site.btaDay 37: Cargo on Board RSV 421 Firmly Secured in Case of Rough Weather in Drake Passage
In anticipation of more severe weather conditions during the journey to the Drake Passage, the cargo aboard the Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodii's (NAVAL RSV 421) is firmly fixed on the main deck, explained to BTA by Boatswain Leading Seaman Simeon Slavov, part of the ship's deck command. The waters in the strait between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, separating South America from Antarctica, are among the roughest and most dangerous for navigation in the entire world.
The Bulgarian military scientific research ship is sailing towards the Bulgarian Antarctic base St. Kliment Ohridski on Livingston Island (South Shetland Islands) as part of the 31st native expedition to Antarctica. RSV 421 is carrying supplies, construction materials and equipment to the base where a new laboratory block will be built. The building will have three laboratories, as well as living and storage spaces. The ship transports food supplies, cement, foundations for construction, sandwich panels, sewage treatment plant, office container, etc.
Boatswain Slavov explained that part of the supplies are located in cargo containers, secured to the main deck with the help of twist lockers. The deck command of RSV 421, whose purpose is to maintain the outside of the ship and to participate in the loading and unloading activities on board, has also done additional strengthening of the containers along the way by means of clamped steel ropes.
RSV 421 has two on-board cranes (each with a load capacity of up to 4 tonnes). When the ship anchors in Emona Anchorage on Livingston Island, the pontoon raft will be lowered by one of the cranes, while the cargo transfer to the island will be carried out by working boats.
In its first voyage to Antarctica, in addition to materials for the Bulgarian Antarctic base, RSV 421 also loaded a large amount of cargo for Spanish stations Juan Carlos I on Livingston Island and Gabriel de Castilla on Deception Island, strengthening cooperation between the polar programmes.
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, who 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.