Journal Entry  -  October 2, 1999  -  Day 21

Saturday Evening Position Report
8:00 p.m., Mountain Daylight Time

17 Degrees, 08 Minutes North


102 Degrees, 07 Minutes West

Days Run:

55.5 Nautical Miles


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

Total Run This Leg:  1,383.1 Nautical Miles
Total Average Speed:  5.23 Knots
Hours / Days This Leg:  264.5 Hours, 11.02 Days
Distance To Go This Leg:  1,504.7 Nautical Miles
Estimated Time Of Arrival:  7:00 a.m., Saturday, October 16
Present Course:  117 Degrees, Southeasterly
Winds:  Westerly at 15 Knots
Seas:  2 Feet
Swells:  South-Southeast at 8 Feet
Barometric Pressure:  1009 Millibars
Air Temperature:  80 Degrees
Sea Temperature:  82 Degrees
Visibility:  10 Miles +
Skies:  Partly Cloudy
Sea Floor:  Ocean depths in this area range from 1,640 to 1,910 Fathoms, or from 9,840 to 11,460 Feet.

Position:   USS New Jersey is now 44 Nautical Miles Southwest of the twin vacation Mexican resort areas of Punta Ixtapa and Bahia de Zihuantanejo.  The land around this bay rises abruptly from the beach to high towering peaks.

Fish Catch:  One Mahi-mahi was hooked today, and the Wahoo caught yesterday was prepared by Sea Victory's Cook CJ Good tonight in a special spinach sauce, served with a choice of Mexican rice.  The portions were substantial, and the dinner was most satisfying.

The total catch as of tonight, Saturday, October 2 is: 21, including 4 Albacore, 3 Yellow Fin, 1 Yellow Tail, 4 Skipjack and 1 Bonita tuna, 7 Mahi-mahi, and 1 Wahoo.

Correction:  In this morning's Question & Answer section, this reporter erred in capturing a portion of Captain Kaare Ogaard's explanation of the way the tow wire is connected to the USS New Jersey.  The Captain's explanation of the connections aboard the ship should have read:

"The chain is wrapped around the wildcat where it spills down the spurling tube to the chain locker.  It is further secured to itself by many passes of wire rope and cable clips.  The wildcat brake is set and the engaging gear for the winch is locked in gear."

The Newest Admires The Eldest

Terry Jacobsen, Sea Victory's Chief Mate, was standing watch shortly after 5:30 p.m. this afternoon.  His radar screen had captured an approaching vessel about 10 Miles straight ahead, just at the horizon. He judged it was a small fishing boat at that far distance.  Strange course, though, he thought.   It was headed directly toward the USS New Jersey, on her exact trackline.

The rest of Sea Victory's crew was having dinner in the tug's galley.  CJ Good had prepared yesterday's 80-pound Wahoo catch, and everyone concentrated on the food, not tracklines or on-coming fishing boats, if that's what this was.

Then Jacobsen suddenly appeared at the bottom of the galley's stairway, stopping just short of the last two steps.  "U.S. warship seven-seven is approaching us, and says he wants to pass by soon," he said.   "Maybe you'll want to check it out."  He turned quickly and went back to the wheelhouse.

The 30-year old Chief Mate said there had been some vessel contact throughout the day, "but this was the first one dead on our trackline, dead smack on our trackline," he said.

Jacobsen said the Navy initiated the first radio contact -- 'Calling the tugboat towing the Battleship, this is the U.S. Navy warship 77, on Channel 16, over.'"

"I came back to him and he told me he wanted to come by for a look, that he was off our starboard bow, and that's what he was going to do."

At this point, USS New Jersey was nearly 47 Miles southwest of Ixtapa, Mexico, a major tourist resort location, almost 140 miles due West of
Acapulco.  There were no other vessels around, and the tropical sun was preparing to set.

As the warship closed its approach off Sea Victory's starboard bow, her sleek lines and warrior trim began to show.  Jacobsen was anxious to know more about her.

"US warship 77, Sea Victory, over," he said

"US warship 77," came the crisp response.

"Yes," said Jaconsen.  "Can we switch to one-zero, one-zero, please?"

"Switching one-zero."

"US Navy warship 77 ... the Sea Victory on Channel 10."

"Go ahead Sea Victory ..."

"Yes, good evening, Captain," Jaconsen said.   "I just wanted to get your vessel name.  We're going to get a picture of you, and post it on the website for the New Jersey's final round here.  We have a reporter on board here, and we just want to put you in the book, okay?"

"Absolutely," said the authoritative Naval radioman.  "We're the USS O'Kane, DDG-77."

"Where's your homeport there Captain?"

"Well, it's going to be Pearl.  In fact, this is kind of an ironic thing," said the voice.  "You're looking at the newest destroyer that the Navy has.
We just left the building yard at Maine, about four weeks ago, five weeks ago, and we haven't even gotten to our new homeport yet.  And we're encountering the last of the battleships.  How's that sound?"

"That'll be great, that'll be good for the website there, thank you," Jacobsen said.  "I think everybody will appreciate the story there.  We'll try to get a picture of you before the sun gets blocked off, and you can bring it as close as you like Captain."

"All right, appreciate that.  We're going to come down your side, and then circle around and come up the other side," said the Navy.

"Which shipyard in Maine, okay?"

"We were built in Bath Iron Works."

"Okay, I appreciate that.  Hopefully, we'll get some good pictures of you and that'll be great, thank you.  Sea Victory, standing by, 16 and 13."

"Okay, back to 16," the O'Kane voice responded.

By then, the U.S. Navy's newest of the new was in clear view.  It didn't take any time at all before Sea Victory's former Navy hands were on the deck eyeballing every inch of this modern, streamlined, stealthy-looking arms platform.  She slowed her pace as she crossed Sea Victory's starboard beam, with USS New Jersey ahead of her, and the sinking Pacific sun to her west.

As a kind of historic counterpoint, the decks of the new USS O'Kane were equally filled with what seemed like all her crew, lined up from bow to stern, cameras at the ready, and as the passage quietly unfolded, and the day slipped into twilight, flashes pointed squarely at Lady Jersey tripped off repeatedly in bursts of admiration.

"USS warship 77, Sea Victory," came the O'Kane's new, second radio voice.  "Yes sir, Captain.  If you don't mind, we'd like to stay here about ten or fifteen minutes, just alongside.  We'll stand off at present distance, and maintain our course and speed, as I said, for about ten minutes, and then we'll haul out and be on our way."

"Absolutely," responded Jacobsen.   "Can we switch to one-zero for a second, one-zero?"

"Switching one-zero ..."

"Yes, sir, the reporter would like to know if you have any crew members from the New Jersey area, and how you feel about seeing her out here for the final time," Jacobsen asked.

"Yes, sir, that's affirmative. We have a few sailors on board that are from New Jersey, over."

"Roger, roger ... I see you've got quite an interest on your deck there. Did you anticipate coming across us, or was it just happenstance," Jacobsen asked again.

"Yes, sir, we had heard implications that she would be towed across through the Canal and around.  We weren't sure exactly when that was going to happen.  As we saw her come up on the horizon, it was a pleasant surprise," the Navyman revealed.

"Roger, roger. It's an awesome sight to see a naval power like you have there underway," Jacobsen remarked.  "I was wondering if we could get your Commanding Officer's name for the record, okay?"

"Sea Victory, this is U.S. warship 77. Charlie Officer's name -- Commander David C. Hulse .. hotel ..uniform .. lima .. sierra .. echo."

"Roger that, we appreciate it.  All that information will be posted on, dot-org, or dot-net, okay ..."

"U.S. warship 77 ... thank you for letting us take time to take some pictures ourselves.  Fair winds and following seas," the USS O'Kane concluded.

"Same to you sir, good evening.  Sea Victory, back to 16 and 13, whiskey, charlie, yankee, six, seven, seven, seven."

The new destroyer spent more like forty-five than fifteen minutes, passing slowly next to the vintage battleship, almost romancing her, more flashbulbs sparkling from her contoured deck, as she offered the nation's youngest sailors a glimpse of their history, and their fathers' legacies.

It is their time now.  And perhaps by detouring slightly and respectfully from Pearl Harbor this afternoon, these young men and women may have seen, in a few moments, what a lifetime of others have known of the New Jersey for fifty-seven years.  Probably so.

Submitted by Bob Wernet onboard the Sea Victory.


Previous Journal Page  
Next Journal Page
To Photo / Journal Index Page



Line Drawing of Big J

For best viewing use Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 or Netscape Communicator 4.61 or newer.
This site is privately funded and maintained, it has no official sponsorships or affiliations.
Please send any Comments or Questions regarding this site to the webmaster.
Last updated on June 10, 2002.