Barbara has had a terrific idea. She plans to visit what are maybe lesser known naturist locations and invent a back story for them, weaving in some naturist history, a bit of imagined narrative, some facts, some fiction, some ‘fact-ion’ and a few photos to create a tale. And, you never know, perhaps inspire you to visit said locations and have a new(d) experience all of your own! While I’ve titled this one, I’m not certain -yet- if we’ll stick to ‘Naturist stories imagine No.x’ or not. But throughout 2014 and beyond (who knows?) Barbara’s intention is to give us some made-up yarns with maybe some made up characters too, sometimes modelled on her SL friends, sometimes modelled on an avatar she meets on the way. Note, the words in these stories are all Barbara’s. In the following one, No.1, she meets ‘Saltdog Jack’, a sailor who remembers the Eden Estate prior to Elbag and Brenda buying it. As far as I know, I haven’t checked, there is no avatar called ‘Saltdog Jack’ (and apologies to him if there is!) but I think the name’s off-beat enough to ensure that, so far at least, there’s no ‘Saltdog Jack’ in SL.
‘I recall the old days’, remembers Saltdog Jack, an old trawler skipper I met at Eden Goldcrest. ‘Before Elbag and Brenda bought Eden. Back then it was just a collection of islands, many of them uninhabited. Those that were inhabited were just fishing folk, like me. And there was a substantial fishing fleet here that pretty much served the needs of the SL grid. We made a living, but we weren’t making much money, I guess. I look in envy at some of the homes that have been built here since. I used to keep a shack here, before it fell down….’, Jack gives a wheezy laugh, ‘…and I bought this here Nissan Hut, a relic of World War 2, and rebuilt that as my store room and living quarters. We’d take the Chinook Salmon (the name of Jack’s now rusting trawler) out for days on end. I had a crew then, about eight of us living aboard her for a week at a time, just chasing the fish.’
Jack packs a pipe with some of the strongest smelling tobacco I’ve ever smelt, and lights it up. Taking a thoughtful puff, he goes on.
Mu relaxes in ‘Pappy’s’ favourite rocking chair.
Jack sits back and relaxes on board Mu’s new yacht.
Mu takes to the wheel of her yacht
‘It was called nudism back then, I guess’, Jack pronounces it ‘noodism’, ‘and out on that boat, after a long, sweaty day’s work under this sun’, he gestures to the sky, ‘well…you needed a wash up. So we’d pull up in some bay and strip off and just jump off the side. We didn’t think we were nudists, really. We were just fellers who needed to get the smell of fish off of us’.
The Chinook Salmon had a crew of six. ‘Mostly gone to their graves now, although Ol’ Man Rivers, as we used to call him, on account of his surname being Rivers..he was younger than I was, is still living some ways off over near the Fruit Islands direction. Ha…got hisself involved with a younger avi who was supposed to have stole all his money. Dunno if it’s true. Ain’t seen him since the big storm of ’94. That was a bad ‘un’.
Saltdog Jack looks reflective for a moment, leans back in his rocking chair and takes another puff of his pipe.
‘Yes, Ma’am…the storm of ’94 was real bad. We’d set out from here and could see her brewin’….Hurricane Linden they called her. We weren’t long out afore we were in the middle of it. We’re takin’ in water because we’re getting swamped by huge waves, listin’ badly to one side and the engine was cuttin’ out. Then it went dead and we were adrift. Next thing I knew we hit the rocks….this was out by Eden Skua, and afore we knew, young Duane had gone over the side.’
A tear forms in Saltdog’s eye, and he wipes it away. ‘Never found his body.’
‘After that…well…the skipper of the Salmon retired…couldn’t face going back to sea. I bought her off of him. And some of the crew…you knew they’d either lost their nerve or their hearts weren’t in it anymore. Outta the six of us, only me ‘n’ Wheelhouse Willie were left. Course, I got a new crew, but it wasn’t the same. And of course, Governor Linden introduced fishing quotas. Afraid of us fishin’ out the sea. We always tried to fish responsibly. Kept our nets to a size that didn’t threaten dolphin life. Threw the small ‘uns back. But there were huge super-trawlers…fishin’ factories basically, that would head here from another sim and just decimate the fishing stocks. I understood the Governor’s thinking, but in doing the right thing, he also killed off most of the fishing fleet from around these parts.’
Things were about to change in SL, though.
Jack shows Barbara around the Chinook Salmon
Jack’s home, and harbour, on the Eden Estate
Jack tells Barbara about life on Eden before Elbag & Brenda
‘Yeah… ’bout eight years ago, almost to the day, Elbag and Brenda arrived and bought Eden lock, stock n barrel. Good thing they did, too, because fishin’ wasn’t really doing it for the people around here anymore. Some people sold up. I did, too, and they bought my piece of land from me, but kindly let me have this little piece of ground here, rent-free, for the remainder of my Sl days. I moored up the Salmon and I’ve never really gone back to sea much since. Course, I miss them days, but I could see the writin’ on the wall for the fishin’. I guess that if I look back it’s clear that Elbag and Brenda had the vision, and make this place more residential and reliant on rents ‘n’ tourism. Yes sirree, ma’am, I’d say they saved Eden.’
How did Saltdog react to the news that Eden would become a naturist estate?
‘Didn’t bother me none. Like I said afore, bein’ naked was nearly like part of the sailor’s life. Course, it was just us fellers back then. I have to say it was a bit strange when I’d be a-sittin’ here in my dungarees and these young women and their guys would appear naked on the beaches. But you get used to that real quick, and eventually you think ‘in this heat, who’s wrong?’. You know, they’re sunbathin’ and swimmin’ and lookin’ real relaxed, and I’m sittin’ here sweatin’ in clothes, mendin’ fishin’ nets and the like. So eventually I ended up just going naked too. And I’d be sittin’ here workin’ and then a couple would appear and ask to be taken out on a bit of a cruise around the islands. Well…they’re naked and you’re naked and it don’t seem like such a big deal anymore. So next thing I knew, I’m taking couples out around the islands on day cruises. And we’d moor up somewhere and catch some fish ‘n’ cook ’em and that’s lunch. As fresh as you could get! I made a nice livin’ outta that for a few years, but now there’s less need for that. I don’t mind. It’s just another stage in life and I’m really gone by puttin’ out to sea much anymore. I couldn’t part with the Salmon, though. She’ll be here, rustin’ away, long after I’m outta SL. I hope Brenda and Gable let her stay there. A nice reminder of the old days.’
At this point, Saltdog Jack’s daughter, Mu, turns up. It seems that there’s something of the sea in the family blood, as she waves to us from aboard her brand new yacht, and spends a bit of time tidying up before agreeing to pose for some photos as well.
‘No luxury like this in my day’
‘I remember the storm of ’94’
Mu on board Jack’s smaller vessel.
‘Never had this amount of luxury in my day!’ says Jack, sweeping his hand around in the direction of Mu’s new plaything. ‘Retired young, outta the virtual world computing industry’, he whispers conspiratorially, ‘whatever the hell that is! But she seems to have done OK for herself’, he beams with pride.
Photos staged at Eden Goldcrest. (Villa Amorosi Gold).
Thanks to Elbag & Brenda, for ‘taking their names in vain’ 😉 and partly reinventing their own back story, and also to Grace (grace.amorosi), the real owner of the Chinook Salmon and Loonetta31, for use of the boats used in this photo-essay.
And thanks to my SL friend Jack for playing the part of ‘Saltdog Jack’, and new friend Muschi, who just magically appeared while Jack & I were posing for the photos and threw herself willingly into the role of ‘Mu’.
Please note, also, that I don’t just chuck this together without research. We are, indeed, approaching the 8th anniversary of Elbag & Brenda’s arrival in SL. A happy rezz-day to them both when the time arrives, and our, SL’s naturist community’s, eternal thanks for the effort they put into the Eden Naturopolis sim.