Tara: Water management up North
As we continue to organise our life on board for the long polar night ahead, a constant preoccupation is the production, use and discharge of water. Ensuring that we have a sufficient amount of good quality water for our basic needs is a big task for at least two people each day. Like most large boats, we have a watermaker onboard that makes freshwater from seawater through the process of osmosis.
In temperate climates we can produce up to 200 liters per hour. However, in our current position close to 83 degrees north the water temperature is -1.5 degrees celsius and the temperature in the forward hold (the location of the watermaker) has descended to -7 degrees, below the minimum operating temperature of 0 degrees. Therefore, we now produce our water by melting ice and snow. We have a small water tank of 200 liters that supplies both the galley and shower. Inside this tank is a heating element from the boats central heating system. We also have another container in the Galley in which we melt ice passively and very efficiently just using the ambient temperature.
With such a scarcity of this vital resource every drop is counted, with the knowledge that supplies will have to be replenished by some hard labour outside. On average we use about 100 - 150 liters per day (approximately 13