Dear Sarah, Romina, and Iker: No, we do not drink water from the sea, since it contains too much salt for our bodies. There is a famous stanza from the poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner that goes:
“Water, water everywhere, and all the boards did shrink,
Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink.”
We carry some emergency containers of water in case I had to get into the life raft. And we carry a few bottles of water in case we have a problem with our desalinator and it might take me some time to repair it. A desalinator is a machine that essentially filters out the salt in seawater, and then keeps just the fresh water that remains, and we cain drink that. We have two desalinators on board, plus various spare parts, plus of course, the Manual for how it all works! Our desalinator is small, it makes 1.4 gallons per hour. But there are some desalination facilities that are huge, that will take seawater and make freshwater for large communities. For example, I know that much of the fresh water used in Saudi Arabia, which is a desert country, made by desalinating huge quantities of seawater.
Questions submitted by: Sarah (age 4), Romina (age 5), and Iker (age 4) via FasTracKids Irapuato (Mexico)