Sunday, March 24, 2013

Exploring Crow's Nest in the Blake Sea

Marie Monk and I set sail from the Baltic area, deep in the eastern reaches of the Blake Sea, and traveled west by sail for the island of Crow's Nest.

If one looks at a map of the region, the relative isolation of this island is quite apparent, situated as it is smack dab in the middle of the Blake Sea.

As we approached the island, the first thing that loomed in the distance was the enormous lighthouse, which at 85 meters tall is supposedly the tallest such structure in the Blake Sea.

As I eased The Wallaby closer, we were suddenly engulfed in a thick fog that made the entire aspect of the island somewhat sinister, though we could not help but be astonished at the beauty of the place.

A thuck thuck thuck sound also heralded the approach of a red helicopter, which landed in a helipad on the island and disgorged two furries, who came down to greet us and marvel at The Wallaby.

I moored the sailboat and we clambered out and up the steep stone steps, pausing for a while to read two signs posts that gave some history about the Blake Sea and some tips on what not to do when sailboat races are in play.

Blake Sea was created to cater to the sailing community in Second Life after the USS (United Sailing Sims), which owned a vast number of sims and represented the sailing clubs in SL, threatened to "jump ship from SL".

As time passed, the USS allowed other interest groups such as the Fighting Sails (informally known as the "Pirates") and the aircraft communities to extensively use the area as well.

We continued our climb up the stairs to the base of the lighthouse itself, which was inaccessible and barred with a chain gate, and discovered near the helipad a monument to one of the sailing community's worst disasters, when in 1979 a storm killed 18 people during the Fastnet Race in the Atlantic.

Far below us we spotted The Wallaby as it gently bobbed in the slight ocean swells.

We decided to risk death by taking pics on the helipad landing point as well.

As dusk approached I anchored The Wallaby and retired to the cabin inside and the restful bed.

And was surprised to discover in the morning that a sail race featuring more than 10 competitors in fast boats had started, looping in close to the island and back again to the start point again and again!

It was a surprising and satisfying end to the exploration of Crow's Nest in the Blake Sea.

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