site.btaDay 45: RSV 421 Will Strengthen Our Antarctic Friendship, Argentine Rear Admiral Tarapow Says
Rear Admiral Marcelo Tarapow, the Director General of Education and Preparation of the Argentine Navy, believes that the Bulgarian naval research ship Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodii (RSV 421) will strengthen what he calls "the Antarctic friendship" between the two countries. "It was especially important for me to welcome the ship with the words "Welcome to Argentina!" at the naval base in Mar del Plata as its last stop before Livingston Island," the admiral told BTA.
RSV 421 is on its long voyage to the Bulgarian Antarctic base on Livingston Island where it will support the Bulgarian Antarctic expedition.
"It was a very special moment as I have been familiar with your Antarctic programme for many years and have been in close contact with the Bulgarian Navy. I keep unforgettable memories of visits to the Bulgarian base in Antarctica and of my visit to Varna. It was a great honour for me to help you, trying to do my best," said Rear Admiral Tarapow.
"I think that the good relations that Bulgaria and Argentina have had for many years now, together with the fact that Bulgaria now has its own ship, will open new doors and strengthen our Antarctic friendship, because in Antarctica cooperation means everything. That is the main objective in Antarctica - cooperation. I think that the Antarctic cooperation between the two countries will strengthen even more, as the Bulgarian ship can count on the support of the Argentine Navy," he said.
Before leaving South America for Antarctica, a ship needs a port where the crew can take a breath of air on land before embarking on the long voyage through the icy water and the harsh weather, he explained. "It is important to go ashore for a few days as the Antarctic environment is hostile: not the best environment for a human being. People working in Antarctica need specific training and knowledge. Temperatures are low and winds are strong - this does not allow for daily work in the open."
Rear Admiral Tarapow has spent about 1000 days in total in Antarctica and knows all that from personal experience.
"It's good to rely on someone with experience to tell you what problems to expect and help you solve them," he said adding that Antarctica is not the best place for one to learn through trial and error as the weather is unforgiving and if one makes a mistake, it could cost them their life. "Antarctica is not the lady who will forgive you and give you a second chance," he said.
Rear Admiral Tarapow stresses that no matter how sturdy a ship may be, the force of the sea elements is always greater and often it is not the most direct route that must be sought, but the calmest route away from rough waters. "Sailing is like a chess game - you have to keep an eye on the weather forecast, read the navigation charts correctly and, thinking several moves ahead, manage to avoid the storm."
He expressed his confidence that RSV 421 and its crew are very well prepared for their upcoming Antarctic venture.
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.