Journal Entry  -  September 15, 1999  -  Day 4

Wednesday Evening Position Report
8:00 p.m., Pacific Daylight Time
Latitude: 42 Degrees, 45 Minutes North
Longitude: 125 Degrees, 20 Minutes West
Days Run: 69 Nautical Miles
Speed: 5.76  Knots (Average)

Total Run:  477 Nautical Miles
Total Average Speed:  5.82 Knots
Hours From Departure:  82 Hours
Distance To Go This Leg:  705 Nautical Miles to Long Beach for re-fueling
Estimated Time of Arrival:  8:00 a.m., September 21
Present Course:  180 Degrees due South
Seas and Swells:  Combined at 10 Feet
Barometer:  1018 Millibars
Air Temperature:  58 Degrees
Visibility:  10 Miles
Skies:  Broken Overcast

Position:    USS New Jersey is closer to land this evening than at anytime since passing Cape Flattery in northwestern Washington state.  She is 34.5 nautical miles west by south of southern Oregon's famed Cape Blanco Lighthouse.  Although Sea Victory has maintained a steady, straight-line 180-degree due-south course, Oregon's coastline at this point reaches farther into the Pacific than it does north of this point.

Messages From A Journey

When Governor Christie Whitman signed documents on July 7th, at the New Jersey state Capitol in Trenton, she set into motion a series of actions and reactions that brought us all to this moment.  She executed the towing agreement with Crowley Marine Services, Inc. of Seattle and joined with the U.S. Navy's Ship Donation Program office to assume responsibility for the safe and effective delivery of the USS New Jersey to the waters of New Jersey and the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.   There, the battleship will await the Navy's decision as to her final destination.

Once the towing agreement was official, plans for the ship's journey fell into place.  Months, even years, had been directly invested by interested New Jerseyans in this homecoming voyage.  Now it was becoming a reality.

Our messages from sea, linking history and memory with a September reality, as we make our way in the Sea Victory, could only have come from the generosity and public spiritedness of many individuals, organizations and corporations.   No more time should escape our recognition of those responsible for enabling these reports.

Crowley Marine Services, Inc. has granted this correspondent guest status aboard its stately tug.  The accommodations are superior; the companionship ennobling and educationally challenging; and the physical resources, from working space to breakfast table, are something to write home about.  Most of all, the leadership Crowley's personnel extend to this novice mariner go far beyond their duties.  We are most grateful.

LandSea Systems, Inc., based in Virginia Beach, Virginia, provided us access to a state-of-the-art marine satellite-telephone for voice, data, email, fax and photo transmissions.  This primary, indispensable communications tool makes it possible to dispatch twice-daily reports of the journey with real-time photos and current, precise navigational and marine insight from the tug's seasoned Captain, Kaare Ogaard.

Our use of LandSea System's Thrane & Thrane SeaPak-M Transportable Maritime mini-M system, with its antenna mounted atop the pilothouse upper deck -- another Crowley courtesy, not incidentally -- allows for a clear, reliable, consistent and invaluable link to the global satellite network operated by Inmarsat and accessed on our behalf through the Comsat, Corporation.

Comsat, of Bethesda, Maryland, has generously provided the capacity necessary to use the satellite for the time we disseminate the reports. Because satellite communications for our dispatches are slower than land-based telephone or other cable-linked telecommunications, more time is required to complete them.   Comsat helps us defray those costs.

Other project supporters range from the U.S. Navy's Ship Donation Program Office, which kept us informed of the ship's status and its fortunes well before the tow.  The Naval Institute Press granted us permission to employ references freely from Paul Stillwell's major work on BB-62, "Battleship New Jersey: An Illustrated History."

Governor Whitman's Department of Military and Veterans Affairs has created and maintained this website as a conduit for the messages, and a public service for everyone interested in New Jersey's homecoming.

Individuals, too numerous to mention, including staffers from last year's USS Missouri tow to Pearl Harbor, and officials from this year's preparatory work on the New Jersey tow, as well as others wanting to see this project succeed, supplied this reporter with the factual infrastructure and encouragement to get us to this point.

To all of you, we extend our appreciation.  Our messages of this journey would evaporate as misty fragments without your support.   Thank you.

Submitted by Bob Wernet onboard the Sea Victory.


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