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Author Topic: How Did the Castaways Get Fresh Water  (Read 31381 times)

jeff f

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How Did the Castaways Get Fresh Water
« on: January 14, 2011, 08:01:28 AM »


more important than starting fires !
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Hector M Zapata

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Re: How Did the Castaways Get Fresh Water
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2011, 08:07:07 PM »

how about from coconuts? early settlers plant them in niku. Right?
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: How Did the Castaways Get Fresh Water
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2011, 09:24:18 PM »

how about from coconuts? early settlers plant them in niku. Right?

Yes. 

"In a note to the file in Fiji on July 3, 1941 Gallagher wrote:

“There was no evidence of any attempt to dig a well and the wretched man presumably died of thirst. Less than two miles away there is a small grove of coconut trees which would have been sufficient to keep him alive if he had only found it. He was separated from those trees, however, by an impenetrable [sic] belt of bush.” -- "Gallagher's Clues."
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
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Monty Fowler

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Re: How Did the Castaways Get Fresh Water
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2011, 10:49:37 AM »

Finding the coconuts is one thing. Getting them open is quite another. Especially getting them open in a way that you can extract the liquid inside them. Natives know how to do it. Castaways ... probably not. They could learn, sure, by trial and error, which takes a lot of time and energy, and energy is something that is going to get sucked out of you pretty fast in that environment.
Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
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Hector M Zapata

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Re: How Did the Castaways Get Fresh Water
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2011, 10:47:01 AM »

Is it possible that they were sure that help would come?

I can imagine the brutal conditions in that island, but i also thing that the amount of time most people belived they were alive is too short. I think they were more focus making sure they see the help coming than start a longer time plan to survive, (finding water, food, shelter, etc). All this if they were not injured.

also one more question, are the crabs at niku edible?? if they are not toxic we can start see them as food instead of as a pest.  ::)

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Bruce Thomas

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Re: How Did the Castaways Get Fresh Water
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2011, 11:16:51 AM »

... also one more question, are the crabs at niku edible?? if they are not toxic we can start see them as food instead of as a pest.  ::)
Oh yes, they are a delicacy.  Just 3 months after the AE/FN disappearance, Harry Maude and Eric Bevington visited the island with a team of native workers in anticipation of colonization.  In Bevington's diary we read about the party's first encounter with the coconut crabs:

"Yells at once went up “Te ai” (the coconut crab). These are a great delicacy to them. I knew of them here from books but the natives didn’t. They are like huge spiders with vast pinchers with which they husk, and break open the coconuts. We caught three quickly then I insisted on continuing our trek."

Subsequently, the natives had feasted so much on the crabs that some of them suffered diarrhea.
LTM,

Bruce
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Don Dollinger

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Re: How Did the Castaways Get Fresh Water
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2011, 11:14:25 AM »

I can imagine the brutal conditions in that island, but i also thing that the amount of time most people belived they were alive is too short. I think they were more focus making sure they see the help coming than start a longer time plan to survive, (finding water, food, shelter, etc). All this if they were not injured.
Just day-to-day survival in that environment would take up most of your time and energy.  IMHO if they/she did not start thinking about survival soon after arrival they would not live long after their supplies were exhausted.  Recently I read on a survival site about time of survival without food or water.  Times vary although in hot and cold environments the lesser is the case.  Also it should be noted that it takes water to process food so if you are dehydrating then eating will hasten it. 

Bottom line is in an environment with a max temperature of 120 degrees, although you can last 4 weeks without food, you can only last 2 days without water.  If you go 1-1 1/2 days without water it is doubtful you will be physically capable on day 2 to even go about the steps necessary to find water.  I am doubtful she lasted more then a couple of weeks at most.

LTM

Don
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jeff f

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Re: How Did the Castaways Get Fresh Water
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2011, 12:41:49 PM »

cursed like tantalus

surrounded by water.......and nothing to drink
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Don Dollinger

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Re: How Did the Castaways Get Fresh Water
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2011, 11:16:32 AM »

Quote
Near the palms we found two disused galvanised roofed huts and a large water tank

Where on the island where these located in relation to the 7 site? 
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Don Dollinger

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Re: How Did the Castaways Get Fresh Water
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2011, 09:56:22 AM »

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"Near the palms we found two disused galvanised roofed huts and a large water tank

Stainless Steel was not invented until 1913 so I would think that a tank placed there in 1890 would be constructed of steel.  I would highly doubt there was any water still in the tank when the Norwich City crew was there even more so with AE's arrival.  Any standing water would surely have rusted through the bottom of the tank by then.  On the very slim off chance that it had held that long, any water in it would surely have been rust tainted.  Ever see what standing water looks like after sitting in metal container for a year or two.  I think the fact that the crew requested water from the rescue was quite telling that there was not any potable water available to them.

LTM

Don
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Don Dollinger

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Re: How Did the Castaways Get Fresh Water
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2011, 12:55:35 PM »

Quote
What about Galvanized? I know it was popular in England to prevent rusting?

Very good point, I never thought of gavanized.  Quick perusal of the internet shows that it was invented in 1730's, in common use by the 1830's and has a lifespan of 70-140 years.  I guess if push came to shove, I could be "enticed" to drink water that has been laying stagnant for 40+ years.  Could very well what was being boiled at the 7 site to sterilize it, versus sea water.

LTM,

Don
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Kevin Weeks

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Re: How Did the Castaways Get Fresh Water
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2011, 02:05:49 PM »

to me, reading that description of the water tank, it doesn't actually state what it's made of. could have been wooden for all we know.
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Kevin Weeks

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Re: How Did the Castaways Get Fresh Water
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2011, 07:28:16 AM »

what it's made of is directly related to whether it played a part. if it was a wooden barrel sitting in a tropical island it isn't going to last very long, nor is an iron barrel. 47 years is a long time for anything to be exposed to humidity and salt air. I have no idea what the quality of galvanizing was in the 1890's to determine if it would have lasted that long. based upon my experience with antique cars I would venture to guess that on a piece of sheet steel made into an enclosed container to hold water would have rusted out within that time period.
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Kevin Weeks

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Re: How Did the Castaways Get Fresh Water
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2011, 09:39:26 AM »

after 40+ years do you really think there would have been water left in it? and if there was would you drink it?

btw, Arundel's settlement supposedly lasted only one year due to drought, making it even less chance there would be water left in the container.
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Don Dollinger

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Re: How Did the Castaways Get Fresh Water
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2011, 11:20:32 AM »

Quote
what it's made of is directly related to whether it played a part. if it was a wooden barrel sitting in a tropical island it isn't going to last very long, nor is an iron barrel. 47 years is a long time for anything to be exposed to humidity and salt air.

I thought the same thing until I read up on galvanized.  Highlights below:

The process was first invented by a French chemist in 1742, and first used by Stanilaus Tranquille Modeste Sovel, another French chemist in 1836. By 1850 in Britain the galvanizing industry was using 10,000 tonnes or zinc per year for the protection of steel. For the past 150 years the process of galvanizing has been sucessful as a method of corrosion control.

The performance varies in different environments. In warm and dry environments the stability of zinc is remarkable. There is no reaction between the galvanized coating and the air so the protection continues.

In the presence of moisture in the atmosphere, the zinc stays stable indefinatley.

In rural areas, the life span of galvanized coatings may be reduced as the effects of aerial spraying and fertilisers.

By the sea coast the corrosion rate is increased because of the presence of soluble chlorides. Still, the protection of the galvanized coating is alot better than other protective systems, and can be further increased by a using a duplex galvanizing-plus-paint system.

Galvanized steel is chosen because it is very durable. The service life for galvanized steel is over 70 years without maintenance.  Galvanized coating can last 70-150 years without maintenance in most urban and rural atmospheres.

Whether or not there would be water present and whether or not it would be drinkable is another matter entirely.

LTM,

Don
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