site.btaDay 11: Sailing Is the Most Useful Part of Cadets' Education Process
Assistant Professor Eng. Dimitar Vasilev, who has taught at the Faculty of Engineering of the Varna-based Nikola Vaptsarov Naval Academy for seven years, says sailing is the most useful part of the cadets' education. Vasilev is one of three lecturers of the Faculty of Engineering who, along with 23 cadets, are on a training voyage from Bulgaria's city of Varna to the Spanish city of Cartagena aboard the Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodii (NAVAL RSV 421). It arrived in Cartagena on January 5, 2023.
Teaching by example is the best way to teach students. One needs to prepare them for the work ahead by passing on knowledge and experience, said Assistant Professor Vasilev. "The challenges facing a seaman stem from the fact that all that is dear and cherished to them is far away. The change in lifestyle is the biggest challenge, especially in the beginning," he said.
The engineer believes the most important thing for young people is to learn to think.
"We get up at 03:00 am for the watches, followed by four hours of training. The future engineers study systems and general shipboard work. The actions are routine, but the cadets find them interesting because this is the first time they have been on a ship for such a long time. Many of them are familiar with the subject, others are just getting into it. Younger cadets find it even more interesting because once they see how things work and then read about them, they will be much better acquainted with the details," Vasilev said.
"In the morning we do a debrief and set tasks, for instance, monitoring or studying a system, studying the principle of operation of a particular mechanism. They have to identify the mechanism first. When they confront a problem and get their heads around it, things work out. If you give them things on a platter, they tend to forget them," the engineer said of the ship's routine.
For a start, the cadets on their first voyage can find out if the sea agrees with them. Sailing is the most useful part of the cadets' education process, he noted.
"Science is one of the driving forces of every society and the more such initiatives there are, the better," Assistant Professor Vasilev said of the ship's current voyage to Antarctica.
The Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodii is on its historic first voyage to Livingston Island in the South Shetlands in support of the 31st Bulgarian Antarctic Expedition. The ship is expected to reach its destination in some 40 days. It sailed off from Varna on the Black Sea on December 27, 2022.
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 will cover the Bulgarian expedition on site throughout the stay in Antarctica.
All media outlets can use the Bulgaria-Antarctica BTA's Log for free.