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Solvent Venturer

Solvent Venturer

renamed as such from "Essberger Pioneer", Aberdeen, March 1977 where this photo was taken. Later "tango'd"[ given yukky orange paint job]

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Was Master of Essberger Pioneer under Singapore Flag March-June 1994 trading Indonesia & Gulf of Thailand. Managed by Transocean Ship Management and marketed by Eastern Parcel Tanker Services. Not my happiest experience.
 

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Hi Vic-- seems she has got around a little since my days-- I assume it was the identical ship you were on under that name, as it seems to have been on another vessel too-- when we had her it was all North Sea/Baltic, especially the latter in Winter-- 6 on,6 off watches, and more when doing say 8/10 berths in Rotterdam in 24 hours. I have tried to research her a little-- Essberger make it rather difficult, as they seem to put the same names on and off the same ships, and sometimes further confuse things by using that name on a different ship in between time. As far as I can gather, it went something like this?
Essberger Pioneer, Hamilton, from launch to Aberdeen,21.3.77, name/POR change
Solvent Venturer,Newcastle,1977 to approx 86
Approx 86, "Ellen Essberger"
Approx 92 back to "Essberger Pioneer"
Approx 2002 "Sandika"
recently/currently(?) "Alpha Lady", por Limassol.,IMO 7392622. I hope she is still in service.

IF it was the same ship at the time, I found an ASAM from 22/11/94 re Essberger Pioneer being boarded by pirates in the Far East. Also a detention in Daesan,Korea 2001 for defective fire pumps.

Whilst it was not always fun, this being my first experience of "small ships" in early 77 and I never got over the seasickness from their motion, despite 11 trips in total in Solvent(s) Venturer,Explorer and Challenger, I have some fond memories-- perhaps the distance of time lends it all a rosy glow?!

The sister ship Essberger Pilot/Solvent Explorer seems to have had a similarly chequered history ,as "Tom Lima", "Hordaford Pilot" under which name she was subject of a grounding in the Baltic in Oct 97, and latterly as "Freyja" for Nessskip of Iceland-- somewhat modified by new foredeck structure and a crane, but still instantly recognisable as one of the "Pioneer/Pilot" Essbergers.

But, ain't it good that the internet allows all this reminiscing?!
 

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Essberger Pioneer/Solvent Venturer is still named SANDIKA and trading Indonesia at the moment. Alpha Lady was the name carried between Ellen Essberger and Essberger Pioneer (2).

Very familiar with these ships when they traded to the Thames in the 1970s and 80s.

Phil
 

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Phil, I'm much obliged for your input. It really only goes further to highlight the confusion though!!-- but I don't seek to doubt your info. I did 11 trips in the Solvents, mostly in Venturer and Explorer, the ex-Essberger Pioneer/Pilot.

I looked up shipspotting-- there are several photos of Alpha Lady on there, one apparently as recent as 2005 in the Kiel Canal - most refer to her as being ex Sandika/Ellen Essberger/Venturer/Pioneer. I must say that in every photo I can find of Alpha Lady, including of her stern, she is a deadringer for Pioneer/Venturer. The builder's site hitzler-werft.de lists only the Pioneer&Pilot in this class, and photos I have seen of the "other" small parcel tanker named Ellen Essberger of around the same vintage show her with a substantially different accommodation block and foremast. To further confuse, I found a picture of this exact ship bearing the name "Ellen Essberger"!! The layout of gas-risers and the forrard stores are quite distinctive on these ships.Confused? -- you will be! That's what prompted me to start the post re IMO/O.Ns. Regards,John
 

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Yes John, it can be confusing, but I'm used to it :>)

The current Lloyds Register has this info:

Sandika (IMO 7392622)
Ex Essberger Pioneer 2002
Ex Alpha Lady 1992
Ex Ellen Essberger 1986
Ex Solvent Venturer 1981
Ex Essberger Pioneer 1977

However, the Shipspotting photo of Alpha Lady in the Kiel Canal, despite being submitted to the that site in 2005, was actually taken in 1991. Maybe that's where the confusion lies?

The only other Ellen Essberger I can find was a 1963-vintage ship which was originally built in Holland as Dutch Master for Broere. After being renamed Ellen Essberger, she later became the Linox and finally Chemstar prior to arriving at Aliaga, Turkey for scrapping 22/9/2005.
 

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