I decided to move on to making some water for the island and decided to make a water sphere the size of a planet made entirely of water. I was going to start with the ROAM (Real-time Optimally Adapting Meshes) planet example by Sean O' Neil that I found on Gamasutra.
I took out all the height map code because I wanted a flat sphere surface which I wanted to tesselate based on how close the camera was to the surface of the sphere. I would then make those vertices closest to the viewer rise and fall on some cos wave pattern or something to look like waves in the ocean.
Here's as far as I got:
Then I decided I should really try to make the land first (including all ground under the oceans) with the ROAM mesh and work on the water mesh after I got that part working.
That's when I re-read the gamasutra artical and realised I was using an older version of O'Neil's code and that he had switched to a quad tree for the LOD (level of detail). So now I'm trying to figure out how that works, and hopefully I can port that to Ogre3d and make some real progress soon.