St. Clair River, June 8, 2006.

Dick Wicklund

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 cubic meters.

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.

Overall dimensions (metric)
Length  400' 06" (122.07m)
Beam  54' 02" (16.51m)
Depth  26' 05" (8.06m)
Capacity (mid-summer)  6,575 tons (6,681mt)
Tank Capacity  54,241 barrels (8,624 cubic meters)
Power (diesel)  4,000 b.h.p. (2,942 kW)


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.
Mike Nicholls

Onboard. Lake Erie crossing March, 2003. Capt. Alain Gindroz

View forward. Capt. Alain Gindroz

Open water on Lake Erie. Capt. Alain Gindroz

View aft. Capt. Alain Gindroz

Icy Lake Erie. Capt. Alain Gindroz

On deck. Capt. Alain Gindroz

Departing Sarnia. Capt. Alain Gindroz

Stack marking. Capt. Alain Gindroz

St. Marys River, Sept. 12, 1985.
Bob Campbell courtesy Dick Wicklund

At the Soo, May 27, 1996.
Dick Wicklund

Lake St. Clair. Dave Marcoux

Detroit River, June 14, 2001.
Mike Nicholls

Stern view, June 14, 2001.
Mike Nicholls

Detroit River, Sept. 4, 2001.
 Mike Nicholls

Stern view, Sept. 4, 2001.
Mike Nicholls

Purvis Dock, Soo, Ontario.  Lock Tours Canada Boat Cruises

St. Marys River. Paul Beesley

St. Marys River, Aug, 28, 2002.
 Roger LeLievre

Docked at Sarnia, Feb. 12, 2001.
Matt Miner

Rafted to Algolake, Sarnia, Feb. 20, 2003.
Mike Nicholls

Stern view, Feb. 20, 2003.
Mike Nicholls

Algonova anchored in Halifax harbor,
Oct., 2006. James Neumiller

As the Pacifico Trader, leaving Halifax for the last time, Jan. 27, 2007. Mac Mackay

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