Voyageur Independent at grain dock

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The Canadian flagged Voyageur Independent is due here today to load spring wheat at the Cargill elevator in Duluth. This boat came here many times when it was called the Kinsman Independent but trips to the Twin Ports have been rare since it was sold in May, 2005 to a Canadian company, Voyageur Marine Transport. It is now a very bright blue instead of the Kinsman’s understated red. It was built in 1952 propelled by a steam turbine engine. The new company installed a new diesel engine in the boat and added new computer controls, eliminating much of the old engine control room.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 09-18-2007

Voyageur Independent is blue!

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The Canadian flagged Voyageur Independent came under the Lift Bridge on Monday evening at 9:24. The boat has done the same thing many times when it was called the Kinsman Independent but this is the first trip for the newly named, and re-flagged, Voyageur Independent. The Kinsman was painted red, the Voyageur, a bright and distinctive blue. It will begin loading grain this morning. They will take that cargo the entire length of the St. Lawrence Seaway System where the grain will be offloaded to salt water vessels for shipment to ports in other parts of the world.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 07-05-2006

Kinsman Independent renamed again

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The picture above of the crew of the Kinsman Independent was taken aboard the boat on December 12, 2002. This was to be the last trip for the boat, one more trip from Duluth to Buffalo with wheat for General Mills, then the scrap yard, or so we thought. After 3 years of sitting by several docks, some of those years spent simply as a storage bin for grain, it was purchased by a Canadian company. A new diesel engine replaced the old steam turbine, red paint was exchanged for blue, and a Canadian flag was raised above the deck. The new boat, the Voyageur Independent, should have come under the Lift Bridge last night, here to load grain once again.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 07-04-2006