site.btaDay 100: Trainee Rafael Kanev: The Most Important Thing Is to Smile
Interviewed by BTA, Chief Petty Officer Cadet Rafael Kanev said the most important thing is to smile, have fun and not take things to heart. Kanev, who studies Marine Engineering for the Navy at the Nikola Vaptsarov Naval Academy in Varna, is a trainee on the Bulgarian naval research/survey vessel Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodii (RSV 421) during Bulgaria's 31st Antarctic expedition to Livingston Island.
During his traineeship, Kanev's duties include servicing the diesel generators, azimuth thrusters and fuel separator, fuel transfer, and ballast receipt and return. The young seaman is under the direct supervision of the ship's more experienced technicians.
Kanev says he is a positive person who finds pleasure in everything he does. His watch and the day's duties leave him little free time, but he tries to spend it in the best possible way.
"I use my free time on the ship less for sleep and more for things I enjoy, such as karate. Here I can concentrate on this martial art and practice it every day. It is exactly karate that keeps me mentally sound on the ship," Kanev says. Among the other hobbies that help him pass the time on board are reading books, folk dancing and singing.
After visiting the Antarctic for the first time, Kanev shares: "I was pleasantly surprised that Bulgaria has managed to reach the level of having its own base, alongside Spaniards, Argentines, Americans, Russians, Chileans... I was also impressed by the team of Bulgarian scientists and logisticians who worked tirelessly. Of course, I was delighted by the penguins, seals, snow and ice."
Kanev's dreams are to travel the world and meet new people. He adds: "Actually, the first thing I want to do when I get home is to visit the students from Veliko Tarnovo who sent us their letters with questions. In the more distant future, I would love to visit Japan, as it is the home of karate. I want to see how the best train. It would be a great honour to meet the sumo wrestler Kaloyan Mahlyanov Kotooshu there, if I get the chance."
By sailing on a ship, Kanev was able to fulfil one of his dreams. His next dream on the list is joining Bulgaria's special forces, particularly the Tihina navy reconnaissance unit, which he compares to the US Navy SEALs.
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 covered the Bulgarian expedition on site throughout its stay in Antarctica.
All media outlets can use the Bulgaria-Antarctica BTA's Log for free.