Bulgarian Antarctic Base "St. Climent Ohridski"
Bulgarian Antarctic Base "St. Kliment Ohridski" (BAB) is in the eastern part of Livingston Island, South Shetland Islands. BAB coordinates are 62o38'29" S by 60o21'53" W.
It is located on the Bulgarian beach, Emona Harbour, East - Northeast of Hesperides Point, the site elevation being between 12 to 15m above sea level. The site is particularly appropriate for an Antarctic settlement and the existence of the BAB has a minimum negative impact on local wildlife, for Bulgarian beach has fairly modest population of penguins and seals. At the same time, the base location offers most convenient access to MountFriesland, Burdick Ridge, Mount Bowles, southern Hurd Peninsulaand Varna Peninsula areas. Near to the BAB is Spanish Antarctic Base "Juan carlos I".
Following an aborted attempt on Cape Vostok in the northwest end of Alexander Island, two prefabricated huts were assembled on Livingston Island on April 26-29, 1988 by a four-member Bulgarian team logistically supported by the Soviet ship Mihail Somov. This refuge was later refurbished and inaugurated as a permanent base on December 11, 1993. Formerly known as Sofia University Refuge, in 1994 the base was named after St. Kliment of Ohrid (840-916 AD) - a prominent Bulgarian scholar and bishop, by a Presidential decree. An expansion program was implemented at St. Kliment Ohridski in 1996-98, including construction of a new house, built with materials shipped from Argentina with the logistic support of the Spanish Antarctic Program. The house total area of 80 sq. meters allows for two sleeping rooms, a bathroom, a scientific laboratory, living room and a kitchenette. Between 2007-2010 are built 2 new houses (materials from Argentina) having 4 more bedrooms, a medical office and 2 scientific laboratories (geological and biological). In 2012 was built a new Ortodox chapel "St. Ivan Rilski". Thus the total capacity of the base was expanded to 25 persons, providing better conditions for work and living, as well as possibilities for winter stay, if necessary.
An average of 25 people work at St. Kliment Ohridski during the austral summer, usually from late November or early December until early March. People and cargo are transported to Livingston 1Island via Punta Arenas and Ushuaia, then transferred ashore by dinghies or helicopters. Waste materials are shipped for disposal back to South America. An office of the Bulgarian Posts has been operating at St. Kliment Ohridski since 1994 with postal code BG 1090.
The staff and cargo from supply ships are unloaded by Zodiac boats and Skidoos at the southwestern extremity of the beach, some 300 m away from the main base facilities. A designated helipad site is located on the northern side of the Grand Lagoon. The base has a boat shelter down on the Bulgarian beach.
The BAB accomodates scientists from Bulgaria and other countries for research in the field of geology, biology, glaciology, topography and geographic information. St. Kliment Ohridski is randomly visited by cruise ships from Hannah Point, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Antarctica situated approximately 12 km to the west.