|Beam Me Up Scotty|
The Star Trek Museum of Science, established in-world by Sabri Picard in 2006, remains at full throttle (if not at warp speed), though it has moved to a single island in-world. “We downsized last year (2011),” said Wabisabi Matahari, the museum’s curator and Benevolent Dictator. “No more room,” she added when this deadline beater inquired about the model starships that were part of the original exhibit. “(It) just got way too expensive and donations dried up,” the amiable dictator revealed.
Nonetheless, the museum still does more than justice to the sci-fi saga which has thrilled worldwide audiences since 1966. “We didn’t realize how much could fit on one island, (we) did save a lot,” averred the Star Trek SL museum’s Matahari. Unimaginably, the fascinating scuba tour and whale watching component of the original shebang, so well-loved by this writer, was retained. “(We) had to keep George and Gracie,” Wasabi continues in reference to the two humpback whales rescued in the 20th century by Admiral James T. Kirk and brought into the future for their permanent home on New Eridani, the relocated site for the Star Trek Museum of Science.
|Gracie is that you?|
There indeed is much to learn in this merger of SL with the philosophies purveyed in the RL Star Trek series of more than forty years that has spawned seven full length feature films already. “Rod Roddenberry gave us a nice film to show (in-world) about his scuba group,” Wabisabi explained further on the museum’s underwater components. Founded in RL by Eugene "Rod" Roddenberry, the son of Star Trek writer Gene Roddenberry and Majel Barrett Roddenberry, RDT or the Roddenberry Dive Team combines the philosophy of Star Trek with exploration and protection of Earth's oceans.
|Exploring the seabed|
Those who are prone to freak out underwater, even in an in-world setting with wet suits and scuba tanks (available onsite for free from Capt. Picard himself), can stay at a whale observation pier. Here, one learns about RL whale conservation while playing a favorite Star Trek movie or TV themes.
Be forewarned though that it may take the best part of a day to complete a whole tour of the in-world Star Trek Museum of Science. Besides the scuba–whale watching sortie, there are a dozen or so additional points of interest LM’d for a museum tour. One can beam up to 10-Forward and explore not only exhibits on astrometrics, engineering, warp theory and starship design, but also enjoy bridge recreations and two working Holodecks.
|Whale Observation Deck|
There are exhibits, artifacts and movies representing all Star Trek species–Andorian, Borg, Cardassian, Klingon, Orion, Romulan and Vulcan. Learning isn’t only confined to their history and philosophy but also include factoids on their eating and mating habits (and for the Vulcans, their trademark salute to “live long and prosper”). One can dine on live gagh and blood wine at the Federation buffet or visit the home of the Grand Nagus, a Borg cube, or a typical Bajoran or Klingon house.
|Quick, to the bridge!|
As exciting, there’s a full-size re-creation of the Enterprise NCC-1701 complete with the bridge, captain's quarters, sickbay, engineering and shuttlebay with working shuttlecraft. Sitting in the captain's chair, one can watch "A Star Trek Tribute" on the main viewer.
|What now Captain?|
Ride a shuttlecraft for two-destination options. Vulcan shuttles fly from P'Jem Monastery to the places of interest on New Eridani. From the shuttlebay of the full-size starship Enterprise , a Federation shuttle returns to New Eridani through a stable wormhole. Gladly for bungling navigators, the shuttles are automated and no piloting skills are required. As an alternative, there is a balloon tour where one climbs aboard the Pleiades for a leisurely trip over New Eridani, landing at the whale observation pier.
The visit can extend to the Vulcan museum and library in the town of Wakrubaya .
After the destruction of their home world, a small group of Vulcans relocated to New Eridani (named for the star Epsilon Eridani or the star 40 Eridani, around which Vulcan is said to have orbited). The town and nearby residential areas provide a home for Vulcans and other species to live in logic and harmony, while providing an opportunity to educate visitors about Vulcan society and culture.
As enjoyable to hang out is an outdoor market at Shi'Makau where the offerings include the partaking of a jumja stick or a slug-o-cola while browsing over fine goods and services offered by many Star Trek denizens. For some contemplation and fantastic views, there’s the Vulcan monastery, P'Jem, on a planet near Andoria. Arising fromits ruins in 2152, the monastery and T'Karath Sanctuary have been re-created by Tsora Enoch, chief engineer of the Star Trek Museum, near the Vulcan colony on New Eridani.
The meditative visitors will likewise relish the T'Karath Sanctuary where Surak's teachings are explained. This historic site was originally located in Vulcan's Forge on planet Vulcan, approximately 37 kellicams south of Mount Seleya . The sanctuary is now located in a cave which can be reached on foot, just northwest of the town of Wakrubaya .
A tongue-twister of place called koon-ut-kal-if-fee is the place to go to catch a glimpse of the Vulcan mating ritual. This exotic word by no means carries an erotic connotation, as it literally means "marriage or challenge" and is fundamentally a wedding ceremony (which should really scare some elusive bachelors out there). Be that as it may Spock, Kirk, McCoy, T'Pau, T'Pring and others are around in this Vulcan arena.
More rites and rituals can be contemplated at the Ceremonial Center . Officially, this is a place for formal events on solemn occasions, and is a favorite location for Star Trek Trivia. Gourmets and gourmands will be delighted too with an all-you-can-eat buffet featuring foods from all over the galaxy. Chief Engineer/Head Chef, Tsora Enoch, has whipped up some amazing scripted food for this extraordinary buffet. On the menu of delicacies, is the aforementioned live gagh (a closer look reveals how it squirms), plus Bajoran Hasperat souffle, Rokeg blood pie, Groat cakes with syrup of Squill, among many more dishes that truly are out-of-this-world.
To perhaps help keep peace in the universe (or abet some wars), why not visit the Star Trek Embasies. On an orbiting station, high above New Eridani, are the embassies of Andoria, Bajor, Betazed, Romulus , Cardassia, Ferenginar, Orion, Trill, Suliban, and the Klingon Empire.
For a quick change of sceneries, a TP to Virtual Andoria does the trick. This allows a freebie option on ice skates to better carouse with the Andorian penguins. The ice rinks here are, of course, open year-round, summer days included, and be sure to don some winter gear as it always cold on Andoria. The museum’s Drydock is the perfect place to wind up a visit. While not much can be seen right now, this equally cool place is intended for occasional parties for Wasabi Matahari and her crew. And for those who want to permanently settle as a Star Trek denizen, role playing or not, a small number of homes are available on the island of New Eridani .