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Second Life to Celebrate Summer Sailstice Virtually

April 18, 2024 by Heidi Benson-Stagg

By Dave Bloch

Summer Sailstice in Second Life was created in 2020 in response to COVID, when thousands of sailors could not even get to their boats, let alone participate in group celebrations. I asked John Arndt if it would be OK for me to try and mobilize our inworld sailing community to create a safe virtual event. Even though sitting in front of a computer is exactly the opposite of what Sailstice is about, John said "Go for it!"

That first event drew about 400 people (their avatars, that is), and introduced them to this grand worldwide event. Each year has brought more participation, with last year drawing around 1,000 visitors to our virtual venues.

So, what is this thing? Second Life is a huge virtual world, where people create their avatar and, literally, a new life. They might build buildings, design and sell clothes, play live music while people dance, participate in all sorts of roleplay activitie - anything you might do in Real Life ("RL").

And several thousand of us SAIL. Talented scripters have been improving the programming of our virtual boats since the first one was created back in 2013. Our boats behave exactly the way your real ones do. They respond to the wind - your sail trim, the boat speed, even another boat coming upwind of you - just like the real thing. And we follow the same Rules of the Road; "STARBOARD!!" gets yelled in SL the same way.

In other words, SL sailing is a fantastic training simulator, and absolutely a RL sailor can keep their skills sharp in between trips on real water. Our many yacht clubs and marinas sponsor races, cruises, dances, parties - everything real ones do. It's that same camaraderie that is so special about the sailing community.

On our Summer Sailstice Saturday, we'll start at 4:00 am PDT (also known as "SLT"--Second Life Time) with a cruise led by a European crew from Rainbow Sails Yacht Club. Throughout the day there will be music performances and DJ dances at different locations, along with races and more cruises. (The mer community comes along on some of these too. Yes, we've got mermaids, and mermen. too.) One of our marina areas will offer music the entire weekend, Friday through Sunday.

The entire week from June 21 to 28, our "Festival of the Oceans" Nautical Expo is the biggest annual boat show in Second Life. Boat builders, hull painters, gadget makers and other creative people will show off their best work. One of those is a creator of incredible detailed Tall Ships, and they will also have a cruise on that day; by far the biggest gathering of those ships of the year.

For the first time, SS in SL will include a Marathon Fun Walk/Run through the Skandinavian-themed regions of Second Norway. We're doing this in partnership with Relay For Life, the worldwide American Cancer Society fundraising campaign. RFL in SL is consistently in the top ten Relay communities, with a goal this year of $500,000 USD. We hope our Summer Sailstice in Second Life team can help reach that goal! You can learn more at

So, that's it! If you've never been inside Second Life, I hope you'll take this as an invitation to give it a try! Although there is lots to buy in SL, you can have a great time without spending a nickel. Create an account for free at and come on in. My inworld name is Dale Irata and I'll be happy to help you. There are LOTS of knowledgeable, helpful folks to get you off to a good start as well.

Remember, we run for 17 hours on Saturday, June 22, (with some events running from three to eight days), so you can absolutely join your local Sailstice event and have fun with us too!

Some important links:

Second Wind website:

Second Wind Summer Sailstice Page: (We get WAY more participants than registrants, so don't let that small list deter you.)



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