A garden onboard Tara


8 October 2006

Position: Drifting, 81?21’N, 145?08’E
 Course and Speed: North, 0.5 knots
 Wind: SE, 5-10 kts
 Sea Ice: Compact dynamic pack, some pressure ridges.
 Visibility: Average
 Sunrise: 0600
 Cloud Cover: 8/8
 Air Temperature: -8?C
 Water Temperature: -1.5?C

The days are rapidly becoming shorter and shorter as the polar night approaches. Our preparation continues for winter and today we began installing our hydroponics garden in one corner of the saloon. Kindly supplied to us by General Hydroponics Europe, this system promises to provide us with fresh veggies throughout the winter months. Not only giving us a good source of vitamins, it will also create a welcome winter activity. Gamet has already shown his green fingers by nurturing a variety of plants on board, including one rose that is about to flower, giving us a welcome burst of colour and life.

We have also winterized our water maker this week as the temperature in the forward hold has descended to zero, the minimum operating temperature for this machine. As a result we are now fully dependant on making our water from ice and snow. Collecting old sea ice (with no salt) and compacted snow each day, we are able to melt this in a heated water tank to produce water. However, water conservation is always of the highest priority, a strange irony as we drift on a frozen ocean.