The production of water

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28 November 2006

An important daily task for us is the production of water. After a period of sharing this responsibility, we have found our on board specialist. With many years experience working in Russian drifting ice stations, including a number of winters, Victor is the master of this demanding job. We have two water reservoirs, one for drinking water and the other for washing water. Drinking water is made from wind blown snow, of which we have an ample supply! Collected in a strong plastic bag and transported into a 50L drum in the Galley, the snow slowly melts giving us salt free water of the highest quality.

Ice for washing water is meticulously selected every day. As Victor explains, “I look for a pressure ridge that has formed from thick ice, ice that is older than one year and therefore of low salt content. I taste the ice for salt to be sure”. After deciding what ice to take, the physical work begins. Using an ice pick we break blocks of 5 – 10kg, loading a sled to transport to the boat. Each sled of approximately 50kg is lifted on board, where the blocks are passed through a deck hatch and placed in a water tank that has a heating resistance. Using about one tank of 200L per day ensures that we are all kept busy with this essential activity.

Grant