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Author Topic: How Did the Castaways Get Fresh Water  (Read 29871 times)

Kevin Weeks

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Re: How Did the Castaways Get Fresh Water
« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2011, 10:39:08 AM »

don, I've read that very same description of galvanized. we are talking about a hot humid salt covered island. it is about the worst possible environment for anything steel to corrode. think of the construction. a flat piece of steel heavily galvanized is very resistant, but when you take that sheet and drill holes in it and rivet it into the shape of a container you will find that the coating is thoroughly undermined. it is a large guess on my part that a water barrel large enough for an island would not have been coated after construction. even if it had, one good scratch during shipment to the island would be enough to rust out.


another thought here is, why if they had a nice container like that would they even think of using the water in it. I would fill it with fresh seawater and use it as a means to distill fairly large amounts of water.
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Don Dollinger

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Re: How Did the Castaways Get Fresh Water
« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2011, 02:35:26 PM »

Quote
a flat piece of steel heavily galvanized is very resistant, but when you take that sheet and drill holes in it and rivet it into the shape of a container you will find that the coating is thoroughly undermined. it is a large guess on my part that a water barrel large enough for an island would not have been coated after construction. even if it had, one good scratch during shipment to the island would be enough to rust out.

Oh contraire, a vessel that is manufactured as a watertank as its primary purpose is indeed retreated after manufacture.  I don't for one minute believe that the watertank was their ONLY means of water but believe it more to be a supplemental water source that was primarily refilled by collection of rainfall.  Maybe Ric can tell us if there is any evidence of Arundel wells? 

Hate to belie the point so lets just say we can agree to disagree, but I believe that even in that environment a galvanized watertank would last at least the 40+ years from when it was abandoned to AE's landing in '37.

Also, the zinc is chemically bonded to the steel and it would have to take one hell of a hit to sustain the damage necessary to breach the zinc coating.  This is from an article on how galvanized steel is made:

"The principal method of making steel resist corrosion is by alloying it with another metal, zinc. When steel is submerged in melted zinc, the chemical reaction permanently bonds the zinc to the steel through galvanizing. Therefore, the zinc isn't exactly a sealer, like paint, because it doesn't just coat the steel; it actually permanently becomes a part of it."

If I was on an atoll and my survivable depended on drinking some questionable water, I'm plugging my nose and swallowing, whats the worst it can do, kill me?  Well, if I die of thirst I'm just as dead.

LTM,

Don

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Ted G Campbell

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Re: How Did the Castaways Get Fresh Water
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2011, 06:34:10 PM »

Don,
And if you drill a hole through the steel for a rivet then what?
Ted Campbell
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pilotart

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Re: How Did the Castaways Get Fresh Water
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2011, 10:45:54 PM »

Galvanize is more than just a protective coating, it will also act as a sacrificial anode and protect the bare steel around a drilled hole or other exposure.

I would also expect that if a usable cistern were remaining from the Arundel site that it would have been worthy of some mention in the records.
Art Johnson
 
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Don Dollinger

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Re: How Did the Castaways Get Fresh Water
« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2011, 08:05:14 AM »

Quote
And if you drill a hole through the steel for a rivet then what?

After the manufacture the regalvanizing process also coats the rivet(s).  Next time you are in farm country check out a galvanized cattle water tank.  The rivets don't rust any quicker then the trough does. 

Worked for a couple of years at Frink's Sno Plow, a company that had the contract for about 60% of all the state plows in Upstate New York.  One of the products that my shop produced was the mount system for the hydraulic rams.  This was raw steel that was pattern cut and welded up into different configurations.  AFTER the manufacture process it was then sent out to be galvanized.  From there it was sent over to the assembly plant, mounted and then off to the paint shop and the whole assembly painted the obligatory blaze orange or yellow and the company logos affixed.  These plows take a real beating and even the parts that have all the paint chipped off of them are virtually rust free 5-10 years later.  The trucks that they used were mainly combo trucks that were plows as well as sanders (NY State uses a hellish amount of salt in their sand mixtures) and these plows were also subjected to plowing up the sand/salt mixture throughout the winter which is a very harsh environment and the galvanization was the protection.

Obviously, I have not seen a plow's condition after 40+ years as they don't stay in service that long, but if after 10 years of the kind of abuse they took had little effect I would think a water tank in a tropical environment even with the salt air would have a very good chance of surviving intact.

Ric, that might be a good question for the Niku residents, if they remember seeing or if they commandeered the water tank for their uses when living on Niku.

LTM,

Don
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Bruce Thomas

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Re: How Did the Castaways Get Fresh Water
« Reply #20 on: February 06, 2011, 07:27:57 AM »

Looking at the satellite image of the island I can see a round pool like object on the south east end of the island.  Is this a tidal pool or something left over from the Loran station (sewage pit?)
The WWII photograph of the Coast Guard station shows that feature nicely.  Somewhere I read that the lagoon isn't so much affected by the tides, but there was probably some sort of connection between the lagoon and that water feature.
LTM,

Bruce
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: How Did the Castaways Get Fresh Water
« Reply #21 on: February 06, 2011, 09:18:19 AM »

Looking at the satellite image of the island I can see a round pool like object on the south east end of the island.  Is this a tidal pool or something left over from the Loran station (sewage pit?)

That object has never been given a name (that I'm aware of) and so the information about it has never been collected in one place.

From the old Forum:

Date: Mon, 3 Dec 2001 13:00:19 EST
From:         Bill Carter
Subject:      Ponds at SE tip

<I think his impression that they contained primarily
rainwater was incorrect.  John Clauss?  Bill Carter?  Van Hunn?  You guys
were down there this trip.  Do you agree?>

When John and I were surveying the remains of the
Loran Station on September 11, we walked past the large roundish sunken area
that was devoid of vegetation and had some small pools of water in it.  (I
took a photo of this area).  The ground is dark brown almost black with what
I believe is (or was told) was some sort of fungus growing here. This area
also appears as a large brown patch on the sat photo.  The area could (and
probably does) hold rainwater during a large rainstorm but the area is
positioned such that the primary source of water is overflow from the lagoon
and my guess is that most of the water in this area is salt water.  Remember
that for mosquitoes to breed and live they need pools of fresh water.  There
are no mosquitoes on Niku.

Bill Carter
#2313CE

Date:         Tue, 4 Dec 2001 11:02:54 EST
From:         John Clauss
Subject:      Re: Rain water...

> There are two ponds where Laxton was, down at the southeast tip - a big one
> that dries occasionally and seems to be tidal, and another smaller one that
> has fish in it.  I think his impression that they contained primarily
> rainwater was incorrect.  John Clauss?  Bill Carter?  Van Hunn?  You guys
> were down there this trip.  Do you agree?

Yes, the water in the ponds is definitely tidal, following the lagoon level.
Because of the high tides, this last trip, we were able to observe the level
changes in the ponds.

John


Date:         Wed, 5 Dec 2001 10:08:57 EST
From:         Van Hunn
Subject:      Re: Ponds at SE tip

In reference to the ponds at SE tip, Christian D wrote:

<<I'm surprised no Tighar tasted the water. I, for one, always do.>>

Surely he is joking about doing taste-tests on strange bodies of water. The
small amount of water in the shallow pond was the color of coffee, while
water in the pond with fish was the color of dark tea.

I agree with John that both ponds are tidal and salty. I believe both ponds
are also overwashed by the lagoon during very high tides or storm surges.

Van


Date:         Thu, 6 Dec 2001 11:02:55 EST
From:         Christian D
Subject:      Re: Ponds at SE tip

<<I'm surprised no Tighar tasted the water. I, for one, always do.>>

Van Hunn wrote:

>  Surely he is joking about doing taste-tests on strange bodies of water.

NO!  I certainly wasn't!  Just what I did on Kanton, Xmas, Funafuti, Palmyra,
etc...

Regards
Christian D.
***************************************************************************
From Ric

Are you familar with the term "crazy brave?"


LTM,

           Marty
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: How Did the Castaways Get Fresh Water
« Reply #22 on: February 06, 2011, 07:25:13 PM »

That rings a bell now, should have had a look in the archives myself!

Would these pools have been another plus for the aviators in choosing Niku as a landing spot (appart from lack of fuel)

I doubt that the presence of the apparent pool or pond would have been decisive in attempting a landing on the reef; it's not like they had a lot of other choices they could make.

Sighting the pond may have encouraged them to investigate that end of the island, which is not too far away from the Seven Site.
LTM,

           Marty
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Thom Boughton

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Re: How Did the Castaways Get Fresh Water
« Reply #23 on: February 07, 2011, 12:28:32 AM »

But, was that pool even there in '37? 

Or was it something dug (for whatever reason) by the Coasties?



....TB
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Bruce Thomas

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Re: How Did the Castaways Get Fresh Water
« Reply #24 on: February 07, 2011, 07:43:57 PM »

But, was that pool even there in '37? 

Or was it something dug (for whatever reason) by the Coasties?



....TB
The topographic map from the Pacific Islands Survey Expedition (1938-39 timeframe) indicates the presence of that pool prior to WWII.
LTM,

Bruce
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Thom Boughton

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Re: How Did the Castaways Get Fresh Water
« Reply #25 on: February 07, 2011, 11:07:20 PM »

Hmmmmm....so it does.  Hadn't seen that one before.  Thanks.





....TB
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