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Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Hotlapper of The Week - Caoilin Galthie

Had the opportunity to have Caoilin for an interview :). She has been sailing in many Hotlaps. Lets find out more about her.

We love you are hotlapping with us!

Ginger Henderson: How did your interest with sailing in Second Life begin?
Caoilin Galthie: I was in Second Life for several years when a friend introduced me to the Blake Sea, and I immediately fell in love with it. I have always loved the ocean, and living far from the ocean in real life, I found it a way to get my ocean fix. I tried a few freebie power boats, but then came across sailboats and got hooked. At first I taught myself the basics of sailing with the Nemo and the Becky's BWind boat, and had fun exploring and seeing how all the water areas connect together. However I was getting bored with just sailing around and was looking for something new to do, which is when I came across the Hotlaps group.

Ginger: We  have seen you sail in many Hotlaps. What do you enjoy about them?
Caoilin: I enjoy the sense of community that I find, especially when many of us are online at the same time on the weekends and trying out a new course. I find that everyone is friendly, and while there is competition, I have found it to be relaxed and friendly. I am not a very competitive person, so I like the more relaxed atmosphere in the Hotlaps group where I can either try to simply beat my own times, or see how I place against others in the same boat type. I have done some races, but have not really liked that type of sailing. I also like that I can do laps when it fits my schedule. My real life is pretty busy, so being able to come in and do laps when I have some free time works well for me. I am also enjoying discovering new areas that I have never been to before. I also find that it really helps me to sharpen my skills and think about how to approach a course with the given wind.

Ginger: Are there any changes you would like to see with Hotlaps?
Caoilin: I like it the way it is, and the variety of courses that we do week after week.
One idea I have is that we implement some sort of mentoring program. It doesn't have to be anything too formal, but a way to both teach new people how to do Hotlaps and a way for members who want to improve their skills or learn a new boat type to benefit from the great pool of experience we have in this group.
For example, every now and then I come across someone at the dock who is new and is curious about how it works. I also see new names show up in the spreadsheets but they seem to have poor times and then never show up again, so I assume they either didn’t like it, or got frustrated and went away. I have taken a few people along with me as passengers to show them how it works, so I would like to identify group members who would be interested in taking newcomers along with them, or be willing to help those who want to improve their skills or try a new boat type. What I have found to be the most helpful in improving my own skills has been to ride along with members who are more experienced, especially in a boat type I am interested in, to see how they handle the boat and how they plan out their course.
Another idea I have is to create group roles for those who reach the milestones such as 250 laps sailed and so forth, so they can wear a tag to celebrate their accomplishments.

Ginger: What part of the Real Life world are you from?
Caoilin: I am in the United States, in a landlocked state in the West, so sadly no where near an ocean. This means I use Second Life for my ocean fix.

Ginger: Do you sail also in your Real Life as well?
Caoilin: Sadly I don't. The only sailing in my area is on lakes. I took some lessons years ago BC (Before Children), but my experiences with sailing in Second Life have gotten me thinking about finding sailing lessons for my family next Summer. I am also a private pilot in real life and what made a lot of sense to me when learning to sail was to compare the sail to the wing of an airplane and to think about angles of attack for the sail, just like a wing.

Ginger: What are your top 3 favourite sailboats in Second Life?
Caoilin: Hmm, only 3? I have been sailing with the Nacra a lot, and have been learning the Laser as well. For cruising I usually use the Ushuaia. I like the animations and poses and the handling on the Ushuaia and it has lots of room to bring friends along and then just drop anchor and hang out. I like the Nacra, because it is pretty easy to learn the basics, but offers the ability to always improve. I have been enjoying the tell tale version of the Laser lately, learning how to set the sails according the the state of the sails rather than chasing the color of the hud or the numerical angle of the sail. This seems to fit my way of sailing better. So look out Mike and Peter, I might break down and buy a 12M and give you guys a run for your money on the longer courses! I also have my eye on the Windwind boats.

Ginger: We've seen you sailing mostly the Nacra 17, have you been sailing this boat for long?
Caoilin: I have been sailing the Nacra quite a bit, but have been trying other boats, specifically the Laser. When I came across Hotlaps in the Spring I was still using the Becky's BWind boat regularly and didn't know much about what else was out there. I saw what others were using and what looked like fun and tried demos when they have been available before buying. I find that I like the smaller and faster boats.

Ginger: Besides Hotlaps, do you practice with sailing often?
Caoilin: I don't do any other races or cruises. Unfortunately they always seem to be scheduled for when I am at work or have other real life commitments. Other than Hotlaps I like to cruise around and explore and try to entice friends to come and sail with me. I have been enjoying revisiting areas we have had courses in and seeing them as a familiar place now.

Ginger: When sailing, do you use any tools or settings to help you that you may want to share with others?
Caoilin: Mainly I use the mini map and the USB HUD, but sometimes take that off once I learn a course. I also use Burt's compass HUD and have found that to be very useful. Definitely worth the 100 lindens to buy one! (You are welcome Burt!)

Ginger: What question would you like to ask other sailors out there?
Caoilin: How do you go so fast? I feel like when I have gotten the most that I can out of a specific boat type I am amazed at how others seem to go so much faster!

Ginger: Is there anything else you would like to share with others?
Caoilin: It has been a lot of fun for me, and I look forward to seeing what new courses we have each week.

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


  1. Nice interview, Cao, thanks!

    I like Cao's idea of mentorship and, of course, I also wonder how others go so fast. Maybe at the end of each week the fastest sailors in each boat class could voluntarily post notes (as Viv has about her Nacra runs) explaining how they sailed the course. Then anyone could revisit the course and use the various notes to self-tutor.

  2. Good suggestions! thank you for those, i will forward em to that cute little cat.