September has arrived and with it, thoughts in the northern hemisphere are once more turning to the Autumn, a fact reflected in the gradual seasonal change being witnessed across many public regions within Second Life. Given autumnal themes are now on the ascendant in-world, I decided to hop along to a double-header of regions that sit firmly rooted in the tropics and a world of Sun, sand and sea.
One Summer and Saltwater are a part of interconnected Homestead regions that share a continuous theme throughout: that of a group of rocky islands, an archipelago possibly created more by natural water erosion rather than having anything volcanic in their origins (although some of the rock formations making up the islands could easily be seen as having volcanic origins).
The regions sit in an east-west orientation, a meandering channel of water almost dividing them one from the other. “Almost” because a broad sand bar cuts cross the water at their southern extremes, providing a natural bridge between the two, although it is one that might not always be there. Dotted by shallow pools watched over by pelican and heron alike, all doubtless looking out for any snacks caught within the waters, the causeway has the look of being tidal in nature, and prone to vanishing as the latter returns.
The work of Krys Vita, her SL partner Tre (TreMeldazis), the two regions have individual landing points (which can be found jointly at the end of this article, rather than embedded within it), thus allowing for individual visits. However, to fully appreciate them, I’d suggest making the time to visit them side-by-side. They are also regions where donations are welcome – but not for their upkeep: funds are accepted by RFL kiosks located on the back of the signs for each region, allowing them to support the American Cancer Society’s off-season fund-raising in Second life.
Of the two regions, One Summer is probably the easier to explore simply because its various islands (and saltwater swamp, the sandy floor of which also appears to have been exposed by the low tide) are connected by bridges and boardwalks. These provide the means to pass over the waters separating the island and reach the grassy trails winding around and over them and thus reach various points of interest. The latter range from small places to sit and relax through to the large beachfront spa located on the western side of the region.
Across the water / causeway, Saltwater offers a more diverse – if a little harder to get around – setting. Here the islands are fewer in number, and the larger two are somewhat sinuous in nature and without bridges connect them. The waters of Saltwater are also broader in nature – and given the extensive moorings and pier-built workshops, warehouses and café found to the region’s eastern extremes, deeper than those found within One Summer. Certainly, the piers are home to a number of vessels, including a deep keeled sailing boat and sports fishing cruiser, and more sail boats are anchored in a little bay nestled mid-way along the the sinuous island than forms one end of the causeway linking Saltwater to One Summer.
I didn’t spot any boat rezzers or similar in bouncing and camming around Saltwater (which is not to say they aren’t there; fallible me is fallible me), so getting to / from the southern island and the causeway connecting it to One Summer and the other islands in the Saltwater group appears to be a case of flapping your arms or camming to a convenient chair and sitting in it. However, the island with the region’s landing point is connected to the sand bar east of it by way of a low board walk, and a further board walk connects sand bar to the piers and moorings, thus making exploration on foot and between them possible.
The local environments for the two regions aren’t quite in sync – whilst similar, the Sun does go for a brief walk across several degrees of sky on crossing between them -, and I did find myself bouncing off of the odd plant here and there as well as being able to walk on the water at one point (all in One Summer). But while these elements made for interesting distractions, they didn’t in any way spoil my visit. As seen in the photos here, as well, both regions lend themselves to environment settings other than their own.
Finished with a matching sound scape and, as already noted, offering the opportunity to support ACS / RFL of SL, One Summer and Salt Water make for an idyllic tropical visit.
With thanks to Shawn Shakespeare for the nod to Saltwater.