Journal Entry  -  October 8, 1999  -  Day 27

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

11 Degrees, 57 Minutes North


91 Degrees, 46 Minutes West

Days Run:

69.2 Nautical Miles


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

Total Run This Leg:  2,062.6 Nautical Miles
Total Average Speed:  5.2 Knots
Hours / Days This Leg:  396.5 Hours, 16.52 Days
Distance To Go This Leg:  885.2 Nautical Miles
Estimated Time Of Arrival:  7:00 a.m., Saturday, October 16, Balboa Sea Buoy, Panama
Present Course:  117 Degrees Southeasterly
Winds:  Northwest at 12 Knots
Seas:  3 Feet
Swells:  7 Feet from the West-Southwest
Barometric Pressure:  1010 Millibars
Air Temperature:  79 Degrees
Sea Temperature:  78 Degrees
Visibility:  10 Miles
Skies:  Broken Overcast with Showers
Sea Floor:  Ocean depths beneath the USS New Jersey at this point range between 1,760 and 2,100 Fathoms, or 10,560 and 12,600 Feet

Position:  USS New Jersey remains far below the Southern coast of Guatemala, 123 Nautical Miles South-Southwest of San Jose, and well west of Gulfo de Papagayo, Nicaragua.

"The Panama Canal Is a Symbol"

"It has been a symbol of America's genius to conquer nature and control it for mankind's benefit.  But it must also be a symbol of America's spirit. For without it, it is not just America's technological genius that has made us a great nation, but the generosity of our spirit as well." - Senator Gary Hart, Denver, Colorado, March 16, 1978, U.S. Senate, Panama Canal Neutrality Treaty debate.

"The Canal issue is complex.  It is difficult.   It arouses strong emotions in this country and abroad.  Our resolution of this issue will say much to the rest of the world - and above all to Latin America - about the kind of country we are and the kinds of relationships we want to have with our neighbors." - Senator Howard M. Metzenbaum, Shaker Heights, Ohio.

"The record of the U.S. successes in connection with the Panama Canal is the source of great pride to millions of Americans, including many of my constituents in Oklahoma who strongly believe that 'We built it; we own it; let's keep it.'  The Canal is a major symbol of our national greatness. So it will remain. ... I know how I would feel if the positions were reversed and Panama owned a strip of land along the Mississippi River and operated that great waterway." - Senator Henry L. Bellmon, Red Rock, Oklahoma.

"The problems I have with the treaty are well known.  There is no guarantee that the United States can negotiate for a continued military presence after the year 1999.  There is no guarantee that the United States can intervene to keep the canal open.  The United States will be forced to surrender its Southern Command.  And there is no guarantee of proper maintenance and operation of the canal after the year 1999." - Senator Wendell H. Ford, Owensboro, Kentucky.

"Yet we do not seem to have learned the simple lessons of that war.  It is simple.  The Vietnamese did not want foreign nationals on their soil. The Panamanians, partly because we taught them patriotism and to love their land, do not want foreign nationals on their soil.  And in 1776, we did not want foreign nationals on our soil.  I am not going to vote for the treaties because I think all of Latin America will love us forever - because they will not.  I would not vote for them because I think the Panamanians can deprive us of the use of the canal by sabotage, though I believe that.  But I will vote for them because I think it is right - because no nation ought to own a 10-mile wide tourniquet across the middle of another nation." - Senator Dale Bumpers, Charleston, Arkansas.

"The purpose of this amendment is quite simple, Mr. President.  It is designed to establish a precondition to American acceptance of the Neutrality Treaty.  That precondition states that regardless of the reason and regardless of what any other provision of the Neutrality Treaty might say, or what interpretation it might be subject to, if the Panama Canal is closed, the United States has the right to enter Panama, using whatever means are necessary, to reopen the canal.   There are no conditions, no exceptions, and no limitations on this right." - Senator Dennis DeConcini, Tucson, Arizona.

"The approval of these treaties would be a blow at our national will to survive.  Such approval would be the beginning of a long, painful descent into ineffectiveness and dependency.  Much worse, it would create a vacuum into which the Soviet Union would inevitably be drawn.  At the very moment when the Soviets are seeking to gain a commanding position in the Horn of Africa, at the entrance to Suez, the United States is beginning its withdrawal from its most important forward position in the Western Hemisphere." - Senator James A. McClure, Payette, Idaho.

"Finally, I would like to say a word of admiration for those Senators who voted with me today in support of this treaty.  Caesar once asked the question of his captain in the Roman Army: 'Will this day be fortunate for us?  The Centurion answered: You will be victorious.  As for me, I can only pray that when the night comes, whether I live or die, I shall have deserved the praise of Caesar.'  Mr. President, those Senators who vote for this treaty tonight will have deserved the praise of thoughtful Americans and thoughtful people everywhere." - Senator Robert C. Byrd, Senate Majority Leader, Sophia, West Virginia.

The Vice President, Walter Mondale - "On this vote, the yeas are 68, the nays are 32.  Two-thirds of the Senators present and voting having voted in the affirmative, the resolution of ratification is agreed to." March 16, 1978.

Submitted by Bob Wernet onboard the Sea Victory.


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