Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Aye, There Be Pirates Here!

The following article and accompanying artwork was completed in May 2015 to be included in a June / July magazine issue that (due to unforeseen circumstances) never went to print.  This article covers both Pirates on Second Life and the History of Sailing on Second Life.  I feel that I owe this publication (on my blog) to everyone that helped me.  I wish to acknowledge and thank: Mark Twain White, who provided information on the history on sailing on Second Life and who reviewed my article for  accuracy, The Owners and Admins of Pirates Keep, Morgan Straits for allowing me to build a set upon their docks for The Wharf, and Kurt Jiagu, who was available to answer my many questions on Pirates and Pirate SIMs on Second Life.

Aye, There Be Pirates Here!
          Article and Artwork by Ilyra Chardin

Those who love sailing, role play, races and battles can find that on one of the numerous Pirate SIM groupings available on Second Life.  Predominantly water with land masses featuring forts, taverns, shops and private homes, and of course docks and piers aplenty, there is ample space to maneuver Frigates, Clippers, and Galleons.

There are pirate communities that set their time period to the Golden Age of Piracy: 1650s to 1730.  This era featured some of history’s most famous pirates, including: Henry Morgan, Blackbeard (Edward Teach), and William “Captain” Kidd.  While other communities set their role play in a later time period, which allows for increased interaction and battle opportunities.  The Golden Age began its decline due to the increased presence of naval forces, and this is reflected on SIMS where naval ships flying British and American colors can be readily seen.

Beautifully constructed, the communities (groupings of SIMs) strike a balance between historical accuracy and the fantasy that Second Life offers.  There are SIMs that feature mermaid undersea grottos, while others set their time period to the late 1800s and feature Jules Verne’s Nautilus and Steampunk airships.

Pirate communities on Second Life include:

Morgan Straits

Welcome to Morgan Straits, a role play community set in the Golden Age of Piracy. Ravage the waters as pirates, naval officers, Mer, natives, gypsies, corsairs, marauders, fisherman, thieves or wenches. Join Morgan's crew in a high seas adventure of sea battles, wild taverns, treachery and mayhem!

This is a well-built group of SIMs offering home, shop, and static ship rentals, seven seas fishing, community life and open water space for sailing.

Freeport Township of Flotsam
On the Blake Sea, Diego Point

Tons of fun and fantastic builds in a pirate environment. Don't miss the incredible undersea grotto, the best Nemo's Nautilus in SL and all the funky funny shops. Set aside a couple of hours just to get acquainted with the Freeport of Flotsom.

With shops to visit, such as: Stan’s Previously Owned Coffins and Palace of Prosthetics, the imaginative, whimsical build by Aley is a must-see.

Flotsam is a gateway to the Blake Sea Pirate SIMs, the heart of which is Blake Diego Navy / Pirate Seaport. 

Blake Diego
On the Blake Sea

Blake Diego is the home of the Blake Sea Pirate Battle Group, which runs events every day.  Blake Diego has a lot of information on the Blake Sea Pirate and MerFolk Community SIMs, including events, a group joiner sign, rentals, pirate clothing (some free), and small craft freebies.

More on the Blake Sea can be found in the History of Sailing on Second Life section of this article.

Trade Winds

Trade Winds, formally Fair Winds, is a residential pirate role-play community set in the
1700s (18th Century) Caribbean that consists of a large group of sailable regions. They hold events daily, including naval battles using the spd combat system, sword fighting, belly dancing, LIVE music, DJs, dances and much more. So fill your mug with grog and come live the pirate life!

Like many of the pirate communities on Second Life, Trade Winds supports Mer Role Play and has a beautiful Mer Grotto beneath their waves.


Like pirates? Visit the Black Spot Shipyard to investigate or even purchase your very own tall ship, pirate vessel, or boat. This nautical-themed set of islands should delight both seafarers and landlubbers alike.  Home of the Pirate ships Black Sparrow, the Crow, and other old style tall ships and boats in various sizes.


Antiquity is a sixteen sim island grouping with plenty of room to sail.  The theme is predominantly 1800s, with one or two set in the 1700s.  With an emphasis on sailing, history, and battles, each area within Antiquity has its own unique style and theme.  These range from Caribbean Island, to Britannia, Oceania, Spain, Texas, the French Kingdom in Antiquity, to name a few.  A number of the SIMs have museums and historical information pertinent to their setting.  For example, one SIM’s description reads, “Welcome to Port Austen Seaport and the delightful spa and social scene of Bath. The Year is 1813, The Prince-Regent, George the IV, Duke of Wales, Sets on the Throne for his ill Father, a Lady novelist has just published Pride and Prejudice.”

Recommended for history, sailing and pirate battle enthusiasts. 

Praia do Forte
Santo Domingo – 1700s

Port of Santo Domingo, in the 1700`S, abandoned by the Spanish, now the port of Pirates.  Santo Domingo is intended to be a place for people to be able to role play and have fun.  The single SIM has a small central island and plenty of open water space to sail around.  A fort is placed high on one end of the island and a main wharf on the other. 

The main wharf is a quaint collection of role play shops with houses and huts stacked three stories high.  They have a nice display of tall ships docked at the wharf and a friendly sim owner, who is always about to answer questions.

The History of Sailing on Second Life

It would be unfair to speak of Pirate SIMs with their Tall Ships without providing the history of wind-powered sailing on Second Life.

Sailing on Second Life began in June 2005 on the SIM of Gray, where Kanker Greenacre built the first real SL Sailboat, the Flying Tako.  What made it real was that it relied upon SL Wind.  Prior to that, sailboats in second life operated with vehicle scripts similar to those used in cars.

Kanker formed the SLSF (Second Life Sailing Federation.)  In August of 2005, Mark Twain White founded the Starboards Yacht Club with Nber Medici.  Kanker Greenacre became a charter member.

"Announcing STARBOARDS YACHT CLUB.  SLSF Skippers and friends are invited to check out the new Starboards Yacht Club on the Hollywood sim. Starboards Y.C. and the adjoining pub and marina will be a gathering place for SLSF skippers and all in SL who love sailing.”

What began as the Starboards Yacht Club on the Hollywood SIM soon because a collection of SIMs known as United Sailing SIMs.  [Note: other Yacht clubs and sailing groups began to form across the grid, following SYC’s opening.]

In June of 2007, Mark Twain White reported on Treet TV that United Sailing SIMs numbered 47 SIMs.  In April of 2010, Douglas Green reported in an interview with Mark Twain White that United Sailing SIMs numbered 140, with White and his partner, Nber Medici, owning 37 of them.  The article went on to explain that White is the principle liaison between Linden Labs and United Sailing SIMs.

The Blake Sea was established in early 2009 as the first private – public partnership between the residents and Linden labs.  As of 2013, the Blake Sea United Sailing SIMs numbered 150.  The Private Regions of United Sailing SIMs are connected to the Second Life Mainland, across the Blake Sea, to Nautilus and Satori.

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