site.btaDay 44: Approaching the Drake Passage
The Bulgarian naval research vessel Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodii (NAVAL RSV 421) continues to hold a 200 degree course off the coast of Argentina, approaching the turning point of Cape Cabo Blanco, Santa Cruz Province, RSV 421's Commanding Officer and Executive Office, Commander Nikolay Danailov, told BTA. The ship is on her historic first voyage to Livingston Island in support of the 31st Bulgarian Antarctic Expedition.
After reaching Cabo Blanco, RSV 421 will turn to take an approximate 190 degrees course, then a 180 degrees one, calculated to avoid a cyclone forming east of the ship's present location. “In this way we will proceed south to the point from which we will approach the Drake Passage," Danailov noted.
Luckily, the ship will cross the Drake Passage right around the time planned, around noon on February 11. This way she can avoid the second cyclone that has the possibility of hitting and causing heavy seas, the Commander added.
RSV 421 uses several weather monitoring systems, receiving a daily forecast from Rear Admiral Marcelo Tarapow of the Argentine Navy. Also aboard the ship is Lieutenant Commander Juan Nicolau of the Argentine Navy, whose purpose is to assist in the passage through the notorious Drake and in the navigation of polar waters.
Flotilla Admiral Boyan Mednikarov, Rector of the Nikola Vaptsarov Naval Academy in Varna (on the Black Sea), who also boarded RSV 421 at Mar del Plata and is sailing to Livingston Island, noted that earlier in the day he had talked to Defence Minister Dimitar Stoyanov who had wished the mission success and a safe return of RSV 421 home.
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.