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Old 14-03-2020, 10:17   #1
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Fleeing Pestilence.... flight of fancy... or rather voyage of fancy

The current plague is hardly "the big one", but it is a preview of what could someday happen. The 14 day delayed onset of symptoms during much of which the person is a carrier has terrifying potential if the disease were more virulent. In this case transmission is mostly "self transmission".... touching your face, eyes, mouth, nose, after coming in contact with a contaminated surface. The ability of the virus to persist in the environment is limited. Inhaling droplets from a cough or sneeze is somewhat avoidable, so the spread can be controlled by responsible behavior of infected people and sanitary practice by others. The fatality rate is not overwhelming, but enough to be frightening. The fact that nobody has ANY natural immunity makes this far worse than it would otherwise be.

This is a repeated scenario.... again and again, and with the huge human population it is inevitable. There may never be an "Andromeda Strain", or Earth Abides scenario, but it is interesting to contemplate the option of removing yourself and family from danger until a vaccine is available, or it is otherwise safe to return.
There is no more remote habitable place on earth than the Mid Pacific... Thousands of miles from anywhere. You can choose your climate based on seasonal variations. The storm seasons are well known and predictable.

But how can a family or a couple or a few friends exist long term at sea? You can only carry so much in the way of supplies. You can make and/or collect water, generate electricity, harvest fish, grow veggies......... I grow an amazing amount of veggies with hydroponics at home.... The weight and volume of the nutrients is small. During the war (WW2) a lot of research was done on plankton as a possible food source. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/...shortages.html
But with all the micro plastics this would seem to be completely out of the question now, though the "garbage patch" could be a fuel source. Seaweed is often called a "super food", but how many places is it free drifting offshore? Varieties of free drifting Sargassum are found in most if not all of the oceans of the world and are "edible". A few chickens might turn less than palatable foods harvested from the sea (like plankton mixed with microplastics) into eggs.
How would outfit a family survival expedition for a long term aquatic existence, how much space per person, what supplies are absolutely indispensable, what kind of boat(s)? Imagine a group of say a dozen to two dozen families setting out to sea in the early stages of a serious plague, forming a remote floating community in mid Pacific... say West of Hawaii, knowing that you dare not touch inhabited land for several years. The whole endeavor would be a rush, with little preparation time, little time for meetings and coordination, perhaps people departing from various places with the same idea, and inevitably gravitating into the same area..........Taking the sails down and drifting, you would all end up in the "garbage patch" (the Mid Pacific Gyre). Each group would inevitably have shortages of some supplies, and surpluses of others, as well as different skill sets.....


It's material for a book or movie.... not a fantastical post apocalyptic "water world", but a serious examination of what resources are available and how people could utilize them for an extended period, with the idea that some day they could return to a more normal life. Think Rose Noelle.... 3 men adrift for 119 days in an overturned trimaran......a truly amazing story. They were NOT prepared, but survived in such good shape that people they met when they drifted ashore in OZ didn't believe their story!! What if you WERE prepared? How would you be prepared?



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Old 14-03-2020, 12:04   #2
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Re: Fleeing Pestilence.... flight of fancy... or rather voyage of fancy

I don't know what Raymond is on about, but to address the OP's thoughts, get a copy of Sailing the Farm if you haven't already read it. It's not written as a apocalyptic prepper guide, but most of the ideas and information can easily be applied to making your boat more independent.
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Old 14-03-2020, 12:11   #3
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Re: Fleeing Pestilence.... flight of fancy... or rather voyage of fancy

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With modern public health systems there are a number of things with priority over pestilence for fleeing purposes:

Top of the list is menopausal, baby boomer, wives. This one is almost past although some of them never go back to being reasonable people.

Second is whinging lefties. Every time that someone they don't like is elected they go on a rampage of whining and dummy spitting. Since they now infest the media this makes it terribly difficult to watch the TV news or read a newspaper without being subjected to a barrage of misinformation regarding the latest efforts to impeach or have their political opponents investigated for something.

Third is the latest version of laws, bylaws, rules and regulations is respect of moving on or anchoring by anal retent, officialdom who persist in indulging their hatred of those of us who pursue an alternate lifestyle on the water.
Wow.

The above are symptoms of a disease that is, although seldom fatal, often causes life-long suffering, mainly to those who interact with the patient.

There are a few known treatments: Cephalanalectomy, but that's a somewhat radical intervention. It's often sufficient to just have long, thoughtful conversations with younger people once in a while.
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I will say however that the poor folks of the South Pacific in no way deserve to be burdened with crowds of refugees from the latest western panic whilst they are struggling to avoid inundation because of the massive rises in sea level from global warming's melting of the ice caps.
I couldn't agree more. And there is no "fleeing" COVID-19. The most rational responses are to heed the advice for "social distancing" and to work with your community to minimize the spread of it to the most vulnerable.
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Old 14-03-2020, 13:15   #4
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Re: Fleeing Pestilence.... flight of fancy... or rather voyage of fancy

Cephalanalectomy............. Great word.. thanks. I needed that!!. This was not of course meant to be a political thread.......Suffice it to say that I've flown an American flag inverted for nearly 38 months now..... 1/20/16...... a day that will live in infamy. To paraphrase a great man of the past.



In no way was I intending to suggest fleeing to some south sea island(s), which should have been obvious, nor was I serious...... about flight, which should have been equally obvious.



I've found it entertaining at times to read the writings of survivalists on the web.......So unrealistic it's laughable. They always devolve into discussing guns....... what caliber is best (as if it matters), how much ammo to have, and imagine that they can flee to the hills and live off wild game........ They are obviously very math (and reality) challenged.



I have read sailing the farm, and as a teen I was a survivalist (back in the late '60's early '70's). I knew every edible plant, knew all the techniques for hunting and fishing for survival, and my friends and I actually went on survival trips into the wilderness for three to four days at a stretch......just for fun. Much more challenging than simply strapping on a pack filled with freeze dried food and hiking 50-100 miles down the PCT (which we also did frequently). As a result it's almost wired into my DNA to look at everything around me and ask myself what I could build a shelter from, and what could I find to eat here. We did the mountains, the high desert, and the one wilderness seashore that existed in the lower '48 at that time....... 50 miles that didn't yet have a trail back then, and you now need a reservation to hike!!


I was just looking at photos of a Tristar 31 for sale cheap.... today, and thinking how perfect one of the wing bunks would be as a grow chamber....... Lots of space, all it needs is a sheet of polygal to replace the plywood over it, and some sort of ventilation to keep things from overheating.


It's snowing here now....... I've got 6" and accumulating, and I'm feeling lazy. Today I'm going to make a batch of egg noodles....... Which incidentally is a near perfect survival food. Just eggs and flour.. and in this case power greens. Dried in my dehydrator it will keep in a vac sealed bag indefinitely. I learned many years ago that these are one of the most powerful light weight backpacking staples.


I'm not planning to run off anytime soon........ in fact as my age it makes little sense. I do not fear death.... at least not spiritually, or realistically / intellectually.... There are far more important things at this point than my individual survival.



H.W.



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Wow.

The above are symptoms of a disease that is, although seldom fatal, often causes life-long suffering, mainly to those who interact with the patient.

There are a few known treatments: Cephalanalectomy, but that's a somewhat radical intervention. It's often sufficient to just have long, thoughtful conversations with younger people once in a while.

I couldn't agree more. And there is no "fleeing" COVID-19. The most rational responses are to heed the advice for "social distancing" and to work with your community to minimize the spread of it to the most vulnerable.
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Old 14-03-2020, 13:25   #5
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Re: Fleeing Pestilence.... flight of fancy... or rather voyage of fancy

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... it terribly difficult to watch the TV news or read a newspaper without being subjected to a barrage of misinformation regarding the latest efforts to impeach or have their political opponents investigated for something...
"Flood the zone with ****" (excrement)

Steve Bannon, the former head of Breitbart News, and chief strategist for Donald Trump, reportedly said in 2018: “The Democrats don’t matter. The real opposition is the media. And the way to deal with them is to flood the zone with ****.”
I don’t believe that liberal democracy can function, without a shared understanding of reality. As long as the zone is flooded with ****, that shared understanding is impossible. Creating widespread cynicism, about the truth, and the institutions charged with unearthing it, erodes the very foundation of liberal democracy.

This new publication by UNESCO is a timely resource and highly topical subject for all those who practice or teach (or consume) journalism in this Digital Age.
“Journalism, 'Fake News' and Disinformation: A Handbook for Journalism Education and Training” ~ UNESCO
https://en.unesco.org/fightfakenews/modules
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Old 14-03-2020, 14:17   #6
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Re: Fleeing Pestilence.... flight of fancy... or rather voyage of fancy

There are such deep divisions among us that politics should never enter into one of these threads......... Let's set it all aside and have fun talking about things that we have in common....... like love of sailing and the sea. We all feel passionate about the other, but the only possible result is a food fight........ I don't mind a food fight, but NOT HERE. There must be a forum for that........ How about Twitter?


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Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
"Flood the zone with ****" (excrement)

Steve Bannon, the former head of Breitbart News, and chief strategist for Donald Trump, reportedly said in 2018: “The Democrats don’t matter. The real opposition is the media. And the way to deal with them is to flood the zone with ****.”
I don’t believe that liberal democracy can function, without a shared understanding of reality. As long as the zone is flooded with ****, that shared understanding is impossible. Creating widespread cynicism, about the truth, and the institutions charged with unearthing it, erodes the very foundation of liberal democracy.

This new publication by UNESCO is a timely resource and highly topical subject for all those who practice or teach (or consume) journalism in this Digital Age.
“Journalism, 'Fake News' and Disinformation: A Handbook for Journalism Education and Training” ~ UNESCO
https://en.unesco.org/fightfakenews/modules
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Old 14-03-2020, 14:42   #7
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Re: Fleeing Pestilence.... flight of fancy... or rather voyage of fancy

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...It's snowing here now....... I've got 6" and accumulating, and I'm feeling lazy. Today I'm going to make a batch of egg noodles....... Which incidentally is a near perfect survival food. Just eggs and flour.. and in this case power greens. Dried in my dehydrator it will keep in a vac sealed bag indefinitely. I learned many years ago that these are one of the most powerful light weight backpacking staples.
Yes, can we please not let one inane and bizarre comment derail the discussion even before it gets going.

You mention dehydrating; I'm doing the same as I type. Since I'm off the boat for about 1/2 the year (Canadian winters you know...) I try and restock our dried meats, fruits and veggies, taking advantage of whatever sales come up throughout the cold winter months. I've been drying tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, zucchini. I already have a good supply of beef on board (kinda went nuts a few years ago).

I don't do this with any sense of prepping for armageddon, and I certainly don't do it for lack of storage space -- we have lots on our boat. It's just that we like to be off the dock for long periods, so it's nice to have "fresh" food the whole time we're out.
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Old 14-03-2020, 15:05   #8
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Re: Fleeing Pestilence.... flight of fancy... or rather voyage of fancy

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Yes, can we please not let one inane and bizarre comment derail the discussion even before it gets going.

You mention dehydrating; I'm doing the same as I type. Since I'm off the boat for about 1/2 the year (Canadian winters you know...) I try and restock our dried meats, fruits and veggies, taking advantage of whatever sales come up throughout the cold winter months. I've been drying tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, zucchini. I already have a good supply of beef on board (kinda went nuts a few years ago).

I don't do this with any sense of prepping for armageddon, and I certainly don't do it for lack of storage space -- we have lots on our boat. It's just that we like to be off the dock for long periods, so it's nice to have "fresh" food the whole time we're out.



My dehydrator gets used constantly.......... I originally bought a cheap circular dehydrator.... I forget the brand, but it WAS a name brand, but graduated to a LEM which has multiple rectangular trays, and a thermostat with a broad temp range. I use it for countless things.......For example I just ran it yesterday making a large bird seed brick, today it will make noodles. I dry all my pulp from my Omega 900 auger which I use for making green juice... then powder it and use it in cooking. I dry fruits and veggies, often make fruit leathers, dried meat both jerky and non-jerky. I use it for proofing bread........ There is rarely a week that it is not in service. It's a purchase I've never regretted even slightly.......... though it wasn't "cheap".

I also do a great deal of canning, including pressure canning. A chamber vac sealer is on my list....... I would like to be able to pressure can in those foil "retort bags". Problem is that the seal bar in most chamber sealers cannot be set hot enough or long enough for them............ or so I'm told. I'm considering building my own, as you can buy seal bars fairly inexpensively. Personally I think a chamber sealer should be a built in on a voyaging boat. Use the chamber for storage when not in use, use an ordinary ultra compact refrigeration vacuum pump with it......... It's simple technology.


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Old 14-03-2020, 15:18   #9
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Re: Fleeing Pestilence.... flight of fancy... or rather voyage of fancy

I've looked at those LEMs. Look great. I might yet get one, but for now I have a semi-cheap plastic rectangular one that I can carry around with me during the off-boat-season. It has five trays, with temperature control and timer. This one:








It's pretty good, although not as good as my first one, which was a home-built version something like this.





Speaking of Sailing the Farm, I built a solar dehydrator using the plans in the book. I'm no sewer, but managed to get it all together (slightly modified). I haven't actually tried it yet -- maybe this season.
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Old 14-03-2020, 16:34   #10
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Re: Fleeing Pestilence.... flight of fancy... or rather voyage of fancy

Any instructions on drying beef/chicken? How long can you expect it to keep? Do you rehydrate it and get the same meat you had before?

I've done some canning, but never drying.
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Old 14-03-2020, 16:53   #11
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Re: Fleeing Pestilence.... flight of fancy... or rather voyage of fancy

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Any instructions on drying beef/chicken? How long can you expect it to keep? Do you rehydrate it and get the same meat you had before?

I've done some canning, but never drying.
+1, enquiring minds want to know.
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Old 14-03-2020, 17:53   #12
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Re: Fleeing Pestilence.... flight of fancy... or rather voyage of fancy

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I've looked at those LEMs. Look great. I might yet get one, but for now I have a semi-cheap plastic rectangular one that I can carry around with me during the off-boat-season. It has five trays, with temperature control and timer. This one:








It's pretty good, although not as good as my first one, which was a home-built version something like this.





Speaking of Sailing the Farm, I built a solar dehydrator using the plans in the book. I'm no sewer, but managed to get it all together (slightly modified). I haven't actually tried it yet -- maybe this season.




Mike:
I'm impressed.......... I'm a builder and inventor, with always a project up my sleeve. I look forward to hearing about the results with your Sailing The Farm food dehydrator... Looks just like the photos in the book. Your first one looks great....... why did you upgrade? The key to the LEM is the way the air circulation is designed... it has plastic trays also, but they are of good quality....... I really would have preferred stainless, but plastic is very well suited to the job, and cleans easily.



......... I like your why go fast when you can go slow... A man after my own heart. I see too many people rushing here and there......... Sailing is about enjoying the sea, not about getting somewhere quickly or first. I travel the back roads, and camp out when I'm going out to visit relatives for the same reason..... see the country and the wildlife and meet the people along the way....


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Old 14-03-2020, 18:00   #13
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Re: Fleeing Pestilence.... flight of fancy... or rather voyage of fancy

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Any instructions on drying beef/chicken? How long can you expect it to keep? Do you rehydrate it and get the same meat you had before?

I've done some canning, but never drying.

I don't have any hard and fast rules..... I dry meat for various different uses, in different ways with different treatments. There are books on the subject that would be of more value than anything I could communicate on this forum.


And NO you do not get back what you began with....... even freeze drying does not do that. I plan to get the product I want for the particular use, knowing what is possible and what is not.


What I will say is that I always precook meat before drying using sous vide, at around 130F (not less) for at least two hours, and I dry it at about the same temp.



I did pioneer a method of preservation that is unheard of that will allow me to safely store steak medium rare in a foodsaver bag for months without spoilage or danger of botullism, etc....... It's not something I would recommend others trying.



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Old 14-03-2020, 18:55   #14
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Re: Fleeing Pestilence.... flight of fancy... or rather voyage of fancy

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Any instructions on drying beef/chicken? How long can you expect it to keep? Do you rehydrate it and get the same meat you had before?

I've done some canning, but never drying.
Canning ... I've never done that at all, and would love to try. Maybe I can learn from you folks. It's just that drying is so easy, and you don't have to bother with all the jars, etc. But still, I'd like to learn.

After I dry stuff I usually package it in vacuum sealed bags, and then store the bags in a dry, unlight place. Once dried and sealed the food will last for many years, perhaps even decades. I've eaten veggies that were over six or seven years old, and have had my dried ground beef that is over three.

You do lose some quality and nutritional value in the drying process, but not much. The ground beef (see below) reconstitutes to almost identical. Chicken and turnkey often remains a little stringier, but still good. The canned meats are identical.

For meats, the key is to remove as much fat as possible. This is what goes rancid, so you need to get it as lean as possible. Of course fat is also where some of the flavour and nutrition comes from, which is why you don't get back to 100%. But you can get pretty close with seasonings.

I mostly dry ground beef, but have done jerky style, along with chicken, turkey, and various canned meats like tuna and ham and miscellaneous meat parts (kinda like spam).

For chicken what I did was start with boneless breasts/thighs. Then cook it lightly, draining off all the excess fats. I then shredded the chicken and dried the meat. Worked great. I've also added chicken bullion and seasoning before drying to get back some of the lost flavours.

For canned meats use water-based, then drain and dry. Easy...

Beef is similar. Start with extra lean ground beef. Gently cook, and drain all the excess fat that comes off. I pat the cooked meat down with paper towel, again to remove as much fat as possible. I then toss in some flour, dried beef bullion (cube or powder), and then some spices like rosemary or garlic or whatever. Oh, and I usually dice in an onion and dry it with the mix. But you can pretty much do anything with the seasoning.

I used to do a lot of beef jerky, but got away from it because, well, it's just easier to work with the ground beef. Again, start with the leanest cut. Slice about 1/2-cm, then marinade in whatever turns your fancy: red wine, soy, teriyaki, etc... Let it marinade for like 12 hrs. I didn't cook the meat.

You want to dry meat on high heat, with lots of air flow. I had batches go off when there wasn't enough heat/air. By high I mean high drying heat -- you never want to cook the food when drying, so something like 70C is good.
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Old 14-03-2020, 19:06   #15
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Re: Fleeing Pestilence.... flight of fancy... or rather voyage of fancy

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Mike:
I'm impressed.......... I'm a builder and inventor, with always a project up my sleeve. I look forward to hearing about the results with your Sailing The Farm food dehydrator... Looks just like the photos in the book. Your first one looks great....... why did you upgrade?
Thanks Owly. I'll post something once I give it a try. I'm sure it will work. I just need to find the time during cruising season, which for us Canadians is all too short.

I had my old plywood box version for something like 25 years. It was great. It was actually much larger than the one I showed, with 12 large trays, so I could process a ton of stuff at one time.

I only sold it when we decided to move onto the boat -- no space for such a large item. Since then I've been using ovens (normal and toaster) to dry along the way. But this year I decided to buy the cheapo one I showed. I've been pleasantly surprised so far, but it's not as good as the old home built box.

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......... I like your why go fast when you can go slow... A man after my own heart. I see too many people rushing here and there......... Sailing is about enjoying the sea, not about getting somewhere quickly or first. I travel the back roads, and camp out when I'm going out to visit relatives for the same reason..... see the country and the wildlife and meet the people along the way....
Ah, we would get along great . I've never understood the need to race from one "bucket list item" to the next. Take your time. The world's not going anywhere. And besides, there is wonder and beauty everywhere you go. Take the time to enjoy where you are.
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