site.btaDay 80: Goodbye to Argentinian Pilot after Mission End
The crew of the Bulgarian naval research vessel Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodii (NAVAL RSV 421) held a symbolic ceremony to see off Lieutenant Commander Juan Nicolau of the Argentine Navy, who completed his mission on board the ship on March 16, disembarking at the naval base in Mar del Plata. Lt. Cmdr. Nicolau sailed on RSV 421 from Argentina to Antarctica and back to Argentina as an experienced navigator in polar waters.
The Bulgarian sailors honored Lieutenant Commander Nicolau by forming a line and raising the flags of Bulgaria and Argentina on the summer deck of the ship.
The commander of the Bulgarian naval research vessel, Commander Nikolay Danailov, thanked his Argentinean counterpart for his invaluable help and advice in navigating the Drake Passage, the South Shetland Islands, through dangerous areas such as Neptune's Bellows - the narrow channel to the inner bay of Deception Island, as well as for the good friendship built over the last month and a half. Commander Danailov presented Lt. Nikolau with a plaque on behalf of the head of the Naval Academy in Varna , Flotilla Admiral Boyan Mednikarov, a bottle of Bulgarian red wine and several souvenirs as a memento of sailing with RSV 421. The rest of the crew also expressed their gratitude to Lt. Nicolau individually. He, in turn, expressed his heartfelt appreciation to everyone for the gesture and the honour.
"From a professional point of view, sailing on the ship was a very good experience. It was very interesting to work with the Bulgarian sailors, we exchanged experiences, I learned a lot about the way they work, how they perform their duties. They were very well prepared, performing their professional duties. From a personal point of view, it was an exceptional experience - I can say it was great, I met great people. I got to know a different culture with different traditions," Lt. Nicolau told BTA, sharing his impressions from working with the Bulgarian navy crew.
BTA's Daily News editor Konstantin Karagyozov is the only member of the media who is travelling on board the ship to Livingston Island and back and covered the Bulgarian expedition throughout its stay in Antarctica.
All media outlets can use the Bulgaria-Antarctica BTA's Log for free.