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Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Hotlapper of The Week - Luna Azulejo

Luna you are the first sailor to reach the magic mark of 250 laps sailed.
May we present you with this burgee you can put on your boat. Congrats!! :)

We love you are hotlapping with us!

Ginger Henderson: How did you get interested with sailing in Second Life?
Luna Azulejo: I was only three weeks old in SL when a sailor who was to become my very most excellent SL friend invited me to go sailing. I was barely past having a rubber-doll avi and ignorant about so many things in SL, not to mention sailing, so to be out on the sea with an expert in a beautiful vessel (I think it was a Francois Jacques), to hear the ocean sounds I grew up with, and to observe all the work people had put into making this world a wonder just blew me away. I decided I wanted to be a part of it all, to create my own small contribution, so I looked for beach property and wound up in Eden, where I still live. I got a Nemo, but couldn't  quite figure her out, so took lessons from an expert former racer who had a little sign on her Eden parcel offering to teach new sailors.  Sailing right out of my cove was fabulous, even that time I tried to sail from Eden to the Blake Sea, heh. From there it's been incremental learning. Burt taught me how to make gestures, Hanne taught us wind and sail angles on T12s at the old Hake Academy, Peter has taken me aboard and patiently reviewed the basics with me countless times, and I won a Shields lesson from Armano at the S4L auction last year. Racing with the new Shields sailors last summer under Ginger's direction on the Sea of Fables was a turning point in my understanding of sailing physics. But I still  get disoriented due to my lousy sense of direction in both lives, so have a ways to go yet.

Ginger Henderson: We seen you sail in a lot of Hotlaps. What do you enjoy about them?
Luna Azulejo: They are logic puzzles and a great learning tool – my sailing has improved. They appeal to my obsessive-compulsive side. I also like that I can do a port start if I want without getting run down or yelled at. You know, sailing, especially racing, takes a fairly long time to learn, so it's nice to have competition without the stress of sailing with a pack. It's been said before: SL racers sail much more closely to one another than they would in RL!

Ginger Henderson: Do you have any suggestions on any changes you would like to see with Hotlaps?
Luna Azulejo: If you really must design courses that run into EOW, please provide animations that make our boats sail off the edge like the illustrations on old maps before Columbus and Magellan and all the rest proved the real world isn't flat.

Ginger Henderson: What time-zone in Real Life are you from?
Luna Azulejo: I'm from coastal Southern California, but now live in SLT+1.

Ginger Henderson: Do you sail also in your Real Life? (But we understand if you say 'none of your business' ;))
Luna Azulejo: I just started RL sailing a few months ago. SL and the sailors I've met here inspired me!  Learning  the basics in SL gave me a good head start – my first time out, I looked up at the chicken atop the mast and saw the Nemo instrument. :) I only have close access to lakes where I live now,  but this past November took a lesson on a Catalina 34 sailing the Pacific out of my hometown harbor. Sheer bliss! I'm going back next month and will again sail the Pacific. My dream is to find a way to spend winter months on the coast so I can sail. 

I look back and wonder why I never thought of learning to sail when I was still living on the West Coast.  I grew up umbilically attached to the Pacific, hearing waves breaking as I went to sleep. I've gone swimming in four  of five oceans! I think it's because I identified more with surf culture – I surfed and bodysurfed, which compared to sailing are minimalist, in the water instead of on it.  I guess I always thought sailing was only for wealthy people, but I was misinformed.

Ginger Henderson: What are your top 3 favorite sailboats in Second Life?
Luna Azulejo: My Shields is my favorite. I'd gone from the Nemo to a Laser but was racing rather badly, having mistakenly equated  its small size with ease of handling. That's a gnarly little wet boat! Burt's Shields was my breakthrough vessel. Not only is she free, she's relatively easy to learn.  I have a Trudeau One that still gives me fits and a Nacra I love on the open sea but can't race until I fix my hike gestures and practice a LOT. I do race my lovely, stately RM30, and just got an IF that's fun if for no other reason than having to scramble all over her deck like a chimp! Okay, that's seven, not three, sorry.

Ginger Henderson: You have sailed the most Hotlaps thus far not including crew. Want to talk about your Hotlaps addictions? :)
Luna Azulejo: I admit I am a Hotlaps addict. I go weeks without eating decent food, subsisting on water and moldy biscuits. Anyone who's known me a while can see my avi has shed many pounds/kilos. My face is thin, my cheeks sunken, my eyes glazed and at times so watery I can't see what I'm doing. I'm sunburned. I go for days without changing clothes, even sleep in the neoprene wetsuit Makhno made free at Tradewinds. My fingertips are callused, my keyboard is dusted with crumbs  that I have to sweep out with a paintbrush. I swear a lot, lurk on docks and floats trying to wheedle tips from old salts. I seldom get miserable enough anymore to write poetry, gave up buying lattes and Oregon pinot noir so I could support my sailing habit. I almost never go  dancing anymore, and keep Autorespond activated 87 percent of the time. Yes, I have a problem! I know! All I need is to beat Christine in my Shields! Then I'll quit, I promise! Sheesh.

Ginger Henderson: Do you practice a lot with sailing outside Hotlaps?
Luna Azulejo: I sail around Eden and the North Sea late at night, explore quite a bit,  occasionally take non-sailors on leisurely cruises, and often go to the Atlantic startline to practice the Nantucket courses with different boats. I've raced at NYC, but the sailors there, especially that pink one, are fierce and strong and carry knives in their teeth.  I'm too meek and incompetent for that level of competition, though I do like to hang out on their committee boat and drink their beer.

Ginger Henderson: When sailing, do you use any tools or settings to help you you may want to share with others? Things such as your preferred AWA on different headings and tactical choices on this weeks course like where to start from, where to tack etc?
Luna Azulejo: Ha. I know this is a boilerplate question, but I'm not the sort of sailor who can give others tips, though I have shared my gestures and helped people find free boats. I finally learned and converted to USB, which I recommend. But I still can't just look at a chart or even use a protractor and straightedge to plot my course. I'm an empiricist; that theory stuff only makes sense to me after I experience it. I'm hoping that after several thousand more Hotlaps I'll finally be able to do simple geometry, which apparently has disappeared from my inventory.

Ginger Henderson: What question would you want added to this interview? So we can ask the next sailor for you.
Luna Azulejo: “When are you going to tell Luna all your secrets so she can beat you?”

Ginger Henderson: Any other things you would like to share with others?
Luna Azulejo: When I was new to SL, I always asked older residents for advice on how best to enjoy life here. One response came from the editor of r_e_z magazine who's published a couple of my pieces. She said, “Surround yourself with good people.”  Being a sailor has allowed me to do just that, and I'm grateful to be part of this wonderful international community! You guys are the best!

Ginger Henderson: Thank you very much for your time for this interview and looking forward to seeing you on the Second Life waters soon.  :)


  1. What a nice interview to read! Thank you Luna and ginger :)
    You are so lucky to have found sailing in Sl so quickly and so nice to hear it brought you to try it in your other life too!

  2. Thanks for the nice interview :)