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One other thought and then I will cool it with the feature requests:

I did get Windowed mode to work, but the game still pauses itself when I click on to some other program (web browser, etc). In my mind, the holy grail here is the ability to sail across the ocean in real time (like a prettier 19th Century version of the browser-based virtual regatta games). I love the idea of just letting the ship sail for 8 hours a day while I'm at work, listening to the wind in the background, and checking the weather every hour or so. But if the game pauses itself, this isn't possible. Yes, I can use travel mode to cross the Atlantic in 20 minutes or so, but that doesn't have the same romance to it.

To reply to your earlier post - there isn't any LoD, it just draws everything within about 200km of you, or whatever the range is that gives some chance of it showing on the horizon. I can afford this, as the land has a resolution of about 5km. 

HOWEVER - the way travel acceleration works is that it leaves you moving at the same speed through your own patch of ocean, and instead  just moves all the land around you, at high speed in the opposite direction.  So the game usually takes place near to the centre of the initial coordinate system, and I'm not sure what happens if someone sails in the same direction for very long in real time. It's possible you could sail out of the world. (On the other hand, I only put stars in recently.  They should stay around the ship.)

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Sounds like the travel acceleration was probably to blame then.

Would running the game in the background be as simple as this?

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Just checking in: Is there any possibility of letting the game run in the background when minimized? Being able to do that at work would let me get a lot more testing done. Been too busy, otherwise.