Posted in Monday Mayhem

Zombies at Sea

The safest place to be during a zombie apocalypse is at sea. Last summer’s blockbuster hit World War Z proved this by setting the story’s base of operations on a battleship stationed off the coast of the United States. For my Monday Mayhem series, let’s have a look at a few reasons why it would make sense to live on the ocean during the undead’s reign of terror on dry land. Similarly, we can’t ignore the one problem that would exist should someone think about employing such a survival strategy.

Yacht [Photo Credit: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.]
Yacht [Photo Credit: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.]
Becoming a castaway at sea during the course of a zombie apocalypse would entail many hours of planning and plenty of resources. Much of that planning would involve lists of supplies, access to waterways and the type of boat used for the expedition. Let’s not forget the most important aspect of such a venture—security. How will a survivor defend the ship should a sudden attack take place, by military or otherwise?

First off, what kind of supplies should a potential survivor plan to take with them should a zombie apocalypse take over the world? To answer this question, we’ll have to know what kind of boat will become the home away from home at sea. Will it be a sailboat, motor boat or yacht? As luxurious as the idea of purchasing a yacht is, the cost for a twenty-five to thirty-five footer can go for more than $20,000. That price does not include docking fees and crew. The price for motor yachts jumps dramatically once fuel and mechanical maintenance comes to play. Of course, someone will have the bright idea of stealing a vessel once the apocalypse goes full swing, but we’ll see why that won’t work in the real world.

Yacht [Photo Credit: This file is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication]
Yacht [Photo Credit: This file is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication]
After determining the boat we’ll take to sea, we’ll need to head over to the mall for some supplies. From the onset, this is not going to be pretty on the pocketbook. Are you ready? Here we go. Depending how many passengers travel with you, you’ll need paddles and oars in case the motor has a bad day and you’re stuck wondering what to do next. On the list go life vests, boat seats, fishing rods and racks, anchoring equipment, boat lighting, first aid, and pumps in case you hit something and need to get rid of the water flooding the hull. In addition, guns and ammunition will come in handy when defending your floating paradise. That’s why it’s a bad idea for some geniuses to think they can steal a boat from their owners, not knowing if said owners are packing heavy.

This is all very well and fine, but why would it be a good idea to dock in the middle of the ocean during a zombie apocalypse anyway? I can think of several reasons. The big one is zombies can’t swim. Try as they may, they can walk the ocean floor and that’s as far as they’ll get to coming close to your boat. Also, in the ocean there are no zombie viruses to fight since that would constitute someone already being infected with the contagion and spreading it onboard. Easiest way to combat the spread of contamination is to throw the infected off the ship. Problem solved. Lastly, other than storms surprising us in the middle of the night, a certain peace comes with living on the ocean. We can have a good night’s sleep without worrying the undead will have a field day on our bones during our slumber.

As promised, the one big problem facing those choosing the ocean as their refuge is food, or rather the lack thereof. After several months at sea without a grocer in sight for miles, the fresh fruits and vegetables will be gone. More than likely, so will the meat, if the vessel does not feature a freezer in the galley. Dry goods will eventually disappear as well. As much as anyone would enjoy living out at sea, food supplies will dwindle, tempers will flare and someone will want to go back to shore for a fresh supply of avocados.

Surviving at sea during a zombie apocalypse is a great idea, but it comes with its costs and challenges. Knowing what those costs and challenges are will aid with the decision making process. Are we ready?

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, now on sale.

Have you thought of what it would be like surviving at sea during a zombie apocalypse?

Posted in Monday Mayhem

Can Zombies Swim?

World War Z will be out on DVD and Blu-ray tomorrow. The official release dates to remember are September 17, 2013 for the U.S. and Canada, October 21, 2013 for the U.K., and October 23, 2013 for Australia. The big deal is not the release dates, but the content of the movie. I promise I won’t give you any spoilers for this film. This movie is too good to spoil for anyone. Am I looking forward to the release? How about asking me if a zebra has stripes. Today is Monday Mayhem, and today I’d like to concentrate on World War Z’s base of operations.

World War Z
World War Z

For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, World War Z’s base of operations is a ship in the middle of the ocean. I think this is genius. What better way to avoid zombies than to float on water with little to no contact with the mainland.

Which begs the question: Can zombies swim?

Ah, let’s think about this from the perspective of the zombie. The undead know nothing. That’s a given. They function purely out of instinct—instinct being their craving for human flesh. They act on human presence, hunting humans down until they’re dead. But that human presence depends on a number of factors. What if humans have hidden themselves away to the point of disappearing? What then? Will the zombies find alternative food sources to satiate their hunger? What if humans appear resistant to the zombies’ intent to eat them? Will the zombies move to another feeding ground?

Or…will they learn how to swim in order to find additional food sources?

Sounds far fetched, I know. But, what if? Is it possible? Can zombies swim?

Ships
Ships

Let’s have a look at zombie buoyancy. If those maggot bags want to swim, they will have to learn how to float. If they moan then air is in their lungs, which means they can float. However, there’s this whole decomposition thing going on that may also prove fruitless for their effort if their body cavities lose pressure. And of course coordination between the limbs. They’d have to know how to perform one or more of a number of strokes if they’re intent is to swim to their destination, such as: front crawl, butterfly stroke, breaststroke, dog paddle, human stroke, survival travel stroke, breast feet first stroke, snorkeling, finswimming, inverted backstroke, inverted butterfly, back double trudgen, flutter back finning, feet first swimming, corkscrew swimming, underwater swimming, gliding, turtle stroke, sidestroke, combat sidestroke, and moth stroke.

Of course, the question remains: would zombies be able to even get their arms around their head in a full 360° turn? Have I mentioned about the zombie ocean predators? Crabs and lobsters love rotting meat. It’s their job to eat that stuff.

In all likelihood, zombies would walk to the shore and keep walking from the shore into the ocean until such time they’d walk themselves to a second death by either natural decomposition or ocean predator. That is, unless they fall into the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the world’s oceans.

Was the decision to have a command center in the middle of the ocean a good thing in the movie World War Z? Yes. Unless zombies know how to swim, it’s the safest place on earth.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, on sale October 22.

What do you think of swimming zombies? Do you think zombies can swim?