William Roche’s Diary
Mountain Waters of the Czech Republic

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June 6: Water samples and calligraphy

Keep it steady - 6 june A short trip to Bedrichov reservoir, and again we break up into teams. It is a cold, dry, sunny day but Josef says that it will rain heavily in the afternoon. We focus on the tasks at hand in order to complete as much as possible before the rains begin. Josef, Anastasia and I constitute one team and we load up a small boat. The life jacket provides extra insulation and warmth. Josef explains that as this is a drinking water reservoir, we must follow environmental policy and use oars rather than powered methods. I am more than happy to row out into the middle of the reservoir. Josef and Anastasia take samples and readings and I use the oars to try and hold the boat steady in the same area. The work involves taking depth, pH, temperature and visibility readings. We also take water samples from various depths to create a profile. I swap with Anastasia and she rows back to shore. The team reassembles and we return to the village. 
That evening we complete data entries, sort and analyze samples. As forecast, heavy rains and winds whip around the building. Our hosts cheerfully cook a huge platter of traditional Czech sausage meats on a BBQ. It is delicious! Afterwards Misae Tanaka, a lady from Japan, gave us a presentation on an Irish historical illuminated manuscript called "The Book of Kells” from 800 AD. She has painstakingly researched this book and, using the most traditional methods, she has carefully reproduced 22 pages of this fine art. It is an most extraordinary achievement and I feel very privileged to have met her.

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