Kom took Twin Ports wheat to Tunisia

I have published the Duluth Shipping News for 20 years and until today, have never had pictures taken of cargo loaded in Duluth being discharged in a land far far away . Today, that all changes, courtesy of Captain Mariyan Yotov, who brought the Bulgarian built, owned, operated and crewed salt water vessel Kom to town on April 13, 2015.  They loaded  wheat at CHS 1 in Superior. About a month later, they were in Sfax, Tunisia discharging the wheat. Captain Yotov sent us the pictures below showing their work.
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Two on-shore cranes are scooping the wheat from the cargo holds of the Kom and depositing each load into a giant funnel which in turn pours the wheat into trucks moved in just below the funnels.  We can see two trucks being loaded simultaneously.
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Click on the map from Google Earth below to see a larger version. Tunisia is located on the northern tip of Africa; I think they also discharged some cargo in Italy. They started their trip to Duluth from Spain, at left on the map.
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Friending the Captain of the Kom

Received this email this morning (May 12, 2015): “Kenneth, Мариян Йотов has confirmed that you’re friends on Facebook.” That’s Captain Mariyan Yotov, the Captain of the Kom, the first salt water vessel to arrive in Duluth Superior this season. He linked to a long post about the visit on  www.maritime.bg, below left, a screen print of the page, and beside it, Google’s translation of the page. Many Twin Ports news sources are mentioned. (Captain Yotov’s Facebook page)
 

the translation:
On April 15, 2015, the motor ship "Kom" of Navigation Maritime Bulgare arrived at the US port of The Twin Ports Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin. This is the largest freshwater port in the world. Located in the western part of the komcaptainfacebookpagemay122015North American Great Lakes (North America’s Great Lakes) and accept ships arriving from the Atlantic Ocean and pass through the sea route "St. Lawrence "and Great Lakes (The Great Lakes and the Saint Lawrence Seaway). It is united port in two US cities that belong to the Territorial two different states: Minnesota Duluth has to and Superiar – to Wisconsin. In The Twin Ports cargo is 19th among all US ports.
This news would hardly deserved so much attention if it was not this detail, the crew of "Kom" Captain Marian Yotov was greeted by local and regional port authorities with the traditional ceremony "Welcome the first" salty "(coming from the ocean) ship! "at the end of the heavy winter in this region. Welcomes the first captain of the Bulgarian ship Dave McMillan (Dave McMillan) – Chairman of the Board of The St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. On the bridge of "Kom" Captain Yotov welcomes its guests with painted Easter eggs and invite them to participate in traditional Bulgarian "fight" with them.
(Photo below, right; the Captain battles Adele Yorde of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority) The event is also reflected by the three television channels in the region and is broadcast live by two other media: The Duluth Shipping News and The Duluth News Tribune. A reporter of NNCNOW.com captain Yotov said: "I love Duluth and its inhabitants. They welcome us very friendly and open arms. I am really glad to be here. " Local media also indicate that over half of the transition through the sea route "St. Lawrence "and Great Lakes ‘Kom’ was sailing in heavy ice situation and had to seek the assistance of an icebreaker. The arrival of the ship in the US Maritime port The Twin2015-0415-952 Ports without any damage to it is another proof of the professionalism of the Bulgarian crew.
The publication states that "Qom" has arrived in The Twin Ports Duluth after 25 days in Spain transition from not particularly favorable weather in the North Atlantic. It accepts the US port 12,100 tons high quality wheat in his barns to deliver client Italian port. The Duluth Shipping News notes that this is the fifth visit of the "Kom" here and that his first visit took place on May 26, 1998 – a year after it was built in Varna Shipyard. The newspaper published an aerial photograph of the city – the city where he built ".COM" and a picture of the Balkan us Kom Peak, whose name it bears ship.
When maneuvering the Bulgarian ship The Twin Ports Duluth is assisted by tugs of The Great Lakes Towing Company – a company with over 115 years of history, which is in Navigation Maritime business partnership in 1987. The information and photos are sent to the BMF by Stefanos Skortelis – from ship agency company Navitrans Shipping Agencies Inc., Canada, as the Communication states that the photographs of the ceremony and the visit of the "Kom" made by Paul Scinocca & Diane Hilden (DKH).

Visiting the Kom

2015-0415-1039hollyThe Kom arrived on April 13, 2015, the first salt water ship of the season. It was her 5th trip to the Twin Ports; she first visited us on May 26, 1998, just a year after she was built in Varna, Bulgaria. She is owned by Navigation Maritime Bulgare in Varna. Captain Mariyan Yotov lives in Varna and all of the crew live in Bulgaria, some in Varna also.
(Click on any image to see a larger version)
My associate, Holly Jorgenson, joined me. She 2015-0415-959took this picture as we started our visit going carefully up the gangway. After that, it was only 5 more levels until we reached the pilot house. While we were up in the pilot house, the stevedores at CHS 1 were on the deck loading wheat into the cargo holds.There are two important people on any ship; the captain and the cook. Here Holly chats with the cook; it almost looks like she is praying for food.
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Holly found Captain Yotov’s Facebook page so you too can share some of his travels around the world. Everybody, and everything has a face book page. I was looking around the web for Kom Peak and found their Facebook page. They just sent me an email titled, Kom Peak confirmed your Facebook friend request. Now I am friends with a mountain!Several years ago, I created a web page for the Kom, and I included a Google Earth map to make sure we all knew where Bulgaria was. Captain Yotov likes maps too so he took us down a floor to give us a short tour around his world. First, he showed us home: Varna, his port city on the Black Sea.
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Then to Spain, and the port of LaCoruña, at the northwest tip of Spain, where they began their trip to Duluth.
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2015-0415-999When they depart the Twin Ports, they will be taking their cargo of wheat to a port in Italy where it will be used to make pasta. Then all officers and crew will be taking the short flight home to Varna; to be replaced by another all Bulgarian crew. I emphasize this since we don’t see this much anymore; Greek owned, operated and crewed ships (with a great Greek cook I might add) were here often and Polish ships the same. For a while the Dutch ships with all Dutch crews were here from the Netherlands. In fact, the captains on some of the Dutch ships have also been part owners of the ship they were on. That was nice; it was almost like visiting the country. Today, costs are cut and many companies have left the shipping business; crews are now often found from other countries with lower pay scales. So we welcome the Kom, a small part of Bulgaria, to Duluth Superior, still holding their country’s maritime heritage and helping us with ours.
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The Captain is often asked, as he was here, where the name Kom came from. It is named for Kom Peak in the Balkan Mountains in western Bulgaria, not far from the Serbian border. Above we see the view from the top of Kom Peak. The peak is 6,614 feet high and is a popular site for hikers. The country has many interesting neighbors; Romania to the north; Serbia and Macedonia to the west; Greece to the south and Turkey to the southeast. And of course, a long coastal connection to the beautiful Black Sea. Above, the view from the top of Kom’s Peak. Below, the city of Varna.
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2015-0415-1010On the way to sunny, almost warm Duluth, the Kom was caught up in the big ice jam at Whitefish Point in the eastern part of Lake Superior, just this side of the Soo Locks. Captain Yotov took us out to show us the bow of his ship which made countless surges into the ice; the white lines are the marks the ice left on her bow to show us they were there.
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Below, the Kom comes in for more grain on November 27, 2014.
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Kom comes to Duluth

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The Kom came under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge early this afternoon (April 13, 2015). She is the first salt water ship to arrive for the season, beginning her voyage in LaCoruña, Spain. She will load 12,100 tons of durum wheat for Italy where it will be milled into flour for pasta. This is her 4th visit to the Twin Ports; she was here 3 other times in November of 2008, 2010 and 2014. On each trip, as today, she will load grain at the CHS 1 grain terminal in Superior.
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She had help from 2 Great Lakes Towing tugs, the Minnesota on her stern and the Arkansas on the bow.
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Kom comes to Duluth for Thanksgiving

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kompaulscinoccanov-272014There are many reasons why Paul Scinocca (above) is a better photographer than I am. One is his ability to get down and dirty when taking a picture. I might try that sometime (not); getting back up would be the hard part. BTW, the temperature on this Thanksgiving morning, November 26, 2014 was 4 degrees and that is the Kom coming in from Lake Superior. And most important, click the picture in the insert here for a larger version of result of Paul’s effort.
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We welcome the Kom to Duluth. She was built in 1997 in Varna, Bulgaria, the city where her owner started business in 1890. All her officers and crew are from Bulgaria. We seldom see ships that maintain such a national identity over a long period of time. (She does fly a Maltese flag, but it is only a ‘flag of convenience.’) She will carry her cargo of wheat she is now loading at the CHS terminal to Italy.
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Kom docked in the Twin Ports

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The Kom, now flying the flag of Malta, was built in 1997, came here in May, 1998 (above) to load grain and until this morning, had not been back since. It will be here to load wheat for the United Kingdom. Both the Kom and the Dutch flagged Virginiaborg may depart the port tonight, assuming no rain delays. Grain is not usually loaded when it is raining; coal and iron ore pellets are loaded rain or shine. The Kaye E. Barker will be back from its quick trip to Taconite Harbor to load coal for another quick trip to Taconite Harbor. Photo taken on November 06, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-07-2008