Journal Entry  -  September 23, 1999  -  Day 12

Thursday Morning Position Report
8:00 a.m., Pacific Daylight Time
Latitude: 30 Degrees, 28 Minutes North
Longitude: 116 Degrees, 53 Minutes West
Days Run: 63.8 Nautical Miles
Speed: 5.32 Knots (Average)

Total Run This Leg:  203.5 Nautical Miles
Total Average Speed:  5.43 Knots
Hours From Departure:  37.5 Hours
Distance To Go This Leg:  2,744.3 Nautical Miles to Balboa, Panama
Estimated Time Of Arrival:  October 16
Present Course:  161 Degrees
Winds:  Northwest at 15 Knots
Seas & Swells:  Combined at 6 Feet from the Northwest
Barometric Pressure:  1017 Millibars
Air Temperature:  66 Degrees
Visibility:  10 Miles
Skies:  Broken Overcast
Sea Floor:  The Pacific's depth in this area ranges from 949 to 1,463 Fathoms, or 5,694 to 8,778 Feet.

Position: USS New Jersey is this morning proceeding down the coastline of Baja ("Lower" in Spanish) California, Mexico, a lengthy peninsula separating the Pacific Ocean from the Golfo de California.  Presently, she is exactly 40 Nautical Miles due West of the Isla de San Martin.  Inland from this beach-lined coast are the towns of San Quintin, El Socorro, and the stream called Arroyo Santo Domingo.  The Bay, or Bahia de San Quintin, is prominent in the area.

At approximately 4:30 a.m., PDT this morning, the sun crossed the equator from the northern latitudes to the southern, the instant each September, called the autumnal equinox, when the sun changes from north to south declination.

In December, the sun will reach its southern-most declination at the latitude of 23 degrees 26.3 minutes in the Southern Hemisphere, known as the Tropic of Capricorn.  Next March, it will again cross the equator, called the vernal equinox, until it reaches its northern-most declination at 23 degrees 26.3 minutes in the northern hemisphere, known as the Tropic of Cancer.

The latitudes between these northern-most and southern-most points are known as the Tropics.  USS New Jersey's latitude this morning is 30 degrees North, still above the Tropic of Cancer.

Clarification:  In last evening's position report, we referred to the "Sierra San Pedro Martin Mountains."  The Spanish word "sierra" means a range of mountains; use of the word "mountains" was redundant.

A 45-Year New Bedford Seaman

The USS New Jersey is in very capable hands.  The Captain of the Crowley Sea Victory will, as of January 2000, have 30 years in the towing industry.  During his sixteenth year, he began work on his family's scallop boats in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and has lived with and loved the sea ever since. At 17, he joined the Navy and served on submarines around the world.

Kaare L. Ogaard, Jr., Captain and Tow Master, 58, will have been with Crowley Marine Services 15 years next July.  Immediately before hitching up the battleship New Jersey, Ogaard completed a 16,000-Mile tow of the retired aircraft carrier USS Oriskany from San Francisco to the tip of Chile in South America, through the Straits of Magellan, north up the Atlantic coast of South America, through the Caribbean to the Gulf of Mexico, and into the destination of Beaumont, Texas.

After his Navy service, Ogaard sailed his scallop boat from New Bedford through the Panama Canal and up to Alaska to join the run on scallops there.  In 1970, he and his wife, Barbara, placed their boat in a Seattle dry dock, decided to settle there, and he joined the tug boat industry as a captain.  They have two grown children who live in Redmond, Washington.

In May and June, 1998, Ogaard was selected to tow the USS Missouri from Bremerton, Washington to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, an event that he holds in high regard.  His tow of the USS New Jersey invites comparisons to last year's journey, but even though both battleships are of the same Iowa-class, they have unique histories.

Ogaard's respect for seamanship, battleship history, Naval history, and perhaps especially for the sacrifices of those who have paid the ultimate price, remains as strong as his commitment to the sea, and all the secrets it has shared with him since his sixteenth year.

This son of a Norwegian fisherman, whose knowledge and commitment to excellence is total, assures BB-62 of a successful journey home.  It would be a challenge to find another his equal.

Submitted by Bob Wernet onboard the Sea Victory.


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