site.btaDay 45: RSV 421 Sailing at Good Speed towards Le Maire Strait Off Cape Horn
On February 9, Day 45 of the voyage to Antarctica, the Bulgarian naval research vessel Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodii (RSV 421) is sailing at a good speed and is a few hours ahead of schedule on its way to Livingston Island. The weather is not a concern, although the ship is expected to sail through oncoming wind for a while, Flotilla Admiral Boyan Mednikarov, Rector of the Nikola Vaptsarov Naval Academy in Varna (on the Black Sea), told BTA. He boarded the ship in Mar del Plata.
Flotilla Admiral Mednikarov said that according to navigation estimates, depending on her speed, RSV 421 will enter the Le Maire Strait which separates the Argentine portion of Tierra del Fuego from Isla de los Estados (Staten Island), on the afternoon of February 10. The ship is expected to begin her actual crossing of the Drake Passage between 1000 and 1200 hrs local time on February 11 from a point about 60 NM traverse from Cape Horn, the southernmost point of the continental plate of South America. From there, depending on her speed, the vessel will need about 40 to 50 hours to reach King George Island, which is part of the South Shetland archipelago that also includes Livingston Island.
The route from the east is not the most direct one to Livingston Island, but it was chosen because a direct approach would tangibly reduce the speed of RSV 421 due to a very strong swell and on-board rolling.
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.