Journal Entry  -  September 24, 1999  -  Day 13

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

28 Degrees, 27 Minutes North


116 Degrees, 00 Minutes West

Days Run:

64.9 Nautical Miles


5.4 Knots (Average), running at reduced speed due to a fixed ETA of October 16 at the Panama Canal.

Total Run This Leg:  333.2 Nautical Miles
Total Average Speed:  5.42 Knots
Hours / Days From Departure:  61.5 Hours / 2.6 Days
Distance To Go This Leg:  2,614.6 Nautical Miles
Estimated Time Of Arrival:  October 16
Present Course:  158 Degrees.  An upcoming course change will be executed at 8:27 a.m. to a pre-determined 148 Degrees to bypass numerous pinnacles and shoals off the Islas San Benito.
Winds:  Northwest at 15 Knots
Seas & Swells:  Combined 6 Feet from the Northwest
Barometric Pressure:  1017 Millibars
Air Temperature:   64 Degrees
Visibility:  More than 10 Miles
Skies:  Overcast
Sea Floor:  The depths beneath USS New Jersey range from 820 to 1700 Fathoms, or 4,920 to 10,200 Feet.

Position:  BB-62 is now 23 Nautical Miles West-Northwest of Islas San Benito, a group of islands to the west of Isla Cedros, the more well-known mariner's reference point.  The San Benito islands are fronted with shoals and pinnacles, and are surrounded by rocks and patches of kelp, according to the U.S. National Imagery and Mapping Agency's publication: "West Coasts of Mexico and Central America."  Benito del Oeste ("West" in English) is hazily visible from the Sea Victory, and is the largest of the group's three barren islands, rising to an elevation of 606 Feet above sea level, appearing as a plateau with a mound rising near the middle.

The other two islands are Benito del Centro and Benito del Este.  Beyond these islands, and Isla Cedros, is the Bahia Sebastian Vizcaino and the town of Morro (Point or Hill) Santo Domingo. USS New Jersey will cross the halfway mark along the Baja California peninsula sometime later today, where the southern portion is then called Baja California Sur.

Chief Mate Jacobsen On Watch

The Sea Victory's crew of seven experienced sailors and towing industry professionals includes First Mate Terry Jacobsen, 30, of Poulsbo, Washington, a 1992 graduate of the California Maritime Academy in Vallejo.  He received a Bachelor of Science degree in marine transportation, port and terminal operations, and immediately entered the industry.

His goal is clear.  Jacobsen, with Crowley Marine Services' for nearly four years, aspires to a captaincy with the company as his career unfolds.  He and his wife, Jami, have a 5-month old daughter, Maegan, who will undoubtedly grow up seeing her father extending the family tradition of seamanship.

Jacobsen's Norwegian heritage is filled with seafarers - skippers, fishermen, Norwegian shipping company owner, and a great-grandfather who worked the waters of the Puget Sound as a captain.  His family traces their roots on Bainbridge Island, Washington back to the early 1900s, and Jacobsen is continuing that tradition.

After his graduation, he worked on oil tankers for two years before joining Crowley.  His longest assignment during that period was a 77-day trip through Alaska's Aleutian Islands, Anchorage, and down to the continental U.S. West Coast to ports North and South.

His job aboard the Sea Victory includes standing watch four hours twice daily, from 4 to 8 a.m. and p.m., when he monitors the USS New Jersey's towing performance, weather changes, vessel traffic conditions, radio traffic, sea and ocean conditions and handles whatever comes to the pilothouse's attention during those four hours.

He's also responsible for monitoring the tug's maintenance needs, and handles safety drills to assure everyone on board is up-to-date on the procedures for reacting to a fire, a man-overboard, or any other contingency involving the crew at sea.  "We're doing fine here," Jacobsen says.  "The weather's been good, and we don't expect to have anything on this side," he said confidently.

Still, he keeps his eyes out for signs of the unusual, as he stands watch each early morning, when the lights in the wheelhouse are darkened, the sea is black, and his eyes roam the horizon for evidence of visitors in the distance.   His radar screen will alert him to whatever's out there, and the radios will keep him company, too.

Meanwhile, it's a sure bet that little Maegan's on his mind quite a bit these days.

Submitted by Bob Wernet onboard the Sea Victory.


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