But, most marine impediments, they only go so far under. People pave over the river, but to save prims they don't extend the walls all the way down. You can see the direction I'm going with this. For this means that if one has a submersible the sea is literally at your command. One other constraint is that it was to be small and narrow enough, for reasons I will explain later.
In this spirit, I commissioned the Nunchuck Submersible Ship Nunchuck. I rezzed it and launched it from Heaton Village, and after a few minutes of sea trials I deemed her fit enough to endure the waterways the Lindens so thoughtfully provided.
The Heaton River is a rather narrow channel, but the bottom is relatively smooth, so it's easy running and hardly any worries of obstacles. For a while, it was quiet. Mainland is always quiet and empty, but the seas even more so. It's a side effect of being a snow sim, that people instinctively think "jeez, that river must be freezing". Unfortunately, they were dead right. The instruments kept freezing, and I found it rather difficult to maintain depth. It wasn't such a big deal at this point, because there was no need, the Heaton river was clear and smooth sailing all the way.
For this many came to raft and raid through the canyon. The sharp and jagged rocks and boulders, honed into sharp daggers by the fast moving waters, wait eagerly for those who do not know their strengths. Here is where many crash and wreck. Some survive and live to learn. Others do not. It's SL, and it's not easy, and it eats newbies alive who aren't careful.
These death rocks lodge into the narrow river, and one can glide underneath them for rarely do they reach to the very bottom. And it is this that enables me to pass them intact, for the Nunchuck passes by under the water far from the treachery that lies above.
This is the final test. I must plunge into this narrow and inconsistent subterranean cavern in order to make it past and into the warmer sims below. I have never sailed in these parts, I have no idea what awaits me in these caverns where the shadows hold sway and the water is both friend and enemy. I am sure I can make it, but the sail may catch, and in the rapidly moving water with the rapid changes of temperatures between the snow and grass sims, the sonar and mystiHud are unreliable. And there is the possibility that the builder of this placed traps and jagged rocks specifically to ensnare the subs who dare pass through it. This is truly the final test.
One may be asking why I do not surface and sail over this cavern. This is why:
This waterfall is the reason that I must travel deep. To attempt to jump the waterfall would lead to death on the rocks below. If the rocks didn't kill me, the impact of the sub with the water certainly would. Faced with certain death, the cavern is the much more logical choice. If I can make it past this, I am finally out of Tethys and I will have made the voyage through it for the first time after numerous failed attempts.
If there were windows on my sub, I would see nothing. It is pitch black in the cavern. The readings from sonar come back jumbled but in this cave it is the only hope of navigating. It is eerily silent, the rocks insulate me from the roar of the falls above. Nothing lives here, and maybe nothing can live here.
Time passes. It's cliche to say that it felt like eons passes, but it's cliche precisely because it is true. Time slows down in the adrenaline rush of struggling to maintain and trim depth, or adjust it for what appears to be a stalactite in the way, or cursing the sluggish rudder. I am going as slow as I can, but I wish I could go faster. That's a trap some fall into, attempting to rush through passages like this. It's not a smart idea. Fast is a quick way to meet Nunchuck.
And then, the sound of the falls returns. The sonar stabilizes and starts returning contacts I can rely on. And then, I see one more test. Can I make it past the turbulent waters at the foot of the falls?
Yes, yes indeed I can.
I survive to make the next part of my journey, out amongst the more pleasant grassland sims of the Old Continent, closer to the core where SL began.
But that is a story for another day.