Journal Entry  -  September 22, 1999  -  Day 11

Wednesday Morning Position Report
8:00 a.m., Pacific Daylight Time

32 degrees, 30 minutes North


117 degrees, 44 minutes West

Days Run:

Applicable at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept 22, based on Tuesday's 6:30 p.m. mark from the Long Beach Sea Buoy


Applicable at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept 22, based on Tuesday's 6:30 p.m. mark from the Long Beach Sea Buoy

Total Run:  73.8 Nautical Miles
Total Average Speed:  5.47 Knots
Hours From Departure:  13.5 Hours from the Long Beach Sea Buoy
Distance To Go This Leg:  2,874 Nautical Miles to Balboa, Panama
Estimated Time of Arrival:  October 16
Present Course:  161 Degrees
Winds:  Northwesterly at 10 Knots
Seas:  1 Foot
Swells:  Northwesterly at 5 Feet
Barometric Pressure:  1014 Millibars
Air Temperature:  65 Degrees
Visibility:  10 Miles
Skies:  Broken Overcast
Sea Floor: The ocean depth beneath New Jersey's course here is between 723 and 766 Fathoms, or 4,338 and 4,596 Feet. Her passage last night and early this morning took her through the Gulf of Santa Catalina.  Between her and the coast of Mexico now is a portion of the North Pacific called the Coronado Escarpment.

Position: USS New Jersey is now 47 miles West-Southwest of San Diego, California and Point Loma, and just prior to this position, she crossed the same parallel of latitude that constitutes the international boundary of the United States and Mexico.

The Rhythm Resumes, Contact Established

This morning brought a return of predictable routine to the crew of the Sea Victory.  Underway with USS New Jersey, after a Long Beach layover, now has the tow back on the high seas, a place of comfort to these men and these vessels.

Yesterday afternoon, before departure on this second Balboa leg of the journey, John Lewis YNCS (SW/AW), USN, identifying himself as a Battleship Sailor aboard the LHD-6 USS Bonhomme Richard, indicated his shipmates were anxious to approach USS New Jersey from their operating position off southern California.

By this morning, it appeared that U.S. Navy warships with their helicopter photographers would be passing by the battleship for a close-up inspection.  But later in the day, their plans apparently fell through because of requirements to proceed Northward to an operations area off Camp Pendleton.  Lewis promised to keep his fingers crossed, and said there were other Battleship Sailors aboard his vessel hoping for the same prospect.

Also this morning, a call was placed to Dr. Frank C. Blair, DDS, USS New Jersey's first dentist, serving in her pre-commissioning detail in March 1943, until November 1944.

Captain Ogaard called Blair in Long Beach to thank him for arranging to hand over to the Sea Victory copies of recent newspapers, a box of donuts, colorful photos of the vessels' arrival in San Pedro Bay, and a videotape of her arrival.

Blair told Ogaard in the 5-minute conversation that he established the first dental facility aboard the Iowa-class ship in 1943, and eventually had 200 dentists serving with him.  He said he's been on the ship numerous times since then, in "Tiger" cruises from Hawaii, and runs from Portland to Long Beach.

"The Navy treated me very well," Blair, 81, said.  "I knew a lot of the guys, the dentists, and was able to attend the memorial service in Bremerton before the New Jersey departed," he said.  He has the best of memories for the ship and her men.

Finally, Blair mentioned, "Captain, I just hope the donuts didn't get beat up too much."  Ogaard assured him they didn't.  Nor did they last very long.

Submitted by Bob Wernet onboard the Sea Victory.


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