Journal Entry  -  September 26, 1999  -  Day 15

Sunday Evening Position Report
8:00 p.m., Pacific Daylight Time

24 Degrees, 12 Minutes North


112 Degrees, 33 Minutes West

Days Run:

63.7 Nautical Miles


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

Total Average Speed:  5.34 Knots
Hours / Days This Leg:  121.5 Hours, 5.06 Days
Distance To Go This Leg:  2,298.4 nautical miles
Estimated Time Of Arrival:  October 16
Present Course:  141 Degrees Southeasterly to Cabo San Lucas
Winds:  Northwest at 18 Knots
Seas & Swells:  Combined at 6 Feet
Barometric Pressure:  1011 Millibars
Air Temperature:  67 Degrees
Visibility:  10 Miles
Skies:  Overcast
Sea Floor:  The range of depths in this area varies between 295, 370 and 599 Fathoms, or 1,770, 2,220 and 3,594 Feet.

Position:  BB-62 is presently 32 Nautical Miles Southwest of Bahia Magdelena, Baja California, Mexico.  Tidal currents in the entrance of this Bay are said to attain rates of one to two knots and cause tide rips.

Fish Catch:  Sea Victory's total fish catch has now climbed to 13.  Able Seaman Fred Davis, a former commercial fisherman, seems to have the knack of things in spades, and with Able Seaman Celso Martinez's second line, the conversations are not so jokingly turning to the subject of self-sustaining food supplies.  Today's catch was 1 Skipjack Tuna, 1 Bonita Tuna, and another Mahi-mahi.   Yesterday's catch was 2 Yellow Fin and 1 Yellow Tail Tuna, plus 1 Mahi-mahi.

Clarification:  In this morning's report on the USS New Jersey's first weeks as a commissioned battleship in 1943, reference was made to members of the crew leaving the ship for "team duty" to Price's Neck, Rhode Island.  It should have said they left for "temporary duty."

BB-62 Visitor Questions...

We continue trying to answer questions that come to our attention from viewers registering their inquiries on the state of New Jersey's Dept of Military and Veterans Affairs USS New Jersey homepage.  Our thanks to questioners for your input.

Question:  How big is the tow line?   And did the USS New Jersey anchor while you refueled?  Are there any whales out there?

Answer:  Captain Kaare Ogaard informs us that the USS New Jersey's towline is 2-3/4 inches in diameter, 3,970 Feet in length, or .65 Nautical Miles, and has a "breaking strength" of 838,000 Pounds, which means that if you pulled both ends of the wire, that would be its breaking point.

For the Long Beach, California re-fueling, both the tug and USS New Jersey were anchored together as a unit.  The Captain anchored the ship on the tow gear astern of the Sea Victory where it was anchored.

Yes, there are whales out here.  We have passed the Bay of Whales, Bahia de Ballenas, in Baja California, and have seen a pod of two separate, smaller whales the size of pilot fish, which are probably short-finned pilot whales, according to our authoritative source.  Many of Baja California's Pacific inlets are regular, seasonal whale calving waters.

Question:  Have the rudders on the USS New Jersey been locked amidships, or do they swing free?

Answer: Captain Ogaard explains that the battleship has four propellers, 2 inboard, and 2 outboard.  The 2 inboard propellers are 17-feet, 5-inches in diameter with 5 blades; the 2 outboard propellers are 18-feet, 3-inches in diameter with 4 blades.  All 4 propellers are locked in place, and cannot turn.  There are 2 rudders which are also locked amidships.

Question: Does each screw have a rudder?

Answer:  Captain Ogaard says, no; one rudder works between each pair of screws or propellers.

Question:  Since no people are on board New Jersey, what is the power source for the port and starboard side lights (red and green) which are required to be shown by a vessel being towed?  And what turns these lights on at sunset and off at sunrise?

Answer:  The USS New Jersey's navigation lights, says Captain Ogaard, are self-contained units, consisting of the light itself, equipped with a photo-cell which detects the level of light and dark to automatically turn the lights on and off as needed.  The lights are powered by batteries which are re-powered by solar panels.

The ship has three navigational lights - red on the port side, green on the starboard side, and a clear stern light.  The lights are required to be visible for three miles at night in clear visibility.

Question:  Can you tell us what frequencies Channel-13 and Channel-16 are?  We have a scanner and would like to monitor these channels.

Answer:  Captain Ogaard explains that both channels are Very High Frequency (VHF).  Channel-13 is located at 156.650 MHz, and Channel-16 at 156.800 MHz.  Channel-16 is used for Distress and Calling only, and Channel-13 for Bridge-to-Bridge Navigational exchange.

He adds that VHF signals are "line of sight," and only when they are in your general neighborhood would you be able to hear them.   They are sent and received from antenna to antenna within the line of sight of each other.

Submitted by Bob Wernet onboard the Sea Victory.


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