The First Annual Second Life Sand & Sea Expo Is Here!

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And readers, you’re in for a treat if you like things watery! (No, not THAT kind of watery, just for a change!) There are contributions here from some of the best creators on the grid and you’ll find a huge variety of items for sale. When you TP to the upper landing point you can gaze out at some spectacular ships, sailboats and watercraft, but that’s not all, because there’s just as much action beneath the waves, where you’ll find an astonishing underwater paradise ripe for exploration. It’s also a great event to capture some fantastic photographs too!

The main attraction for me was the range of sailing equipment and boats and I wasn’t disappointed, because the detailing  on some of them  is absolutely astonishing.  You may not be able to take them for a sail, but you can hop on and in some cases experience certain animations, which is definitely worth a try.

I was excited to see Motor Loon was exhibiting here, because I actually already own his sensational Loonetta sailboat, and I was chuffed to see he was showcasing his soon to be released jet-ski collection.  But I was equally pleased to encounter other watercraft builders too, such as JP Collections and Southern Seas Ships with builds  ranging from the traditional to modern. You can even find an airboat for sale from Tuff  here, which is perfect should you live in the virtual everglades! (Note: I’m going to do a bigger post about sailing in Second Life in the very near future, and I’ll be featuring some ships and boats from these creators in that piece, stay tuned!)

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It’s nice to see representation from the Sailing clubs in-world too. Sailing is huge in Second Life, and is a hobby that I only discovered recently myself and I am already addicted! (I would heartily  recommend anyone give it a try) so it’s nice to find that the clubs aren’t elitist and open to new members approaching them, which is something I am very tempted to do.  I was also intrigued to see a number of real estate vendors had stands here too.  And why not? At least in Second Life you can live your dream of a beach front paradise, even if you live in a grim and dreary rundown terrace in real life!

If your main watery concern is topping up your virtual tan with friends, then be sure to cast your eyes across the ranges from esteemed creators LISP, {What Next} and Chez Moi. You’ll find beach towels, umbrellas and even a glorious hot-tub to enjoy with friends. There are items to suit every budget, and lots of variations upon the outdoor living theme. To be perfectly honest I lost count of the numbers of chairs and fire pots that were on display, but that’s not a bad thing because there is something here to suit every taste  and they are all well worth seeing and trying out! In fact I recommend doing just that and camming around if you can. There are plenty of vendors here where you can crack open a beer and relax, and if you feel inspired to replicate the environment back at home then rest assured you will find everything you need to create  your very own watery haven here, from furniture to bars to actual islands and buildings to place upon them, everything is  ready to be bought and enjoyed back at your home location.

Be sure to check out the Palm Tree House Hut from Jamy’s Shop, and the stunning range of builds from Headhunter’s island. Appearance and function are everything, and the mesh and texture work here is tantalising, from the smallest starfish to the larger sailboats, so believe me when I say that you will need Lindens in your pockets because you will be very tempted by what you’ll find on sale, and you’ll probably discover a new found enthusiasm for all things sailing!  My recommendation? Drop by the {What Next} stand and rez a bicycle, for a leisurely ride around the displays while you make up your mind what to buy. (Hint: ALL THE THINGS!!)

Crashed zero

I mentioned that there was an underwater element to the occasion and it’s well-worth donning scuba gear for. I love the submerged Zero I found whilst exploring.  The underwater vista is really atmospheric.  This section is perfect for Mer-folk and virtual diving enthusiasts, and you’ll discover beautiful seascapes,  pods of cetaceans and the Oceanic Breedable sharks. (Strange as it may seem they’re not the only virtual breedable pet here, I thought it was only Turkish Van cats that liked the water but judging by the Kittycats that are on display it seems I was wrong! Some of them even like surfing…)

beach cats

Last but not least there are loads of freebies available here, but you have to be lucky enough to win them. There’s a fun beachcomber event taking place, whereby selected vendors have placed seashells at their booths and by clicking on them you may or may not win a prize.  I’ve been lucky enough to have a sneaky peek at the prizes and they’re definitely worth trying out for!

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Whatever you’re doing this Bank Holiday weekend, don’t miss this event.

List of participants: 

Oceania Breedables
ANA_Mations
{what next}
Fruit Islands
Jamy’s Shop
Jp Collections
Mermaid Treasure and Boutique
HeadHunter’s Island
SSS Southern Seas Ships
Swanky
Triumphal Yacht Club
Leeward Cruise Club
MeadowWorks
Ocean Shores Surf Beach
Weston Marina
Hana Aloha Surfing Paradise
*BOOM* Clothing Co.
CVR
Bee Designs
Nantucket Yacht Club
Action
Deep Seas Mer Outfitters
NDiver
***MnM Designs***
TUFF Old Boats
The Abyss Observatory
Aquatics
Fishers Island Yacht Club
Tideborns
KAZZA
Two Moon Paradise
CHEZ MOI Furnitures
Starboards Yacht Club
Hollywood Real Estate
THE Beachstore

You’ll find the expo runs from 2nd-5th May which isn’t very long, but it could open up a whole new way of virtual living for you.  Right, must dash. I’m heading off to the Blake Sea for some sunset sailing and a rousing chorus of “We Are Sailing!” Who’s with me? 

Click HERE to land above ground, or click HERE to land underwater!

A Hunting We Will Go…..(after a kip, natch)

I’m completely bloody knackered, as the photo accompanying this blog post portrays so adequately. For the past few hours I’ve been in a hunt frenzy, and there are not one, but two rather good hunts on the grid at the moment and if you are unlucky enough to miss them I promise you will kick yourself in the head rather a lot. (Note, there are probably a few more hunts going on at the moment, but these are the best ones in my opinion. That and the fact that the wonderful ‘The Rumor’ has blogged at least one of them which makes my life a lot easier! I hope they blog the other one…)

First up is ‘The Season’s Hunt- Winter’, and you have until January 29th to visit all participating stores and find the Snowmen hidden in or around each one. Guys I cannot tell you how fabulous this hunt is, so you’ll just have to see for yourself. It’s not very often you get a hunt that features quality from every participating brand and I don’t mean that in a nasty way, but let’s be honest here, some hunts are better than others and often times you wonder why people have bothered to contribute at all. A hunt after all is primarily about increasing your customer base, so with that in mind the freebie you give away should be the best quality that you can afford to give away. As we all know, not every hunt applies that logic, and as a result some hunts turn into a lesson in how not to market your store in Second Life, and serve only to put potential customers off your products for life.

But not this one. This is as solid as they come, and it covers all bases. We’re talking skyboxes, furniture, animations, men’s and women’s clothing and the rest, from uber-names like Split Pea, Theosophy, Fri.day and the list goes on. See what I mean about quality designers? ALL the best ones are here, and more besides. I’ve not found every item yet but I recommend you drop on over to The Rumor blog  where they have a handy visual guide to the items available. (The Rumor is a fantastic blog; and this feature is dead useful enabling you to prioritise your hunting and weed out the ‘must haves’ from the ‘meh’ (Not that there’s really any of that kind of thing here!))

So far my fave items HAVE to be the sofa from Lisp, The Magic Nook sleeping basket (as featured in this photo-truly fabulous fun!),  the outstanding skyboxes from  Concrete Flowers and Molto Bene, AND True Love Never Dies as well as  the amazing Awesome Blossom chair, Elikatira‘s fantastic hair offering and the Art Dummy bench. In fact, while I’ve been hunting I’ve been making a list of stores that I shall be beating a retreat back to once I have some virtual spends, and this is why hunts can be good publicity if they’re done correctly. Not only have I rediscovered stores that I love and should visit more often ( Example: Concrete Flowers, I f*cking love that store!) but I’ve also seen loads of new items and visited stores that have had a revamp since I was last there. Lisp is a prime example, I haven’t been to the mainstore in a bloody age and it literally blew me away when I saw the quality and variety of goods when I was doing my hunt thing!

In fact, it’s almost scary to think how many stores there are in Second Life. At the moment I’m making a list of the best ( in my opinion) furniture stores, and so far I have twenty five on that list and it isn’t anywhere near finished yet, but each one is a ruddy corker. I’ll probably publish that list at some point but don’t hold your breath, it won’t be staying at twenty five stores!

Anyways, you have been told what you need to do, so now go away and do it, ok?  I’ll post about the other most worthy hunt on the grid tomorrow. Until then I’m gonna have a kip in my basket. Good luck and happy hunting!