Journal Entry  -  September 23, 1999  -  Day 12

Thursday Evening Position Report
8:00 p.m., Pacific Daylight Time
Latitude: 29 Degrees, 26 Minutes North
Longitude: 116 Degrees, 30 Minutes West
Days Run: 6.48 Nautical Miles
Speed: 5.4 Knots (Average)

Total Run This Leg:  268.3 Nautical Miles
Total Average Speed:  5.42 Knots
Hours From Departure:  49.5 Hours
Distance To Go This Leg:  2,679.5 Nautical Miles
Estimated Time Of Arrival:  October 16
Present Course:  158 Degrees, a 3-Degree course change, to take into account the presence of a 47 fathom, or 282-Foot pinnacle, which rises to this height from a surrounding sea floor depth of 650 Fathoms, or 3,900 Feet.  Captain Ogaard laid out this course, and planned the entire voyage, to avoid shoals, reefs, pinnacles, even submerged wrecks, and other such obstacles.  The tow wire catenary - the dip or sag of the wire between the two vessels - is as necessary to consider, as the deep draft of the USS New Jersey.
Winds:  Northwest at 20 Knots
Seas & Swells:  Combined from the Northwest at 6 Feet
Barometric Pressure:  1015 Millibars
Air Temperature:  64 Degrees
Visibility:  10 Miles
Skies:  Overcast

Position:  BB-62 is now 41 Nautical Miles Southwest of Isla San Jeronimo, Baja California.  Nearby this island is Punta San Antonio, Arrecife (Reef) Sacramento and Punta San Fernando.

Corrections:  We apologize to Captain Ogaard.  He has been a seaman for 42 years, not the 45 stated in this morning's report, although we take comfort that he will be.  Also, his tow earlier this year of the USS Oriskany was 15,152.6 nautical miles in length, not 16,000.  Finally, he has been a Crowley Marine Services' Captain already for more than 15 years.

In our reflection about Second Mate Poirier's contact with the U.S. Navy radioman aboard the USS Anchorage, the report should have indicated that the discussion took place initially on Channel-16, a Distress and Calling channel, but was switched thereafter.  Once contact was established, Poirier requested the conversation resume on Channel-13, the Bridge-to-Bridge frequency for making meeting and passing arrangements.

A Few Comments, Questions and Answers

Captain Ogaard and the crew of the Sea Victory appreciate the support and inquiry registered by the many visitors to the New Jersey state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs USS New Jersey website.

Every attempt will be made to respond to questions posed, and answers will come in due course, either directly, or through the daily reports. Thank you one and all for your interest.

Question:  Are there any crew aboard the New Jersey to drop anchor, keep the engines or power running, or to take control in case of a breakaway?

Answer:  According to Captain Ogaard, the battleship has been "de-oiled," and all pollutants have been removed.  Therefore, the machinery is un-useable. The starboard anchor has been removed and stored on the main deck, aft of the number-3 turret. The port anchor is in place but inoperable because the anchor winch is non-functioning due to the absence of lubricants, as cited above.  There is no means of generating power to operate any machinery on the ship.

There is no crew aboard the ship.  It is called a "dead ship tow."  There is an alarm system aboard her, visible to the tugboat in the event of an ingress of water to various departments throughout the ship

Question:  How does the Captain stop the ship since it is unmanned and he has only a forward tow chain?  How long would it take to stop from the 5-6 knots it is averaging?

Answer:  Once the tug's speed is reduced, the ship glides to a stop on its own, says Ogaard.  From the time he shortens the tow wire to the time it is completely aboard the Sea Victory, the ship has come "dead in the water."

Question:  Will we be able to see the New Jersey in the Florida Strait, and is it possible to obtain any expected position data?

At this time, it is anticipated that the Sea Victory and New Jersey will attempt to follow the main axis of the Gulf Stream through the Strait of Florida and toward Cape Hatteras.

Question:  Is the reason for the speed of the tow the fact that the propellers are still on the battleship?  Does anyone get seasick?

Answer:  Yes, says the Captain.  The ship's four propellers cause increased drag and therefore they slow the towing speed.  Removing the propellers would increase speed but the trade-off would be a poorer towing characteristic.

This is the wrong business to be in if anyone is subject to seasickness.

Question:  I saw there was stormy weather brewing off the Baja California peninsula.  Would this affect the tow?

Answer:  Weather is a major part of any tow, according to Captain Ogaard.  As is the planning of tracking routes and re-supply points.  At this writing, there is nothing off Baja, and the outlook is good.  We will attempt, he says, at all cost, to avoid any weather that would jeopardize the successful tow of the USS New Jersey.  We could alter course, reverse course, stop or seek sheltered waters.

Question:  What would happen if the ship has already entered the Gulf of Mexico and a hurricane was headed to the East Coast?

Answer:  The Captain says he would probably reduce speed, stop, or reverse course until the hurricane track became clear.  At all cost, we would avoid dueling with these phenomena.  Of all the vessels that sail the oceans, he says, the tug and tow are the least likely to survive a confrontation with a hurricane.

Question:  Will you be stopping at the mouth of the Delaware Bay to add tugs?

Answer:  We will be stopping at the mouth of the Delaware Bay to re-configure the tow gear for the transit of the Delaware River to Philadelphia.  There will also be additional tugboats assisting the transiting.

Question:  I noticed in an aerial photo of the New Jersey firing a broadside that the water next to the ship is roiled.   Do the guns cause that or does the ship move sideways after firing a broadside?

Answer:  The ship does not move.  The roiled water is caused by the concussion of the guns firing.

Question:  How much fuel does the tug carry?  What fuel mileage does it get?  How many gallons per day will she burn pulling the New Jersey?

Answer:  The Sea Victory carries up to 190,000 gallons of fuel.   On part of Captain Ogaard's tow of the USS Oriskany, from Pt. Arenas, Chile to Recife, Brazil, the Sea Victory averaged 290 gallons per hour, and 47 gallons per mile.   Average gallons per day amounted to 6,962, during the longest leg of the trip, June 20 to July 13.

Question:  I am trying to get the daily log of the tugboat, can you help me?

Answer:  Please feel free to contact Crowley Marine Services, P.O. Box 2287, Seattle, Washington 98111-2287.

Question:  When you re-fuel, do you do it at sea or at port?  How do you do it?  If you do it at port, how do you maneuver the battleship?

Answer:  No, we do not re-fuel at sea; it is done at port.   At Long Beach, we anchored and a fuel barge came alongside.  In Balboa, Panama, we will moor the New Jersey and Sea Victory will be at the pier to re-fuel and re-supply there.  We maneuver the ship with additional harbor assist tugs.

Question:  Does the Captain drive in rough weather?  How far is the Big J behind you?  If you slow down suddenly, how do you keep the ship from running you down?

Answer:  The Captain says he will take the wheel only in the severest weather, otherwise the mates are qualified enough.  The battleship is more than three-quarters of a mile behind us.  If we had to suddenly slow down, we would steer the tug out of the ship's path.

Submitted by Bob Wernet onboard the Sea Victory.


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