Going away with Captain Nemo in Second Life

The undersea world of Blake Deeps
The undersea world of Blake Deeps

Update: Fancy’s Deep has been relocated to Blake Cove and the SLurls in this article have been updated to reflect this. The submarine tour mentioned also no longer appears to be operating, but the relocation of the town means it is now alongside the regions devoted to the merfolk community.

Back in 2015 I wrote about the merfolk of Fanci’s Deep, who were holding a week of underwater activities to encourage folk to explore their undersea community, centred around the four regions of Fanci’s Deep. These form a part of the Blake Deeps, covering roughly 13 regions to the east of Blake Sea and south of  Blake’s Passage as it cuts its way westward from Blake Sea to Second Norway.

Recently, Caitlyn and I have been spending time within the Deeps, and so I felt a further blog post was overdue on their secrets.

One of the many garden spots in Blake Deeps where you can dance with merfolk
One of the many garden spots in Blake Deeps where you can dance with merfolk

With 13 regions to visit, it can be a little hard to know where to start. However, there are several places which can serve as a base for wider explorations, and I’ve listed them at the end of this article (as well as mentioning them in the text). For me, one of the best locations to start your explorations is the historic Freeport Township of Flotsam, Blake Cove.

Designed by Aley, Flotsam is a wonderful mix of humour and homage, focused on pirates, but with a literary aspect. Built entirely on  wooden platforms over the water, the town boasts a bank, shipyards, shops, quayside moorings and even the golden arches of a McSushi’s!

The freeport of Flotsam
The Freeport Township of Flotsam

A clue to the literary homage can be found berthed at one of the quays: Captain Nemo’s submarine Nautilus, from Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea and as visualised Walt Disney 1954 film; feel free to board her and look around. There is also a reference to Journey to the Centre of the Earth: a “mole” tunnelling machine, also to be found on the south side of town. If you take your seat inside, you’ll be taken on just that journey – although finding your way through it does take a little time and effort; not all the routes are at first obvious.

There’s a further reference to Nemo, as well (as there is elsewhere within the Deeps): look for the tunnel leading down to the Captain’s undersea observatory, which sits directly under the town on the sea bed.

The Nautilus at Flotsam
The Nautilus at the Freeport Township of Flotsam

Given all this, the town really is worth a gentle wander – there is so much to see, both in the design of the buildings and within them. When walking the quays on the south side of the town, keep an eye out from the Kraken – itself a literary reference. Look out for the fire pits as well, as they offer a teleport system around points of interest around the region as a whole.

Flotsam is also the home to a submarine tour, although sadly not aboard the Nautilus. This is perhaps the best way to gain a feel for all that is available within the Deeps. At 30+ minutes in length, it’s a long tour, but your guide – Annie – makes it more than worthwhile, providing as she does a wealth of information on the history and myths of the regions. And she’s not against offering an opinion or two (“Don’t even get me started with his ideas about “Sea Chickens”, she grumbles whilst discussing Nemo’s undersea farming project, which apparently involves genetically modified cows and attempting to “grow tuna in their cans”).

Merhomes around Fanci's Deep take many forms: caves, conventional houses, shells - even the wrecks of sunken ships
Merhomes around Fanci’s Deep take many forms: caves, conventional houses, shells – even the wrecks of sunken ships

Another starting point for explorations is the Fanci’s Deep welcome area. Here you can obtain assorted freebies to help you feel at home – such as mertails or a diving helmet and even a mini-sub. Advice is provided on the best viewer settings by which to enjoy your underwater experiences and where to go and what to visit. Alongside of this is the Safe Waters Foundation, which offers further information, complete mer outfits and transformation kits, and information on mer communities across Second Life.

The welcome centre provides walking / swimming access to the four Fanci’s Deep regions, were both public spaces and private merhomes can be found. Do please respect the privacy of the latter, but feel free to enjoy the former, most of which offer underwater dances every different to those found in a land club!

Why not enjoy the beach and fun fair whilst under the sea?
Why not enjoy the beach and fun fair whilst under the sea?

Elsewhere, you can try your hand at undersea chariot racing, visit sea farms, even have a day out at the (undersea) beach, complete with pier top funfair and an aquatic circus nearby!

When visiting the various locations within Blake Deeps, keep an eye out for the maps similar to the one shown at the top of this article – they offer map-based teleports to many of the locations to be found throughout the regions. However you travel around the Deeps – teleport, swimming, tour sub, your own sub or simply by following your nose and swimming / walking, these are an enchanting set of regions to visit.

Given their nature and the aforementioned Nemo references, it seems appropriate I finish this piece with a song from Sarah Brightman.


All locations rated Moderate.

The art of Grazietta Blauvelt in Second Life

Ocean Inside Me Gallery
Ocean Inside Me Gallery

“When I put on paper or canvas a thought, a dream or something real, seen with my  eyes or perceived by my imagination, my concern is not that the others understand,” Grazietta Blauvelt (Grazietta Cazenove) says of her art. “But that [by] looking at those traits and those colours. they are able to get excited and to give a personal interpretation of what catches their eye from my paintings.”

I was recently able to experience this first hand, having received a landmark to the Ocean Inside Me Gallery, where Grazietta displays her work. I cannot in all honesty remember who passed the information on to me – my apologies to whomever it was; parts of the holiday season have become a bit of a blur so much was going on. But I offer my thanks, as it made for an enjoyable visit.

Ocean Inside Me Gallery
Ocean Inside Me Gallery

The gallery sits within a watery location, a set of round stepping-stones crossing the water from the landing point to the entrance. These bordered on one side by a 3D work by Gwen Ferox (violetile), and a story framed by a series of Grazietta’s paintings. Both reflect Grazietta’s love of narrative and in people allowing their imagination free rein.

Occupying the multiple rooms of the gallery’s two floors, Grazietta’s art spans a broad spectrum of formats: crayon, oil, watercolour, digital and pencil, with many encompassing two formats – oil and digital, oil and pencil, etc. The subject matter ranges from landscapes to portraiture to abstract, with many – most? – of the pieces exhibiting a bold use of colour and / or strong contrasts in their content – I found myself being constantly drawn back to Volando (“Flying” – seen to the left of the middle image in this article), for example such is the magnificent contract between what appeared to be a digitally post-processed photograph and an oil painted butterfly in full vibrant colour.

Ocean Inside Me Gallery
Ocean Inside Me Gallery

This are pieces filled with stories, ideas, imaginings and more,  as richly diverse as the styles used in their creation, all set within an environment which encourages one to linger. This is not only because of the comfortable chairs and opportunities to sit down found within the various rooms, but because Grazietta has extended her art into the very structure of the building, by re-texturing walls and stairways with some of her art.

All of the art is available for purchase, and a guest book is available for those wishing to leave a comment.

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