| St. Clair River, June 8, 2006.
by George Wharton
With her keel being laid July 23, 1968 as hull
#193 at Collingwood Shipyards, Collinwood, ON, this vessel was originally
designed and planned as a crane ship, a larger version of the Yankcanuck (2)
to be named Captain Manzzutti for Yankcanuck Steamships Ltd., Sault Ste.
Marie, ON. The plans were formally presented to Yankcanuck on
September 9, 1968 for approval but, after review, they decided not to build
the crane ship. A yard option was released to Texaco Canada Ltd., Don
Mills, ON who had the hull redesigned as a single-hulled tanker. The
small tanker was launched on April 10, 1969 christened as the Texaco Chief
(2) taking the name of her owner and one of their gasoline products' trade
names. The Texaco Chief entered service the next day. The tanker
was classed for Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River service as well coastal
service around the east coast of Canada. She was built to Lloyd's ice
class 2 standards with a sharp bow and an ice knife over the rudder.
The Texaco Chief was powered by 2 Fairbanks Morse
model 12-38D8-1/8 two stroke cycle, single acting 12-cylinder 2,000 b.h.p.
(1,471 kW) diesel engines built in 1969 by Fairbanks Morse (Canada) Ltd.,
Kingston, ON. Burning marine diesel oil, the engines supplied power to
a single KaMeWa controllable pitch propeller moving the tanker at speeds of
up to 15 m.p.h. She was equipped with a 350 h.p. (257 kW) bow
thruster. The tanker could carry up to 6,575 tons (6,681 mt) of liquid
petroleum products at a mid-summer draft of 22' 10 5/8" (6.975m). The
liquid cargo was contained in 15 zinc coated cargo tanks, some of which were
heated. These tanks had a liquid capacity of 54,241 barrels (8,624
Other than a couple of incidents early in her
career, the tanker has had a good safety record. On December 7, 1969,
the Texaco Chief collided with the Petite Hermine in dense fog on the St.
Lawrence River near Prescott, ON. The resulting minor damage was
repaired at Canadian Vickers in Montreal, QC. The tanker ran aground
on December 4, 1972 off Oak Point, Miramichi River 18 miles from Ogdensburg,
NY but was released undamaged.
In 1986, the Texaco Chief and her fleet mate
Texaco Brave became part of the Imperial Oil fleet as all of Texaco Canada's
assets were assumed by Imperial Oil Ltd., Don Mills, ON. Retaining
ownership of the tanker, the vessel was leased to, operated and managed by
Sofati-Soconoav Ltee., Montreal, QC (later Soconav Ltee). She was
drydocked at Halifax, NS on July 22, 1986 where her hull was painted her new
fleet color of red. On November 4, 1986, the tanker was christened
A.G. Farquharson, being named in honor of Mr. Andrew Gray Farquharson who
was president and CEO of Texaco Canada from 1969 to 1972. With Soconav
declaring bankruptcy in September of 1996, the A.G. Farquharson was laid up
at Halifax on October, 1 of that year. Still owned by Imperial Oil,
the small tanker was not needed and remained laid up until July, 1997 when
she was chartered by Group Desgagnes subsidiary Petro-Nav Ltee, Montreal,
QC. On December 19, 1997, the A.G. Farquharson laid up again in
Halifax, her services no longer required by Petro-Nav.
Algoma Tankers, St. Catharines, ON purchased the
tanker from Imperial Oil early in 1998. By late March of 1998, the
vessel's hull had been painted Algoma blue and she had been given the new
name Algonova, her name taking the standard company prefix "Algo" and "nova"
honoring the province of Nova Scotia, home province of Imperial Oil's large
Dartmouth refinery and distribution center. The Algonova was to be
used as a backup vessel for Algoma Tanker's Imperial Oil contract
obligations and any other liquid petroleum business obtained by her new
owners. The Algonova departed Halifax on April 6, 1998 bound for the
Great Lakes via Charlottetown, PEI.
The Algonova saw sporadic service on the Great
Lakes and was often seen tied up at Sarnia, ON. One of the more
frequent trips for the small tanker would be from Sarnia to Thunder Bay, ON
with a stop-off at Sault Ste. Marie, ON. With Algoma Tankers updating
their fleet with newer, much more modern double hulled tankers and with new
regulations requiring double-hulled tankers to service North American ports
coming into force, the Algonova's services were no longer required.
After arriving at Halifax, NS on December 29, 2006,
the Algonova was drydocked. Upon removal from the drydock, her name and
the Algoma emblems on her hull were painted over and on January 21, 2007, the
name Pacifico Trader had been applied after having been acquired by Belgrave
Investors Corporation, an affiliate of Trader Tankers Group, Panama City, Panama
for service as a bunkering tanker. Flying the Panamian flag, on January
27, 2007, the Pacifico Trader left Halifax for a final time, bound for Cartegena,
Columbia. The tanker is now operated and managed by Bunker Vessel Management SA
also of Panama City, Panama.
|| 400' 06" (122.07m)
|| 54' 02" (16.51m)
|| 26' 05" (8.06m)
|| 6,575 tons (6,681mt)
|| 54,241 barrels (8,624
|| 4,000 b.h.p. (2,942
Upbound the Detroit River at Grassy Island,
Aug. 28, 2006. Mike Nicholls
Stern view. Mike Nicholls
Algonova downbound off Lake Huron for Sarnia,
Nov. 19, 2004. Bill Bird (BB)
Former name still visible, Jan. 24, 2003.
Onboard. Lake Erie crossing March, 2003. Capt.
View forward. Capt.
Open water on Lake Erie. Capt.
View aft. Capt.
Icy Lake Erie. Capt.
On deck. Capt.
Departing Sarnia. Capt.
Stack marking. Capt.