(A) Boat travel: A trip from NJ, USA to the island of Bonaire
This question overlaps a bit with the next one, but answers don't have to.
Time: November, present day or slightly in the future
Place: The journey starts off the coast of New Jersey, USA, and goes down to the island of Bonaire, near Venezuela, and should take place with no stops
Characters: Three in total, two experienced seafarers and one prisoner (the narrator) who knows zero about boats
This is the issue that has given me the most trouble, as when starting my research I knew next to nothing about boat travel. Now I know enough to make some guesses, but am still way out of my depth!
They are on the run from a nasty civilian and counting down time until the law realizes that the prisoner is a missing person. Money is not an issue, but they do not want to be traced. Starting in a town about a half hour from Atlantic City, they go to a harbor or marina and, to avoid transfer of ownership, steal a boat. (They are adept at sneaking and avoiding alarms.) As it is the very end of sailing season I imagine they could find a boat in dry dock and hope that no one will notice it is missing for a while. The stealing and de-wintrizing of the boat is not actually in the story, as the prisoner isn't present. She first sees it either when they stick her on board, or once they've cleared any harbor patrols, which I haven't researched yet. Since they are trying to be discreet, I imagine that they would want to stick to the open seas as much as possible, where they have less chance of running into anyone. Out in the middle of the ocean, she would be willing to help a bit with survival, especially in the case of a storm. They have her adequately restrained, and she doesn't know how to work a boat, so the two taking sleep and watch shifts wouldn't be complicated (much) by her getting in the way, especially once land is out of sight.
- What kind of boat do they take?
At the moment I'm thinking a 20'-30' sailboat, a sloop, yacht, or cruiser of some sort, but have frequently thought I had an idea and then realized it was completely wrong. They can't stop for fuel, and neither boater's experience is particularly recent (as in, possibly over a century ago, but they're good at adapting and *can* work tech), so I'm thinking not a motorboat. Unless I'm way off base thinking they can make most of this trip via the open Atlantic, it of course should be a blue water boat. My preference is to have this be a small boat (originally I had looked at this Newbridge Nagivator but someone on Sailnet said it should be closer to 30', so maybe something like this Beneteau 343?), something even that *could* be sailed single-handed, but I don't know how that handles on the open seas. So . . . thoughts?
- How long would the trip take?
This is supposing they go by open sea--If that is completely unrealistic then how should they go and about how long would it be?
- What do they need to take? What can they take?
Here is where the boating question overlaps with the on-the-run question. They buy some things to survive squatting in a house for a week, and part of that will depend on what they will need or could use on the boat. A lot of compact food and fresh water, obviously. For toiletries and personal items the question is, how much? (I can estimate space limitations from images, but what about a weight limit?) Anything specific for the actual boating? A generator? Or does that come with the boat? Then . . . fuel? How much? And this confuses me further:
Everything I see about sailboats in the modern day seems to have something with electricity, with frequent mentions of fuel. OK, they have navigational equipment and refrigeration, lights, sometimes even TVs. But I am rather confused on the matter of where this power comes from. I also hear mention of batteries. But also an engine. But unless it's a power sailor, doesn't it rely on wind and currents? Everything I look at seems to take this additional power for granted, so could somebody please clarify . . .
- What is up with sailboats and their additional power source?
- What are the dangers of being tracked with modern (sail)boat tech?
They're being chased by someone powerful enough to buy people with access to information, and consider it not unlikely that the law will try to come after them pretty soon. I either know or know how to research tracing things like regular cell phones and computers, but what about that navigational equipment? As they're experienced sailors, might it be better to turn all that off entirely and sail the old-fashioned way, if you can even do that on a modern boat?
- Any other boating knowledge you want to pass on it very welcome!
- UNRESEARCHED: Complications on sneaking a prisoner past harbor patrols when entering/exiting international waters? Feel free to ignore this last question since I haven't researched it yet. Of course, answers or suggested search terms are welcome. :-D
(B) On the run (see specifics): What do you buy?
This question overlaps slightly with the one above in the area of boat travel, but responders need not be seafarers!
Time: November, present day or near future
Place: NJ, USA, as close to Atlantic City as it gets while still being the middle of nowhere; squatting in a foreclosed house that has a stable & pasture
Here is the scenario I sent to some of my friends, with a few more details and ideas:
You're on the run from a nasty civilian. You have a house to squat in that's almost in the middle of nowhere, but it has no working utilities. It does have a fireplace, and--if such a thing really, truly exists--you know how to build a smokeless fire. Also, you have a car, and within a 30-60 minute drive are all types of general stores. (Atlantic City, actually, so some specialty ones also. But you don't want to hang out *too* long in so visible a place. Smaller towns in between also have general stores.) You have a partner, but were not planning to run and thus do not have very much with you. One of you is very cautious, borderline paranoid. The house might have a manual water pump; it has a swimming pool in disuse. Some things, like straw and old horse trailers, are hanging around. Within the week you hope to be on a small boat headed for another country, leaving no trace of the squatting.
What do you buy?
Oh, and . . . Your body temperature can vary between 90 and 110 degrees F, if you die you'll come back to life, but you have a prisoner who doesn't have these advantages. You're about 85% sure no one considers the prisoner missing yet.
You have with you:
Two warm coats, one blanket, three (sharp) swords, duck tape, three phones (one smart) whose numbers are known, one computer that you can only run off a live CD, some other random weaponry like knives and maybe a shotgun, pen, some paper. Possibly some other stuff from daily life, but not much. Anything that would go everywhere with a car.
During the week you will be receiving your personal effects from where you used to live. You have a contact in Atlantic City who will take the shipment for you, provide fake IDs, and let you use his credit card. (You will write him a check upon leaving, and have no shortage of cash in your accounts. The rest of your belongings he will sell after you're gone.) As you'll be getting on a small boat and then starting over in a Caribbean Netherlands country, you won't have much space and will probably want to buy culture-specific clothes upon arrival. You prefer to buy, but are not above stealing. You don't have time to get anything online.
What I know they need:
Compact, high-calorie, low-to-no-preparation food, potable water, fuel (specific to the boat's needs), ammunition, toiletries, prepaid phones, chains & padlocks for the prisoner, clothes for the guy whose only outfit is soaked in blood. (Also either purchase or steal some surgical supplies, but that's a different issue.)
Rope, bondage gear suitable for holding a prisoner, large jugs for holding water & fuel, newspaper & foil & masking tape for covering windows to block light, more duck tape, rechargeable batteries, a lantern/flashlights (rechargeable or such), towel, warm socks/cap/gloves for the prisoner, first aid supplies. Something to put the prisoner in if they're likely to be searched by harbor patrols and/or sedatives. Limes or Vitamin C powder, if the trip will take long enough for that to matter.
Where I run into problems:
Should they get an axe and chop wood for a fire, or get a generator and electrical blankets? (This partly depends on whether the generator could be used on the boat.) The boat they're getting has a galley, so would it be worth it to get a stove, hotplate, electric teapot? Their sense of smell is hyper-sensitive, so everyone *needs* to bathe daily; I was originally thinking old-fashioned hot rocks from a fire into cold water for heating a bath, but am open to suggestions. Considering that this is short-term and their own items will arrive within the week, how many blankets do they really need? Towels instead? I have read this thread and its counterpart, but a lot doesn't apply to such a short stay, not on the move.
The two biggest points I'm stuck on are fire vs. generator vs. blankets & flashlights (vs. X?), i.e., the heat & light source, and what minimal very cold squatting in hiding supplies for a couple days would be--which partly depends on what they specifically need and don't for the boat. Preferably they should be able to take anything (of worth) they buy now along--They have money, but not so much they can waste wildly. (E.g. buying and dumping a generator that cost a few thousand dollars.)
For my research, see below.
(C) Can a prosecutor be the defense lawyer for a friend?
Time: near future, basically like the present
Place: an unspecified state in the USA, in the city in which the friend is a prosecutor
This is a seemingly simple question that I just cannot find the answer to. Specifically I am concerned that someone, upon taking a job a prosecutor, acquires certain legal responsibilities to the city or state and is not *legally allowed* to take a job as a defense lawyer. If not, would that person be able to quit and *then* take the job, without legal repercussions?--But would this trash his entire career? (He is super-devoted to justice, but knows for a fact that his friend is being falsely accused, if not immediately why. So he does not want to become a defense lawyer permanently. He basically lives for bringing justice to bad guys, and is good at it. In this case, going on the defense would be just that.)
I know that different types of law are VASTLY different. I wouldn't dream of having, say, a tax lawyer do this. My thought here is that he sees how the defense works all the time and is highly intelligent, so can plausibly work the other side, but would still at least have a consult. If even this is utterly unrealistic, please do tell me.
For all of these things I have brainstormed like mad and consulted friends. Specifics on Google, Wikipedia, and other sources follow, and although I cannot always remember every keyword and article, I never, ever post to this community without having done significant prior work.
(A) On Boating
Okay, skads of online research! Wikipedia articles on: boat, sailboat, dhoni, sloop, ketch, cutter (boat), schooner, boating, motorboat, sailing, single-handed sailing, yacht racing, yachting, cruising (maritime), dinghy sailing, boat building, yacht, Thames sailing barge, Robin Lee Graham, Catamaran. Google Search/Image keywords: open-sea boating, small boat schematic, small boats, boat interior, boat plans, parts of a boat, diagram of a boat/yacht/cruiser/schooner/ketch/cutter boat, levels of a boat, when is sailing season in new jersey, sailing new jersey toms river, sailing new jersey march/april, beneteau 343. YouTube: tours of various boats, Hell On High Waters (a documentary), some videos of small boats in bad weather. After Google took me to one page, I would site-bounce. Eventually I ended up on Sailnet, which I perused (including the boats-for-sale listings) and then (grudgingly, but it's for research) signed up for and posted a question on. This has led to more resources. I looked over every little_details ~boats and other things that float posting (from ever) and, if an entry was at all relevant, read the comments and followed their links. As usual, posted on Facebook when I realized I was drowning, and asked anyone I know who has any knowledge of sailing--but that is few, and the information was slim. This seems a rather specialized area. Also I've been researching sailing season and marinas in my area in hopes of getting some first-hand knowledge, but for the time being that's a long-shot and a long-term goal.
(B) On Survival
Started with a lot of brainstorming, referencing knowledge I've gained over the years. Wasn't sure how to Google for this, (it's not quite wilderness survival and not conventional survival on-the-run, plus it has the complication of the upcoming boat) but had some good people to ask, one of them being the author who pointed me to this site and who subsequently pointed me to this and this entry, whose comments I read and whose links I followed. It really isn't parallel, though. The people had a lot of good thoughts, including one who knows financials and could help me with the money-tracing --> person-tracking issue, and two who know electronics, but none of them know long-distance sailing, and I got several strongly conflicting speculative opinions on the hypothetical. It helped me nail down some stuff, but on other issues spun me about. I'm hoping to get some help from people who aren't looking at this entirely hypothetically (e.g., have tried out different types of heat sources, have gotten caught in the cold, maybe know more about hiding on the run) and some who know a bit about boats.
(C) On Prosecutors
This is from December, a story that is currently stuck on this and one other issue. This is relevant because I've since switched computers, thus can't check my Google and Wikipedia history, and can't from memory recall the keywords and articles used and read. I do remember entering "prosecutor" into Wikipedia and being bombarded by overviews for many different countries, and, after frustration with other keyword combinations, eventually just typing the whole question into Google. I am quite certain that said keyword combinations were many and varied. As always, I imposed on known friends before friendly strangers, but none of those who responded were lawyers or had studied the justice system. The best I got was, "Yes. However, like doctors, lawyers often have a specializtion in particular aspects of the law (divorce lawyers, personal injury lawyers, immigration lawyers, tax lawyers, etc.) - asking one to act outside his speciality may not be in your best interst, like asking your pediatrist a question about oncology. [Citation needed]" (I hadn't specified my interest in the legal responsibilities imposed by the office of prosecutor.)
Thank you so much! This community is fantastic and I check regularly to see when something comes up that I can reliably contribute my knowledge to!