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New Perspectives on Prepping

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Minuteman, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    I have been a long time prepper, long before the Y2K frenzy. You never have everything but I was quite secure in my preps and comfortable that I could face anything that might come up.

    Then my work took me overseas to live. When we got settled in our new home I immediately started to assess the prepping situation. What were the likely scenarios, what kind of preps could I make?

    I now have a reliable 4x4 with completely stocked bug out kit. Air compressor, first aid kit, extra parts etc. that would get us safely to the border. I have plenty of cash and jewelery in the safe to use to bribe border guards or to pay a fisherman to ferry us out of the country. So I am as secure as I could make it here. But it required a complete re-think of what I may need and what was feasible. Good high quality edged weapons due to not being able to own firearms.

    So now I had the opportunity to buy a place on a small island in the Mediterranean. A place to get away and out of the desert. We will live there for the next 8 to 10 years until I retire then decide if we want to move back to the states or not.

    So now I am reassessing the prepping requirements once again. The island is heavily forested and has an abundance of small game. Wild donkeys are plentiful which would be a meat source if needed. Fruits and vegetables are plentiful nearly year round owing to the very temperate climate. I have two good storage areas at the house that I will begin to stock with hunting/camping/survival gear. And of course the sea is near so fish would be a major food staple. I can own a shotgun and a bolt action small bore rifle for hunting so I like that. No semi-autos or handguns. So the preps for living on an island won't be much different than anywhere else. I will bring over some of what I have in storage in the states.

    But now my main focus is a BOV. Living on an island a GOOD vehicle means a boat. I hope to be able to purchase in the next year or two a seaworthy cabin cruiser/motor yacht type of boat. Something with living facilities aboard and capable of traversing short distances of open waters. The Med is not the open ocean and is supposed to be some of the safest sailing waters in the world.

    So here is the point of my post. I have no experience with boats outside of lake and river craft. The very limited storage available will be a major consideration. I will opt for a motor cruiser instead of a sail boat due to my inexperience with sailing and not having the time to learn. I have worked with diesel engines all my life and am comfortable that I could maintain and repair them as needed.

    I know we have a lot of ex navy people here and maybe even some with experience living on an island. So I am looking for suggestions. Help me think this out and see what I may be missing.

    I have always thought that an island would be a great bug out location especially in a pandemic situation. This place only has two official ports of entry so it would be easy to close them down and prohibit entry during a full blown worldwide pandemic. It's location and size precludes it from being any kind of high value military objective in a world war. Civil unrest would be the most likely threat. The village where we live is small and removed from the major population centers.

    So now I am once again looking at my preps from a different perspective. Any thoughts?
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Plan on a boat big enough to carry what the sailing folks call a "tender" to get you from an anchorage to the dock or beach in case there is no dockside mooring available. Could also be towed, and should be big enough to carry all intended passengers and crew in one trip, it'll also serve as a life boat. If you go the inflatable route, make sure you have patching materials.

    Learn to sail, and equip the tender to do so, fuel is apt to be problematic. It ain't hard at all to use the wind, but there are some tricks you MUST know.

    If it floats, a boat is seaworthy, at least in calm water. Find out what the real water does if things kick up. The Med isn't necessarily calm or there would be a lot fewer Phoenician ships to salvage.

    Charts. You cannot have enough charts. Navigation, tidal, bottom contours, currents, harbor obstacles. Used to be that there was a distinct surface current, east to west. (Deep currents are west to east, the Med heats water which displaces west as cooler Atlantic water flows in under it.) In general that is very pronounced at Gibraltar, much less so in your AO.

    Nav aids, depth finder, radar, radios of several flavors for sea comms and whatever else you might want (air traffic is sometimes nice to have, especially if there's hostile activities aloft) and whatever serves for weather forecasting and reporting. There is (in US waters) a regular pub called, IIRC, "Notice to Mariners" that addresses up to date navigation info for yachters and fishermen as well as commercial shipping. If there's something similar for the Med, it'll be worth knowing about.

    I'm sure there's no Loran active in the Med, but something else surely is. Learn navigation without modern GPS, if trouble happens, it very well might not be available. (Used to be called "dead reckoning." Very nice to know.) The modern equivalent of light houses are radio beacons, they should show on charts; but again, may go out of service for some unforeseen reason.

    Easy to close down points of entry to islands, sure. But you are thinking points of escape. What's apt to happen if you go out on a day trip and try to get back after things are closed down? Don't forget that (say) Yugoslavia is also on the Med, and there might be some escapees from there that could figure out that Cyprus would be a good place to be during troubled times, and also have a boat.

    FWIW, I have reason to KNOW that twin engines are good, or at least a small backup kicker. YMMV, but you ain't gonna row a live aboard sized boat.

    Might be a good thing to have a small still to make potable water over and above the onboard storage. Dunno much significant about those things, but they are available. The Med is known to be highly polluted in some areas (like Tangiers) and you must get the temps in the still high enough to kill bugs. I don't know enough about the toxins that are there, but it's worth the investigation.
    Witch Doctor 01 and chelloveck like this.
  3. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    Wow Ghrit! Lots to think about. That's what I was looking for. I am a pilot so am familiar with flight charts and figured there would be something similar for water travel. I thought about a sail boat but was afraid it would be too hard to master the art of. I know for some people it is a lifetime hobby. A twin engine is a must. Lot's of dual cats available. An engine I am very familiar with. Where I will be living has a lot of open beaches that would be very easy to go in and out of if the port was closed. I didn't know the term "tender" but noticed that many of the boats in the harbor had "lifeboats" with them.
    The "dead reckoning" I am going to have to study up on. I think that if I had to bug out I would probably hug the coastlines. Find a secluded inlet somewhere to anchor in. Maybe make my way to a place with a strong US or British presence. Water would be something to think about. I wonder if my Berky filter would work to desalinate sea water? Maybe some type of reverse osmosis unit. We have them, albeit on a large scale, on some offshore rigs that produce their own fresh water.
  4. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Bear in mind that even if the Berky works on salt water (doubt it, dunno) clean water will be needed for flushing, and with RO units the same requirements exist. Dedicated backflush water is imperative if you go that route. Not needed with stills.

    One of my friends says having a backup anchor is a good thing, too. The bottom will dictate the type of anchor you'll want, there are several types, some work in rock, some in sand and others work in only one direction. One more reason for the bottom charts. BTW, there are gadgets that will wake you up if the anchor isn't biting the bottom and the boat is drifting off the anchorage point. You'll want a sea anchor, too.

    You should hear the term "scope" as applied to anchorage. It's the length of anchor "chain" that you have out vs. depth. To get the anchor to bite bottom, you need between 6 and 10 times the depth of water to set the anchor. Meaning that as the tide changes, the boat will swing around the anchor at a radius of 6-10 X the depth of water under her.

    If you have a pilot's license, you already have a leg up on dead reckoning, the same techniques are used; you can take a bit more time on the water than you can in flight.

    Hugging coastlines has inherent hazards, obviously. Stay well offshore is my advice, avoids fast canoes with locals bent on finding out what an American is doing in their waters, especially near national boundaries. Also helps avoiding shoal water that pops up near shore and gives you reaction time if the wind starts blowing you on shore (boat hulls are sails, ya see.) Remember also that secluded inlets are apt to be in foreign water, maybe not so friendly.

    I still advocate a motor sailer. Gives you backup for bad fuel situations, plus you can work in plenty of practice while lolling around on leave. The tender, if sail equipped, will allow more practice with sailing techniques before you take the big one out under canvas. Casual sailing is not a big challenge to learn easily. Serious sailing (racing, long duration off shore travel "press on regardless" and the like) is more science than art and not to be taken lightly and without some practice. For what I perceive as your purposes, sail on the long legs of a trip, and motor close in on the short legs.
    kellory and chelloveck like this.
  5. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    You need to make sure there's a Professor on the Island. Get him as part of your group. [bateye]
    natshare, Minuteman, kellory and 3 others like this.
  6. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++ Site Supporter

    And Mary Ann too?

    Anyway, ditto the recommendation for a motor sailer. Fuel may be hard to come by for awhile so minimize dependancy on it.

    I'd have atleast 3 and probably more reverse osmosis desalination units. Some of these are even hand operable. Then no need to use a still which burns fuel and increases your heat signature on the open sea. And the water that comes out is sterile. Sodium atoms are much smaller than any virus.

    You want a sextant, practice using it, and a couple good mechanical clocks. If an EMP were to hit, satellites very well could go and other electronics. You need a reliable and accurate time reference to establish your east west position, can't do that by stars alone. That was the secret to the establishment of the British Empire. The government offered huge rewards for the creation of an accurate clock which became more precious and protected than gold and allowed the British fleets to circumnavigate everywhere and sail circles around everyone else with far fewer lost ships.

    They also figured out things like scurvy and the need for vitamin C though they probably didn't know it as such (hence the origin of name "Limey" since they stocked every ship with limes.) So, you need vitamins etc.

  7. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    LOL @Tracy!! Maybe I can convince Ghrit to come down off his mountain and move over! An engineer would be an asset. My fingers just stuttered writing that. Engineers aren't very popular in my profession!LOL!
    Some good thoughts AT. I thought there should be some kind of smaller reverse osmosis units. I'll be researching that. And y'all have convinced me on the motor sailor. As long as I can find one with dual engines. May be a bit more than I intended on spending but would be worth the cost if SHTF. The navigation I don't think will be too much of a problem. I am going to start accumulating all the charts I can find. There is a yacht club that I may join. Plus the Med is much like an inland sea where you can just stay on one compass heading and you will eventually spot land. I don't know the sailing times but I would think that a north or south heading would put you at land fall in no more than one or two days. Also just FYI it won't be US flagged. Probably Turkish, so a little incognito for the occupants aboard. One company that sells new and used boats ( I will be looking at the used) has a service where a licensed Captain will take you out and work with you to teach you how to operate the boat you buy.
    Lot's of different things to think about. Thanks for the input.
  8. mysterymet

    mysterymet Monkey+++

    Buy a book. Bowditch's American Practical navigator. There are also some safety of life at sea books that you should have. The coast guard puts out some good ones. Just make sure you get professional ocean going ones.
  9. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    Learn to swim; boats are a hole in the water for throwing money into and when the money runs out, swim is the first option.
    LOL...Motor Yachts are prime targets for the affluent and you immediately become bait for trolling sharks. You might think about a small fishing trawler of the type most common in your A.O. These blend in the background, are built specifically for the sea conditions around you, do no glitter enough to attract the scavengers, and can take you most anywhere else much more fuel efficiently than any type of pleasure boat. There is the added advantage of holds, generally used to preserve the catch, being available to provide much more storage and, since these are the vessel of choice for coastal smugglers, are often already equipped with hidden storage for those special items bought at the local Bizarre. Also, you might get lucky and find a local fisherman to charter your boat and maintain it and make a life-long friend.
    ditch witch, tulianr and kellory like this.
  10. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    I had actually thought of that Sea. Some of the commercial boats aren't any more expensive than the pleasure craft. But in this area the pleasure boats seem to outnumber the commercial by 3 to 1. I am leaning towards the motor/sailor but to get one with twin engines is waaaay up at the tiptoe top of what I thought about spending. Most of them in the price range I was thinking have a single engine. I'm thinking an older not so flashy one would not draw too much attention. The Med is known for being pretty safe waters but in a SHTF world that would change. Mainly I'm thinking on how to stock it. I might need to pick your brain on that sometime.
  11. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    some thoughts from an old Navigator... here are some downloads for you... please keep in mind that regardless of how much you practice with a gun occasionally an angel pisses in your flintlock... this is doubly accurate for navigation keep in mind dead reckoning when all else fails...CHAPTER 7 DEAD RECKONING - Maritime Safety Information

    Charts , charts and more charts.... Pilot Charts for the Major Oceans of the World , U.S. Coast Pilots, Distances Between U.S. Ports - Download , Chart #1 - Download
    rules of the road... Navigation Rules - Download

    study sidereal Navigation get a naval almanac, or American practical navigator books to help you select navigational stars... American Practical Navigator - Download

    and a set of sight reduction tables...
    Pub. http://www.offshoreblue.com/assets/resources/navigation/celestial/pub249-v1-2010.zip Volume I Epoch 2010 - Sight Reduction Tables
    Pub. http://www.offshoreblue.com/assets/resources/navigation/celestial/pub249-v2-v3.zip Volume II & Volume III - Sight Reduction Tables

    the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency puts out a publication for Radio aids as well... Radio Navigation Aids (2005) - Download

    Publication (2013) - Greenland, The East Coasts of North and South America (excluding Continental U.S.A. except the East Coast of Florida) and The West Indies
    Publication (2012) - The West Coasts of North and South America (excluding the Continential U.S.A. and Hawaii), Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, and the Islands of the North and South Pacific Oceans
    Publication (2012) - Western Pacific and Indian Oceans Including the Persian Gulf and Red Sea
    Publication (2012) - The West Coasts of Europe and Africa, the Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea, and Azovskoye More (Sea of Azov)
    Publication (2012) - British Isles, English Channel, and North Sea
    Publication (2012) - Norway, Iceland, and Artic Ocean
    Publication (2012) - Baltic Sea with Kattegat, Belts and Sound, and Gulf of Bothnia
    USCG list of lights...

    Light List Vol. I (2013) - St. Croix River, ME to Shrewsbury River, NJ
    Light List Vol. II (2013) - Shrewsbury River, NJ to Little River, SC
    Light List Vol. III (2013) - Little River, SC to Econfina River, FL, P.R. & USVI
    Light List Vol. IV (2013) - Econfina River, FL to Rio Grande, TX
    Light List Vol. V (2013) - Mississippi River System
    Light List Vol. VI (2013) - Pacific Coast and Pacific Islands
    Light List Vol. VII (2013) - Great Lakesiver, FL, P.R. & USVI Light List Vol. III (2013)
    if your GPS dies and you don't have the experience with a sextant...

    down load these... file N. Atlantic Ocean, Baltic, North & Mediterranean Seas (2013) - Download these are sailing directions and will help you with planning...

    World port index... World Port Index (2012) - Download

    Get two marine weather radios...
    It sucks when the weather changes and you aren't ready for it...
    consider solar stills for water... no energy signature and fairly inexpensive... tarps and water containers for catching rain...

    Good luck!
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 7, 2015
    kellory and ghrit like this.
  12. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    Some more down loads courtesy US Naval Observatory and Her Majesty's Naval Almanac....

    The Astronomical Almanac is a joint publication of the U. S. Nautical Almanac Office, United States Naval Observatory (USNO), in the United States and Her Majesty's Nautical Almanac Office (HMNAO), United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO), in the United Kingdom. The printed version contains precise ephemerides of the Sun, Moon, planets, and satellites, data for eclipses and other astronomical phenomena for a given year, and serves as a world-wide standard for such information. The online version extends the printed version by providing data best presented in machine-readable form.
    These pages are available at USNO and HMNAO.

    some cheat sheet info...
    Interactive Spreadsheets for Celestial Navigation
    kellory likes this.
  13. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    I have to mention that once upon a time, I was thinking liveaboard and looked quite closely at motor sailers and trawlers. At that point, I wasn't thinking about unavailable fuel supplies, and leaned very much toward the trawler. In that area (New England coast) fisherman were more common than sailing vessels, so would hide neatly as necessary, and most of the available boats had davits or gin poles that would serve to load the bike. Something came up and the idea was canned, and I stayed in the rooming house until moving overseas for a couple years.

    The main trouble with motorsailers is that they are high profile in working water.

    A very good friend of mine lived on a 32 foot sailing craft for several years. (IIRC that was just over 100K in the late 70s when he sold it.) The biggest lessons he learned was water discipline (didn't have a still) and the endless maintenance. (Stored all his and his wife's "stuff" at their parents' houses.) Docked year round (except for overnighters and recreational day trips) at Pickering Wharf.
  14. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    @Minuteman... Twin engines are nice, but for a MotorSailer, the Mast and Sails are your Second, and Backup Propulsion source. Look for something that has a Lister, or Benz, Diesel engine, as these will be well supported for parts, even if they are 4 decades Old. These are slow turners, and will last a very long time between rebuilds with little maintenance, other than LubeOil & Filter changes. If you go this route, don't expect to get anywhere FAST, but you WILL get there, eventually. These are "enjoy the trip" boats, to "Speed Demons"
    When fitting the Electronics, you can hide a VHF Antenna in the Top of the Mast. GPS Antennas are small, and easily hid. No use advertising the presents of good electronics. Radar is a bit harder to Hide, but if you make it look very Junky, and Old, you might find it is overlooked, by the Bad Guys. AIS Receivers are way cool these days, and with some smart MODs of your VHF, can use the same Antenna as your VHF Radio. If you want real Marine Comms, that could reach back here, to the US, a nice used Marine SSB Radio could be fitted. If that is something you are interested in, PM ME, as I have a couple sitting on my shelf, gathering dust. I run a 1Kw HF Coast Station here in Alaska, so we could chat sometime, if you were to get that far..... .....
  15. techsar

    techsar Monkey++

    Some really good advice on the boating aspect.

    On a different train of thought, a Turkish-registered ship could attract attention from those not wanting a muslim presence around. Also, some areas of the Med are seismicly active - earthquakes, volcanos and tsunamis. Choose carefully!
  16. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    Wow, thanks Witch Doctor for the info. I just got back from a short vacation and will start wading through those and downloading them. I will be on the island in about two weeks and plan on visiting the Yacht club and talking to guys there. Like I said it will be one to two years before I can afford to jump into this but it is definitely on the to do list.
    Thanks everyone for the thoughts. I am interested in long range comms so You and I BT need to talk. I am buying a half interest in a 21 foot fishing boat. A friend of mine and his buddy own it and they use it to fish for tuna. But he is getting older and doesn't use it much anymore so I am going to buy his interest in it. That will be right away and will give me some practical experience in the local waters.
  17. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Anytime, Minuteman, I am usually hang'en around in MonkeyChat most evenings, or you can Skype me, as it is loaded if I am awake, while Momma is deployed in Africa....
  1. chelloveck
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    [MEDIA] Nice soundtrack too. :)
    Thread by: chelloveck, Aug 31, 2015, 6 replies, in forum: Back to Basics
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