Distance of First Leg:
Sept 12th - 21st. 1,193.6 Nautical Miles - Puget Sound Naval Shipyard to
Long Beach, CA anchorage
Total Average Speed First Leg: 5.54
Distance To Go Second Leg: 2,947.8 Nautical Miles to Balboa,
Estimated Time of Arrival: October 16
Present Course: 176 Degrees
Winds: West at 10 Knots
Seas: 2 Feet
Barometric Pressure: 1011 Millibars
Air Temperature: 64 Degrees
Visibility: 10 Miles
Skies: Broken Overcast
Position: Long Beach Sea Buoy, 2 miles due
South of Long Beach breakwater, proceeding down the Southbound Coastwise Traffic Lane. USS
New Jersey remains in the Los Angeles / Long Beach Vessel Traffic System, and is passing
through a "Precautionary Area," where all vessels are limited to a speed of 12
knots because of traffic.
Long Beach Arrival & Departure
During the past 24 hours, the USS New Jersey announced
herself to the sightseers of Southern California; gracefully passed within eyesight of the
entertainment world. She cautiously approached and entered one of the busiest ports
in the world; anchored with the Sea Victory near the very middle of Long Beach's San Pedro
Bay and played to the harbor's spectators - Commercial, Recreational, Professional, and
Aerial - with her nearly 3-football field's worth of length. The USS New Jersey,
nearly four times the size of her escort tug, appeared to preside over an intense, 10-hour
top-to-bottom re-supply and normal sea voyage repair of her tug's essentials to make her
way south, down the longest leg of her homecoming, to the Republic of Panama, 24 days
Her anchorage this morning was a flawless exercise in
precision guidance. As huge container ships passed no farther than a few hundred
feet away, Captain Ogaard, his crew and two Crowley assist tugs - Admiral and Master -
with additional expertise aboard them, seamlessly nestled her into the
"Charlie-15" designation, and Sea Victory dropped her anchor. Then,
everyone's day at the office began.
C.J. Good, the tug's cook, supervised the re-stocking of
kitchen supplies, groceries, hand towels, ice cream bars, fresh fruit, vegetables and the
all the ingredients he knows will bring a daily smile to the crew at dinner time. Never
Electronics technicians, a waste disposal barge, a
re-fueling barge, radar experts, port captains, pilot boats, up-to-the-minute editions of
the Los Angeles Times, they all either came aboard, alongside, or were handed over.
It was a ten-hour flurry of people motion in every part of the tugboat. Alongside
the Sea Victory's anchorage, a mammoth General Petroleum fuel barge pumped 76,539 gallons
of number-2 diesel fuel into her belly, topping off at 187,990 gallons for the voyage to
Chief Engineer Andy Cleland oversaw all the fine tuning
to the Sea Victory's mysterious and intimidating maze of below-deck dual engines, gauges,
pumps, monitors, valves, pressure systems, tubing, gears, circuits, and anything having to
do with the vessel's reliable, continuous and powerful performance in delivering USS New
Jersey to her next port of Balboa.
Lunch was available to all newcomer workers on board for
today's exercise in mechanical, engineering and electrical flash-dancing. The
combined expertise of all those involved today in gearing up this workhorse vessel for her
nearly 3,000-mile leg to the Panamanian oceanic gateways would impress even the lifelong
By 5:00 p.m., Captain Ogaard and his dependable crew had
begun re-fastening all the tonnage of chain they had removed just this morning. New
Jersey's tow connection was fixed in place, extended to the Captain's measurements, and
readied for her turnabout and exit through the Long Beach breakwater.
Goodbye Long Beach, Ola
By 6:30 p.m., USS New Jersey marked her departure from
the Long Beach Sea Buoy. She proceeded South past off-shore oil production
platforms, leaving behind the acrobatic pelicans diving like spears into the Bay for
lunchtime snacks, the small sailboats darting by the mighty battleship in a brisk
afternoon wind, and the gluttonous international freighters stuffed high, wide and long
with who-knows-what for their trips to places who-knows-where.
This evening, as the sun shot a rainbow of color
throughout the western sky, the battleship again met the Pacific, after she crossed the
Long Beach breakwater into the familiar depths of her history. What more natural
place for her to be today?
USS New Jersey's 16-inch guns were at rest today.
There were no gunner's mates aboard, no deck officers, no prisoners-of-war to disinfect,
no ammunition stockpiles, no colors, no chaplains, no sailors, no Marine Detachment, just
a battleship paying her last visit to a homeport thousands of her crew will remember as
long as they have time.
And maybe their grandchildren, and great-grandchildren,
too, will know why she has meant so much to so many for so long. And why this
American warship, long silent and forever peaceful, beckons even the small sailboat with
its lone passenger in a trafficked harbor to come just a little bit closer to her national
Submitted by Bob Wernet onboard the Sea Victory.