threadbear wrote: my dog hasn't overcome the experience of being airborne after we got caught in the wake of a large tanker.
Fortunately you just got caught in the wake and didn't collide. One thing you definitely want to do in a small boat is stay OUT of the shipping lanes, though of course with commercial shipping falling off the map these days a collision is less likely.
Again I would agree in principle with SeaGypsy that Balls is probably the number one requirement, and if you at least study the weather charts before making a long passage and don't stupidly sail into a hurricane, chances are at some point you will make landfall. However, if your only navigation ability is using a GPS, I would be concerned that if/when TSHTF the signals coming off the GPS satellites will be encrypted so only the military can use them and your Garmin or Magellan unit won't function. Do you own a Sextant and know how to use it? They aren't all that easy to use on a small boat and small errors add up over ocean length passages. I personally doubt I could come within 50 miles of Hawaii for instance without a GPS, I would sail right by it. For myself, I would stick to the coast of North America except in the case it was a Thermonuclear wasteland and my ONLY chance was a passage to Kiwiland.
I'd also reiterate that the primary problem is not at sea, but keeping your preps and boat safe at any landfall. Unless you have a prior plan and know the harbor or marina or beach you intend on aiming for, dealing with the locals at any place in a SHTF scenario would be a nightmare of trying to bribe your way in. Heading for a Desert Island might seem a good Romantic Solution, but again I bring up the case of Fletcher Christian and the Mutineers of the Bounty on Pitcairn Island. Not sure I really want to live that life, even if I get to bring Ginger and MaryAnn with me. LOL.
However, if you take the premise of the thread of JOINING SeaGypsy, and postulate a fairly large Flotilla of Yachties all operating together, fairly well armed with maybe 20 or 30 boats in the flotilla, you might be able to set up shop as the Caribean Pirates did back in the 17th century. If you are going to try such a thing, much like setting up a land based Doommunity you would want to have a variety of people with different forms of expertiese available. The Water does provide a Barrier to others, its a great geographic separator. However, I still will stick to the separator I like the best, the Mountains. Really BIG Mountains. The Great Wall that God Built. Give me a Valley with only a few thousand people, some good farmland and wilderness full of Caribou and streams full of Salmon. Give me some mountains upon which to post sentries and dogsleds to move about the territory. That is where I would hole up. Oh yea, that IS where I am holed up.
Here in the Matanuska-Susitna River Valley, I am not worried about a mechanized army rolling through here, or roving bands of Zombies either. I only worry that Redoubt will bury us like Pompeii or that we will hunt out the land and the fisherie might collapse from worldwide pollution. Barring those outcomes, I feel as safe as I can here on the Last Great Frontier. I probably won't last all that long, but somebody up here will, hopefully some of the kids I teach. Its my job to make sure that happens to the best of my ability before I walk into the Great Beyond. I can't save them ALL, but I can SAVE AS MANY AS I CAN. And yes, in the positive sense of the word I do practice Eugenics in the process. I pick the strong, the smart and the ones with good values who care about others and respect their teachers. The rest of them will twist in the wind. So it goes.