Current position 14.37N, 50.29W, on Water Day

Today we are only 600 miles from St. Lucia, at position 14.37N, 50.29W. If everything goes well – i.e. trade winds keep at 20 knots – we should be reaching St. Lucia on the 15th.

Today is also Water Day, where I get to play with all the valves and filters of our water maker. We prepared a water management strategy before we left, analyzing how much water we were going to carry, how we were going to carry it and how much we were going to use for drinking, bathing, washing, etc. under normal circumstances and in an emergency.

Bacan carries three 200 litres water tanks, and each one is totally independent so if one gets punctured or polluted I can easily isolate it from the rest. We carry a water maker, capable of generating 24 litres per hour, but using a massive 9 amps per hour. The water maker also requires 12 litres of fresh water after each use to clean the membrane. And finally, we are four on board and carry around 120 litres in bottled water. Under normal circumstances, we drink the bottled water – and some tank water for cooking, bathing, etc and to complement the bottled water – and we use only one tank. The other two remain closed and are our reserve.

We were using one tank every two or three days, meaning we turned the water maker on for 8 hours every couple of days or so. If the water maker fails, we revert to emergency water management, and we live out of our remaining two tanks, with no showers or washing – under these circumstances we also shut down the pump and manually pump water to use less. We decided to change this slightly, and now we are emptying two tanks before turning on the water maker. This way, we use less water for cleaning the membrane and also use the machine every 4 to 5 days {it must be run at least once a week or it starts growing bacteria inside}. We also wait for a sunny day to use it, so we can generate most of the power from our solar panels.

Since we are almost out of water now, and it is nice and sunny – Water Day!