Ocean College

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Water is precious when you’re at sea

When crossing the Atlantic our student Lisa realized what a precious resource water can be – especially when there is no land in sight.

Before going on this sailing trip I would have never imagined that surrounded by water the raw material we have the least of would be water. We all need water to survive, and normally when we are in the need we just go to the next sink, open the tap and we have endless water.

Here on board it’s a bit different. Instead of a pipe that provides everybody with water we get our drinking water through a Water-maker that runs from 7 o’clock in the morning until 20:30 o’clock in the evening and produces about 120 litres per hour. It takes the water from the Ocean and brings it in a drinkable form. Every 15 minutes someone of the working watch needs to climb down the steep stairs into the Engine-Room to check if there are any leaks and the Water pressure isn’t too high or low. When the sun is shining and we are travelling on Engine it gets so hot down there, that you can’t touch anything without feeling like your hands are getting burned. So it got one of the most annoying tasks during the watch (Luckily I’m in the night watch now so I don’t have to deal with it anymore).

Having a limited source of water is new for most of us and we all needed to change our behaviour. Unfortunately we have managed to spend all of the available water until the last drop a few times now and every time it happens we realise how irresponsible we have been. Not even putting up a three-days plan for showering worked and after we managed to empty the tank during the crossing of the Atlantic, we are only allowed to shower with salt water on deck. After Martin (captain) told us, that there was no water many of us got scared.

What about drinking water?

Do we have water for the kitchen?

Or cleaning the ship?

Or washing our laundry?

Now we are trying to find out how so much water was used and what we can do about it. Probably the problem lies by washing our hands for too long and filling nearly the entire sink for doing the dishes. But I think that there is also a positive aspect to it, that we all learn to be aware of this valuable liquid and all work together to find a solution.

You can find this article also at Deutsche Welle!

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