The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

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

Naut i lus by Dahlia Jayaram

Full of surprises: No matter whether you started in the air and ended up on the ground, or your started at ground level and ended up in the air, Nautilus was always full of surprises.


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

Nautilus by Dahlia Jayaram

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

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Jayaram, Dahlia, 2008– The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus p. cm. ISBN-13:000-0-00000-006 ISBN-13:000-0-00006 1. Second Life, hot air balloon, ballooning, travel, adventure, exploring. 2. Second Life–In travel. NC1429.M1558N 2011 741.5’6973-B6

201106306 Read Dahlia’s published books online at Visit Dahlia’s weekly travel progress blog at:

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


003 01 1 01 9 03 3 04 3

Week Week Week Week Week

05 3 06 8 07 0 07 4 07 6 07 7

Week 2 6 , D ay 2 : D ang er on t he West er n F r ont

2 4: 25, 25, 25, 25,

Tent ic l es of L and and S ea D ay 2 : Is A P eril ous S t art A Bad Om en? D ay 3 : The Big Fish & Bey ond D ay 5 : The R ise & F al l (s) of N aut il us D ay 7 : N aut il us C it y : Taking t he H ig her P at h

Maps: The P lan & The R esul t Tim eline A t A Gl anc e: C hart ing P r og ress Dahlia’s Top 1 0 F avourit e Mom ent s An Open L et t er To t he L inden F am il y About The A ut hor

W E E K 2 4 : L AU N C H I N G I N TO N AU T I L U S

Te n t i c l e s o f L a n d a n d S e a O M A N Y, T H E W O R D N A U T I L U S C O N J U R E S U P


visions of a famous submarine in the Jules Verne novel 10,000 Leagues Under the Sea. To me, it conjures up a mysterious land in the waters of Second Life. When I look at the Nautilus continent on a map, its land shape reminds me of an octopus with its tenticles splayed out in every direction, radiating out from its center. Considering this, I wondered what path I should take while navigating around it.

Opposite page: Dahlia and passenger Mandor Darkwatch leave the protective cove of Spyglass Island in Blake Sea to begin the next stage of the Great Balloon Adventure: a tour of the continent of Nautilus. Above: Dahlia and Mandor skim along the surface of Blake SeaBrigantine while passing Timo Gufler’s home on an island in Divirian, located in eastern Nautilus. The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

For other mainland continents that consist primarily of a large, solid land mass, the decision was simple: just weave back and forth over it in a circular fashion, starting and ending at the same location. With Nautilus, however, there was no single all-encompassing main land mass to circle around. Instead, its land created a raggedy, irregular coastline of tentacles, and its interior sections were as equally raggedy with a variety of large, irregularly shaped lakes and waterways.

of Nautilus from the southeastern corner and wanted to finish in the northwestern corner. This alone would keep me from using a full circle route as I had done in the past for other continents. I decided that I could advance in a northwesterly direction by making giant, broad strokes in my flying route, weaving north and south over the continent until I reached the northwestern corner.

As I always did, I would continue to use public airports as my check Perhaps most important was that points along the way. Sometimes I was beginning my investigation I would discover new airports

Above: A map illustrates Dahlia’s general flight plan which would start from Spyglass Island and weave north and south in a westward fashion until it finished in the northwestern corner of the continent at Castle Valeria, where she could then easily continue on to Corsica. 3

along the way that I didn’t know existed. Other times I would discover that some airports I had expected to find were no longer around. So, depending on where I was during my flying day, I might use an airport to stay at overnight, or, I might push ahead and find myself overnighting at a completely unanticipated location such as a vacant hotel room, a camp ground tent, or even a chair or hammock on a public beach.

Above: Using a variety of map and notecard information gathered from advance research, Dahlia put together a general flight plan and mapped out her route on a modified version of one of the more recent world maps. The route used airports and airstrips on each continent as check points where she could stop to verify their continued existence or removal. Nautilus was the sixth region in her adventure. 4

With this general flying strategy in mind, I prepared my balloon for take off from the northwesternmost Blake Sea island of Spy-

glass. It was there I had concluded the last leg of my Great Adventure exploration of Blake Sea and the Island Communities. Just as I was about to take off, my friend Mandor Darkwatch joined me, and together we lifted off across from Blake Sea ~Divirian. Divirian was a relatively small north/south running sliver of an island on the far southeastern side of Nautilus. It had a few residential homes on it, among them one belonging to my friend Timo Gufler. As we flew by, I pulled out my binoculars to see if there was any movement around The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

Far left: The lights of a distant sim in Nautilus twinkle as the balloon skims along the water’s suface in Blake Sea Brigantine. Left: Dahlia and Mandor arrive in the coastal community of Elhadi, where the first views of Nautilus mainland rise up in the distance.

Elinor Smith Sullivan, the first and arguably foremost American aviatrix. Elinor flew in the 1930s during the same time as Amelia Earhart, but Elinor flew under all the bridges crossing the East River in New York City as early as the 1910s. The mere mention of her stunt piloting already endeared me to her, as I had just completed my own balloon stunt, flying under the stone aqueduct bridges in Mar Menor only weeks before. his property, but I didn’t detect any so we continued on, flying north and northwesterly in the general direction of the first airport I anticipated arriving at: Eli- Lights Marina in Salliohsis, two nor Airfield, which was about ten or three sailboats—including a sims away in Bertaggia. nearby yacht—lifted up out of the water and drifted away into the Nya and I flew north low along sky as if raised by the hand of the surface of the water in our god. I imagine the skippers were first Nautilus sim of Elhadi, while hanging on for dear life as their looking back at the sparkling, snow boats continued ascending high dusted sim of Sleepover far off to into the air until they became the southwest. Soon we entered a tiny specks up in the clouds. coastal village in Salliohsis. It was a very good thing we were flying Mandor and I exchanged looks of extremely low at the time, beshock and a sudden urgency to cause as we entered Harbor approach all sim borders with exThe Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

treme caution. I gripped the edge of the passenger basket hard, anticipating that we could become the next casualties hurled out into the off-grid space. Fortunately, the sim border gods must have been appeased with their expulsion of the grand yacht, because our balloon passed unscathed from parcel-to-parcel and through to the next sim. A few minutes after leaving the treachery Salliohsis behind, we

arrived at Elinor Airfield—all of our limbs and provisions accounted for. We were also lucky enough to touch down while the owners, Lynn Parkin and Dondy Carling were there. Mandor and I introduced ourselves and asked if they could provide some information about the airport. Lynn was very happy to tell us all about all about it, indicating that she built the airport a week after the real life death of

Lynn went on to say that Elinor married in the 1930s, quit flying for a long time, and lived in Palo Alto, USA, until she died in March 2010 at the age of 98. A week later, Lynn set out to create a Second Life airport in her honour. In September 2010, Lynn moved the airport from its original quarter sim location in Scarfiotti to its present location. Lynn pointed out some of the more prominent airport facilities: the control tower was a historical recreation of the Ford Island tower in Pearl Harbor, where the Japanese invasion of Hawaii, USA, was 5

A close port of call: No where else but in Second Life would a pilot have to watch out for flying sailboats, such as this large yacht that launched out of the water and into the sky.

Opposite page, left: While passing through Harbour Lights Marina in Salliohsis, a large yacht blew straight up into the air, nearly missing the balloon. Above: Elinor Airfield and Marina in Bertaggia was built to commemorate the life of American stunt aviatrix Elinor Smith. Above right: Dahlia looked around Elinor’s Station, where she spied Elinor’s portrait. The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

first spotted; an LAX terminal that housed a motorcycle shop; a carnival with purple rails that led into the sky as an ode to an Arthur C Clark book called Fountains of Paradise, in which Clark described an elevator with an atomic filament cable that extended to a geosynchronous satellite in space.

Terminating at 4000m high, the rails led to a large Jules Verne Nemo exhibit with fascinating artifacts. Closer back to ground level, a full sim-sized air race track and maneuverability course with timed gates was offered at 400m. There was certainly plenty to see and do at Elinor Airfield!

There was so much to do at Elinor Airfield that I decided to check out some of the activities then spend the night there. While I looked around the lighthouse, I walked into two Second Life Coast Guard offices on the second floor. The offices belonged to Lynn—who I noted was a coast

guard commander—and Dondi, a lieutenant commander. An old black and white photo hanging on the wall behind Lynn’s desk showed a female pilot standing in front of her vintage plane. It was entitled “Mrs. Elinor Smith Sullivan.” So this was the Elinor of 7

Elinor Airfield, I thought, measuring her stature, trying to imagine all the exciting flying stunts she had seen in her day, feeling a pride swell in me for the small, black lady who accomplished such daring fetes in her time. I felt inspired just to see her photograph. Seeing it made me want to jump right back in the balloon and take off again, but it was late

and I wanted to get a good rest before continuing on. With my adrenaline heightened, it was difficult to fall asleep, but eventually sleep came over me and I dreamed of flying high up in the clouds in the safety of my hot air balloon basket while watching a small plane careen through the skies, twisting, turning, ducking under bridges, and

climbing high into the sky as it spiraled around again and again. What a rush flying like that must be. WEEK 25 / DAY 1

The next day I awoke, half hanging off my cot. I suspected I had been doing some twists and turns of my own in my sleep, trying to emulate Elinor Smith in her plane. After cleaning up, I prepared for lift-off out in front of the airport hangers. As I did, I saw Dondi arrive and drive around in her golf cart, busying herself with the day’s early morning routine. I also paused to watch as a pilot, Tempest Fang, took off and then lost control of her plane at a sim border as she got sucked out of view by a gust of way-ward wind sheer. I wondered nervously if today would be as harrowing as yesterday was, with its gravity-defying yachts flying up into the air, nearly missing my balloon. Whatever it was going to be, I’d just have to hang in tight and find out for myself. I strapped on my parachute and fluffed up my butt pillow just in case.

Left: A wonderful looking map at Elinor Airfield displayed a collection of some of the nearest airports in Nautilus as well as the neighbouring continents of Corsica to the north and Satori to the south. Above: In neighbouring Firespire, the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown created a significant backstop to the Elinor Airfield runway. This resulted in air traffic having to fly both in and out of the western side of the airfield.

I decided to mix things up a bit. Instead of flying my large balloon, I decided to fly a shorter distance using my small pedal balloon, hoping that perhaps there would be less of a possibility of lag and rogue wind sheers to drag me out into the off-grid seas.

appreciate the view of an aircraft carrier moored at the east end of the Elinor Airfield runway. Its hull was tall, so there was no lowlevel flying in or out from the east for planes. They’d always have to enter and exit from the western approach. Fortunately that wasn’t the case for balloons and helicopters with their vertical lift.

It was easy to set up and soon I Considering yesterday’s sim cross- was lifting off. Pedaling hard, the ing disasters and what I had just balloon slowly rose. I then turned As I passed over the deck of the seen with Tempest Fang’s flight, to head back eastward so I could carrier, I appreciated how large it 8

The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

was while wondering if it had ever set sail on the sea. I then turned my sights eastward for Beauty Bay in Thalipolli where I spotted another landing strip, except this one was up in the sky.

runway in Thalipolli and to unpack a new balloon and returned to Dex a few minutes later, this time approaching from a more eastward direction to avoid the full parcel. That worked well; I arrived safely at the yacht club I pedaled hard to fly up to it, then marina, although I had a soggy looked around to make sure it butt pillow from my earlier fall. wasn’t a public airport. Once satisfied that it wasn’t, I allowed my The sun was soon to set, so I depedal balloon to drift back down cided to make Tradewinds Yacht toward ground level as I went Club my overnight location and southward into Dex. There, the save for the next day a northward well organized and managed push up along the far eastern asTradewinds Yacht Club welcomed pect of the continent. independent minded sailors by playing host to a variety of boating shows and events all year around. I recalled from previous years that one of my favourite events they hosted was the “working boats” expo. Their blog, at site/tradewindsyc, provided good information and kept interested people up to date.

Above left: While at Elinor Airfield in Bertaggia, Dahlia looked around the airfield terminal which was designed after a real life lightouse. Inside were Second Life Coast Guard offices for owners Lynn Parkin and Dondi Carling. Left: East of Elinor Airfield, a runway in the sky in Thalipolli provided a launching point for Dahlia’s trek into Dex, where Tradewinds Yacht Club awaited her arrival. Above: The SL Airport Center in Manitoba offered a kiost that provided the most up-todate maps and information about airport business and status.

As I crossed into Dex airspace, I hit turbulence due to a full parcel and was knocked out of my balloon. I landed in shallow water where I couldn’t unpack a new balloon so I looked around for a new location. Unable to find one, I made my way back to the sky The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus


W E E K 2 5 / D AY 2 : T H E E A S T E R N C O A S T O F N A U T I L U S

Is A Perilous Start A Bad Omen?



office at Tradewinds Yacht Club in Dex the next morning, I noticed how gusty the winds were. The marina flags were flapping furiously on their poles, but nevertheless, people were still out, determined to either sail or to at least congregate together along the shoreline to talk of sailing.

Above: Passenger Nya Silverfall joined Dahlia on the departure from Tradewinds Yacht Club in Dex for a trip up the eastern seaboard of the Nautilus continent. Opposite page: The Tradewinds Yacht Club in Dex is one of the higher profile yacht clubs in Second Life, as it hosts a number of events, such as weekly sailboating races and marine industry exhibitions throughout the year. The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

I stood on an elevated walkway that led up to the Tradewinds Coast Guard office. Looking down over the railing, I noticed a young boy sitting below on one of the dock’s folding chairs. He was a looking east toward the sailboat start/finish line. It wasn’t often that I saw children in Second Life, so I was excited to see him and possibly have a chat to see what I could learn from a youth’s perspective.

the air, picked up by a big gust of Second Life wind. My eyes followed it as it soared past another boat nearby that was sinking up to the top of its mast. The comical scene reminded me of just how much sailing in Second Life was a “take your life in your own hands” adventure. It also made me very wary about flying today.

Turning my attention back to the boy, I noticed that he enjoyed making things and selling them in I walked down and sat next to a shop. I asked if he built a lot of him, saying hello and asked if he things. Sven said he made things had seen many boats sailing once in a while just for fun. I today. Sven Homewood said hello asked how business had been reand replied that he’d seen a few cently, adding that I asked that so far. Just as he said that, a good of most people I met who had a sized sailboat went flying by in business. He said it had been slow

Above: At Tradewinds Yacht Club in Dex, Dahlia sat on the docks with the young resident, Sven Homewood, to talk while watching sailboats as they braved gusty conditions.

but was improving. He added selling for four years. Shrinking that it wasn’t nearly the same now in my chair, I thought back to my in 2011 as it had been in 2007. own collection of half-baked building projects, the number of I agreed, and then caught myself, which I could count on one hand, impressed that such a young boy none of which were ever near being had already been creating and finished, let alone sold in a shop. 11

I was eager to talk more, but just then another young boy arrived on the deck. He had come to call the Sven home for dinner. Sven politely excused himself, and we said our goodbyes. It was a brief but a good conversation that I enjoyed. I couldn’t help but to think how nice it would be if there were more diversity in youth avatars to encounter more regularly in Second Life. Or maybe I hadn’t been going to the right places to find that diversity yet. Time would tell, and I’d have to make it a point to ask the next youth where they hang out! There were about six other people visiting the Tradewinds Yacht Club, but I didn’t want to interject myself into their conversations. Instead, I took a short walk around the yacht club until came upon a dock I hadn’t noticed before. On it were three posts planted either in the sand or attached to the dock. One post was for calling a ferry to come take passengers west to Nautilus City. Another post was to take a balloon ride to Barbarossa Island. The last post was to take a balloon ride around the yacht club itself. Each looked like an exciting choice, but with a balloon of my own, I decided to begin my 12

Nautilus adventure in a balloon I could control—my own.

the south. The pilot, Jeroentje Jansma, called out to me: “Ahoy!” I greeted him back with the same. After unpacking my balloon out “Ahoy!” I asked where he had on the dock, I hopped in and flown from. He replied that he fired up the burner. I wanted to had departed from Ashertus Airfly east to see a small island that port, which I recognized was on rested in one of the new sims that the northern coast of Satori. recently opened along the eastern coastline of the Nautilus contiJeroentje shouted out that he had nent. The nearby island in Skrad- read my travel books and was inski Costal Waterway had a small spired. I was very happy to know hut resting atop a hill there. I that and thanked him for telling couldn’t tell from a distance if me. He told me it was one of the it was a residence or a shop of reasons he wanted to try out balsomekind, so being curious, I looning. I was very happy to wanted to go get a closer look. know that my travels had helped inspire someone to try ballooning I began jumping up and to see Second Life in such a unique, exciting way. We talked a and down, shouting, while longer as we hovered aloft but to no avail. I was next to one another, buoyed both by our conversation and balloons. much too far away for When it was time to move on, we each other “fair winds” them to notice me. wished and flew off in our separate direcWhat was a girl to do? tions. It was so nice to meet a fellow balloonist and an even nicer My friend Nya called me just as I way to start a day of flying. was lifting off, so I invited her to join me. I was happy to have her Nya and I drifted east to that along; she had flown with me small hut on the island hill in at least once on every continent Skradski. It appeared to be deI had flown through so far. Toserted, but also looked like a gether, we lifted off and paused to peaceful, interesting place to hang look down on the island. As we out—maybe a place where one did, another hot air balloon with could lay out to catch some rays, a French flag approached us from although I didn’t see any beach

blankets or places to sit outdoors. We drifted lower to touch down on the end of a wooden dock at the north side to set a landmark, then rose back up into the sky again.

I turned the balloon northwest, unsure if I wanted to go straight north or angle toward an island that I had seen north of Elinor Airfield in Bertaggia. It was an island with white sands that had Left: In the coastal waterway near Trade Winds Yacht Club, the tiny islet of Dizadare wasn’t too small to be a home for someone. Below: While flying over the coastal waterway in Skradski, Dahlia and Nya Silverfall fell out of the balloon, leaving the two stranded without a balloon. Dahlia watched as one ship captain acknowledged her, but then went sailing off into the distance.

The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

an enormous skeleton arching over the entire island. It sure was curiosity to me, so I decided that this was a great opportunity to go find out more about it and turned the balloon northwest to head in that direction.

water to save me where I landed. Guess I’ll have to swim for it after Luckily, I already had my life vest all, I thought, then began my trek on and rose to the surface of the across the coastal waterway. water. A few moments later, I was back We floated while talking about on dry land, ringing water out of our ordeal, then agreed we had to the bandana that covered my hair. move on before we shriveled up I climbed over large rocks on the Only a few moments later, while like prunes. Nya swam off to do beach to get to the dock, then was leaving Skradski into Rolypoly, some things on her own, and I disappointed to learn that unthe balloon burst, causing Nya looked around trying to decide packing wasn’t an option there. I and I to drop like stones into the which direction I should swim. looked out across the sea surface sea. Nya actually landed on top of Eventually, I decided to head for any passing boats in hope that a houseboat, then jumped into the for a nearby island in Dizadare, I might be able to flag one down north of the one we had just left for a ride. A few were sailing by, in Skradski. The island was just so I began jumping up and down, big enough to house a stone block waving my arms and shouting. fortress on it with a dock. I hoped But to no avail; I was much too the dock could accommodate me far away for them to notice me. unpacking another balloon there. What was a girl to do? Just as I was about to begin my swim, a tall masted, 12 sail, TSS Brigantine schooner approached. The captain, elMegro Magic, called out: “Ahoy!” I shouted my “Ahoy!” greeting in return. I hoped he would stop to save me, but unfortunately he continued on, possibly thinking I was out for a leisurely swim. Disappointed, I tread water in place, watching as his tall masted schooner sailed off into the distance, growing smaller with each passing minute. I looked back over at the fort on the island. The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

I turned back and looked at the front door of the fort. Well, I might as well go have a look inside while I’m here, I thought. I passed through tall iron gates at the entrance and went inside. It was sparsely decorated inside, but to its credit, it offered a dining table with a prepared meal on it near the front entrance. Maybe this won’t be such a bad place after all! I considered, hopeful. I turned to walk up a flight of stone stairs where a thick, wooden door waited to be pushed open. It was heavy, so I put my shoulder into it and it gave way with a rustic squeak.

Above: Dahlia swam to the nearest island— a stone fort in Skradski—then tried to get the attention of passing boats for a lift back to nearby Trade Winds Yacht Club. Left: Having no luck in flagging down a ride, Dahlia explored the stone fort in Skradski and was surprised to find fairly cozy—albeit rustic—accommodations such as food in a dining room, candles, and a bed with a lute.

The doors opened into a bedroom that had a writing desk and a single size bed. At the foot of the bed was a suit case, and leaning against the bed was a lute. I strummed it and listened to the delightful melody that resonated from it. With the sound of a lute and a hot meal to consider, the thought of being stranded overnight here

was beginning to appeal to me. I was seriously thinking to stay the night, even though the day was still very early. Just then, a distant voice bellowed toward me from outside. It was elMegro Magic, the ship captain who passed me by, now inviting me to join him on his ship. I 13

rina, but as we continued south, Tradewinds quickly shrank in the distance out to our west as we slipped by.

Above: To Dahlia’s great fortune, the captain of the schooner that had passed by her earlier turned around and made its way back to rescue her. On board, the ship’s captain, elMegro Magic, was also a marina owner and was on his way to a presentation about sail boats at the Second Life Sailing Academy in Santa Rosa in the Blake Sea.

could hardly believe my good fortune! I didn’t waste any time to run outside and hop into his big 12-sail schooner. I’d been saved! And besides, it was the first time I’d been on a 12-masted schooner.

The schooner picked up speed as we sailed into the Blake Sea region. “We’re going to Santa Rosa” elMegro shouted over the sound of a blustery wind and crashing waves. “Oh, to the Sailing Academy…ok!” I shouted back.

what he was going to do himself, but I felt good to get away from those cannons.

I walked around to the front of As we neared an island to the the Academy where about ten east, elMegro reached down and residents congregated, watching lit a cannon to say hello to his someone speak about a new ACA friends—apparently somewhere sailing boat and give a demonin the vicinity. I guessed he chose We passed through Spyglass, At- stration about its features. I hung a cannon either to wake them up, lantic, and other sims until we in back of the crowd by the buffet or because they were already ex- arrived at Santa Barbara, where table listening while I filled my pecting him. Either way, the can- he trimmed the sails and pulled pockets with finger foods. It didn’t non exploded with a tremendous alongside of the Sailing Academy. take me long to realize that I unBOOM and a big puff of black “You can hop off here,” he said. I derstood little about all the techsmoke. I was terrified. I had only thanked him, happy to be back on nical features they were talking been close to a firing cannon once land, or at least on the Academy’s about, nor the sailor language they before and didn’t like it one bit. floating platform. I wasn’t sure were using. I may have sailed, but This time, ironically, I dove over and clung to another cannon on the opposite side of the deck to seek shelter, my ears deafened.

set of modern sunglasses and a leather jacket, so I seriously doubted it.

I looked out over the surface of the water towards where elMegro had fired and realized it was in the direction of the residential isHe apologized in advance as we land, Divirian, where my friend headed off, saying it wasn’t easy Timo Gufler lived. I could even to talk while sailing, and indisee his house from where we were. I thanked elMegro for his kindcated he’d sail to port. He also Seeing a familiar place and a posness while I scampered aboard, wanted to stop along the way to sible way off, I nearly pleaded: looking for a place to settle in. say hi to some friends. I under“If you can let me off over by the I nestled in alongside one of the stood and was just happy to be dock where that yellow house is, eight cannons it had, four to each getting a ride. I anticipated that that would be fine.” But no reply side. “Wow,” I exclaimed, looking elMegro would drop me off at the came from the el capitan. It began at the canons and wondering if nearby Tradewinds Yacht Club in to dawn on me that I might just elMegro was a pirate. He wore a Dex since it was the closest mabe the victim of a kidnapping. 14

The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

I never considered myself a learned sailor, that was for sure. ElMegro approached and stood next to me. The hair stood up on the back of my neck as I wondered what might happen next. He joined in the discussion and chatted to me on the side. I told elMegro there were some pirate islands not far from where we now were and asked if he liked fighting there. He said he didn’t, that he liked historical replicas of ships, not the fighting. This gave me a great sense of relief. At least I didn’t feel like I was being kidnapped by a pirate now.

The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

As we talked more I learned he owned a number of marinas and had sailed for a long time. I suspected he knew a lot about sailing after he commented jokingly to the presenter, asking if he could get a free ACA boat since he had bought virtually all their others in the past. A few of us laughed in response—perhaps me more in nervous relief than the others. I was relieved to see he had a sense of humour too. ElMegro offered to take me to one of his marinas where he could give me some free sailboats. I warily accepted, and we flew off to his marina on the northern coast of Corsica. We talked a while and I picked up some free gear that was offered in his dive shop. I was grateful for the freebies and since he had been so kind to offer them to me—as well as his ride from the fort in Nautilus, I felt it only appropriate to accept his offer to sail me a little Above: After arriving back at Tradewinds Yacht Club, Dahlia discovered that the marina offered complimentary ferry rides to Nautilus City, as well as hot air balloon rides to Barbarosa Island and any other destination a guest pilot wanted. further on one of his yachts when he offered. tious person I can occasionally be, along the way, a wind sheer hit and lifted up out of water by the I wondered if this could possibly the sail and tipped the boat hard, same gust of wind that had just Soon, we were back out on the be an omen of bad things to come jolting it and throwing elMegro tipped us. This was not good. water, sailing through locations I for us. from the boat. He landed in the didn’t recognize by name. In salty water while the boat contin- Next thing I knew, I was in the one—Glirm—we passed over a We sailed off into the open waued ahead on its own, leaving drink myself, sputtering sea water. wooden boat that had sunk in the ters. Not long after, we picked up him behind, but me still in it. I The seas were dangerously rough shallows and lay there slowly de- a good speed and were moving looked out toward the horizon where we fell, but fortunately, I composing. Being the superstialong at a good clip. Somewhere and saw another sailboat get hit still had my life vest on. 15

Above: Dahlia arrived at Acknefar Airport as night fell. Just as she came to the end of the runway, a commuter plane began taxiing to take off, so she lifted back up to allow the traffic to depart the terminal before landing for the night.

Above top and bottom: Within eyesight of the stone fort in Skranski, a small marina in Tordangle looked like an inviting place to end the day, but instead, Dahlia pushed on to land at dusk at the Acknefar Airport, five sims north from where her Tradewinds Yacht Club hot air balloon originally launched in Dex. 16

Both elMegro and I decided the winds were too unpredictable to continue and that perhaps another time would be better to continue. We said our goodbyes—he to go on to do some work at his marinas, and me to return back to Tradewinds Yacht Club to resume my journey. I felt a little depressed to begin all over—back to where I had started earlier—but it was necessary since it was the closest place to the

Skradski fortress where I could unpack a fresh balloon.

would be in the general direction I wanted to go. After touching the post, a hot air balloon the Once I made it back to the yacht same kind as mine appeared on club in Dex, I stood out on the the pier next to me. The only difdock where I had noticed the ference was that it was completely three poles earlier. Hmmm... ferry, white except for where it had the balloon 1, or balloon 2?, I contem- yacht club’s logo on the side. Wow, plated which to select. great! I thought, happy to be boarding a familiar balloon. I decided to take the balloon tour to Barbarossa, since I didn’t know I quickly climbed in, unsure if it where that was and hoped it would automatically take off on The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

The day was getting late, and this the coastal village looked like an interesting place to look around, so I considered to stop there for my overnight stay. I brought the balloon down onto a dock that stretched out into the water, and as I did, I spotted another airport about two more sims north of where I was. I looked back and forth between the seaside village and the airport, trying to decide which I wanted most to explore. I wanted to explore the boating village more, but felt compelled to finish the day of flying at an established airAbove: Inside Acknefar Airport’s terminal building, Dahlia spotted an interesting route map field where I suspected I’d be for air traffic. It suggested an interesting array of flight instructions from flight paths to air more able to unpack a new balspeeds and altitudes. It was the first time Dahlia had ever seen such a structured approach loon afterwards. So I saved myto aviation in Second Life. self a village landmark, then rose its own or not. After a few moI decided that since I couldn’t back up into the air and flew ments, it still hadn’t moved so I find Barbarossa and I could con- north, crossing the bay that sepadecided to take matters into my trol the balloon, why not resume rated the sea port from the airport own hands. “Start” I called out, my own journey in this borrowed on the other side. which resulted in the burner balloon instead? If it could do it, turning on. I commanded it to go I’d soon find out. So I directed As the sun began to set in the “up 5” to which it responded by the balloon to fly north and it re- west, I arrived at Acknefar Public rising up 5 meters. I smiled, sponded in kind. North we flew, Airport, a good sized airfield pleased to know that I was going back into Rolypoly where my bal- with a long and wide landing to be an active pilot, able to fly loon had crashed earlier in the strip, well lit for night flying too. this balloon under my direction. day, past an outdoor wedding cer- I glided the full runway then I was comfortable to do that. But emony tent where a practice ses- turned in towards a passenger where was Barbarossa? I looked sion was underway, and on into terminal. Nearby, a twin prop on my big map, but didn’t see it Tordangle where an unassuming passenger plane was preparing to anywhere. I forgot that I could seaside boating village wrapped taxi to the runway. I lifted the key the name in to look for it. around the coastline. balloon up to let it pass, then The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

landed the balloon near the terminal. Once I hopped out of my tour balloon from the yacht club, it automatically disappeared. I wished real life clean-up could be that easy sometimes… don’t you?

seen. Interested, I took pictures of it to share with friends who flew planes, to see if they could tell me more about it sometime.

By now, the sun had gone down and my day of flying was over. I I walked into the terminal build- had finally made progress on a ing to have a look around. Inside, day that I feared would stall out there was an x-ray machine to after flying only two sims before scan passengers and their lugbeing picked up and carried away gage. A plastic tray rested on the in the opposite direction by a rollers near the front of the mamodern day pirate. In my second chine. It was nice to see an airport attempt to fly today—using the with a security metal detector and Tradewinds tour balloon—I felt an x-ray machine. relieved to have finally made some reasonable progress. As I passed through, I couldn’t help but to wonder if there were I wished I had time to fly back to ever any terrorist events that took the small boating village south of place in Second Life, and if there the airport that I had passed, but I were, wouldn’t if be nice if they decided to wait until the next flyall happened only in Second Life, ing day, and, like many passengers allowing perpitrators to get all the who often find themselves stranded bad behaviour out of their systems overnight in an airport terminal, so they could leave the first life camped out while waiting for the alone? That would be a very satis- next flight out. fying thing, I concluded dreamily. On the second floor of the terminal building a large, illuminated map adorned one wall. It showed a large diagram of Nautilus, Nautilus City, northern Satori, established air routes, trouble spots, and recommended elevations. It was quite informative and the first map of its kind I had ever

I had finally made progress on a day that I…[was] picked up and carried away in the opposite direction by a modern day pirate. 17

W E E K 2 5 / D AY 3 : T H E E A S T E R N C O A S T O F N A U T I L U S

The Big Fish & Beyond



next morning. The observation room at Acknefar Public Airport was nice, but it could have benefited from more comfortable seating for people who stay overnight. Either that, or a nearby motel to choose from. My friend Nya called to check on my progress and to see if I was out flying yet. “I’m about to take off from Acknefar Airport, if you’d like to join me,” I offered. She took me up on it and was soon climbing into the balloon alongside me as I prepared to take off.

Above: An x-ray machine Acknefar Public Airport checked Dahlia’s carry on baggage before she went out to the tarmac to launch her balloon. Opposite page: Dahlia and passenger Nya Silverfall return to recover a balloon they were ejected out of in the area of Glookbone, west of Acknefar Public Airport. The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

We rose up and flew westward toward an inland body of water. But before we could get past a few parcels of buildings and over open water, a security device on Indigo Bramlington’s property sent me a 10 second warning notice, then ejected Nya and I from the balloon before I could figure out which direction I needed to go in order to escape which property. I went back to Acknefar Airport to relaunch my balloon, then flew back to pick up Nya and the first balloon which remained suspended aloft near the property we were ejected from.

Nya and I flew past a few more parcels of property before making our way out into open water. But again—before we could reach the island in the center of open waterway—we were knocked out of the balloon and into the water. To our great fortune, two residents motor boating in the area saw my parachute drop down into the water and were kind enough to circle around to rescue Nya and I from the water. I climbed in, thanking them, and was just about to tell them what happened when I passed out on the back seat with a system crash.

Above: Two residents out for a motor boat ride saw Dahlia’s parachute drop down into the water and came to the rescue, offering her and her passenger a ride.

up and felt my aching head, I I awoke in the pre-dawn hours didn’t see any sign of a distant the next morning with a pound- shoreline from where I was— ing headache. I was laying on only a horizon full of stars. But my side on a white sandy beach when I turned around, what I saw where gentle-sounding waves caught me completely by surprise: lapped up onto the shore. As I sat the huge eye socket of a giant beast WEEK 25 / DAY4


looking right at me. Startled, I jumped back, shrieking aloud. If I hadn’t been so dehydrated, I probably would have peed my pants too.

scuba divers to explore the wreck surf. In the near-darkness, I After launching my balloon into and look for treasure. began to make my way south. the air, I could immediately see About 15 minutes later I arrived the colossal remains out on the I soon realized I couldn’t unpack ashore at Elinor Airport without horizon. It took little time for me a new balloon on this island— any incidents. I pulled myself up to cruise back and hover over the named Ahab’s Haunt. So I pulled along the banks near the lightisland so I could compare the After I realized it wasn’t going to out my map to see where the clos- house and climbed over rocks to skeleton’s immense size to my eat me—let alone move—I got est airport was. Tracing my finger get to the end of the runway. I re- balloon. The head alone was up and walked around it. The along the paper, I saw that the membered there were accommo- larger than the balloon. In fact, head was attached to a long spine, closest facility was the dinosaur could the spine to a rib cage, and then Elinor Airport. have easily eaten my beyond. The entire skeleton be“Wow, after four balloon if it were a longed to an animal as big as a days, it seems I tasty morsel. This gave multi-storied shopping mall. It haven’t gone very far me an idea. took me a moment to rub my on this continent at all eyes and digest the scene. Yes… yet,” I scolded myself. I circled the skeleton I was definitely awake; this was to admire it from all no dream caused by a bump on I looked around in angles. While doing the head from my earlier fall. every direction hopso I also began to look ing to spot any passing more critically at it… I walked along the beach sizing boaters that I might not for it’s build qualup the immense set of bones—or be able to flag down ity, but for the opening rather, sizing me up to the bones. for a ride, but saw space through its chest I stood next to the head of the none. It was still precavity. After considerAbove: After blacking out during a system crash, Dahlia washed ashore beast and saw that I was only dawn so it could be ing it a while, I bet my overnight at Ahab’s Haunt where she would later wake up in the pre-dawn about as tall as one of its teeth. It quite some time beballoon could fly into hours to the startling sight of a giant dinosaur eye socket staring at her. certainly wasn’t a tooth I could fore anyone arrived. the belly of the beast save on a necklace, that was for As I looked in the general direc- dations in the downstairs lobby and out the other end. If I was sure. Under where the rib cage tion where I expected Elinor of the lighthouse, so I went in daring enough, it could be anrested on the sand was a small Airport to be in the southeast, and found a towel to dry off with other piloting challenge to see pond littered with what looked I realized this was going to be a while I poured myself a hot how well I could control the ballike ship wreck debris. I waded long swim. drink. After resting while lookloon. I decided was game to try it. into it and discovered it was deep ing over maps in the meeting enough for fish, marine plants A little peeved at my predicaroom, I went back out to the tar- To help provide me with an extra and even a small ship under the ment, I muttered: “I guess I better mac to unpack a new balloon. I dose of courage and an “in your water’s surface that the debris get on with it then,” and stripped was going back to Ahab’s Haunt face” attitude, I donned balloon must have come from. The pond out of my clothes down to my to pick up my belongings and to banners belonging to Bellejour ended up being deep enough for bikini before wading into the see those giant bones again. Shinn’s club, Belle’s Breath of


Lust. I always found inspiration and courage from her own efforts to create and build in Second Life, as well as to live a life fully on her terms with no regrets. That was going to be my motto as I tried to pass through this relic of a beast. So with small bursts of flame, I angled the balloon down along the neck bones and eased it toward the first rib, being very careful not to touch anything. Once I was aligned with the opening I began to move forward and started counting rib bones… one, two, three, four…all the way until I passed the twelveth and last bone. It was a mock display of being eaten, passing through the the beast’s digestive tract, then pooped out the other end…me and my balloon. Belle wouldn’t have had it any other way. After coming out the back end, I picked up a little altitude and speed while heading north across the water to the shores of Red Snapper where a small viking village with ships rested peacefully along the docks at Dire Strait. Continuing north, I encountered a small bluff overlooking the sea that had a horse pen on it. Crammed into it were breedable horses at M.I.N.K. Paradise in The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

Down and out: The bones of a giant prehistoric animal rest on an isolated island in Ahab’s Haunt. Sands built up around the perimeter conceal a diver’s paradise sheltered by the fossilised rib cage.

The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus


Wahoo. Just as I reached its air space, I was ejected from my balloon without warning, a message only appearing afterward that I could not enter because I was not on the access list. “Horse patties!” I grumbled, disgusted at the situation. Fortunately, my parachute had popped open before I landed on a shoreline beach nearby. I dusted myself off and looked around. My balloon had floated away out of sight. Pulling out my map, I noticed that only a few properties to the east was Pirate Air Airport / Casablanca Public Airport in Antilaghi. I decided to hoof it over there to launch a new balloon. As I approached, I checked out the about land information. The airport claimed to have been “voted the best airport in SL,” but by whom it didn’t say. It also indicated its retail shops sold the “biggest selection of planes.” That may be, but I was skeptical. Its L-shaped runway, flanked tightly on both sides by hangers and buildings was like flying into and taking off from a tight canyon. It didn’t have the openness of many other large airports. I couldn’t imagine that was what made it the best airport, so I knew it had to be something else. I pondered 22

Clockwise from above left: Dahlia circled the remnants of a large dinosaur’s bones in Ahab’s Haunt, assessing the possibility of a daredevil flying stunt. Once confident she could do it, she entered the prehistoric “belly of the beast” near the neck and counted rib cage bones as she slowly inched her way through its imaginary digestive tract and out the other end. The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

Iconic viewpoint: The giant dinosaur bones in Ahab’s Haunt provide for a dramatic focal point and an easily remembered landmark for travelers—whether by sea or air.

the thought for a moment while I watched Ellie Mordly take off and immediately lose control, crashing through some nearby trees. I began to prepare a new balloon for take-off when Gossem Hinterland and I noticed each other at the same time. He had been testing out some planes with another person, then came over to say hello when he was finished. It was good to see a familiar face in an unexpected place. I would have expected to only find him in the Blake Sea region where I first encountered him flying his blimp 24

and contemplating a new tour blimp service out of Honah Lee Surf Airfield. He said he was still considering the service, but that he also came to Pirate Air often and really liked it. We caught up on each other’s news: me having completed my journey through Blake Sea, and him building a Wright brothers plane. I can’t help but to admire people who can build since I have no natural mechanical abilities or instinct to build things myself. After our chat, we said our goodbyes and I got into my balloon. After easing out onto the runway, I began lifting off and cruising

Above left: A short distance after coming ashore north of Ahab’s Haunt, Dahlia came upon a stable of breedable horses high up on a bluff in Wahoo that belonged to M.I.N.K. Paradise. Above: While passing high over land in Askold, Dahlia encountered the strange and unexpected sight of a grove of upside-down palm trees levitating in the air. Right: A beautiful fantasy tree and garden in Hrosskell behind a locked gate and enclosed by a high walled hedge, Opposite page: The fantasy tree in Hrosskell had a beautiful coat of glowing, golden autmn leaves and delicate vines with purple flowers that encased the tree like a dome. The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

eastward toward another nearby airport, the Ayup! N Away! Airport in Balista. It had a short, stubby runway that led from a small set of hangers and control tower, then terminated at the waters edge. I landed and panned around to see what was there. While I looked around, I noticed that on one property to the east was a place in Tails called The Sea Hole Mainstore. It had three enormous cartoon dinosaurs wearing sunglasses that frolicked in the water behind the airport. They were so cute that I just had to get a closer look at them, so I lifted back off and drifted over to take some pictures. As I approached, I got knocked out of my balloon and by the time I recovered it was gone. I went back to the airport to unpack another balloon and tried to approach the dinosaurs again. While I was in the air I received a call from the owner of Ayup! N Away! Airport who had arrived and was doing work there, or so I thought. Jamison McMillan: just leting you know i took a snap shot and did a abuse report to LL im doing another one as you are still on pg land and doing it again. Dahlia: Oh, what is the problem? The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus


Jamison: your inviolation of tos. Dahlia: really? Jamison: the pic of bukuk is on sexual and anything sexual on pg land is a no no. Dahlia: I’m sorry for that. I don’t even know how. Jamison: go to mautre land. Dahlia: apologies. I didn’t even realize. Thank you for letting me know! =) Jamison: thre some teens in 2nd life now from my understanding you should look up the tos cause if you do that where there is a teen they will ban acount. Dahlia: I appreciate that. It’s hard to know where things will be. Jamison: anything pg means anything none mature. You can pull up a big map or look at the info at top of screen it will say pg mature or adult at the top. Dahlia: Yes, I see that now. I didn’t look at the map when I crossed. I don’t usually fly with that banner and forgot all about it today. Thanks again for your help, and have a great day! =) I flew out into open waters away from the airport and drifted northward while I changed my balloon banners, thankful for someone alerting me of my faux pas, even if they didn’t simply let me know and give me an oppor26

tunity to change it instead of immediately issuing a LL ticket. Sadly, some people leave no margin of error for honest mistakes. Nevertheless, I was on my way with new colours, more aware of the sim classifications indicated on my window bar at the top of my monitor screen.

ing ad signs please. Dahlia: Thank you. Yes, I have a variety of banners for Dogland and clubs. Amber: ad are not to be above ground level... Dahlia: Oh. REally? I never heard that one before. How can that be? Amber: its on the same blog as one for sale sign per region. .. .let me see if I can find that link for you

tures/blog/2008/09/13/more-information-on-ad-farms-and-network-advertisers. Dahlia: ads for businesses, right? Perhaps you can say whether showing/promoting the name of my flying experience is or isn’t an ad? I hate to break any rules, but that’s a little confusing what constitutes an ad. Moments later, I noticed a familAmber: I’d think it would be ok.. iar Linden face on my radar— just don’t want the sky full of ads. Amber Linden—levitating Dahlia: Of course. But a moving balloon isn’t a sky full. Even the balloon is originally sold with the Amber Linden: “Dahlia, the balloons are great, name of the maker’s company on (company logo, I mean). just don’t use them as floating ad signs please. itAmber: no.. but if you did it.. then everyone could do it.. then Ad[s] are not to be above ground level.” you can’t see the sky for the ad balloons. nearby me—apparently having Dahlia: Ok, thank you! What Dahlia: I’m not quite sure what I taken the call from McMillan. I about clubs in the sky with ads, or can/cannot show then. The baldecided to give a shout out to her large platforms in the sky with loon is made with two banners to as I normally would: the name of the shops on them? place textures on it...for logos, anI see them all over the SL world. nouncements, illustrations...anyDahlia: Hi Amber! That makes what you say confus- thing, I suppose. Any texture. Amber Linden (busy response): ing to me. Also, I fly with the Even if I said “Second Life by I am either in a meeting or very banner “SL by Balloon” and an- Balloon.” I wonder how that is busy and am unable to respond. other with a map of my journey. interpreted. As an ad/promotion A support related question? I hope that isn’t considered an ad. or just to say I fly in Second Life? Submit a ticket from the Second Amber: if they are attached to a Life Help section of the website. building I’d say that was ok.. and I sent Amber two images I used An abuse issue? Submit an Abuse somehow the balloons advertising as textures on my balloon banners Report inworld under Help > themselves strikes me as ok too to get her opinion. Amber had Reporting Abuse. Thanks! but used as ad sign posts, no. This flown away in the meantime, so Amber: Dahilia , the balloons are should be it https://blogs.secI awaited her response. Minutes great, just don’t use them as float- by, but nothing came back The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

Left: Pirate Air Airport / Casablanca Airport in Antilaghi was shrouded in fog. Inset: While at Pirate Airport, Dahlia and Gossem Hinterland—who she first met at Honah Lee Surf Airfield—spotted each other and caught up on the latest news.

to me from her. No answer, in typical Linden-style customer service fashion, I thought. I suppose it was just too much to ask to get a clarification or interpretation about the vague aspect of a rule from the very people who created it. Perhaps it is too risky for any enforcing Linden to interpret a rule that isn’t explicitly stated, for fear that inconsistent enforcement could occur and lead to an escalation of conflict between parties involved. Unfortunately, leaving a rule vague and unanswered only leads to an unresolved issue that is bound to repeat itself indefinitely and potentially become a burr under the saddle of those who must enforce the rule. So, with no interpretation offered, I felt free to fly with the banners I offered to Amber for inspection. If a future traffic ticket is issued to me, I have her lack of reply to my query on record. In the meantime, I did manage to receive by email my Lindenissued warning ticket. If you’ve never received one, good for you The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus


and try to keep it that way! But if violation. you want to see what it looks like, * In addition to the cap, we will here’s what mine said: allow no more than 1 advertising placement by an individual in any Warning or suspension of single region. Your Second Life Account * We will not allow the land parcel From: containing the advertising placement to be set for sale. Dear Dahlia Jayaram, Rules on advertisements themselves: This email is notification of action regarding your Second Life account, * Adverts should be grounded to the Dahlia Jayaram, for violation of terrain, not floating. the Second Life Terms of Service or * Adverts should extend no higher Community Standards. The viola- than 8m from the ground. tion in question occurred on Febru- * No rotating, no flashing content ary 13, 2011 in the region of Balista. and no particles. * No unsolicited dispensing of IMs, Violation: Community Standards: notecards, landmarks or content. Harassment, Advertising Violation. * No light sources or glow (full bright is acceptable however). As of the 1st October 2008, all resi- * Advertising hoardings should dents will need to comply with the be Phantom. new network advertising mainland * Adverts must be clearly PG in policy. nature. * No sound and no temp-on-rez Please make sure that you follow content. these rules: * Ban lines should be switched off. * We will allow no more than 50 advertising locations owned by a single individual, whether personally owned or via groups in which you are a member, unless you have written permission from Linden Lab to exceed this limit. Use of Alt accounts/groups to circumvent this restriction will be considered a 28

We have returned one or more objects which were reported. If you still have advertising items on the mainland, please check and make sure all the content complies with the network advertising policy as stated above. Repeated or continued violations

I crumpled up my notice and stuffed it into my hip bag while continuing to drift northward. Eventually, I came across a parcel I couldn’t enter because I wasn’t on the access list. “Always a bad sign,” I muttered, rolling my eyes. And then, next thing I knew, I was ejected as my balloon popped over Solace Rentals in Batfish. I ended up in the water, looking around, perplexed about how I could ever be ejected out of a parcel that I couldn’t even enter. Above: Dahlia lands at Balista Ayup! N Away! Airport where she quickly spotted three giant dinosaurs playfully frolicking in the nearby waters of The Sea Hole mainstore in Tails.

in the same or furtherregions, will 945 Battery Street result in suspension and/or termina- San Francisco, CA 94111 tion of your account. You may also appeal electronically Hot air balloon ads by filing a support ticket at For Action: No additional action is more information on this process, being taken at this time. please see this KnowledgeBase article Appeal Process: The decision to suspend your Second Life access was Please provide relevant information reached after investigation of your that you believe would explain the use of the Second Life software and above violation. Linden Lab reservice. If you would like to appeal serves sole discretion in considering your suspension, you may contact whether to take any action on an Second Life Support, in writing, at appeal. the address below: Sincerely, Attn: Account Reviews: Appeals Linden Lab Linden Lab

Fortunately, the Kierna Rise Sailing Club & Marina in Teffelaw was within swimming distance. After making my way to the beach, I pulled myself up onto the sand and just sat, wringing water out of my soggy tennis shoes. Wow, it’s really been another crazy day of exploring, hasn’t it? I thought to myself. Horses, crash, dinosaurs, crash, unaccessible parcels, crash, two swims, and a moving violation. I decided it was a good time to take a break, make camp for the night, and start fresh after having time to reflect upon the day’s most recent revelations. Right: Dahlia was so excited to see the three giant dinosaurs playfully frolicked in the waters of The Sea Hole mainstore in Tails that she had to move in for a closer look to compare their size to the balloon. The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

W E E K 2 5 / D AY 5 : N O R T H E A S T E R N N A U T I L U S

The Rise & Fall(s) of Nautilus



on the sandy banks of the sea at the Kierna Rise Sailing Club & Marina in Teffelaw. It had been a fitful night, full of dreams being ejected out of sims, arguing with airport owners, and Linden associates who neglected to clarify their own vague rules. It all put me in a grumpy mood. That, and having slept on the sand with a utility pack as a pillow. Some girls just aren’t destined to live the life of luxury, I reminded myself as I brushed off the layer of sand that had embedded into my arms and the fabric of my capri trousers.

Just then, my cell phone rang. It was Ben3 Turbo calling to ask if I was flying. I told him I was soon to depart if he was interested to join me. He was, so I invited him along and together we departed the marina to head north, careful to not cross over Solace Rentals property in Batfish where I had been ejected the day before.

Above: Ben3 and Dahlia spotted a large sky egg building in Ragnar.

right where we fell, so we continued on straight away. Minutes later, we fell out of the balloon again in Lucca just before reaching the coastal waterway between northern Nautilus and Corsica. This time, the balloon remained aloft, so we were able to climb Above: Dahlia flew high into Schweet to see giant letters spelling out “AUSTRIA,” wonderright back in and continue to ing if Linden Labs would consider them advertising or not. Identification markers like these are commonly used in Second Life’s skies, apparently without breaking Linden rules. Foligno, where residents could rez on a dock and look north out We managed to get as far as a toward Wyrldmaker and Zimland shores of Nautilus. As we ments later, I was again ejected bare, sandy beachfront property nago, the outer southern islands approached the coastline I was from the balloon while crossing for sale in Egill before we were of the continent of Corsica. once again ejected from the bal- into Grelod from Rannet due to dumped out of the balloon uncerloon by a banned parcel at Skip- same banned sim. The balloon emoniously. Fortunately, I was We turned around and backpers Harbour while trying to cross was allowed to remain in Grelod, able to unpack a fresh balloon tracked south toward the maininto Grelod at Norcia. A few mo- however, so I flew around the sim

The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus


Opposite page: A new day dawned as Dahlia and passenger Ben3 Turbo took off at Kierna Rise Sailing Club & Marina in Teffelaw.

through adjacent sims to the opposite site where I could retrieve the balloon by dragging it out of Grelod and into Asterbit. Once in Asterbit, I could then board the balloon and continue flying south again.

Below: The Bleston DMC Airplane Museum displayed famous airplanes and provided a good landing strip for visitors to land on.

It wasn’t long before another full parcel in Hardrada ejected me over Route 12. After picking my-

Far Right: After landing briefly at Danshire Yacht Club (in background), Dahlia went to nearby Knaptrackicon Coast Guard Station to look for more info about the region.


Right: Airtol Spirit Mountain was so full of metaphysical and easterm religion temples, shops, and associated businesses that parcels of land in the sky provided additional space for resources.

The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

Above top and bottom: At the coast guard station, Dahlia met an old Ansaja Guardian, who morphed into her more youthful appearance (below right) and introduced colleague Daeshara Ansar. They gave a tour of the station and provided answers to Dahlia’s questions. The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus


self up off the ground and walking to look for a place to unpack a new balloon, I was instantaneously teleported away, after which a local chat message indicated: “You died and have been teleported to your home location (from Hardrada/224/251/119.”

order—not even a mosquito bite nicked my skin. All I could do was shrug my shoulders and continue moving on.

The airport looked to still be under construction, but a couple of planes were already in the museum building. If I hadn’t talked to Gossem Hinterland a couple I managed to find a new location days before, I wouldn’t have I could lift off from and made my thought twice about it, but there way further south, drifting to Star in the museum was a replica of a Bay Yachts where a builder/seller Wright Brothers plane, so I deWhat? I thought, performing a of driveable boats was located in cided to let Gossem know about it body check while I stood there to Grenadier. I continued past there by sending him a message and a make sure I had all my parts. I had and a nearby outdoor bowling landmark. no idea about how such things lane at Mirandirge until I found could even be assessed against and landed at DMC ’s Airfield & After a brief break to look around me. Everything seemed to be in Plane Museum in Bleston. the airport, I climbed back into the balloon and flew west over Schweet Austria where homes and businesses tried to recreate an Austrian experience. They had some alpine looking buildings in a village on a hillside, but the overall effort seemed lacking to me. But who was I to know? I’m just a girl from a little tropical island. I’d never seen Austria except on television.

Above: At Knaptrackicon Coast Guard Station, Ansaja Guardian showed Dahlia a map that outlined the different Coast Guard stations and their respective regions of service in Second Life. She also explained what the “Big Fish Area” was and how it got its name, revealing that the name was dirived from the giant dinosaur bones found at Ahab’s Haunt where Dahlia flew her hot air balloon earlier in her tour of Nautilus. 36

I moved on through a sky that became increasingly congested with buildings in Quietly Tuesday, and then with an additional cluster of rocks levitating in the sky while on approach to Airtol Hill Spirit Mountain. Spirit Mountain was fully covered with all manner of small businesses related to metaphysical and eastern religious studies, ranging from Hindu

temples to retail shops for advice, After flying south/southeast a short while, I arrived at Danshire books, and crystals. Yacht Club in Knaptrackicon. I was perplexed when I arrived beAfter creeping along at a snails cause I remembered there was pace while looking everything over, I was ejected from my bal- another Danshire Yacht Club in Corsica that resided on the far loon in Mirandirge when it wasn’t allowed into a parcel and eastern side of the continent near the channel between Corsica and couldn’t move. I parachuted down safely, then decided to take Second Life’s eighth continent, a walk among the shops and tem- Gaeta V. ples while I was there. The Danshire Yacht Club I was familiar with had a long pier lined The hillside was cluttered with all sort of spiritual clothes, deco- with large yachts for sale. This rations, and gadgets. So if you’re one, however, only had a light house and smaller docks for small ever in the need of such things, sailboats. It looked very different, don’t forget Spirit Mountain! After scouring the shops, I made so I wondered how could there be two yacht clubs of the same name my way down the hillside to a bowling ally game and struggled in two different locations. to play it for a while until I tired and eventually decided it was time From the yacht club docks I could see a nearby coast guard station, to set camp for the night along so I decided to see if going there the waterfront in Mirandirge. might provide some answers about WEEK 25 / DAY 6 Danshire and the surrounding In the morning, I prepared a new areas. It also might be able to help balloon and took off from nearby me see what airport was coming Yemple. I knew that somewhere up next on my tour. I hopped into ahead of me I would encounter my balloon and skated it across the airports of Sparrow, Boying- the surface of the water in the ton, Sky Pirate, Zee West, and channel until I neared the coast Vellas, so I wanted to get an early guard station, then lifted up to start, to see how much distance I land on the rooftop landing pad. could put in, and to keep a good lookout for each of these impor- As I climbed down an exterior tant weigh stations of my journey. metal staircase from the roof, I The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

there herself—about a year by now. That means the yacht club owner had pulled up stakes and left the east coast Corsica location not long after I had sailed past there in late September of 2009. Ansaja invited me into the coast guard offices to show me around and introduced me to another coast guard officer, Daeshara Ansar. Together, they showed me more offices, including one room that had a big map of the Nautilus region. On it, each region of coast guard service was named and boxed off with bright, coloured lines. One service area was marked as “Big Fish.” I thought that was unusual and I wondered why that was. I had already flown over it and didn’t recall seeing any big Above and left: Dahlia made her way to Sparrow Field Airport in Dogoog where she fish there. Perhaps I had missed stopped to fill up on burner fuel and coffee. something, I thought. I asked the into her normal one for me. She officers about it and both exlooked much more youthful, plained that the name referred to energetic, and able-bodied as her the giant skeleton I had flown spotted an elderly lady in a coast regular self. I was relieved, alaround and then through the guard uniform standing out in though I was disappointed to have belly of back in Ahab’s Haunt. front of the building. Hunched missed the opportunity to help an over while standing, Ansaja elder resident. Green dots scattered across the Guardian looked so frail that I map indicating rez-spots for their felt compelled to rush over and I asked Ansaja about Danshire patrols. Seeing those reminded ask if she needed any assistance. Yacht Club and she provided me me of an event that I was wanting She thanked me, but said that she with my answer: the owner of to pursue for myself: a long diswas quite fine; she was trying out Danshire had been in Knaptrack- tance swim from the easternmost a new shape, and soon changed icon for as long as she had been sim in Second Life to the westFar left top and bottom: In Slapdoodle, Dahlia discovered the new Griffon Aviation Heliport. Inside one of its buildings was a replica of a Wright Brothers airplane.

The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus


ernmost sim. I had hoped to find a coast guard officer who could tell me if they provided escort service for a swimmer in much the same way they might for sailing events. Since I had the opportunity now, I asked: “I don’t know if the coast guard would provide such a service, but would they be willing provide an escort to a long distance swimmer trying to make a world record distance swim from far east to far west Second Life? This could be helpful to lead the swimmer.” Daeshara replied that it might be possible as they provide security for sailing events. Ansaja echoed her hopeful sentiment, saying that although she wasn’t in the position to decide, she thought they could. She offered to ask the admiralty then contact me later, which I very happily agreed to. Both had been very helpful and interesting to meet, so I thanked them both with great pleasure and an equally hopeful enthusiasm for a potential future talk. I relaunched my balloon from the station rooftop and headed west along the inner coastline of Knaptrackicon. Only a few minutes passed before I came across a large square of freshly poured concrete that was meant to serve 38

as the future Griffon Aviation Heliport in Slapdoogle. Owned by Griffon Marenwolf, the heliport was still under construction but landing pads were already marked and a couple of small buildings were in place. It was nice to see an aviation facility dedicated entirely to helicopter pilots and it looked like it would be a good place to return to after it had been completed. I fired up the balloon and continued southwest, passing a striking, but inaccessible building in Hoobelch that served as the offices for the Lost Angels group. Not far away to the west in Dogoog, I spotted the distant runways of Sparrow Field Airport, so I headed in that direction. Sparrow Field, which favoured a retro theme in its styling, correctly described itself as “a public airport and marina located in the center of the Nautilus archipelago with air and water access to 100s of flyable sims in Nautilus, Corisca, Gaeta V, and the Blake Sea.” The airport managers provided a thoroughly informative note card and plenty of services for both sailors and pilots. It has been home base to resident aviation groups 1st Air Commandos, Black Dog The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

Opposite page top: While crossing the North Channel in Makarov, turbulance crossing a sim knocked Dahlia and her two passengers Nya Silverfall and Shirynne Nayar out of the balloon into the deep water below. Dahlia was saved by her parachute, but the guests had a long fall. Opposite page bottom left and right: After falling into the water in Makarov, everyone swam to and climbed on top of an overturned boat, where Nya noticed sharks were in the area, circling the safety of the boat. Below: Without a way to unpack a new balloon while at the boat in Makarov, Dahlia decided to risk a shark attack and swim back to relaunch a new boat from where they first took off from in Blung. Right: Dahlia successfully swam back to Blung and returned to rescue Nya and Shirynne on the overturned boat.

Industries, Shana Aircraft, and 3rd Squadron, Hell’s Angels, AVG “Flying Tigers” and had hosted a variety of air shows and other events. Was really looking forward to getting there so I could check it all out.

caused me to dreamily admire it while visions of partying alongside friends next to sailboat start/finish lines or in exotic island inlets danced in my head. I checked out all the seating, cabinets, driver dials, gauges, and really wanted to take it for a spin.

I continued westward toward Sparrow until a no access parcel ejected me from my balloon. Fortunately, my emergency parachute deployed at only 26 meters above ground. That was close!

Unfortunately, there was no demo boat to see how it would perform on the water, so I called the owner, Tronnix Tairov, to ask for a ride with him sometime. In the meantime, I crawled up and After safely landing, I walked laid on the back sunning mat of into nearby Blung where a Pow- the boat until I fell into a delightertoon daycruiser boat at Fastron- ful fantasy sleep, dreaming of funix Boats caught my eye and ture boating excursions on this very boat. WEEK 25 / DAY 7

When the sun came up the next morning, I was still lounging on the sunning mat of the Fastronnix Powertoon daycruiser. It felt good to finally get a night’s sleep without waking up with a mouthful of sand or pebble impressions imbedded into my face. If I could only land near one of these every day!, I thought as I stretched luxuriously. I hated to get up, but progress was required of my voyage, so I laced up my shoes and went for a walk along the beach to find my next launching point. The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

The next property over in Blung had a small bait and tackle shop sitting on a short dock that poked out over water that lapped at its shore. I snagged myself a little breakfast treat, then walked out onto the dock to unpack my balloon. My friends Nya Silverfall and Shirynne Nayar soon arrived to join me while I prepared the balloon for the morning lift-off.

In Makkov we were all ejected from the balloon, causing us to fall into the deep waters. Fortunately, an old overturned boat was floating near where we crashed, so we made our way to it to regroup. As we clung to the floating boat, Nya pointed out that sharks were swimming in the water, circling us.

What a sudden fright that was! Once I was ready, we departed Nya and Shirynne quickly scrameastward to fly across the North bled up onto the boat while I Channel waterway on a course dipped down under the surface planned to take us to the eastern of the water to take a good look, coast of Nautilus City, home to then resurfaced. It looked to me many of the Nautilus continent’s like the sharks weren’t interested most iconic public structures. Un- in eating dark meat, so decided to fortunately, while halfway across test my theory by risking a swim the channel, admiring the beauty back to shore where I could reof the morning, disaster struck. launch a rescue balloon. I told 39

them of my plan and to hang on. To my good fortune and relief, I was right; the sharks didn’t stalk me as I swam back west to shore. Once I arrived back on the beach in Blung, I lit up a new balloon and skimmed low across the surface of the water, back to where the girls were still clinging on to the floating boat. Nya and Shirynne climbed safely back into the balloon basket, relieved to have survived that frightful mishap. We continued east to the opposite shore in Fruggoof where the balloon next got stuck at the edge of a parcel that didn’t allow our entry. Eventually, we wiggled free, maneuvered our way around it, and flew up a largely barren, rocky mountain in Glockler, Kuhnke, Bamaisin Gardens, and Sospiri. Much of the land leading up to the top and on various sides were large tracts of abandoned land owned by the Bamaisin Highlands group and also by Governor Linden. At the very peak of the rocky top was a large and unimpressive boxy a building that and undeveloped properties both served as the gateway for a music on the ground and in the air while club in the sky. we searched for an unnamed airport I had seen marked on an old We circled the mountain caremap I had. We spent a long time fully, weaving between developed looking in every direction but 40

found nothing, so we continued southeast until we found a very small airstrip at Meddledown Marina & Airfield. Because the airfield was so small

and next to a home, I was concerned it might be a private airstrip. But information indicated it was open to the public, so we landed to take a look around. There wasn’t much to see in the

small station building itself, but docked at a house next door was a sea plane that Nya had always dreamed of having, so I stood nearby looking at my old map for the missing airport while Nya The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

studied the sea plane admiringly. nearly empty warehouse belongMeanwhile, Shirynne trekked off ing to MiaRa Design in Puzey in another direction. did just the trick; I was back in my balloon basket and taking off By the time I was ready to take in no time. off in the balloon again, Nya needed to go in another direction I couldn’t get away fast enough, herself, so we said our goodbyes. I however, before a new drama unfired up the balloon and rose high folded. Just as I was taking off up into the air. I decided to fly one from the warehouse, the naked last circle around the mountain to body of Golan Mayo jumped make sure I hadn’t missed any unannounced into my basket. I landing strips high up in the air stopped the balloon to insist he over the mountain. After comput on some clothes. You’d think pleting another circle around the that at 1504 days old he’d have mountain, I was finally satisfied learned some resident etiquette there was no airport to be found, since being born into Second Life and turned eastward to continue on May 14, 2007. on my way. Just then, my balloon experienced a system crash in While I waited for him to dress, Puzey. fitness expert Richard Simmons spotted my balloon from the I dropped down to land, then nearby sim of Sospiri and raced looked around for my balloon. It up the hillside to greet us with was gone, so I began looking for a open arms. Apparently, that was place to unpack a new balloon. A more than Mayo was ready for;

he quickly jumped out of the balloon—much to my relief. I fired up the balloon and picked up more altitude. I set my sights on the southern coast, passing Our Tropical Paradise in Quietly Red, then into Turbo where the Bingo Straight waterway stretched east and west, north of the large city-island of Nautilus City. I spied, then followed an automated viking ship that sailed east to the Ferry Terminal and Infohub in Barbarossa. When the ship reached Barbarossa’s beach it didn’t stop. Instead, it cut its way right through the center of the island. Only its mast remained visible as it mined its way completely through terra firma until it eventually ground to a halt against a dilapidated old wooden pier, not far from where an underwater treasure cavern was full of riches.

Above: An automated viking ship led Dahlia eastward from Nautilus - Symacon to the Ferry Terminal and Infohub in Barbarossa. Below: Dahlia followed the viking ship past Nautilus City to the popular and often occupied Ferry Terminal and Infohub in Barbarossa. There, the ship gouged right through the sandy beach of the island and out the other side until it ran into a dilapidated old wooden pier.

Opposite page left: After circling a mountain in search of an airport Dahlia suspected might exist, the balloon burst, dropping Dahlia down the hillside. Dahlia made her way to a warehouse belonging to MiaRa Design in Puzey to relaunch a new balloon. Right and far right: While taking off from the warehouse in Puzey, a naked resident, Golan Mayo, arrived and instantly helped himself into the balloon without first asking. Just then, fitness expert Richard Simmons spotted Mayo from nearby Sospiri and raced up the mountain to greet him. The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus


W E E K 2 5 / D AY 7 : N AU T I L U S C I T Y

N a u t i l u s C i t y : Ta k i n g t h e H i g h e r P a t h C I R C L E D B A C K W E S T / S O U T H W E S T T O WA R D

I Opposite page: A balloon filled with excited explorers Pocky, Dahila and Mikil, arrives on the far eastern side of Nautilus City in Byth. There, the Nautilus City Alliance set out advertising encouraging visitors to see the city’s underwater features—only the signs didn’t deliver the maps and instructions as indicated. Above: Nautilus City rests in the Bingo Straight between Nautilus’ larger land masses to the north, and the continent of Satori to the south. The city’s water canal bisects the city on an east/west axis, and passes through towering doors into an immense well many meters below the raised ground level of the sims surrounding it. The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

Nautilus City. As I approached it’s eastern shore, I picked up friends Mikil Tiki and Pocky. Together, we arrived at a small sign floating out on a platform in Byth just before reaching land. The City Alliance sign encouraged people to explore Nautilus Underwater and said that if clicked, it would rez a rideable dolphin, offer maps, and instructions. But when I clicked, nothing happened. For Mikil too. I was disappointed. I was really looking forward to see where one of those dolphins would take me. Maybe I’ll have to come back and scuba dive on my own another day, I considered, as I fired up the balloon and flew us into the mouth of a water canal that pierced deep into the island.

Not far from the mouth of the canal, two Hindi influenced temples attracted my attention, so I flew over and landed on a grassy yard between them for a closer look.

some of my own pictures from a distance and updated my flight information.

After a while, the day was becoming late, so I knew I’d soon I was curious to go inside, but need to find a place where I could knew if I hopped out of my bal- end at and start from the followloon it would soon disappear. In- ing day. Mikil and Pocky needed stead, I stayed in the basket while to continue on their day elsewhere Mikil and Pocky looked around. as well, so we said our goodbyes Together, they enjoyed exploring and parted ways—them to unand taking pictures while I took known horizons and me lifting

Above: Dahlia flew passengers Pocky (left) and Mikil Tiki (right) into Nautilus City by way of Byth. It was a double treat for the duo: it was the first time either had been to Nautilus City and in a hot air balloon.

off in a westward direction to scout for places to land overnight. Fortunately, only a few parcels away I spotted a heliport landing on a large open yard near Eshmun and parked there to end my day.

WEEK 26 / DAY 1

The next day I took off from a nearby property in Eshmun, a smartly designed night club called Altivelis. I headed a few parcels south to swing by O&V Motorz 43

Above left: Two eastern style temples in Byth greeted Dahlia, Mikil Tiki, and Pocky as they moved into inland Nautilus City. Left: The Altivelis club in Eshmun provided a launching site not once but on two days. Above: Structures towered high in Eshmun: a series of skyboxes stacked one above the other, as well as a shrine on the top of a 544 meter pole. 44

which displayed and sold a variety of classic vehicles such as Aston Martins, MGs, and Harley Davidsons. It made me remember sadly that I still hadn’t achieved getting my Second Life drivers license despite over five attempts.

as far as I could see caught my attention. I felt compelled to see where this odd structure went to and why it had to be so tall, so I elevated up to where it topped out at 544 meters. Sitting atop the post was a small eastern-styled shrine with a an elephant founNearby, a tower that rose skyward tain and a king cobra adornment The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

at the top. Inside was a single small room that housed a small, bonsai-sized tree with a single red apple that dangled from one of its branches. I wasn’t sure what to make of it. Was this the spiritual tree of knowledge or the apple of temptation? The answer was nowhere in sight, but neverThe Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

theless, I did have the odd sensation that I was in the presence of a blessed property, so I kept a respectful distance. After a while, I realized I had admired the shrine for such a long time that it was already time for me to finish my day. Had I been

Above: A fountain crowned by elephants sits atop an eastern style temple 544 meters in the sky in Eshmun, Nautilus City. Above right: The Eshmun temple sat atop a pole so high that could take in a view of the entire Nautilus City region. Right: Inside the sparcely furnished temple, a lone bonsai-sized tree with a single apple on it created the sense of a blessed property. 45

meter high shrine, the yin yang symbol. There were apparently a lot of spiritual people in this area. WEEK 26 / DAY 2

mesmerized by the apple that time slipped away unnoticed? I descended back down to nearly ground level in search of a new landing spot. In Yarikh, along the banks of the canal that led inward toward Nautilus City’s grand Citadel, I found a large stone plaza that created the image of a yin yang symbol. It was very open and seemed well suited for a landing, so I dropped down until it came to a rest near the center. so

The thought came to me that I had never realized before now how spiritual of a place Nautilus City was. Hindi temples, the 544

The next morning I had to search around for a place to unpack and lift off. I spent a long time walking, looking for any place that would accommodate a balloon launch, but I found nothing until I had walked all the way back to my previous day’s lift-off site in Eshmun at the Altivelis club. Disappointed to have back-tracked so far, I hastily unpacked and took off, then sped along the canal past the yin yang plaza symbol until I reached a pair of towering doors that rose up from the water canal’s surface. The doors dwarfed my balloon. I eased up close enough to one of the wooden doors to reach out and touch it. It came to life, creaking open and pushing the canal waters aside until I could glide my balloon past them.

Above: While flying along the water canal in Kothar, Nautilus City, Dahlia considered how flying was like a chess match, both strategically maneuvering to avoid potential dangers. Above left: In the cover of darkness, Dahlia descended into Yarikh after a long observation of a towering structure in Eshmun. Far left: The following morning in Yarikh, Dahlia appreciated the view up towards the towering structure from where she landed on the yin yang symbol the night before. Left: A building with a large yin-yang symbol in Yarikh provided an overnight landing spot for Dahlia. The next morning, Dahlia passed by it again while on her way along Nautilus City’s water canal, heading toward the heart of the island city. 46

The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

Looking past the doors the canal continued on between equally towering stone walls into an area called the Citadel until it finally terminated inside a large circular walled area well below the ground level that surrounded the outer edge of the high stone walls. The circle of water below my balloon was positioned directly in the center of four sims, each sharing an exact quarter of the well. On ground level outside of the well, houses and commercial buildings resided on all sides and commanded grand views out towards the lower level of the city and the sea beyond.

The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

Along the edge of the grand well in Hannibal was a large, threestory temple with a circular hole in its roof. Brilliant rays of pink light streamed out of it and into the sky. It definitely caught my eye, so I gently eased the balloon over its roof and into the bright rays of light to peer down into the building, squinting to make out what might be seen inside below.

spiritual structure! I gasped in awe of the crystal’s powerful presence. I checked to see who the property owner was, and—wouldn’t you know it—it was another Governor Linden property.

Not far away in Magon, another brilliantly illuminated structure caught my attention. This one was also a bright pink, but the light came from a single erect crystal obelisk that towered on an

Below left: Dahlia followed the water canal in Baal, heading toward an elevated center section of Nautilus City. Below: Towering doors rose up from sea level to the elevated section of Nautilus City, which protected the city center from floods.

What I saw was an enormous glowing crystal about as big as my balloon. Light projected from it so strongly that it filled the temple, and spilled out skyward through the roof hole. Another


outdoor plaza. I flew over to admire it more closely, and discovered that it had been created by Naughty Mole for the Linden Department of Public Works. Considering its vibrator-esque shape, it seemed only natural that a “Naughty” Mole would have built it. After spending time to look at such strong rays of light, I felt my retina's had burnt out and were in need of some rest, so I flew westward toward the Nautilus City coastline in Adherbal. There, I found an eclectic selection of unrelated homes and small

All images this page: Rays of light burst brilliantly from the open hole of a round building in Hannibal. Curious to know the source of the light, Dahlia flew her balloon over top of the building and dipped into the hole to peer down into the bright light. Inside, a giant pink crystal illuminated the interior of the building and its rays of light continued into the sky. Called “The Temple,” the building was owned by Governor Linden and offered no information regarding the inspiration of the structure nor the purpose of it. 42

The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

businesses scattered along the lower ground level plains from north to south. Nothing impressive caught my eye, so I doubled back east to rise up to the Hannibal level where I spotted The Butterfly House, which, according to owner Nish Mip, was “a place to relax, unwind, read a magazine, see butterflies and birds, occasional art, odd bits to buy, chill out.”

building. Inside was fairly dark, the natural outdoors light filtered out from its dull windows. In the center of the atrium, a large tree rose up from the ground, flanked on all sides by places to sit and do all those things Mip mentioned.

Butterflies flit and fluttered randomly about everywhere. Off to my right, I spotted a small workshop-looking room with a sign over its doorway: “Virtual LepiI climbed out of my balloon to doptera Research Institute, The peer through the doors of the Butterfly House Research Labostrangely coloured green and blue ratory & Shop,” it said.

I gingerly entered to poke around, looking at butterflies pinned to boards and an assortment of other unrelated goods for sale. An inexpensive bull horn caught my fancy. I thought perhaps I could use it to shout down to people on the ground while floating high overhead in the balloon, I considered. So I bought it. I couldn’t imagine they would use it there in the tranquility of the Butterfly House, however. I enjoyed my visit and vowed to return again someday. But for now, time had come for me to continue on. I went back outside to re-launch the balloon and took off, flying out past the western shore into The Outer Harbor in Miachthi. Soon I spotted towering statues flanking the entrance of The Harbor in Yamm, and turned south into it while passing over an abandoned viking ship at the harbor’s entrance. Nearing the docks, I passed a ship under construction in dry dock at the Western Cape in deGrasse. I then eased the balloon over an open roofed market building in Shalim, and landed directly into its inner courtyard.

Above: An oblisk in Magon—not far from The Temple in Hannibal—shared characteristics of The Temple’s luminescent crystals. Perhaps by design, this one, created by Naughty Mole, gave rise to additional thoughts of another similarly shaped ladies product. The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

The Market belonged to the Lindens. It offered free textures and 49

Fortress strength: An elevated section of land in Nautilus City overlooked the more sea level neighbourhood in Adherbal.

building materials stored in large urns and vases. I was sure to stock up on these items for later inspection, knowing full well that my chances of becoming a future builder were slim to none. Nevertheless, I’d been known to share things I found with friends who did create things, so I was pleased to know the Market offered such building materials for residents. Having loaded up with freebies, I elevated the balloon upward and exited the building, saddled with all my new products. I headed north, leaving the harbour and eventually Nautilus City itself. As I flew away, I turned to look back, thinking how pleased I was to have taken more time to explore and learn about the properties, buildings, and services that made up the city. There were many more residential properties and less public park areas than I seemed to recall from earlier visits—or at least as was my first limited exposures. There were also more eastern influenced temples than I had expected. I had anticipated more of a greek or roman influence based on earlier visits to the Market and Harbour areas, and while they were present, the incidence of eastern influences remained surprising.


The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

Top left and center: Impressive and powerful towers and statues paid tribute to a variety of accomplishments and purposes throughout Nautilus City, such as the ones that clustered around the canal keyhole in the center of the island. Above left, center, and left: Dahlia flew into the Harbor in Yamm, then to the Marketplace building next door in Shalim where she showed Alina Graf a selection of building materials the Lindens provided for free to residents. Top right and right: A dark building belonging to The Butterfly House in Hannibal caught Dahlia’s eye as she circled around the elevated neighbourhood section of Nautilus City. Inside, a laboratory turned gift shop in the Virtual Lepidptera Research Institute offered a variety of novelty products both related to and not related to butterflies. The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus


W E E K 2 6 / D AY 2 : W E S T E R N N AU T I L U S

D a n g e r o n t h e We s t e r n F r o n t i e r


O O K I N G A H E A D , I WA S N O W A P P R O A C H I N G

a new section of coastline northwest of Nautilus City. As I entered Tsurington, I recognized a yellow and blue flag waving from a dock in Thistle Cove that belonged to the Leeward Cruise Club. I had been there once before and knew it would provide a safe harbour for me to stay at for the night, so I angled the balloon toward it for a landing. Although the accommodations at Thistle Cove were sparse, there was a small dock with a harbour office that offered a wood burning stove and food on the table. A comfortable padded bench near a front window looked out at the dock and waterway beyond. There was even a little office cat to make it all the more cozy.

Opposite page: The Leeward Cruise Club port at Thistle Cove in Tsurington provided safe harbour for Dahlia after she completed her exploration of Nautilus City and headed west. Above: Northwest of Tsurington, three striking lighthouses ensured safe passages for travelers passing through Quagmire. The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

I pulled out my butt pillow and fluffed it up, then stretched out on the padded bench, thinking what a great location Thistle Cove was for sailors of small vessels travelers. The port had easy access to sea channels in all directions and to Blake Sea just past past Nautilus City to the east.

WEEK 26 / DAY 3

As many cat owners can attest to, I awoke the next morning with the eyes of a cat staring down at me, waiting for me to get up to prepare breakfast—not for me, but for the cat. The padded bench was certainly no bed; I sat up with more stiffness and aches than I had expected. But I was happy to have had inside accommodations with a stove pipe heater. After a hearty morning meal and a short cat petting session, I stepped out to unpack a fresh balloon on the weathered wooden dock. The Leeward Cruise Club was an active group, so I imagined there must have been scores

Above: After taking a few days to fly the east/west length of Nautilus City, Dahila flew northwest and landed dockside at the Leeward Cruise Club of Thistle Cove in Tsurington. The dock was a familiar location where sailing enthusiasts gathered to depart from together. It would be a suitable location to rest at before her next push into the northwestern frontier.

of sailors who had taken off from this very dock over the years. I bet they hadn’t seen too many balloonists landing and taking off from there, however.

Once the balloon was ready, I climbed in and took off, curling north, then west past waterside residences in Tsurington and Ghulffoot, then more residences 53

ern region, I suspected he was probably more accustomed to traveling by horseback or canoe. But today, he was in for the ride of his life in a hot air balloon.

Above left: Northwest of Tsurington, three striking lighthouses created a distinctive look for the seaside residents in Quagmire.

and three striking lighthouses in Quagmire, followed by The Dolphin Club and Marina in Pastiche. In Icanhaz I was dumped out of my balloon twice, each time parachuting safely to places nearby where I could immediately relaunch a new balloon. One such parachute landing ended up being on a rooftop heliport in Earpoint. I immediately recognized the area, remembering that I had stopped at its seaside mall during my Great Sailing Adventure in 2009. It had a variety of retail shops surrounding a central 54

Above right: The Vellas Airport North in Ullahoo occupied two locations. One in the sky 301 meters above ground featured a long runway and hangers for public and retail rental.

Another at ground level served as a seaplane base for both seaplanes and sailboats alike. Not far away, the Twin Dubai Towers in Arianti provided inspiration for a daredevil move.

We departed the 301 meter high sky platform of Vellas Airport and descended down toward ground level so that we could inspect the Seaplane Base airport and docks below. There was room for small water craft and facilities to gas up. It was otherwise unremarkable, except for the fact that it provided a wonderfully easy starting point for departing from to over 100 sims of travel fun.

Directly south in nearby Arianti were a twin set of towering buildings from a famous Dubai hotel grassy courtyard area that inany money-stealing pole dancing my flight path by surveying the cluded carnival rides and games. bots in giant martini glasses at the magnificent view from high over- —this one aptly named Twin Dubai Towers. The two towers Also in the courtyard, The Virmall bar like there were when I head. Not only did the airport tual Kennel Club Virtual Dog had last visited. offer a great view, but it also had were mirror images of each other and connected together by a high Talk touted itself as “the first ona retail shop, hangars, and tiefloor crosswalk that held two line community for owners and The day was soon to come to an down rentals. wind-blown propellers for generenthusiasts of our virtual fuzzy end, so I jumped in the balloon ating electricity to the buildings. friends.” It also offered a website one last time to make my way to WEEK 26 / DAY 4 at Vellas Airport North in Ullahoo. The next morning came fast, and For me, seeing the pair connected it looked to be a glorious one for together added a whole new diAt ground level in the Bingo mension to their presence—and Surrounding the courtyard were Strait the airport provided park- flying. I loaded up the balloon with supplies and a new friend one that immediately planted retail shops for pets at the Perky ing for sea planes and boats, but who was interested to see what a flying challenge into my head: Puppy, shops for clothes and instead of landing there I chose I just had to try flying between gadgets, a sport fencing facility, a to fly up to the sky airport at 301 it was like to travel by balloon. Because my passenger of the day, those two buildings, framed overnightclub, a skeet shooting area, meters high to finish my day. Merry Khalim, spent much of his head by a crosswalk above and and more. I was particularly happy That way, when the next day to note that there were no longer came, I would be able to envision time in an 1800s American west- the ground below. The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

I asked Merry if he was up for a little daredevil flying. He said he was, so off we went, heading toward the twin towers, adrenaline building with anticipation as I told Merry my plan. Once we drew closer, I slowed the balloon down to eyeball our potential clearance, then moved forward carefully until we cleared the structure. Coming out the other side, we roared ahead at full speed again with a rowdy cheer, leaving Arianti in our proverbial “dust.” Just one sim west of Arianti, the Zee West Airport in Gladzyck came into view. There, Merry and I disembarked to take a look around. Merry went up to explore the traffic control tower while I poked around the runway, looking at airplanes and signs belonging to a variety of the flying groups and retail vendors. I recalled that some months earlier I accidentally came across Zee West Airport and discovered two miniature vintage WWI airplanes being offered for free. I couldn’t pass those up, so I stowed them away and later took to the skies in them with as much nervous glee as riding on an untethered roller coaster. The memory reminded me I’d have to do it again—and soon too. The adrenaline rush The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

Double trouble: The Twin Dubai Towers in Arianti were strikingly beautiful and offered a unique flying challenge for Dahlia to attempt.


was too addictive to pass up for very long. After our Zee West stop, we took off again, noting a famous American WWII sculpture of soldiers raising a flag in Iwo Jima on a small hillside near the end of the runway as we headed north. Not far away or long after, a banned parcel in Animatum stopped our balloon in its tracks and knocked us out. Fortunately, the balloon remained aloft and we were able to climb back into it again. After making our way around the banned parcel, we continued on, passing a large rug shop in Klaviscious and an impressive fireball in the Plontufus sky. Not far from there and still in Plontufus, an airstrip-turned-boat-dock at The Coral’s Shangri-la Marina looked like an interesting stop.

Above: Zee West Airport in Gladzyck was a small and compact single runway airport that provided multiple heliports, hangers for rent, and a good selection of landmarks to other airports within its network. Above right: Merry Kahlim climbed up the Zee West Airport control tower to investigate its equipment and to take in the surrounding view. Right and opposite page: While taking off north out of Zee West Airport, Dahlia noticed a war memorial sculpture on the rise of a small hillside nearby.

balloon, I bet myself, while pickWe decided to pass Shangri-la by, ing at one of my old scabs. however, in favour of checking out some some flowers and other Continuing north, the Pattaya unrelated items sold at a lightBeach Resort in Tyrafoon had a house in Wavewalker, and later, a nice apartment building and a wild bull ride for Merry. Being a yacht which I landed on when cowboy, he did pretty well, I’d Merry couldn’t get comfortable in say. At least he had less of a chance the balloon basket after his bull of breaking a bone on that bull than ride. I suspected he’d hurt his from falling out of the sky from my bum from all the action. 58

Once Merry was comfortable, we took off again, flying over what looked to be the chopped off top of the New York City Chrysler building on the ground. Inside, the owner sold a variety of palm trees, water, gadgets, and flowers. The Chrysler building skyscraper seemed like a strange place to sell nature things, but I shrugged it off and kept going until the balThe Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

loon encountered turbulence and a hard system crash at Doc’s Utopia in Hellish. Trying to return and recover, I re-crashed multiple times. How appropriate for it to be in a place called “Hellish” I grumbled aloud, frustrated at all the crashes.

Top: The sight of a warm, tropical residential paradise in Pisanio was a welcoming sight for Dahlia as she approached the western Nautilus shoreline. Above: A large fireball suspended in the Plontufus sky heated things up. Right: Also in Plontufus, the largest surf board Dahlia had ever seen towered high over the landscape. It advertised a surfboard shop. Dahlia wondered if the over eight meter high advertising rule applied. 60

looked equally promising as a decent make-shift bed to spend the night on. So I thanked Merry for being one of the rare guest passengers to endure an entire day of flying with me, wished him a sweet dream, then pulled a pillow and sheet out to make my bed with and settled in for the night. By the time I fully recovered, the I can’t say for certain, but I think balloon was gone, so I unpacked a I fell asleep the moment my head new one on a beach at Iron Stutouched the pillow. dios in Saja where I promptly fell WEEK 26 / DAY 5 out of the balloon during liftThe sun had been up for quite a off—probably because my head was still spinning after my multi- while before my eyes opened the ple crashes. To his credit, Merry next morning. I slept much better patiently awaited throughout my on my make-shift MollyWorld showroom bed than I had exspasms of system crashes and tumbles. Finally, after getting sit- pected. In fact, from the looks of it, I hadn’t rolled over even once uated back in the basket again, we flew southeast along the spine during my sleep. My shoulder ached sharply as evidence, but I of a long island, back into the meat of the Nautilus continental wasn’t complaining. It was much better to be a little sore and to land once again. have a good, sound sleep than it Eventually, we crossed over Route would have been to be awake and restless all night. I let out a good 13 and landed next to it on a yawn and stretch, then packed grassy yard belonging to MollyWorld Dwellings in Siliconicus. away my bedding before going MollyWorld had a glass-enclosed out to the side yard to unpack a circular showroom to display its fresh balloon for the day’s trip. homes in, and offered a nice, lowlevel view of the Siliconicus vista After fueling up the balloon I headed northward, following outside. Route 13 to its end. In Quirrola, I passed over Drugs Headshop A padded bench inside looked which celebrated nature’s out on Route 13 and, for me,

favourite calming plant by selling associated drug paraphenellia under the sign of a giant head smoking a joint. I flew close enough to get into the smoke without fear of exploding the hot air balloon on a stray

The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

ember, and took a good, long whiff of the air around me. Now there’s something Second Life definitely can’t replicate, I thought to myself. The scent of a strong doobie or other fragrant items.

Pisanio where Cheeky Kitten Magical Pet Market sold “biobreeds” of a variety of animals including cats, horses, fish, meeros and fairies. The latter seemed a strange inclusion, but I swear that’s what their advertising said. Disappointed, I flew onward into Or maybe I was high. Either way,

they also had a dog park and even held kitty auctions six days a week! I couldn’t help but to wonder how many people usually showed up at a kitty auction, or if they often had to bet against either themselves or the owners. I continued on, where the haze of pot smoke in my head turned into the wintery, snowflake-dropping airspace of a small, Russian-esque town in Scroop called Saint McCarthy, Kingdom of Syldavia. Within seconds, I found myself teleported back to my Second Life home location. Thinking I Above: Dahlia marveled at the winter beauty in Scroop, but soon discovered that the must have inadvertently clicked weather wasn’t the only thing that turned cold there. somewhere on my keyboard that I shouldn’t have, I attempted to the sim next to Scroop. From the Milodanic) in the form of an infly back. Instead, what I got was Blue-footed Booby Bar & Beach, I stant message, telling him of my a system crash. walked toward Saint McCarthy. displeasure. I could tell by his As I did, I saw automated gun moronic profile that he wouldn’t Once I recovered, I tried several turrets begin to rotate on their care less, and—as expected—I retimes to return to Saint McCarthy, bases toward me and start firing. ceived no reply. Nevertheless, I but kept being sent back home. So THAT’S what happened! I enjoyed taunting his guns by seeEventually, I received a belated shrieked aloud, enlightened as I ing how close I could get to them system message: “You died and dove for cover, the flash of gun before they turned on, rotated, have been teleported to your home bursts ricocheting off the corner and shot in my location. location.” I wondered how and of a building wall where I lay. when that happened, considering Eventually, I found the safe disI was still standing. Now annoyed at how there was tance just outside of their firing never any courtesy warning mes- range and took photos, half Perplexed, I wondered what that sage about being fired upon betempted to send a complaint was all about. With my curiosity fore entering Saint McCarthy— ticket to the Lindens, but already now peaked about how I could or even adjacent sims for that confident in the lack of attention have “died,” I decided on a strate- matter—I fired off a salvo of my a non-premium member’s comgic return by flying into Escanes, own to King Moroslav (Moroslav plaint would be given by a Lin-

The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus


the top plateau of a nearby hill still in Luna Park where I met the headmaster/owner of Proporci Park, Rubin Mayo. Mayo purchased the high bluff property to build a memorial dedicated to Italians who died in real life peace keeping missions in Lebanon, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kosovo.

Above left: King Moroslav (Moroslav Milodanic)—the owner and king of Saint McCarthy, Kingdom of Syldavia—sat motionless and silent in the center of a thick concrete bunker, as if daring invaders to breach his compound in an effort to capture or kill him, while (above right) large calibre guns on turrets fired at anyone within half a sim’s range outside of Scroop.

den “customer service” agent. Having had my fill of taunting guns, I continued on to enjoy more a more civilized and cultured environment at Artspace Diabolus in Benvolio, then an interesting “Globe House” in Helicanus. In nearby Rebeck I encountered another system crash, but was fortunate to find my balloon waiting for me to re-board upon my return. I dragged the balloon out of the parcel it stopped in, into the more accommodating Kin’s Gardens at Hermoine Beach in Hermione. With its selfdescribed “warm waters and 62

sandy beach, [it was] perfect for dragons and Mer-folk”—and even for a temporarily stranded balloonist such as me!

Park, Bet Games, in Osteria came into range. There, I landed atop a high platform attached to a slide that looked down over the entire

teleporting and system crashes, sitting on a carnival ride pretty much appropriately summed up my day of flying!

King Moroslav sat motionless and silent in the center of a thick concrete bunker, as if daring invaders to breach his compound in an effort to capture or kill him, while guns fired at anyone within range. Not wanting to end my day near the location of a crash, I decided to seek out a place where I could end on a high note. So I took off from Hermoine Beach until the cheerful sights and sounds of a carnival at PRO-PORCI Luna

carnival as well as commanded a great, 360 degree view of the regions around it.

WEEK 26 / DAY 6

The next day, I unpacked a fresh balloon next to PRO-PORCI Luna Park. There, the store MASU—also in Osteria—sold Thinking back on my day, after drugs, pets, art, dragon/ mer-folk urban influenced SL apparel. I fired up the balloon and rose to beaches, gunfire, and associated

I bid Mayo good luck and flew south, passing over Luna Park and around Elle Mode, a massive retail mall that suspended itself over an inlet of water. Rounding the corner and across the inlet was The Beach Party Rock/Dance Club in Arginutti. It had a large central outdoor patio ringed on three sides by retail shops, a bar, games and a help centre, then a great looking water slide that poured out into the inlet water on the fourth side. The club was busy throwing a big dance event, so I hovered a while appreciating the revelry while taking photos. Next, I flew eastward through Corinaldo where the name Safe Waters Foundation Headquarters caught my eye. I descended down for a closer look and discovered that the foundation was a resource location for mer-folk. I dipped my basket into the water just deep enough to see that underneath the The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

Left and above: Not far east past the massive elevated glass mall of Elle Mode, there is little evidence of what is hidden below the surface of the water in Corinaldo: the Safe Waters Foundation, which provides information services and social events for mer-folk.

surface of the water was a club for mer-people to enjoy swimdancing and entertainment in. They even had a Safe Waters Foundation group to join for those who might be interested. I moved on, heading east-southeast past a Japanese waterfront marina and resort at Blizzard Lagoon in Acquasanta, then in Longfin I crossed over the roadway of Route 12 and flew north to a wind chime event high up in the sky at Angels—Bright & Shiny Moving Art—Jason’s Angels Store in Remora. The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

Angels sold all manner of angel iconography and related items, including statues, candles, chimes, necklaces and art. All the proceeds went to the non-profit organization, Project Jason. Owner Ronnie Rhode offered a real life CNN report showing Project Jason at Also featured on was Rhode’s The Garden for the Missing in Second Life, which was Rhode’s effort to help families who have someone missing in their real lives. The Garden featured 200 posters of the over 105,000 and on CNN at: children and adults who vanished the U.S. without a trace. All 265761, and lastly, an article from missing persons posters were the Associated Press here: clickable, so that viewers could read more about their disappearances, their long-searching fami- Having scoured Angels for quite lies, as well as get resource some time, I dropped my balloon information about what people back down toward ground until I need to know when, and before, arrived in the northwestern Naua family member disappears. tilus sim of Piren Bistrano where the hilltop castle of Never Sleep The group also posts Amber Alerts welcomed visitors for rest, relaxfor abducted children in the U.S. ation, and a simple cup of coffee. and has an in-world group to join They too had a website at: to show support. The CNN port on The Garden can be seen here: www.gardenforthemissI flew westward passing over a

large pyramid at Thedeland in Hunnicutt, but without warning fell out of my balloon due to a security device that destroyed my balloon. I had to regroup two parcels down at Sweet Water Beach in Hunnicutt to unpack a new balloon. I tried to get close in both Klinger and Radar, but again, no luck in getting closer to see the pyramid without the aid of my binoculars. Since the day was getting late, I went back to Sweet Water Beach to take a rest on a beach chair and call it a day. WEEK 26 / DAY 7

I woke the next morning, eager to 63

Above left top and bottom: Dahlia dared to land in a spiked structure in Donalbain. Above center: In Houlihan, a gigantic purple organic structure illuminated the sky over The Pixel-Lab store and playground. Above right top and bottom: The Never Sleep castle in Piren Bistrano and Advanced Aviation Services LTD helicopter company in Pouncival. 64

get underway. I had a good feeling that I might be able to reach the very last sims of Nautilus on this day, so I wanted a good, solid early start. I took off from Sweet Water Beach and flew over the docks of a rental company in Hawkeye, then The Pixel-Lab store and playground in Houli-

han that had an incredible purple flower in the sky and a weird upreaching structure, called Enchanting Charm, that stretched upward from the retail shop in Donalbain. While parked on the sky deck of the shop, resident Lerialas Asturias flew joined me to fly as a guest passenger.

Together, Lerialas and I flew north to where we made a castletop landing in Xymellius to see the Terra Nova, rentals, and freebie shops advertised. After getting our fill, Lerialas went on her own direction while I took off going northwest, crossing over Route 12 until I arrived at Dark

Shores in Jaxipun where a giant statue of Christ overlooked the beach landing. Feeling blessed, I continued on to Clinker where the paved Route 12 ended at a dirt trail that continued its path. Nearby, at Lollygagger Lane in Sarafina, a friendly slum area for hobos offered music, live DJs, The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

Welcome, all: A recreation of the Rio de Janeiro statue of Christ the Redeemer welcomes visitors to the beach in Jaxipun.

The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus


Clockwise from top left: Zucovsky was the northwesternmost tip of the Nautilus mainland before its last islands reached out toward the continent of Corsica. Castle Valeria was a strategically placed infohub in a sim of the same name, but it provided little informational value beyond a Hot Spots sign. High overhead in the adjacent sim of Kinrara, a final, previously unknown air strip resided over the channel between the two continents. 66

shops, free things, and an open sewer. I continued following the dirt path along the edge of the continent until a helicopter company, home of Advanced Aviation Services LTD in Pouncival came into view on the top of a hillside.

It also had a short runway, so I turned the balloon around and came in for a landing. It was a nice change of pace to find another airport runway, even if it wasn’t a public airport.

distant northwestern corner of Nautilus. So after a brief rest to update my flying log, I took off again, heading northwest, passing the very last mainland sim of Zukovsky, and crossing over open waters to the Linden infohub of I could see from Pouncival that it Castle Valeria in a sim of the wasn’t very far from my goal: the same name. The castle offered a

good view back towards the Nautilus continent and also north toward the encroaching land mass of the Corsica continent. Inside, however, it only provided a couple of informational boards, barely enough to provide significant coverage of Second Life inThe Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

formation. Nevertheless, people came in spurts, landing on the deck by its large wooden doors to take in the view and see whatever there may be seen inside. I had hoped for more from the infohub, but I already knew from past experience that while some infohubs were truly effective, others were no more than window dressing in strategic locations that never really blossomed. So if you’re a traveler looking for reference material and sign boards that offer a great variety of information related to Second Life, go to one of the other more active infohubs on the Sansara continent.

A souless castle: In the northwesternmost sim of Castle Valeria, an infohub property of the same name provided a strategic landing spot for visitors between the mainlands of Nautilus and Corsica, but the information it provided was insignificant and a poor representation of the impressive wonders Nautilus and Second Life as a whole had to offer.

While I was at the castle I looked up and noticed a runway in the sky only another sim away. I wasn’t sure if it was in the Nautilus or Corsica air space, so I decided I better fly there to check to make certain. After a few minutes, I landed on the helipad in Kinrara, discovering it was officially in Corsica, but happy to make certain just in case. With that potential oversight out of the way, I flew back to Castle Valeria to officially declare my tour of Nautilus complete— after only 15 days of flying time that took eight months to complete. The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus


MAPS: THE PLAN Dahlia would begin her travel through Nautilus by exiting the Blake Sea / Island Communities region at Spyglass Island and entering Nautilus waters in Brigantine. From there, she would fly up the eastern islands and coastline then back south along the next western land mass and shores until reaching the eastern tip of Nautilus City. After cutting a western path through Nautilus City, Dahlia would continue westward to the far southwestern aspect of the continent, then weave her way back and forth in a generally east/west fashion while continuing northward until she arrived at the far northwestern corner of the continent where she could exit into the air space of the Corisca continent.


The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

MAPS: THE RESULT Dahlia’s flight path followed the general plan, but as expected, allowed for deviations as interesting locations came into view or were learned about. She flew north along the eastern coastal islands and shoreline, stopping by a cluster of airports at Elinor Airfield, Pirate Air, and Ayup!-N-Away! After reaching the upper northeastern channel between Nautilus and Corsica, she then flew south along the inner eastern coastline—going further south than planned due to the proximity and convenience of stopping at DMC’s Airfield, Griffin Aviation Heliport and Sparrow Field—before doubling back to search for an unnamed airport that remained unfound, but another marina and airfield learned of in Meddledown. From there, she would reach the eastern tip of Nautilus City and fly completely through it until she reached the far southwestern aspect of the continent. There, she would visit the Vellas and Zee West airports then wind her way northward until she arrived at the far northwestern corner of the continent at the Castel Valeria infohub. This finishing location would provide for a convenient transition for flying into the southwestern aspect of Corsica continent where she could continue on with the next stage of her Great Balloon Adventure.

The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus


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



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


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



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 Zuka, Rikki Reichmann, Eric Christensen, Narcissus Mint, Ara Enzo, Johnny Mikado 70



MARCH Done 2 √



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



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


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




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



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


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 ~ Nautilus

ress On The Calendar, Continent-By-Continent JUNE




Done 4 √




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


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 ~ Nautilus




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







30 April 2010 / 16 January 2011 FLIGHT DISRUPTIONS


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?


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





23 May 2010 / 13 August 2011 FLIGHT DISRUPTIONS


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, Ben3 Turbo, Shirynne Nayar, Golan Mayo, Mikil Tiki, Pocky, Merry Kahlim, 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 72





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


Dahlia’s flight schedule changed from daily flights in January – July 2010 to weekend only flights afterward, thus taking much longer to complete later stages of her adventure.

The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

ress On The Calendar, Continent-By-Continent JUNE








The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus


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



Linden Advertising Policy

Rescued or Kidnapped?

After the owner of an airport objected to the advert on Dahlia’s balloon, she was ejected and issued a questionable ticket by Amber Linden.

After first being passed by ship captain elmegro Magic, was Dahlia rescued or kidnapped back to the Blake Sea?


Just Passing Through In one of her more memorable flying stunts, Dahlia passed through the skeletal remains of a giant dinosaur on this iconic island. 74


Stranded by Bones A system crash left Dahlia unconscious and washed up on the beach at Ahab’s Haunt, where she later woke up under the watchul eye of a remarkably large dinosaur skeleton.


Swimming with the Sharks Turbulance knocked Dahlia and her passengers out of the balloon and into shark infested waters. Dahlia risked a swim back to shore to return in a rescue balloon. The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

oments While Traveling Through The Nautilus Continent



Finding Inspiration in the Sky

The Deep Channel

Dahlia became educated and inspired by the story of one of the very first and most courageous 1900s era aviatrix’s, Elinor Smith, at Elinor Airfield & Marina.

A channel of water cuts through the center of Nautilus City where it passes through giant doors and terminates at the intersection of four sims, this giant “key hole.”




The Guardians

A Dispicable Character

Fruit of the Gods

Dahlia enjoyed meeting and learning about Second Life through the keen eyes of two (3 if you count the shoulder pet) SL Coast Guards at the Knaptrackicon SL Coast Guard Station.

King Moroslav sat in his bunker awaiting—no, DARING—anyone to come get him. If only one could find a way past the high-calibre machine guns that protected his compound!

In a small Hindi-inspired temple 544 meters above Nautilus City, Dahlia discovered a lone apple on a bonsai-sized tree. Could it be the apple of knowledge—or of temptation?

The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus



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: 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: and in potential future issues of ICON magazine, which are available both in-world as well as on 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. 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


Dahlia Jayaram 10 January 2010

The Great Balloon Adventure ~ Nautilus

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

“Nautilus is a continent that balances opposites: between land and water, commerce and recreation, good and evil, helpful souls and dispicable characters.”

What will be your adventure?