Bulgarian Expedition Sets out to Antarctic Base from Punta Arenas, Chile

The six members of the 29th Bulgarian Antarctic Expedition sailed off from Punta Arenas, Chile on Sunday morning, headed for the Bulgarian Antarctic Base on Livingston Island, said the expedition leader, Prof. Hristo Pimpirev.

The group had set out from Sofia on January 30. Observing extremely rigorous hygienic requirements aimed to keep the coronavirus away from Antarctica, they were placed under a two-week quarantine. The waiting period was extended to 20 days due to a delay caused by bad weather in the Drake Passage.

All members of the group are in good health and have shown negative results for coronavirus in two PCR tests each, Pimpirev said. They are expected to reach Livingston Island around February 25 and to open the active season at the Bulgarian Base.

The expedition, which has been downsized due to the pandemic, will repair the damage which the harsh climate has inevitably inflicted on the buildings and the equipment in the base during the long Antarctic winter and will conserve it for next year. They will take the year-round measurement readings relevant to the state of the environment, seismic and tidal events. The equipment will be recharged for the next season.

The group will sail back to South America on a Chilean ship at the end of March and will return to Bulgaria by early April.

 

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