site.btaDay 42: Hardest Part of RSV 421's Voyage Is Yet to Come, Rear Admiral Tarapow Says
The hardest part of the voyage of the Bulgarian naval research ship Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodii (RSV 421) is yet to come, but the ship and crew are well prepared, Rear Admiral Marcelo Tarapow, the Director General of Education and Preparation of the Argentine Navy, told BTA. He has participated in 12 expeditions to Antarctica.
On February 5, the Bulgarian naval research ship headed from Mar del Plata (Argentina) to the Bulgarian Antarctic base on Livingstone Island, which is the final destination of its long first voyage.
Sailing in Antarctic waters is very different from sailing in the rest of the world's oceans, mostly because there is an adverse mix of natural phenomena. The worst part won’t be the rough waters or the strong winds, but having to navigate in severely reduced visibility and between chunks of icebergs, which can easily damage the ship, said Rear Admiral Tarapow. The polar environment provides challenging weather conditions - there will be occasional sunny days, but for the most part the weather will not be the crew's friend, he added.
He is familiar with the Bulgarian Antarctic programme, having visited the Bulgarian base on the island several times - the first time in 1998 and last in 2017. He also visited Sofia in 2015 and Varna a few months ago, where he met most of the people involved in the project. He was invited there to share his Antarctic experience with the Bulgarian crew. He knows well RSV 421 Commander Nikolai Danailov and Senior Assistant Commander Radko Muevski who participated in a training on sailing in polar waters in Argentina and spent two weeks there.
“I think Danailov and Muevski are very, very well prepared for Antarctica, and the ship is ready for the challenge," Rear Admiral Tarapow said.
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.