And to the many who are presently with us.


The

Great Balloon Adve n tur e Riding The Winds Through Every Second Life Continent

Gaeta V by Dahlia Jayaram


©2012 by Dahlia Jayaram All Rights Reserved Book design by Dahlia Jayaram

The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V is Dahlia’s eighth book in a series of adventures by hot air balloon.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Jayaram, Dahlia, 2008– The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V p. cm. ISBN-13:000-0-00000-008 ISBN-13:000-0-00008 1. Second Life, hot air balloon, ballooning, travel, adventure, exploring. 2. Second Life–In travel. NC1429.M1559N 2012 741.5’6977-B8

The adventure begins in Second Life’s first and earliest sims and follows a route of discovery from the oldest continent of Sansara to the newest continent of Nescera.

201206018 Read Dahlia’s published books online at http://issuu.com/dahliasweet Visit Dahlia’s weekly travel progress blog at: http://dahliasweet.blogspot.com

Follow along as Dahlia flies in every Second Life continent. Along the way, she explores and reports on some of her more interesting encounters with people, places, and things that make our Second Life worth seeing and living in.


Contents

00 3 Week 3 0, D ay 2 0 2 : The S t ar t of S om et hing Big 019 Week 30, Day 2 0 4 : N avig at ing t he S out her n M id-S ec tion’s Twist s & Tur ns 031 Week 30, Day 2 0 8 : F rom E ast er n S ands t o a S andb ox 039 Week 31, Day 2 1 0 : C om p l eting t he L oop 052 Map s: The P l an, The R esul t

054 058 060 061

At A Glance:

Tim el ine Pr ogr ess

Dahlia’s Top 1 0

F avour it e M oment s

An Open Letter

To t he L inden F am il y

About

The A ut hor


W E E K 3 0 / D AY 2 0 2 : W E S T E R N G A E TA V

The Start of Something Big STOOD ON THE BEACH IN BOTTENFORD , CORSICA ,

I

listening to the sound of early morning waves gently lapping onto the shore. Out to the east, where the sky met the sea in a long, horizontal line, I tried to imagine it: Gaeta V. The roman numeral fifth Gaeta of only two created. It was a curious name for a continent—especially when there was no Gaeta II, III, or IV. It was also curious that it came into being even before Gaeta I, which resided to the north and was unconnected to the other mainland continents. It made me wonder if there was a master plan mapped out for the entire series of lands somewhere on a Linden Lab office. Whatever its story, the whole concept of Gaeta V was a strange thing indeed…and I was about to go there, to look for any clues or answers I could find.

Above: A lighthouse in Bottenford, Corsica lit the early morning sky and pointed the way east toward the continent of Gaeta V. Opposite page: With her balloon basket fully loaded with new supplies, Dahlia was ready to leave the continent of Corsica to fly east over the sea to begin her adventure on the continent of Gaeta V. The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V

“If there was only a historical library or museum where I could get answers to my questions about its origins,” I muttered to myself, still lightly simmering over the lack of response by Jack Linden, now over two years since my original message to him about my concept for one. Now that he was no longer a Linden—perhaps in part due to lack of answering

emails—I was absolutely assured of no response from him. I would have to find a new Linden person to pester about the concept, if for no other reason than to continue documenting the Linden silence and lack of good manners. If I wanted to press my case, there was plenty of wide open, unused land in Corsica, as my journey

Above: The map above illustrates Dahlia’s original general flight plan, crafted in January 2010 at the beginning of her ambitious plan to travel through each of Second Life’s nine continents (later to increase to 10). Gaeta V, marked as continent number seven on the upper right hand of the map above, presented itself as one of the more simple lands to navigate around, and Dahlia looked forward to a more leisurely ride than some continents. 3


Below: Dahlia created a general flight plan using an old map of Gaeta V. The route weaved its way in and out of coastal and inland sections of the continent while following a counter-clockwise path around the southern, then northern coastline of the continent until it returned to the start.

through that continent attested to. The Lindens could easily build a campus of libraries and museums on any one of a hundred unused parcels or sims to herald the history of their Second Life creation

if they wanted. But all this conversation would have to be saved for another book. Both the former Jack Linden and Corsica were now behind me, and I was moving forward to a new chapter

in my hot air balloon adventure.

body would be able to say I didn’t fly prepared—except for crucial background information, that is.

I loaded my balloon with a fresh set of supplies and even strapped a large, heavy backpack stuffed The only references I had for full of gear on my own back. No- deciding what airports to use as check points for flying to were a couple of dated continental maps and the most recent SL airport map. The latter map was updated by Zack84 Burton. Zack regularly monitored and tracked the creation and abandonment of airports on each of Second Life’s mainland continents, and it was his maps that Second Life’s many pilots and airports used to navigate from point-to-point around the grid. It was quite a service he provided to investigate and keep track of it all—and in such detail too. Each map included information about every airport, from service class level to runway size and approach/ departure direction, to available facilities—all this out of his own generosity and personal interest in flying. As I looked at the map, the thought came to me that some day I should ask if we could fly together at least once, so he could take me to see his favourite and least favourite airports as examples of the best and worst Second Life had to offer.

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The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V


Above left: Loaded down with gear for the voyage, Dahlia flew through the channel between the Corsica and Gaeta V continents to begin her tour of Gaeta V. Above: Dahlia’s balloon approached her first sighting of Gaeta V land on the western shore in Xenacle. Left: Soraya’s Winter Wonderland in Xenacle magically remained forever coated in a blanket of ice and snow for paying guests to enjoy year-around. Far left: Passing Xenacle, Dahlia flew into Gumtree where she passed a small Lindenmade freebie sailboat—the same kind she used in her 2009 Great Sailing Adventure which passed through the same area she was now flying in.

The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V

5


by providing the direct opposite to enjoy: a nicely appointed lush, tropical beach.

of beachfront in Gumtree. A lone wooden pier stretched way out into the quiet western sea to support a weathered fishing hut at the I flew as close to the property line end of it. Near where the pier of Soraya’s Winter Enchantment reached land, there was a small as I could and looked down to ad- parking lot that also served as the mire its ice skating pond, moun- end of a paved portion of Route 7. tain snow ski lift and run, a single room chapel, and rustic rental Route 7 encircled the entire conticabins. It all looked like such a nent, sometimes as a paved road fine place to cozy up at for a and sometimes as a watery chanweekend retreat with a friend. nel between mainland and island After admiring Soraya’s, I turned parcels. Automated taxis of all south over open waters then flew manner drove along this path and parallel to an unoccupied stretch as they did, they magically shapeOpposite page, left: Overlooking the western shore of Gaeta V in Gumtree, giant black ants seeminly grazed near two equally gigantic cell phones on the sandy grass near where Route 7 passed by on its way to Squall Public Beach. Above: A paved portion of Route 7 terminated at what seemed like a parking area for Squall Public Beach. There, a post with a diving mask on it offered free diving gear to those who wanted to go diving for potential treasure out in the shark infested water. Right: Only steps away from the giant ants and cell phones, a group of wooly sheep in Gumtree grazed idilically among tall green grass surrounded by a wooden fence—quite impossibly to keep them safe from the ants.

After consulting my map, I folded it and stowed it in my backpack, then fired up the burner on the balloon. I climbed aboard, and with a single, cleansing breath, I was ready for my departure. Lifting up, I eased the balloon southward to Coriandimo, then headed east to fly across the open ocean between the two continents.

into view while I was in Murport. Off in the distance I could make out the first landfall, marked by the twinkling of stars over Soraya’s Winter Enchantment in Xenacle, a perpetually wintery environment created by Mikhail Obscure for the romantic getaway of couples. Just over the mountains to its north, a sister property called Lovers Lagoon compliMy first sighting of Gaeta V came mented the winter environment The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V

shifted their forms from land vehicles to water vehicles. Flying low while on my way to land on the parking lot, I passed a strange sight: giant black ants that appeared to be grazing in the Gumtree grass alongside the road. Next to the ants were a couple of equally gigantic mobile phones laying on their narrow sides. Near the phones, a pen of sheep also grazed on grass…but for them, in a fenced-in area. It was all a very curious sight, and one that deserved a closer look.


I brought the balloon down into the parking lot at the paved section of Route 7 and disembarked. I discovered the parking lot was part of Squall Public Beach in Squall. Only steps away, the paved road turned into sand, and the beach it went through had three large parasols planted in the open sand, under which beach blankets were set out to relax on. On the parking lot where I landed, a short post with a scuba diver hel-

met on top of it offered a set of free diving gear to visitors.

sharks swimming by. Okay…still a great gift, but maybe for another beach, I amended my thought.

pitch black, so while they had very detailed silhouettes, they were otherwise featureless within their Wow, what a wonderful and unexshapes. This made them look pected find! I thought. I was sur- I turned to walk up a grassy ineven more menacing to me, but I prised and equally happy to take cline toward the giant cell phones was thankful they didn’t have some scuba gear for myself. This and grazing ants in Gumtree. As more detail. If they had, I might was quite a gift. I took the gift I approached, I noticed that none have been mortified enough to parcel and placed it down into the of the ants moved. They were as suffer nightmares at night. balloon basket, and as I did, I still as statues. I decided to walk looked out beyond the sandy closer to take a closer look and Close to both the mobile phones beach toward the western waters. got right up to where I could and ants, the sheep also didn’t There, I noticed the gray tips of touch them. Their bodies were move, but I wouldn’t have a nightmare about them whether they did or didn’t. They stood peacefully in their grassy pen, giving their little area a comfort-

ing, country tranquility. This was in stark contrast to the unsettled feeling created by giant ants left to roam free outside of an enclosure, that was for sure! I sent a message to the property owner, PulseBurst Flow to ask why he chose the scenery he did and if there was any social commentary or purpose to them. His last log-in status was registered as unknown, so I didn’t expect much. And after months of not getting a reply, I knew it would probably remain an un solved mystery.

Left and above: The giant ants in Gumtree were as black as ink and had no definition to their surface. With no detectable eyes, they appeared very mysterious and possibly less scary than if they had distinguishable surface features. The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V


I trekked back through Squall Beach with its three large parasols in the sand, then stopped immediately past it at a beachfront property littered with bottles of Old Wart Hog Rum and remnants of things previous visitors had unpacked and left behind. The “about land” information had a quote in it: “Let those follow me who can!” Apparently, they couldn’t follow with such heavy burdens, I thought. I shifted

Above: Rising up in the distance from where Route 7 terminated at Squall Beach was a complex of Italianate styled buildings that made up the Helfell Infohub. Above left: Ajoining Squall Beach and down the slope from Helfell Infohub was a beachfront for travelers, a hobo-style beach, if you will. There, Dahlia spotted a stuffed teddy bear with features reminiscent of Magellen Linden. It was geared up for exploring by backpack—wearing a smaller version of the very same backpack Dahlia was. Left: Dahlia sat to have a one-sided conversation with the Magellen Linden bear about the area, but her answers went unanswered, much in the same style most of the conversations she had with the Lindens did. The non-exchange was predictable yet strangely comforting.

the heavy backpack on my shoulders, contemplating the thought of my own burden for a moment while my eyes searched around the grounds for things to scavenge. Amid the campsite litter was an old, tattered hobo tent created by Magellan Linden. Inside, a bear wore a shorter version of the same

backpack I had on, so I went and knocked on the stake that held up one tent. “Hello?” There was no answer, so I peeked in. Oh…it’s a doll, I realized. My eyes glanced around at the barren tent furnishings. Maybe this was an area where travelers like 9


Left: On a rise up from the squatters beach was the complex of Italianate styled buildings that made up the Helfell Infohub. Beyond that, the spires of a gothic styled residence and other buildings looked down on the infohub. Above: Helfell Infohub consisted of four large buildings that encircled a common palazzo with a central fountain, some outer buildings between the main complex and the squatter’s beach, and a large castle that the infohub connected to via a walkway.

knowing full well that I would never get a response. I looked at his stillness, contemplating him. “Well, it’s only appropriate,” I mused. “You’re a Linden creation, so you’ve inherited their lack of communication gene.” me could spend the night, I considered. I looked into the large doll’s eyes almost as if I were about to ask, then realized I was certain this was what the tent was for.

better!” I said as I worked the newbies off me!” And with that, I stiffness out of my shoulders. “Too curled up and drifted off to sleep. bad nobody left a masseuse and a DAY 203 massage table behind.” Morning came peacefully to I rolled out my sleeping bag and Squall Beach. I took time to heat I relieved myself by slipping the crawled in, then with a look back my cup of tea on the nearby fire and sipped it while chatting with weighty backpack straps off my at the large hobo bear standing shoulders and set my gear on the over me, I chided to it: “you watch the idle stuffed bear. “The things you must have seen here,” I said, ground. “Whew! That feels much over me tonight and keep the

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I finished packing and looked up the hill from the beach. Nearby, four large buildings overlooked the beach. They made up the local infohub in Helfell. Investigating that was going to be my first order of the day. I walked back to the parking lot at Squall Beach to load up my

balloon and depart. Just as I was about to lift off, a young girl approached me. She was only two days old, so I asked how she was liking her second life. She indicated that it was taking some getting used to and wasn’t exactly certain where to go, so I informed her about the Search button function and asked what her interests were. Once I knew what she liked, I passed her a selection of landmarks from my own travels. Now well armed with a variety of destinations to choose from, she was off to see what awaited her. “Now that’s customer service!” I The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V


proudly chirped to myself after she left. I turned the handle on the burner to fill the balloon full of hot air, and up I went, heading toward the infohub complex.

strange looking person jumped in my balloon without saying anything—Camyla104 or Rach Miami Harcassle (rach.verity). I looked at him or her for a moment, then went back to my It was only moments before I was counting and recording of inforhovering over the inner courtyard mation—also without saying a that connected the four infohub word. By the time I was done, it buildings to one another. In the left, and I lifted off again, this center, a fountain provided a time to look at a castle structure gathering spot for residents to that was connected to the infohub congregate, and at the moment of buildings via a long tunnel ramp. my arrival there were about six. The tunnel passed by a set of I dropped the balloon down to barred doors that appeared to be land in the courtyard so I could jail cells. A plaque on the wall by look to see what kind of information could be gathered there. I began counting and noted that if you don’t include the four “Do Not” banned conduct warning signs, the entire complex displayed only six signs, of which the destination “Hot Spots” was the most notable and informative. No other links to places like the New Citizen Infohubs or Help Public style of locations where instructions and informative reference material would be offered. In my opinion, Helfell was just another big space filled with a lot of building and landscaping prims, only to offer about six prims worth of “information.” What a waste. While I was counting signs, a

The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V

In my opinion, Helfell was just another big space filled with a lot of building and landscaping prims, only to offer about six prims worth of “information.” What a waste. the doorway provided some interesting information. The headline read: “Mad Margot’s Last Stand,” followed by: “In the fall of 1485 Margot and her gang, having squandered all their treasures made one last desperate attempt to loot Helfell and her riches. Upon their arrival a battle

Hmmm...I thought to myself. Perhaps that is why diving gear was offered from the post on the parking lot at Squall Beach! It made the wheels in my brain start to turn. I wonder if I should go back raged through the night before to try to search for any remnants of Margot’s and her crew were over- a sunk ship or treasure. Then again, taken. Mad Margot spent the there are those sharks to consider. harsh winter in this cell until the Hmmm.... spring of 1486, when she was executed for piracy. Legend has it In the end, I decided to save that that Mad Margot threw the last of adventure for another time. For her riches overboard just before now, I was eager to stay in the capture. The treasure has never balloon and keep moving. been recovered.”

Above left and right: Dahlia landed in the central courtyard palazzo of the Helfell Infohub. There, a grotesquely shaped resident jumped into her balloon basket without a word while Dahlia counted the number of informational signs offered in the complex. Aside from the prominently displayed “do not” banned conduct signs, there were only six informational signs that offered anything useful to residents, the most notable one being the “Hot Spots” destinations sign. Nine large buildings, six signs. Not a good decoration-to-service ratio! 11


I fired up the balloon and headed north past a beautiful wooded hillside in Easche. It was called Lost Mountain ~ Home of Avenging Angels MC and was surrounded on two sides by high rock walls for privacy. If it hadn’t, I would have wanted to investigate the property more. But high privacy walls are a good indicator not to, so I continued on my way.

property at Arimto Beach allowed Yuliman residents to make use of their air and water vehicles and attractions for free too. There was plenty of swimming, diving, fish, and mermaids to come in contact with. Out on a pier, a runway and heliport provided service for those interested to head to the sea or skies using the property’s complimentary vehicles. Other facilities such as lounge chairs on the beach, a bar, dance floor, and even a castle were all part of the resident features. It looked like a really nice place to live!

I circled around Lost Mountain to head back south and then west, making my way carefully along the property line of Ravens Claw Retreat in LOORM, a sim full of large, dark gothic castles that welcomed the undead and mortals of all races into its Blood Line. Also contained within the sim were Zo and Micka’s Paradise, Angel’s Domain, and the biggest castle of all: Progeny Role Play System, The Home of the Demonic Saint. None of those sounded like places I wanted to land in, that was for certain! Fortunately, just past the darker side of life, a residential complex full of palm trees and high rise condominiums greeted me at Yuliman Beach and Resort. I landed on a heliport pad atop the roof of a condominium building and disembarked. There was an elevator that conveniently took 12

Above: A plaque inside the Helfell Infohub castle detailed the historical story of Mad Margot and her gang, and marked the location of her imprisonment while she awaited her eventual execution for piracy. An indication that the last of her riches may have been thrown into the nearby sea helped to make sense about why free diving gear was offered at nearby Squall Beach. The temptation to go looking for the treasure was very strong to Dahlia.

me to ground level where I could roam around the property to admire the landscaping and variety of rentable residential units.

Yuliman faced the western sea and had direct access to Linden road Route 7, a bus stop, and rez areas. A neighbouring partner

gies alike, and was “Home of the Tiny Royal Airforce.” I looked over my shoulder at a hanger at the end of the runway, and sure enough, there were two tiny air force planes parked there. Inside the terminal at the baggage claim was the cutest tiny luggage cart. It was not much bigger than a skate board for me and probably couldn’t hold than my purse. But for a tiny, I bet it was just perfect.

A room adjacent to the check in counter had a large map of Gaeta V hung on the wall. I checked to I spent the night on a lounge see what airports were showing chair at Arimto Beach. When and it appeared I wouldn’t be seemorning came, I found my way back to the multi-level Yuliman ing one anytime soon on my condominium building that had route. With that in mind, I the heliport pad on it and launched walked back out and climbed into my balloon to continue heading my balloon to continue my way south, where I followed the curve southward along the coastline. of the continent as it began to DAY 204 head eastward. In Vuissant, I spotted a large tree with an airport runway in it and In nearby Bit Bat Bot the roada marina down underneath. I way of Route 7 became a water pulled over the runway and set taxiway. Next to it, I passed two down near the terminal building. large blue and white pyramid The name over the doorway read: type buildings belonging to VirSLOOTERS & Port-A-Rez and tual Skybox Rentals. claimed to be “the first tiny yacht club in SL located at protected It was there that I spotted AZ Linden ocean.” It held parties and Camping Central, a shop belongsailing events for tinies and biging to Aarcher Zenovka that sold The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V


Beautiful nature: Within view of the Helfell Infohub, and surrounded on two sides by high rock walls, Lost Mountain ~ Home of Avenging Angels MC, was a scenic nature property in Easche.


Left and above: In Vuissant, a tall tree at with a big cloud resting on its uppermost branch tips held up the runway of an airport belonging to SLOOTERS Airport A Rez, an airport specially designed for tiny residents. Information indicated it was “Home of the Tiny Royal Airforce” and at the base of the tree, it boasted of being “the first tiny yachtclub in SL.” Opposite page top: Dahlia admired the tiny luggage cart in the arrival/departure terminal. Two army flying vehicles were parked in front of a hangar at the end of a runway that provided a home base for the Tiny Royal Airforce. A map in the waiting area of the terminal displayed where airports were located on the continent of Gaeta V. Opposite page bottom: Twin towers of Virtual Skybox Rentals rise up at the southwestern aspect of Gaeta V and overlook the retail shop of AZ Camping Central and other smaller shops and residential buildings.

backpacks, sleeping bags, and tents. What was unique about the products was that they were wearable items so you could set up a camp anywhere—even in places where no rezzing was allowed. I loved the idea and the opportunity to set out a sleeping bag or even pitch a tent in places I normally couldn’t. I counted the rations I had saved in my pocket14

book and decided to spring for a tent and sleeping bag combination. Considering the amount of traveling I did, I thought it would be worth purchasing one. After I did, I was—as they say—“happy as a camper”! The time had come for me to veer away from the coastline and work my way inland, so I turned

into Dark Matters, just east of AZ Explorers, where there was a path of open land to fly through. Ahead, I spotted a parcel on the ground that had some balloons in it, so I went to investigate.

in the front yard and an equally cute pink trailer home to live in.

But more impressive was that it was surrounded on three sides by tall privacy walls that had large images of hot air balloons all over When I reached the balloon prop- them. Overhead, a giant hot air erty, I saw it was in Phasic Foo balloon hovered, dwarfing everyand owned by Hare Fadoodle. It thing else. “Now THIS is a perhad a couple of large, cute rabbits son who loves hot air balloons!” I

declared gleefully. “I’ll have to ask Hare about it someday!” I called and left messages with Hare Fadoodle’s answering services to ask her about her property. Unfortunately, I never received a call back from her, so we’ll just have to enjoy it for what it looks like—without a back-story to add to the appreciation of it. The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V


In nearby Liwei, an interesting multi-coloured object hovered stationary in the sky like a shiny jewel. I flew over to discover that it was part of Kaleidoscopic Images by Maryva Mayo, and owned by Amira Kumaki. I began to fly north into the interior of the continent. In Shirra, there were a lot of people on my radar which I found to be unseen and either on the ground and/or in a sky mall and rentable sky boxes. I wiggled my way around the cluster of dots on my radar screen by flying east over the north/south directing road of Proximal Route 7A. I also had to make my way around Kali’s Quiet Cove, a private home in a big area completely surrounded The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V

by large, clear walls as seen from the outside. Next to Quiet Cove in Quasar, and squeezed in between one of the clear privacy walls of the neighbour and the walls of another property was a teeny tiny property that was completely surrounded on all sides by high privacy walls. It had two giant Star Wars figurines standing atop a building, shoulders almost touching the privacy walls that surrounded the property. The figurines faced each other as if about to fight it out with their light sabers. As I was soon to learn, it was home to the Saber Crystal Pub/Disco and the Jedi Mania! main store at Saber Crys15


Above left: An enclosed parcel owned by Hare Fadoodle in Phasic Foo displayed her unmistakeable love of hot air balloons. Above right: An multi-coloured sculpture made by Marva Mayo levitated in the sky of Liwei was part of the Kaleidoscopic Images owned by Amira Kumaki. Opposite page, top: An impressive tower in Banecker was described by its owners as “Our Dream by the Sea & Stars.” Opposite page, bottom: Residents chatted around a table next to an outdoor swimming pool in Noguchi, and had a good view of two tall Star Wars figurines that belonged to the nearby Saber Crystal Pub/Disco and the Jedi Mainia! main store at Saber Crystal Place.

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tal Place. There, freebies and Star loomed on the horizon in BanWars role play was offered. necker that captured my attention. It was on the coast overlooking The next property over had a both the southern sea and a bend nicely appointed modern home in the road as Route 7 headed with a swimming pool in the northeast toward Easter Islands. back yard where Anna Beli, Ferasdevil, and Geloy Islay sat I made my way toward the tower, together having a relaxing chat and as I did, the it grew larger outside on comfortable looking and larger until my balloon was chairs near the pool. dwarfed as small as a mosquito would be to the leg of a human. Part of me wanted to literally The land information announced drop in on their conversation and the tower property as “Our Dream startle them, but my more reason- by the Sea & Stars…” and a able side urged me to respect darker, largely unfurnished castle their privacy and continue my next door to it was only described flight through the area. as “Capicua.” High atop the tower a large circular room with floor to I also didn’t want to stop because ceiling windows contained a rein the distance a tall, striking tower volving world globe that had a

statue of a winged creature sitting atop it. I wondered what exactly their dream was! I circled around the tower and continued on my way to the northeast, following Route 7. In the distance, a large cruise ship caught my attention, so I turned to head in that direction to investigate closer. I had certainly seen a lot of diversity within small areas over the course of route I had taken on this day. It showed the unique character of the people of Gaeta V and their willingness to live in close proximity to one another despite big differences in style and interest. The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V


The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V

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W E E K 3 0 / D AY 2 0 4 : S O U T H C E N T R A L G A E TA V

N av i g a t i n g t h e S o u t h e r n M i d - S e c t i o n ’ s Tw i s t s & Tu r n s 7 TO THE NORTHEAST, AND AS I did, I approached a large passenger cruise shipped docked in port in Talgat. Next to the ship was a large parking lot with some informational signs and a long gang plank that went up to the ship. I landed there to gather and read the landmark and note card. The note card indicated this ship was the Talgat Cruise Ship, a full size passenger ship with rooms to rent, retail shops to shop at, and a variety of activities to enjoy. They even had a webpage at www.talgatcruise.com to learn more.

I

FOLLOWED ROUTE

I wanted to hop out to walk up the gang plank into the ship, but I noticed that no rezzing was allowed on the parking lot. There was, however, a large heliport on the bow of the ship, so I lifted back up and drifted the balloon over the bow to see if rezzing was available there. Above: Aboard the Talgat Cruise Ship, Dahlia signed a guest book and studied a large diagram of the ship’s levels. Opposite page: Dahlia and passenger Nya Silverfall depart from the parking lot outside of the Talgat Crusie ship, on their way north into the heartland of Gaeta V. The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V

Once I reached the ship’s bow and hovered over it, I could see that there was still no rezzing allowed. To my good fortune, however, the ship’s owner, Rihanna Irata, called out to greet me. I asked if I could land on the bow of the ship to

talk with her a while. She was pleased to let me land so we could, and once firmly aboard, I asked her about her ship. Rihanna told me that Talgat Cruise Ship just had its grand opening the night before. Ugh! I missed it by only one day! I groaned in disappointment. She told me that she planned to have a wide variety of activities not only aboard the ship, but also under water like scuba diving and in the air like skydiving too. I thought that was all a marvelous idea and worthy of making it a true destination.

Above: Dahlia landed on the bow of the Talgat Cruise Ship in Talgat where she met the ship’s owner Rihanna Irata and learned about the history and future plans for the full size passenger ship.

homes, houses, and skyboxes, and I stayed overnight in Talgat and judging by the mega prim privacy the next morning took off from a screen positioned directly in front neighbouring water recreation of the ship, I could tell they probarea in Sharman for Easter Isably weren’t too happy to have lands Homes. They sold prefab the nose of a large cruise ship DAY 205

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Above left: Within eyesight of Talgat’s large passenger cruise ship, Blazing Star Marina in Searfoss offered a few slips for personal yachts and a unique bull’s horn shaped blimp that hovered over the club house. Above and far left: Neumagdeburg, a European-styled town in Oefelein, had a nice city centre, hotel sidewalk cafe, and strangely, a frog dressed in top hat and tuxedo dancing behind jail bars. Left: Genisis City in Footpad was styled after New York City and even featured a public library. Opposite page: A building under construction at Bullzy’s Land in Compotista looked amazingly like real life construction. 20

pointed directly at its front door from only a couple of meters away. My friend Nya Silverfall called and caught me just as I was about to depart on my morning departure, so I invited her to join me. Together, we passed the Blazing Star Marina in Searfoss, then arrived at Genesis City in Footpad. Although I didn’t recognize any particular styling, the city was meant to emulate that of New York City. Its land keywords referred to New York, urban, subway, mafia, apartment rentals, The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V


The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V

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like a real life construction. Within eyesight of Bullzy’s Land was a short airfield runway with a control tower that was elevated atop four tall posts, and a hanger building abreast to the taxiway. The Comfrey airfield property faced the open sea for easy approach and departures, and was crowded with an assortment of vehicles for sale, marking it as a retail establishment instead of a public airfield.

Above: In Confrey, Dahlia bypassed landing at a retail shop airstrip in favour of another more empty and private airstrip only two parcels away that belonged to TJ: SMOKY Beach & Base. Above right and opposite page left: A dead shark hung from a electricity pole near the end of the runway at TJ: SMOKY Beach & Base. Even dead, its long teeth still looked threatening! 22

I decided not to land at the stores, a pizza shop and even a Heights in Wiles, then crissWe continued into Mizar, and airstrip since it was a crowded public library. Owner Fark crossed through the town of Neu- Olexandrovich, then flew very retail shop and, because only two Graves called out to welcome Nya magdeburg in Oefelein. There, close to ground level over Bullzy’s parcels away, another equally and I as our balloon approached we noticed a green frog with a Land in Compotista, where we short but more open runway on overhead and hovered while top hat, cane, and shoes dancing admired a small building in its an empty parcel was available at everything came into focus. behind jail bars in jail I wondered early construction stages. With it’s TJ: SMOKY Beach & Base. what Kermit the Frog could have wooden surfaced plywood walls After our stop in Genesis City, we possibly done so bad that he was and beams still open to the air, it Nya and I touched down and disflew on to the suburbs of Colonial put in jail? struck me at how much it looked embarked at the airstrip, happy to The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V


red and yellow stripes of a circus tent caught my attention. We flew down to discover it was a bumper car amusement park ride. I asked Merry if he’d ever had the pleasure of trying such a ride before. When he said he hadn’t, I knew we had to stop to let him have a go of it.

floor offered rezzable bumper cars at the push of the button. We each rezzed one for ourselves, then drove around trying to strategically out-maneauver each other while setting up a good hit. Merry had great beginners luck and disabled my bumper car two out of three times. It was great fun and we hoped to come back So we landed the balloon near the to try again someday. tent, then walked into the large be back on land again. We had covered a good distance during the day and had few problems along the way. We walked back to the retail Comfrey airstrip together to look over its products and think about future vehicle travel possibilities. After concluding our window shopping, Nya and I parted for the day—her back home and me to update my flying log after setting up camp inside of a small church that rested between the two different Comfrey air strips. After a good night’s sleep on a church pew, I awoke the next day with a long, leisurely stretch and yawn, then packed for another day of flying.

Below & inset: Dahlia and passenger Merry Khalim flew over an eclectic property in Coriander that featured—among other things—a bumper car ride inside of a carnival tent, a football field that teams could really play on, a miniature steam engine train that residents could drive and ride on, and a variety of walking or driving paths between them all.

and a newcomer to the balloon experience, Tantric42 Resident. They joined me on the runway at TJ: SMOKY Beach & Base airstrip as I set up the balloon. Once everything was prepared, we took off and drifted east until we spotted a landing pad on top of a house at Doobie Corner, Ocean View, Beliandro. There, the men hopped out to take a look around while I consulted my map. After their look, Tantric stayed behind at the property while Merry and I departed in the balloon to fly north. We passed Blossums Animals Sanctuary in Sun Trap where rows of colourful winged dragons stood in line like parked cars waiting to be serviced.

DAY 206

On this day I’d be flying with a We then made our way to Fretti familiar passenger, Merry Khalim, Estates in Coriander where the The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V

23


Above: Resident Merry Khalim drove a miniature steam train around a property in Coriander while I updated my flight log. Later, he’d hook up the additional cars and dreive Dahlia around for her own tour.

After bumper cars, we stepped back outside of the circus tent to investigate a miniature train and track that encircled the perimeter of the property. Merry loved trains, so I knew we’d have to try it out before we continued on. We climbed aboard, Merry as engineer and me in a cage on wheels three cars back. We chugged around the sim’s perimeter twice taking in all the sights on the property before Merry was ready to relinquish his conductorship. 24

During our sweep around the property by train, we spotted a football field. It looked interesting and we both wanted to try test it out, so once we were done with the train, we hiked back to the football field. Merry and I chased the ball, trying to out-kick each other and advance it into our proper goals. It was tricky; I missed or overran the ball a lot. But Merry did very well and scored a lot of goals on me. It was a fun game, and I could only imagine how much

Above: A pyramid building in Egglebury housed Medju Animations. It was within eyesight of the circus tent in Coriander where Merry Khalim and Dahlia tried out bumper cars and a train ride. In keeping with the carnival theme closer to the pyramid building, another nearby parcel featured a wild roller coaster. The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V


more fun it could be with a few players on two teams competing against one another. We climbed back into the balloon and took off again, continuing our trek northward. Not far away in Egglebury, a large Mayan pyramid caught my eye, so I brought the balloon closer to see what it might be used for. It turned out to be the main store of Medjue Animations. Next door to it, a roller coaster looked inviting, so I drifted over there and set the balloon down in the grass. Merry and I walked to the front of the waiting line and jumped aboard one of the single roller coaster cars. A few moments later, it activated and began taking us up the large first hill to the top, then plummeted us down the steep other side, around in circles and in loops and spins, until we finally arrived at the end of the line. It was a lot of fun, especially when viewing through our mouselook option. After our dizzying ride, I thought it would be better for me to stay on the ground for a while. I decided to set up camp for the night, so I wished Merry a good night and pitched my tent on the grass at the base of the roller coaster. The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V

DAY 207

The next morning I was preparing to lift off when my friend Ben5 Turbo called to see if he could join me. I was more than happy to have a passenger along,

so I invited him to join me. Together, we climbed into the balloon basket and took off to head northward from the rollercoaster in Egglebury. In the distance, north from where we took

off, another property was surrounded by large privacy walls. Rising up from inside of it was a long, irregularly shaped spindly structure that twisted its way high up into the sky. It reminded

Above: In the distance from Upadhyaya, passenger Ben5 Turbo looks at a curious and irregularly shaped spindly structure that twisted its way high into the sky over a property in Pennyroyal.

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Opposite page: When Dahlia and her passenger Ben5 Turbo arrived at the base of the strange twisting structure in Pennyroyal, they could see just how incredibly tall it really was. Below: Dahlia and Ben found at 101 meters high that the structure held up a small seating area.

me of like some kind of stairway. I couldn’t tell what exactly it was from the distance away where we were, so I suggested we go investigate. Ben agreed. When we arrived closer to it in

Pennyroyal we could see that it was a sculpture from ScarpyLand! Scarp Godenot Sculpture and Art, the home sim and galleries of Scarp Godenot and ArtCrash Exonar. The skyward reaching sculpture was made out

of a managerie of odds and ends, twisting and turning until it finally toped out at 101 meters high. At the tipy-top, there was just enough flat room to place a small sitting sofa on it for enjoying the view. It was not only a perilous climb up, but also a perilous, teetering looking perch too. I suggested Ben gingerly crawl out of the balloon basket to try out the sofa. Smartly, he wouldn’t have anything to do with it.

Neither Ben nor I knew enough about casting spells on people to risk buying any dark magic potions or supplies, so we moved on to its neighbouring property, a rustic looking Sanguinarius Community Center for real vampires, otherkin & therians. A long and highly detailed welcome note card was offered by the owners, Sphynx Soleil and Sanguinarius Magne. The note card thoroughly explained what Sanguinarius Community Center was all about and what kind of opportunities if offered. It noted that their community center library contained bookshelves full of books and articles “by, for and about real vampires, general articles (applicable to anyone) on health and medical issues, psychological and spiritual matters, and much much more.” A couple of books even had links to be purchased on Amazon.com.

So, we continued on, flying east until we arrived in Pesok where there was a dark black castle surrounded by equally dark black walls. We flew the balloon into its air space and landed so Ben could hop out to take a look around. Despite its impressive exterior, it was essentially unfurnished and seemingless devoid of life inside, so Ben crawled back into the ballooon basket and we flew north a couple more properties until we reached Route 7. The owners also noted that they actively looked for new writen arWe followed the roadway east for ticles on—or other information a couple of properties until I spot- about—where they could get ted the Brazilian Witchcraft and more articles related to otherkin Stables in Jallis. I eased the baland therians. So if you know of loon in close to a tattered old any, please know that your call home that doubled as a shop for will be well received. all manner of sorcery and witchcraft items like potions and spells. Upstairs in their media center was The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V

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Right: Sorbet marked the southeastern most point of Gaeta V before the coastline turned northward toward its eastern shores. Far right: Route 7 hugged the southeastern coastline in Warbunton as it led northward toward McCallen International Airport in Toyger and a giant, illuminated rock that levitated in the sky nearby. Opposite page: Route 7 followed the contour of the continent in Loxich as it turned northward along the southeastern coastline and passed a large, sandy Linden beach filled with palm trees.

seating for watching streaming videos of things such as Zilchy’s Vampire Q&A series. An entertainment zone also offered a few board and arcade style games that could be played solo or in groups. Sanguinarius also had its very own club, Club Life Force where special events and parties could be held. And if you were entreprenurial enough, the owners even offered the club to anyone who might want to run it for a while. Lastly, if you partied too heartily into the wee hours, the owners also offered a well appointed graveyard to rest up in until you acquired enough life force to continue on your way again.

residents to share in vampire, otherkin and therian lifestyles. It was nice to receive such a…dare I say, “warm” welcome from the notecard. For me, however. I was more interested in other things, so I fired up the balloon and took off before anything creepy crawly thing came out of the ground to surprise me.

corner of Geata V in Pruskin and Sorbet where I picked up the trail of Route 7 again. In Warbunton, the highway passed along a long, sandy beach park filled with palm trees dotting the land, and an old tin fishing shack resting at the end of a weathered, wooden pier.

Resident and being sold by real estate agent Beetle Bailey. Since there wasn’t much to see at the airport itself, I took a stroll around and crossed over Route 7 to a beach at McCallen International in Geoffroy. I remembered from my Great Sailing Adventure three years earlier. I docked my As Route 7 curved northward to boat at a small marina across the parallel the coastline, it passed road in Geoffroy to mark the I made my way to the shopping right alongside a long, concrete halfway point in my adventure district of Luna Mare Village in airstrip in Toyger. Aside from the before turning back toward my Welworn, where I stopped to ad- runway itself, there were no starting point in the southernmire the fashions on display at its buildings associated with the air most Community Islands southshops. Next, I flew past a grand field and, in fact, it almost looked east of Blake Sea. Chinese palace called The Devil’s abandoned. Playground which was under At the time, Geoffroy was a well construction, and I took note of a I landed my balloon on a heliport populated beach community, full dragon drinking water from a pad at one end of the runway and of appropriately themed homes, nearby pond in Kuyto. hopped out to see if I could uncafes, retail shops, lighthouses, I could tell that Sanguinarius was cover any additional information. and water activities. Now, it was a thoughtfully developed comWithin a few more minutes, I Sure enough, I discovered that it for the most part a clutter of munity and generously open to was approaching the southeastern was abandoned by Tetsuyajuliana unassociated, non-descript and

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uninspiring buildings along the seashore—and as usual, also built over top of the water as well. None of it provided any continuity or sense of common community to take pride in. Nevertheless, whatever had become of Geoffroy, it was once again my halfway point in another adventure, and where I would spread my tent out for another night before making my way back toward my starting point. I fluffed up my butt pillow and laid my head down on it, still thinking about the changes in Geoffroy since my last visit as sleep came over me and I drifted off to another world.

The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V


The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V

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W E E K 3 0 / D AY 2 0 8 : T H E N O R T H E R N L A N D S

F r o m E a s t e r n S a n d s t o a S a n d b ox

I

TOOK OFF FROM THE ABANDONED AIRSTRIP IN

Toyger and flew north. Almost immediately, there were interesting sights that caught my attention and brought me back down to inspect closer. In Denflau, a quaint little shop named Mim’s Shop with a pretty front yard full of grass and flowers sold all kinds of sculptie household items such as kitchen and bath furniture, fruit and vegetables, flower pots and perfume. I didn’t purchase anything, but before I left, I sat on one of their lucky chairs and got a prize to satisfy my desire to walk away with at least a little trinket to remember them by.

Opposite page: Gaeta V’s easternmost airport in Toyger had been abandoned by its owner and was left for sale. Above: On day 208 of her adventure, Dahlia prepares to lift-off from the abandoned airport in Toyger to fly north, then west, following the northern coast of Gaeta V. Right: Dahlia sits at the McCallem International beach across the road from the Toyger airport in Geoffroy before preparing her balloon to return back westward to the starting point of her Gaeta V exploration. The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V

Looking back into nearby Geoffroy, another small building caught my eye. It was a single room club with a pub-style bar on one side and open floor on the other. Glass walls on three sides looked out onto an intercoastal tributary and then beyond to the surrounding sim. In its own yard, lovely tall grass and flowers sprouted up around the base of a curiously out of place large pink army tank. While I was looking around the club to learn more about it, resi-

dent Kei Rexen arrived and introduced herself. I asked her where I was and she said the club was called Maido Cafe, despite a sign out front that seemed to mark it as Cafe Primavere Violet. Kei was Japanese, and I was having a little difficulty understanding her English. So I called my friend Tatsuhiko Zuta to share news of this place with him and to see if he could also translate for me and Kei. While Tatsuhiko and I got settled in, we were joined by Yuuka95g. She offered

us a seat at the bar and a cup of hot chocolate while we talked. Yuuka indicated that Maido was a new cafe opened only a month earlier by two Japanese owners as an extension to the Maid Cafe k Crystal, a Japanese group property elsewhere on the grid. She provided Tatsuhiko and I with a

landmark to it, as well as a hyper link to other Japanese language places in Second Life. Tatshuiko and I enthusiastically thanked Yuuka and Kei for their kind hospitality and information, then bid them a good day as we stepped out of the club. Tatsuhiko and I too parted minutes later 31


It was then, as my binoculars swept through binocular eyepieces. MrNiceman69 (as he called himself) was the idillic countryside view, that a naked busy having a good soak and shower in one of the outdoor waman popped into my binocular eyepieces. terfall pools. I quickly averted my The farm had a wonderful paseyes…but not until I more in Geoffroy, but I had seen a very After flying through a patch of fog in Gillemonde, the land toral view of its red barn and quickly snapped a few pictures nice selection of diverse things horses grazing in a fenced in area, first. during my trip along the far east- opened up to a large tract of sparcely used land northeast of set against the backdrop of a tall ern coast of the continent. Gillemonde where Afredo and privacy panel made up of a row My day of flying was coming to a DAY 209 Royal Chase were barren grassof waterfalls that cascaded down close by the time I reached The next day, I was up and into lands stretching out toward the from top to bottom. It was then, Huntly Post, so I landed on a northern coastline. From the as my binoculars swept through beach at Trinium Designs where the air early. I departed Huntly the idillic countryside view that a I could unpack my tent. I hadn’t Post and turned west, making my sparce far inland area you could see the distant coastline where it naked man popped into my flown very far since my take-off way inland from the coast.

then I was back in the balloon flying north, low along the ground over the intercoastal tributary past a farm in Korat.

became more populated with buildings and landscaping. This seemed to be the common style in Second Life. Beach fronts were all the rage, filled with properties built up to the very edge of the water and even out over it. Then inland land areas were less desirable and under developed. Perhaps there should be more lakes in Second Life, I pondered. Then everyone could be next to the water and have a beach front to live on.

Left and above: A small and simple bar-club caught Dahlia’s attention as she passed through Geoffroy. It had a unique pink army tank sitting in its yard of wild flowers. The club’s Japanese owner, Yuuka95g, and a member, Kei Rexen, informed Dahlia—through the translation assistance of Tatsuhiko Zuta, that the business was called Maido Cafe and was an extension of the Maid Cafe k Crystal elsewhere on the grid. The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V


As I headed toward the northern coast I noticed a short airstrip on the far northeastern coastline in Lenimov. Its north/south facing runway was elevated about a storey or two above the ground by a stone and steel foundation that allowed an open approach from the unobstructed north sea side, and a departure lane out over a dolphin training centre at Pat and Zoe’s Waterfront to the south. The airstrip was privately owned by a real estate company, but allowed public unpacking of goods for up to ten minutes.

Beautiful scenery: A barn nestled into a peaceful natural environment in Korat, on the northeastern coast of Gaeta V.

I landed on the runway and hopped out of the balloon to look around. On ground level was a copy of a wonderful statue I had taken photos of while flying along the northern coast of Geogeot—an image of a blindfolded woman holding a sphere of some sort that had interesting languagelooking symbols slowly circling around it. While on the runway, I took out my binoculars to watch two people talking on a pier at the dolphin training centre and hoped I would see some trick being worked on. The dolphins were swimming around, then coming up to and away from the people, but I didn’t see them back-pedal The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V

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Beautiful scenery: A barn on the eastern coast in Korat provided an idyllic place to live like no other


Clockwise from left: A small airstrip built like a giant diving board resided at the northeastern corner of Gaeta V in Lenimov. It was privately owned but allowed public access. On its beach was a statue of a blindfolded woman about to grasp a floating heart. From the edge of the elevated airstrip, one could watch dolphins swim and do tricks nearby at Pat and Zoe’s Waterfront dolphin training center. Previous page from top left: Dahlia spotted a resident taking a relaxing shower under an outdoor waterfall in Korat. While moving inland from the eastern coast, Dahlia encountered dense fog in Gillimonde. A beach in Huntly Post provided a peaceful location to land and set a tent out to overnight at after a day of flying. Dahlia flew through Skonber on her approach to an airstrip in Lenimov on the northeastern corner of Gaeta V.

The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V


while standing tall out of the water or jump through the open hoop raised above the water’s surface. It would have been fun to see though! Eventually, the man on the pier– named Scurry Curry–caught a glimpse of my balloon parked on the runway and struck up a conversation with me. While I prepared to depart I asked if he’d be interested to join me while I flew westward through the region. He agreed, so I handed him a parachute and up we went…but not too far before we crashed into the coastal waters of Sheershank. Luckily, there was a boat dock near where we landed in the water. Better yet, it was a Leeward Cruising Club dock where I could unpack a new balloon. We studied a nice map of the Gaeta V mounted on a large wall. It provided great insight into where public travel facilities could be found. With that knowledge in mind, I bid Scurry a good day and took off alone, heading inland southwest from the coast.

Left top and bottom: Dahlia and her passenger, Scurry Curry, crashed into the water next to a seaside home in Sheershank. Fortunately, on the other side of the house, the Leeward Cruising Club had a boat dock where a new balloon could be unpacked and launched. Outside on its dock there was an informative map of the continent of Gaeta V to consult. Above: Two large, high walled fields provided an exceptional space for residents to unpack, build, script, or take care of their inverntory business at the Shiromani Sandbox in Shiromani. There was even an old-style diner to relax at that added to the sandbox ambiance.

open fields for residents to unpack, build, script, or take care of their inventory business. In certain areas of the sandbox rentable retail space and advertising boards were available. There was even a small diner where people could meet and socialize at to further enhance the feeling of comI flew through Mailitz and munity there. I updated my flight Danascott until I reached the Shi- log while sitting in a booth. romani Sandbox in Shiromani. There, two very large walled-in After looking around a while, I areas contained green, grassy hopped back into my balloon and The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V

floated up over its northern wall into Hyannisport where the Hyannisport Infohub was. I had forgotten where exactly the iconic Hyannisport lighthouse was when I last saw it, so I was very thrilled to come across it so serendipitously. I decided to land on the beach near to the lighthouse so I could camp for the night and enjoy the view of its beacon rotating around and around in the night. 37


W E E K 3 1 / D AY 2 1 0 : F R O M H YA N N I S P O R T T O S Q U A L L

Completing the Loop

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landing spot—which is only steps away from the lighthouse—a steady stream of residents came and went. As it is at many infohubs, there always seemed to be someone who would stay around for a time longer than most to chat up the random people who passed through. Back in the days when volunteers used to staff infohubs, one could reasonably expect to find someone who could provide you with some official and authoritative insights and directions, but with those days now gone, those who lingered longest seemed only to jabber on about all manner of nonsense that was of no interest to me nor most other people. This was the case today too, so I stayed clear of the conversing bodies and went on about my business of setting up for my flight.

Opposite page: Hyannisport Infohub on the northern coast of Gaeta V provides a scenic and memorable location to meet other residents—if little more, since there is very little information offered by the Linden stewards. Above: Dahlia departed the Shiromani Sandboxes in Shiromani to fly west, only to crash when encountering a limited access parcel almost immediately, right next to Hyannisport Infohub. The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V

Unfortunately, residents weren’t allowed to unpack items at Hyannisport Infohub, so when morning came I walked back over to the large Shiromani Sandboxes to prepare my balloon.

tured and I landed next door in Itress, a Governor Linden property just next to the Hyannisport InfoHub.

I relaunched my balloon in Itress and flew through Kagechan, AlMy liftoff was abruptly halted turing and the Temple University right next to Hyannisport when a Sandbox #2 in Stepan. It was from property at Barrow Bay required there that I noticed an emmensely payment confirmation to enter its tall towering pole rise up as far as airspace. My balloon was puncthe eye could see. Curious as to

Above: The octagon shaped lighthouse at the Hyannisport Infohub on Gaeta V’s northern coast is one of Second Life’s notable—if not iconic—structures.

what it was for, I decided to fly up to the top. I fired up the balloon and made it rise as quickly as I could because I could tell I had a long way to go. When my balloon had reached

500 meters in the air and the top of the pole still looked as far away as it did from almost ground level, I became worried. This is really going to take a while! I thought to myself. I continued upward, 700 meters, 900 meters, 1100 meters! 39


Top left: While rising over 500 meters in Stephan, Dahlia realized she still had a very long way to go before she could even see the top of an extremely tall tower. Top right: Finally, after rising 1,273 meters in altitude, Dahlia reached the top of the tower to find a single-room residence belonging to Athalon Klamath. Bottom left: On the platform near the front door to Klamath’s tower residence was a hole in the floor. Dahlia eased up to the edge and looked down into the hole, then realized it must be a pipe that lead straight back down to the ground level. Bottom right: The pipe that lead down to the ground was too narrow to deploy a parachute in and also too long of a fall for her butt pillow to be of any use. Dahlia decided she’d skydive back down from the platform of the sky home. From where she sat in her pressurized air suit on the railing of the platform, she couldn’t even see the ground below.

By the time I had reached 1,000 meters, I had already taken out and put on my pressurized flight suit and was breathing air from tanks on my back for life support. Finally, at 1,273 meters in altitude, the towering pole topped out with a small platform that had a single room residence on it, identified as “The Home of Athalon Klamath. Athalon’s residence. friends, family, visitors welcome.” Surprisingly, Klamath was in good company, for there were I looked out around in the sky plenty of other buildings also levisurrounding the tower residence. tating in the sky at all manner of 40

elevations within eyesight. “Well, so much for escaping the view of neighbours” I chided Klamath to myself. The idea of

building high in order to get away from the clutter and prying eyes of others didn’t seem to be panning out as planned. It seemed

others had the very same idea. Just outside of the front of the house was a circular opening in the platform floor. It was there The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V


Top left: Dahlia plummeted towards ground with her parachute and butt pillow at-theready while keeping an eye out for any signs of the airport Jacko Field. Top right: After safely parachuting back to the ground, Dahlia went to the base of the skyhome’s connecting return pipe and looked skyward as far as she could see. The pipe was so long that the lines defining its shape converged in on itself and disappeared before it reached the skyhome. Bottom right: The pipe leading down from the skyhome to ground stopped just short of reaching the ground, meaning the entire 1,273 meters of pipe and home it supported all defied gravity by levitating in the air. Bottom left: After crossing into Poincare, Dahlia looked back at the tower in Stephan.

detect where the sky would meet the ocean on a hazy day. It truly gave me a sense of vertigo to look past my big toe and down the length of the hole. Feeling a little woozy, I carefully took a step back. And then another—just for good measure— until I felt more grounded again.

that the sky-high pole met the platform base. I eased my way up to the hole in the floor until my toe hung precariously out over The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V

the edge, then carefully peered over to see what was down there. The sight made the hair on the back of my neck stand straight

up. It was like looking down the tunnel of an immense straw. The hole at the other end was so far away I couldn’t even see it, and as

the circular tube of the pipe converged in on itself, the hole filled in as gray as the walls that made the tunnel. It was like trying to

“My god,” I whispered a bit hoarsely to myself. “Does he slide down that tube, all the way to the ground when he wants to get down there?” I was a taken aback by the idea of it, and wondered if I was just being too imaginative. You couldn’t even open up a parachute in the pipe, it was so narrow, I thought, trying to work out the logistics of it in my mind. 41


feet at all the tiny skyboxes and parcels and knew full well they would become huge as soon as I hurtled past them in my free-fall. The skydive was going to be tricky, however. Not only was I going to be looking all around me for an airfield anywhere between 1,273 meters high down to the ground, but I was also going to have to keep my eyes open for what might be directly below me that I could crash into while I was looking elsewhere.

Above left: At The Tiny Bayou in Arcobluster, Dahlia landed her balloon on a miniature air craft carrier belonging to The Pirate Dawgs group, part of a Lousiana road house themed community for tinies. Right and above right: A sim-sized platform in the sky of Kliraton caught Dahlia’s attention, so she flew up to see what it was all about. The Kliraton sky platform turned out to be the 1960s American style town of Metropolis, levitating 801 meters high in the air. There, Dahlia discovered—among other things—a clinic for spanking…and covered her butt with a pillow before going inside to find out more about it. Opposite page: In a study of contrasts between things small and large, Dahlia discovered that “the old lady who lives in a shoe” from the children’s nursery story actually resided in Microcosm. 42

I looked at my watch. The trip up took so long that by the time I reached the platform, my flying time for the day ran out. I checked my air reserves and decided that I could spend the night there in the stratosphere and return back to ground the next day.

I nudged my self forward on the ledge, then slid off into the open air. Immediately, sky boxes began enlarging all around me, then DAY 211 map, I was close, but on the cur- shrinking away as I zoomed past. When the the next morning came, rent monitor map there was noth- I looked in every direction for I opened my travel map to see ing to indicate its presence. any sign of a potential landing where I was relative to Jacko strip in the sky but wasn’t seeing Field. Jacko was an airport that Since I was 1,273 meters high in anything as I plummeted toward had been around as long as I had the air, I decided I could look for the ground. Eventually, I opened known of Gaeta V, but I’d never Jacko Field in a novel way: while my parachute while still pretty been there nor knew the actual free fall skydiving from the sky high up so I could slow my descent name of the sim it was in. I’d only platform down to the ground and continue looking around seen maps with a circle on it pro- level. Once I got closer to ground, while floating peacefully down claiming its location. I could pull my rip coard and to the ground. float more slowly while continuOn my large SL system map I ing to look. I glided down, weaving my way couldn’t find a Jacko sim anyin and out of the “traffic” of leviwhere and couldn’t find any viI sat on the edge of Klamath’s tating skyboxes, until there were sual in that area that even looked skybox platform railing, I preno more to maneuver around. Filike it had a big airport runway pared my pressure suit and para- nally, my feet touched the ground on it. According to my old texture chute. I looked down between my outside of PTF Party Supplies The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V


where, I estimated Jacko Field should have been. PTF created everything for parties such as invitations, banners, furniture and food, banners and gift baskets. But there was no mention of the airfield anywhere nearby.

it closed, or if I was mistaken about its location. Unfortunately, I never heard back for any confirmation.

I realized I had discovered the home of the old lady who lived in the shoe from the children’s nursery rhyme!

I relaunched my balloon at Shadow’s Hideaway in Pandit, then flew through Poincare until I looked up Jacko Field’s owner’s I was ejected from Fers World name, Jacko Vendetta, in the di- Land Holdings in Alturing. Forrectory. He still had the airfield in tunately, there was a roadside rez look at the base of Athalon Klahis picks, but it was now listed as zone alongside Route 7B where I math’s tall pole house. There, the being occupied by the PTF Party had been ejected to. pole descended down from the Supplies location. “Well, that setsky to where it stopped just short tles that” I surmised to myself. I I relaunched a new balloon and of reaching the ground. Incredisent Jacko a message asking when flew back into Stepan to take a bly, the entire 1,273 meter pole The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V

with its house atop of it perpetually levitated only a couple meters above ground. I decided that this allowed people to fall straight down the tube and have a way out once they’d reached ground level. I turned the balloon to fly into Microcosm. There, I came upon a quaint little home owned by Nikkie Dethly that was in the shape of an old shoe and realized I had discovered the home of the old lady who lived in the shoe from the children’s nursery

Opposite page: From as far away as Astron, Dahlia could see the dark hues and lightning strikes of the approaching thunderstorm. Above left: Wind from the approaching weather system in Instiga kicked up clouds of dust. Above right: A residential land in Ariantica featured forested parcels separated by high walls of rocks and waterfalls for privacy.

45


rhyme! If you’ve ever heard the story about the “old lady who lives in the shoe” then I think you’d enjoy to see this cleverly built home too.

even help yourself to some Japanese food!

While flying in to Wetherbee, I crashed due to full parcel, then relaunched anew next to a shoe I continued on my way through shop called Slade & Humby, then Junlong where there were $L50 suffered a system crash soon after. rental homes being offered by Once I made it back, I rezzed Saeeed Rentals. Later, I moved anew again at nearby Goddess into Arcobluster where a tiny air Ranch and Homestead in Astron. craft carrier belonging to The Pi- I liked the natural setting of the rate Dawgs group caught my at- ranch and since my progress was tention. I landed on the runway good enough for me on that day, I of its small ship and took a few pitched my tent and camped out pictures of the tiny planes, then overnight near the ranch. checked at the nearby port for more information about the area. DAY 212 The next morning I woke to the I discovered the area was part of smell of bacon frying—probably The Tiny Bayou, a tinies commu- coming from the nearby ranch. I was eager to be on my way innity that had a Louisiana road stead of eating, however, so I was house theme to it. They offered up in a flash and into the air. rental huts, a live music road house bar, a swamp blues club, 7Seas fishing, the air craft carrier I left Astron and entered Instiga where a big thunderstorm had and a riverboat, as well as plane moved in. It was beautiful with and ship access to the sea. It looked like a great place to live if its dark hues and lightning flashes, but because I didn’t want you were a tiny! any crashing trouble so early in I continued into Artsebarsky my day, I turned into Junapel where next to Route 7 I spotted where Route 7 flowed past on its the musical instrument shop of way eastward. Belle Rose. It had all manner of instruments, from strings to wind I flew through Puccetta, Zeord and Mikon, then enjoyed the to percussion. And if you were hungry while shopping you could sight of the nicely landscaped sim 46


of Ariantica. The entire sim boundary was rimmed by high rock walls with waterfalls that looked in on comfortably large private homes in a forested area. I turned south from the north coast to fly into Kliraton where the town of Metropolis floated 801 meters high up in the sky. Metropolis was a small 1960s style American suburban town that

had rentable homes, apartments, and retail shops. You could drive along their roads or take the subway to get to where you needed to go, such as the Spanking Clinic which I landed in front of to investigate. I was intrigued by the concept of a “spanking clinic.” I’d never seen such a thing before. Did you go to be spanked, and if so, why? Feel-

Opposite page: Dahlia rounds the northwestern aspect of Gaeta V in Densi Falls. The water channel is part of Route 7 where automated land taxis transform into water vehicles until they make it back to other land portions of their route. Above: Dahlia passes Sayora’s Winter Wonderland in Xenacle on her way to completing her journey completely around the continent.

47


Opposite page: Dahlia flies through Xenacle where she passes Lovers Lagoon and Soraya’s Winter Enchantment as she nears the completion of her voyage around the full circumference of Gaeta V. Left: Dahlia brings the balloon down in Gumtree on approach to land on the end of Route 7 next to the public beach in Squall.

the shuttle excelerating through the sky toward outer space whenever it launched. I continued on into Trianwe where a building at SkyLands presented an immersive game environment that offered residents the opportunity to simply hang out or to “become true explorers by playing games and solving puzzles.” I rounded the northwestern corner of Gaeta V in Densi Falls and flew southbound over Route 7 into Xenacle. Seeing Soraya’s Winter Wonderland again, I realized I was in the home stretch of my journey around the continent!

ing a little insecure by the idea, I strapped on my butt pillow and walked inside. Past the waiting room and receptionist station were what looked like two doctor's office examination rooms The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V

Excited to know the end was nearing, I pressed on past Xenacle and into Gumtree, descended past the giant black ants, and with traditional looking seating I stepped back out of the clinic to Heffenbaum and entered Xioga landed on the parking lot belongfor patient/doctor exams. A few my waiting balloon and hopped where at ground level, an Ameri- ing to Squall Beach. I threw up clinical diagrams of buttocks dec- in, relieved that my back side can styled space shuttle sat upmy hands in jubilation as I orated the wall. I poked about a hadn’t been assaulted while I was right on its launch pad at Le landed. I’d made it! The full little in the vacant building to see investigating. I fired up the balViolette. I bet myself that residents roundabout of Gaeta V! What a if it looked like a credible business. loon and flew back down through of Metropolis got great views of wonderful, memorable ride. 49


50

The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V


During my exploration of Gaeta V, I observed a lot of diversity within small areas over the course of my route. The wide range of property design, landscaping, and activities showed the uniqueness of the Gaeta V people and their willingness to live in close proximity to one another despite whatever big differences in style and interest they had. It seemed to be a remarkably well-adjusted continental community with a positive attitude about working together to find mutual satisfaction, and I considered that an admirable trait for a community to have.

Opposite page clockwise from top left: Dahlia raises her hands in celebration after landing in Squall to complete her circumnavigation of Gaeta V. From the public beach in Squall, she could see the large buildings belonging to the Helfell Infohub. Where a paved portion of Route 7 terminated at the parking area of the Squall public beach, free diving gear was offered from a post. The beach in Squall was a simple yet scenic place to relax while contemplating the many possibilities one could do in Second Life. Left: Happy to have completed her hot air balloon journey through Gaeta V, Dahlia takes a moment to reflect while relaxing on one of the beach blankets at Squall Beach. The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V

51


MAPS: THE PLAN Dahlia would take off from the eastern aspect of the continent of Corsica then fly through the channel of water that connected it to the western aspect of Gaeta V. From there, she would fly around the continent in a counterclockwise fashion, observing the southern half of the continent first, then work her way around the northern half. Just past her midway point, she would look for Jacko Field, the only airport known to her on Gaeta V.

52

The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V


MAPS: THE RESULT Dahlia’s actual flight path remained remarkably true her planned route. Along the way, she discovered a public beach new to her in Squall, and re-descovered the two continental infohubs in Helfell and Hyannisport. She discovered that “the little old lady who lived in a shoe” lived in Microcosm, and followed a towering pipe in Stephan that led from the ground all the way to a home 1,273 meters in altitude. She landed at airfields for tinies in Vuissant and Arcobluster. She also discovered an airfield in Toyger that was in a state of abandonment, discovered another in Lenimov, and determined much to her surprise that Jacko Field airport no longer existed.

The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V

53


Timeline At A Glance: Charting Dahlia’s Prog JANUARY 2010 SANSARA

CONTINENT START DATE

NOTABLE PLACES (ORDER SEEN)

1 January 2010

The Ivory Tower of Primitives Governor Linden’s Mansion The Particle Lab/Learning Center The Vehicle Lab/Learning Center Kazenojin Executive Airport DarkWood Cathedral Bay City Airport Orientation Island Vehicle Park Abbotts Aerodrome Giant SL Handprint Icon Helen Keller Monument YadNi’s Junkyard Kanin Mountain Skiing & Sledding Anton Airstrip Zeppelin Service Zermatt Ice Skating Lake Chalet Linden Cloudmont High Country Smithers Bluff Rainbow Cherished: Romantic River Shops Teslin Meadow Preserve Tour Pegasus Zeppelin St Michel ~ the Jule Verne Museum Shelter Island Balloon Tour Bitch Fight Arena Aztral’s Airport The First Church of Atheism Knowledge Park Linden Village & Offices Help Island Public Orientation Island Knowledge Port Explorers Info Centre Mahulu Volcano New Citizens Incorporated, Kuula Gruppman Technologies Corporate ANWR Offshore Oil Rig Platform

ESTIMATED / ACTUAL CONTINENT COMPLETION DATE

1 Feb. / 11 Feb. (42 Days) FLYING DAYS MISSED

None FLIGHT DISRUPTIONS

66 WEEK 1 SIM COVERAGE

Natoma to Shermerville (N. Central to NW Sansara) WEEK 2 SIM COVERAGE

Shermerville to Mondrian (NW to SE Sansara) WEEK 3 SIM COVERAGE

Mondrian to Hibdon (SE to E. Central Sansara) WEEK 4 SIM COVERAGE

Hibdon to Pooley (E. Central to NE. Central Sansara) WEEK 5 SIM COVERAGE

Pooley to Lozi (NE. Central Sansara) WEEK 6 SIM COVERAGE

Lozi to Calleta, Heterocera (NE. Central Sansara to S. Heterocera) GUEST PASSENGERS

Alina Graf, Lie Rang, Nya Silverfall, Natalia Silverfall, 1 Shermerville passenger, Ms SecretSpy, DawidDawid Dawid, Cyanidekissesxx Draconia, BackHome Soon, Erin Riler, Tatsuhiko Zuta, Rikki Reichmann, Eric Christensen, Narcissus Mint, Ara Enzo, Johnny Mikado 54

FEBRUARY Done 1 √

HETEROCERA

MARCH Done 2 √

ESTIMATED / ACTUAL CONTINENT START DATES, HETEROCERA

1 February / 12 February 2010 ESTIMATED / ACTUAL CONTINENT COMPLETION DATES, HETEROCERA

22 Feb. / 16 March 2010 (34 Days) FLYING DAYS MISSED

None FLIGHT DISRUPTIONS

83 WEEK 7 SIM COVERAGE

Cecropia to Nessus (S. Central to E. Central Heterocera) WEEK 8 SIM COVERAGE

Nessus to Engrailed (E. Central to N. Heterocera) WEEK 9 SIM COVERAGE

Engrailed to Moneta (N. to W. Heterocera) WEEK 10 SIM COVERAGE

Moneta to Cecropia (W. to S. Central Heterocera) GUEST PASSENGERS

Johnny Mikado, Aleks Piers, Pavl Duke, Madeline McMahon, Mot Mann, Lila Wardark, Caya Corvale, JohnMichael Tobias

NOTABLE PLACES (ORDER SEEN)

Calleta Train Station Hoboland Railroad Infohub Cerridwen’s Cauldron Tuliptree Train Station Neumoegen Train Station Busiris Airport Onespace Rockumentary Hopeful EMission Bella Carnival TMA - A Jewish Neighborhood SL Volunteer HQ Andiana City Cycnia & Euclidia Arbor Project SL Coast Guard Training Center Lythria Tall Tree Flanders Field Airport Ear Community Park Rainbow Cloud Nine Club Pug City Continent’s Highest Point, Campion Lapara Airport Arches Paraglider Slope Solo’s Steam Engine Service Moneta Airport The Unknown Theme Park The SL Chess and Sudoku Club H8 Motor Company Great Northern Wall Lord Victor Monument Friends of the Urban Forest & Permaculture Project Lake Gnoma Saiku Rainstorm Sky Mark Properties International House Of Style Didugua Thunderstorm Lightning Mz. Shoes

APRIL JEOGEOT

ESTIMATED / ACTUAL CONTINENT START DATES, JEOGEOT

23 February / 17 March 2010 ESTIMATED / ACTUAL CONTINENT COMPLETION DATES, JEOGEOT

18 March / 6 May 2010 (49 Days) FLYING DAYS MISSED

None FLIGHT DISRUPTIONS

120 WEEK 11 SIM COVERAGE

Quoll to Lordshore Cove (South to S. Central Jeogeot) WEEK 12 SIM COVERAGE

Lordshore Cove to Xentilx (S. Central to S. West Jeogeot) WEEK 13 SIM COVERAGE

Xentilx to Flint (S. West to West Jeogeot) WEEK 14 SIM COVERAGE

Flint to Martindale (West to W. Central Jeogeot) WEEK 15 SIM COVERAGE

Martindale to Areumdeuli (W. Central to North Jeogeot) WEEK 16 SIM COVERAGE

Areumdeuli to Dacham (North to N. East Jeogeot) WEEK 17 SIM COVERAGE

Dacham to Kyung (N. East to East Jeogeot) WEEK 18 SIM COVERAGE

Kyung to Quoll (East to South Jeogeot) GUEST PASSENGERS

Lila Wardark, MsPaddles Ninetails, Voodoo Spyker, Freyja Beresford

MAY 3Done NOTABLE PLACES (ORDER SEEN)

Explorers InfoCenter Lordshore Cove Bridge Hawkside Airport The Monastery of Felix Meritis Raining Cats & Dogs in Cambell Devils Golf Course Wheelies Neighbourhood Michael Jackson Support Group & Memorial Park White House, USA Silver Creek & Flint Route 10 Tunnel Milkshake Lounge Ichelus Volcano P2 & Teles Airport Department of Public Works Office Mr Whippie Ice Cream Truck The Library @ Driftwood Beach Zee & Zora’s Little Slice Sculpty Earth Mumtaz Taj Mahal Mos Ainsley Space Base Stone’s Point Park Kea Airfield Dacham Sky Race Track Omurice Buddhist Centre Steam Locomotive Preservation Group Kira Cafe Demonstration Area NCI South World Peace Flag Garden Chilbo Community & Tall Tree Korumburra Kuwaiti Building Hwanin Football Sky Fields JBT Airport Jonestown Airstrip Jonestown Media Attention Press Pass Media Studios Cathedrale d’Images The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V


ress On The Calendar, Continent-By-Continent JUNE

JULY

AUGUST

SEPTEMBER

Done 4 √

SATORI

ESTIMATED / ACTUAL CONTINENT START DATES, SATORI

19 March / 7 May 2010 ESTIMATED / ACTUAL CONTINENT COMPLETION DATES, SATORI

15 April / 22 August 2010 (130 Days) FLYING DAYS MISSED

Counting discontinued due to prolonged wait for computer repair (two months) and gaps in flying time due to inability to continue flying on weekdays FLIGHT DISRUPTIONS

139 WEEK 19 SIM COVERAGE

Pelvoux to Beggars Bowl (N. Central to N. West Satori) WEEK 20 SIM COVERAGE

Beggars Bowl to Ogilvie (N. West to West Satori) WEEK 21 SIM COVERAGE

Ogilvie to Davros (West to S. East Satori) WEEK 22 SIM COVERAGE

Davros to Pelvoux (S. East to N. Central) GUEST PASSENGERS

MsPaddles Ninetails, Bunnygun Gordeau, DANIGTSPAIN Capelo, Soso Furse, JohnMichael Tobias Nya Silverfall, Leila Hyacinth, Alice Draper The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V

OCTOBER

BLAKE SEA / ISLAND COMMUNITIES

NOTABLE PLACES (ORDER SEEN)

Susies’ Little Ferry Service The Communist Party of SL Talakin International Airport Alien Nation Bunnygun’s Gearbox St George Christian Orthodox College Of Scripting Music & Science Old York Gardens Old York Village Russian Port of Entry Fantastic Weddings Kingdom of Home Hangout & Public Park The WereHouse - Lycanthrope Store USS Nimoy San Francisco Bay Academy & Oceanographic Institute; Bay SF Academy & 24th Century San Francisco Ocean Institute Chameloid, Orion, Klingon Federation Beach Party Tommys Water Spot Twohead’s Nautical Shop & Shipyard Fenric Bridge Out Richfield Campus of Free-Ed.Net The Emerald Shopping & Gardens The Four Horsemen Rental Trailer Park Dogland Park Blake Sea Airport NE Satori Rain Cloud in Montbard Prague Airport Terminal & Airstrip Netera’s Coffee Shop Yordie's Zen Garden New JBT International Airport The Battle of Britain Airfield, RAF

NOVEMBER

DECEMBER

JANUARY 2011

BLAKE SEA / ISLAND COMMUNITIES

ESTIMATED / ACTUAL CONTINENT START DATES, BLAKE SEA / IC

16 April 2010 / 12 September 2010 ESTIMATED / ACTUAL CONTINENT COMPLETION DATES, BLAKE SEA / IC

30 April 2010 / 16 January 2011 FLIGHT DISRUPTIONS

4 WEEK 23 SIM COVERAGE

Honah Lee Surf to Guadeloupe (S. Central to S. East) WEEK 24 SIM COVERAGE

Guadeloupe to Spyglass (S. East to N. West) GUEST PASSENGERS

MsPaddles Ninetails, Maysha Xenga, Nya Silverfall, Timo Gufler, Pure Caramel NOTABLE PLACES (ORDER SEEN)

Windlass Island Sirens Isle Honah Lee Field Sailor’s Rest Fort Sumter

Hollywood Airport Foliage Airport SS Galaxy Cruise Ship Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse Sailors Cove Fishers Island Yacht Club Race Rock Lighthouse St. Martin Airfield Arora Sea Plane Base Trudeau Boat Shop Mare Nostrum Aqueduct Greenhouse Atrium & Art Gallery Boston Harbor Lighthouse Martha’s Vineyard Jeremy Point Nantucket Village Santa Barbara Tugby Field Santa Cruz Golf Course South Beach Marina & Yacht Club Santa Barbara Sailing Academy Starbucks Yacht Club Hollywood Hills Bettie Page Island Waypoint Yacht Club Crows Nest Lighthouse Haggerty Ampitheatre Nantucket Yacht Club Spyglass Island

Done 5 √

WHO would have ever thought that after a full year of flying I’d only be HALF way through my endeavour to fly through all (now) 10 continents?

55


Timeline At A Glance: Charting Dahlia’s Prog JANUARY 2011

FEBRUARY

MARCH

NAUTILUS

ESTIMATED / ACTUAL CONTINENT START DATES, NAUTILUS

1 May 2010 / 30 January 2011 ESTIMATED / ACTUAL CONTINENT END DATES, NAUTILUS

23 May 2010 / 13 August 2011 FLIGHT DISRUPTIONS

31 WEEK 24 SIM COVERAGE

30 January / 30 January 2011 WEEK 25 SIM COVERAGE

4 February / 26 April 2011 WEEK 26 SIM COVERAGE

10 July / 13 August 2011 GUEST PASSENGERS

Mandor Darkwatch, Nya Silverfall, Ben5 Turbo, Shirynne Nayar, Golan Mayo, Mikil Tiki, Pocky, Merry Khalim, Lerialas Asturias NOTABLE PLACES (ORDER SEEN)

Elinor Airport, Bertaggia Tradewinds Yacht Club, Dex Acknefar Public Airport, Acknefar Ahab’s Haunt dinosaur skeleton Pirate Airport, Antilaghi Ayup!NAway! Airport, Balista The Sea Hole Mainstore, Tails Northeastern channel to Corsica DMC's Airfield & Plane Museum, Bleston Danshire Yacht Club, Knaptrackicon Coast Guard Station, Knaptrackicon Sparrow Field Public Airport, Dogoog 56

APRIL

NAUTILUS

North Channel, Makkov Meddledown Marina & Airfield, Meddledown Ferry Terminal and Infohub, Barbarossa City Alliance, Byth Valentine’s Little Slice, Kothar Butterfly House, Hannibal The Outer Harbor, Mlachthi The Market, Shalim Leeward Cruising Club, Thistle Cove, Tsurington Vellas Airport North, Ullahoo Twin Dubai Towers, Arianti Zee West Airport, Gladzyck Iwo Jima American WWII sculpture, Gladzyck Saint McCarthy, Kingdom of Syldavia, Scroop Safe Waters Foundation Headquarters, Corinaldo Jason’s Angels Store, Remora Enchanting Charm, Donalbain Christ statue, Dark Shores, Jaxipun Lollygagger Lane, Sarafina Advanced Aviation Servicesl, Pouncival Castle Valeria Infohub, Castle Valeria The Gateway between Nautilus and Corsica, Kinrara Island Airfield, Kinrara

NOVEMBER

NAUTILUS

DECEMBER

CORSICA

ESTIMATED / ACTUAL CONTINENT START DATES, CORSICA

1 May 2010 / 28 August 2011 ESTIMATED / ACTUAL CONTINENT END DATES, CORSICA

23 May 2010 / 8 January 2012 FLIGHT DISRUPTIONS

29 WEEK 27 SIM COVERAGE

28 August 2011 / 15 October 2011 WEEK 28 SIM COVERAGE

22 October / 26 November 2011 WEEK 29 SIM COVERAGE

10 December 2011 / 8 January 2012 GUEST PASSENGERS

Mathilde Vhargon, Bear Morgwain

MAY

NOTABLE PLACES (ORDER SEEN)

Kinrara Airfield, Kinrara Baitoushan Airport, Baitoushan DeMortesville, Tengchong Twoheads Shipyard, Newfangled Virtual Buddhist Eightfold Path, Railrider Marina Sport Racer Sailing Club - Gulf of Moles, Ghloogums HC Land, Surtsey What Dreams May Come, Tipperary Muse Group, Kierman M.S.R. Sailing Club - The Docks, Skyridge PUCP - Pontificia Universidad Cato, Showashinzan Koalas Garden, Dura Temple of the Prim, Kwaito Bleubry Airport, Bleubry SLAL - Airport LaTour, Gorgonzola Virtual Sayama City, Exomorogon Vanity Mole Waterfall, Evora Ennis Tower, Ennis Xobite Airfield, Xobite Degrand Channel, Shrolpire through Qentatzo Classy Village, Zimnago Degrand InfoHub, Degrand Mermaid Beach, Binneed Changing Rooms, Dallows Nyago Secret Base, Azkul Kudosian Heights, BoShek

JANUARY 2012 Done 7 √ WereWolf Empire HeadQuarters, Fontain Wise Heron Newbie Mall, Urcho Archo Birchwood Commons Convenience Store, Birchwood RYU-OH-DOH Furniture & Samurai Sword Shop, WetHoof S&R Marina Club, Hawkpit Kids Place (PG) Adoption Theme Park, Yarna McDonalds, Meewalh ACCC Motors, Jormundgandr Northsky Channel, Cinadr Ladies’ & Gentleman Club, Yacumama Linden Memorial Park Humdingers Toyland, Thumper Ginza @ Tokyo, Mordreds Crossing Inner Child Safe Haven, Delizmo Telling Stories Park, Krongower Bhaktiville Mountain Temple, Arches Metal Heart Project, Andresson Cyber Aquarium, Andresson Dargo’s Fun Zone, Wildfire Venus Girl, Roseland The Third Grid Project, Claressa Calvary Chapel Second Life - Christian Church, Meldenrake PaTron SandBox, Queck

The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V


ress On The Calendar, Continent-By-Continent JUNE

JULY NAUTILUS

FEBRUARY

MARCH

GAETA V

ESTIMATED / ACTUAL CONTINENT START DATES, GAETA V

1 May 2010 / 21 January 2012 ESTIMATED / ACTUAL CONTINENT END DATES, GAETA V

23 May 2010 / 22 April 2012 FLIGHT DISRUPTIONS

15 WEEK 30 SIM COVERAGE

21 January 2012 / 11 March 2012 WEEK 31 SIM COVERAGE

25 March 2012 / 22 April 2012 GUEST PASSENGERS

Nya Silverfall, Merry Khalim, Tantric42 Resident, Ben5 Turbo, Bear Morgwain, Scurry Curry

The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V

AUGUST Done 6 √

Lovers Lagoon, Xenacle Soraya’s Winter Enchantment, Xenacle Squall Sands, Gumtree Helfell Infohub, Helfell Lost Mountain ~ Home of Avenging Angels MC, Easche Yuliman Beach and Resort, Yuliman Arimto Beach, Arimto Ravens Claw Retreat, LOORM SLOOTERS & Port-A-Rez, Vuissant AZ Camping Central, Bit Bat Bot AZ Emporium ~ Village of Quilla, Bit Bat Bot Hare Fadoodle’s balloon home, Phasic Foo Kaleidoscopic Images, Liwei Saber Crystal Place ~ Jedi Mania!, Quasar Our Dream by the Sea & Stars, Bannecker Talgat Cruise Ship, Talgat Easter Islands Homes, Easter Islands Blazing Star Marina, Searfoss Genesis City, Footpad Colonial Heights, Wiles Neumagdeburg, Oefelein Comfrey Airstrip, Comfrey TJ: SMOKY Beach & Base, Comfrey Doobie Corner, Beliandro Blossums Animals Sanctuary, Sun Trap Fretti Estates, Coriander Medjue Animations, Egglebury

OCTOBER CORSICA

APRIL GAETA V

NOTABLE PLACES (ORDER SEEN)

SEPTEMBER

MAY

JUNE

Done 8 √

ScarpyLand! Scarp Godenot Sculpture & Art, Pennyroyal Brazilian Witchcraft & Stables, Jallis Sanguinarius Community Center, Sanguinarius Luna Mare Village, Welworn The Devil’s Playground, Querqua Toyger Airfield, Toyger McCallen International, Geoffroy Mim’s Shop, Denflau Maido Cafe, Geoffroy Sea Star Farm, Korat Trinium Designs, Huntly Post Maho’s Atelier Airstrip, Lenimov Pat and Zoe’s Waterfront Dolphin Training Centre, Lenimov Leeward Cruising Club, Sheershank Shiromani Sandbox, Shiromani Hyannisport InfoHub, Hyannisport Home of Athalon Klamath, Stephan Home of Nikkie Dethly, Microcosm Goddess Ranch & Homestead, Astron The Tiny Bayou, Arcobluster Belle Rose Musical Instruments Shop, Artsebarsky Metropolis, Kliraton Le Violette, Xioga SkyLands, Trianwe

By the time this Gaeta V book was published, Dahlia had completed her exploration of the Gaeta I continent and was already exploring the Zindra continent.

OF NOTE:

57


Dahlia’s Top 10 Favourite People, Places, Things, Or M

STEPHAN

SQUALL

A Daring Dive

Treasure Beach

Dahlia searched for any signs of Jacko Field while skydiving down from a platform residence connected to a 1,273 meter long transport tube back to the ground.

Within steps of the Helfell Infohub on Gaeta V’s western shore, Squall beach offered scenic views as well as free diving gear to explorers who dared to brave the sharks.

TALGAT

Full Scale Cruise Ship Dahlia received clearance to land on the bow of a full scale cruise ship in Talgat where she met with the ship’s owner. She missed the grand opening by only one day. 58

GEOFFROY

Cafe Ladies Offer Hot Chocolate Dahlia met Yuuka95g and Kei Rexen at Maido Cafe in Geoffroy, an extension of the Japanese owned Maid Cafe K Crystal in Love Home and drank hot chocolate at their bar while talking.

CORIANDER

Fun In Action Fretti Estates offered a variety of activities such as a football field, a carnival bumper car ride, and even a miniature train that could be operated by visitors. The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V


oments While Traveling Through The Gaeta V Continent

MICROCOSM

VUISSANT

Old Lady’s Shoe Home

Small Luggage, Big Fun

Dahlia was delighted to discover that “the little old lady who lived in the shoe” from the popular children’s nursery rhyme actually lived in Microcosm.

SLOOTERS & Port-A-Rez boasted being the first tiny yacht club, home of the Tiny Royal Airforce, and a place for tinies and biggies to party and sail together.

GUMTREE

SQUALL

KLIRATON

Giant Ants!

Meeting Magellan (Almost)

Have Butt Pillow, Will Travel

Near the western shore in Gumtree, mysterious, giant black ants congregated near an equally large set of mobile phones and a pen of grazing sheep.

Dahlia was charmed by a doll that resembled Magellan Linden. It was camping inside a hobo tent at Squall Public Beach not far from the Helfell Infohub.

At Metropolis, a 1960s style American small town on a platform 801 meters high in Kliraton included a new business to Dahlia: a “spanking clinic.” Dahlia went prepared!

The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V

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AN OPEN LETTER TO THE LINDEN FAMILY (DELIVERED TO JACK LINDEN JANUARY 10, 2010 & STILL AWAITING ANY ACKNOWLEDGEMENT)

Dear Jack, Happy new year to you. I have two items of interest I would like to share with you, to see if you or any other Linden family member may have any interest in them. > First, the results of my 5-continent sailing adventure. > Second, the beginning of a new adventure to fly by hot air balloon to/around/through each of Second Life’s 9 continents, flying in order from the oldest to the newest continents to explore many of the interesting sights and people seen along the way. THE SAILING JOURNEY We met briefly at a Blake Sea town hall meeting in August 2009. I had asked for your thoughts from a Linden Lab viewpoint toward exploring the possibility of working toward ensuring an open waterway around each of Second Life continents and you had favorable comments toward the idea. I have since completed a sailing trip around the five continents that are linked together by a common waterway and published a book covering that adventure at: http://issuu.com/dahliasweet/docs/thegreatsailingadventurebook Excerpts from the book also appear in four concurrent issues of ICON magazine, from October 2009 until January 2010. Near the last page of the book, I included a letter written to the Linden family at large so those who I met along the way may read a little about the result of my endeavor to initiate some form of dialog about working toward an open waterway. I hope you’ll take a moment to read it too, and to let other Linden members know of it as well. During my trip, I asked residents if they were interested in having an open waterway around each continent and their response was overwhelmingly in support of it. I passed the results in the form of a petition to Blondin and Keira Linden back in October. I have since sent follow-up messages to Blondin once each month thereafter, without receiving any reply from either he or Keira, so I’m of the impression that they are not interested to pursue any dialog on the topic.

none at all, as I’m sure you can understand. Perhaps if Blondin and Keira are not the appropriate Lindens to engage in this topic, as I was told they were—and as Blondin himself directed me—you might be able to steer me in the appropriate direction toward who would be best to receive such information and what I should expect in return by way of response. THE BALLOON JOURNEY With the sailing adventure completed, I have moved forward with a new adventure: to fly by hot air balloon throughout the entire nine continents of Second Life. While the sailing adventure took seven weeks to circumnavigate five continents, I expect the hot air balloon journey to take at least three months—this is with flying at least a couple hours on average each day. The journey is already underway, having begun January 1, 2010. You can track my progress on my blog at: http://dahliasweet.blogspot.com and in potential future issues of ICON magazine, which are available both in-world as well as on www.issuu.com. HISTORICAL MARKER FOR SL’s OLDEST SIM As part of the balloon expedition, I was wondering if perhaps the opportunity existed to have a public design contest to create a historical marker in Natoma to indicate it as one of the first and oldest sims in all of Second Life. I thought perhaps it could be incorporated into the festivities surrounding the annual Second Life birthday events. As SL gets older, people may have increased interest to know of its roots, and as of yet all historical information is scattered around, rather than being centrally located. We could bring them all together in a venue surrounding such a memorial marker. I have ideas for this and would be interested to discuss them with you if you or others in the Linden family have interest. I’m wondering if any of the Lindens may be interested to know of the balloon endeavour, or to spread news of it in any particular fashion, such as in Blue Linden’s travel blog or via other notices. The journey will continue regardless of publicity; I was just interested in sharing a good thing with you and others, should there be any interest in it.

ly p e r den n i 2! L 1 o 0 n 2 l ber Stil m e t Sep f o s a

Thanks for reading and best to you in 2010. I’m writing you because you had expressed an interest, and I would be happy to receive any thoughts you may have in reply—for, against or disinterested—any comment would be appreciated more than receiving

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Dahlia Jayaram 10 January 2010

The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V


ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dahlia Jayaram began her Second Life in October, 2008. Part of her first few months were spent searching for the most beautiful and natural islands in SL. That endeavour led her to Crossing Currents Island, which she now shares with her partner, Lie Rang, developing and promoting island lifestyle products for MnM Designs. After sailing around five of Second Life’s continents in late 2009, Dahlia wanted to have a travel adventure that would include all nine continents (which later became ten in 2010). Thus, Dahlia’s Great Balloon Adventure was born and launched January 1, 2010. Travel from the oldest continent of Sansara through the youngest continent of Nescera would result in a book for each of the ten continents, published at http://issuu.com/dahliasweet.

“Gaeta V seemed to be a remarkably well-adjusted continental community with a positive attitude about working together to find mutual satisfaction.”


What will be your adventure?


The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Gaeta V