Journal Entry  -  October 21, 1999  -  Day 40

Thursday Morning Position Report
12:00 p.m., Central Daylight Time

9 Degrees, 24 Minutes North


79 Degrees, 55 Minutes West

Days Run:

Cristobal, Panama Departure


Cristobal, Panama Departure

Present Course:  353 Degrees Northerly
Winds:  Airs
Seas & Swells:  Light Rippled Surface
Barometric Pressure:  1011.5 Millibars
Air Temperature:  85 Degrees
Sea Temperature:  82 Degrees
Visibility:  10 Miles
Skies:  Broken Overcast

Panama Canal Transit:  October 16 - 21 / Balboa Pier 14 - 15, Miraflores and Pedro Miguel Locks, the Gaillard Cut, Gamboa, Lake Gatun, and the Gatun Locks, and Cristobal.  USS New Jersey's clearance into the Caribbean Sea / Atlantic Ocean was completed at 11:34 a.m., and her mark for the commencement of the Cristobal, Panama - Philadelphia, PA Third Leg was passed at 11:42 a.m., Thursday, October 21.

Distance Of Second Leg:   September 21 - October 15 / Long Beach, CA to Balboa Anchorage, Panama: 2,948.7 Nautical Miles, the longest leg of New Jersey's homecoming voyage.
Total Average Speed Second Leg:  5.18 Knots

Distance Of First Leg:  September 12 - 21 / Bremerton, WA to Long Beach, CA: 1,193.6 Nautical Miles from the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard to Long Beach, CA anchorage.
Total Average Speed First Leg:  5.54 Knots

Position:  USS New Jersey departed the Republic of Panama just before Noon today, passing the Cristobal breakwater into the Caribbean Sea / Atlantic Ocean passageway at 11:34 a.m.  Captain Kaare Ogaard's waypoint marker, the 0000.0 distance point for all future navigational references for the Cristobal, Panama - Philadelphia, PA voyage, and the official departure point, was marked at 11:42 a.m.

Here Comes The USS New Jersey ...

The Panama Canal Commission Pilots arrived at 9:46 a.m. this morning to man the Battleship New Jersey and the tug Sea Victory for her 45-minute "slow run" departure from Cristobal's Pier 7-A/B to the Cristobal breakwater marker for the Caribbean Sea / Atlantic Ocean entrance range.

At 10:00 a.m., the Sea Victory left her docking position at Pier 7-C to come alongside the New Jersey and prepare the chain tonnage and tow wire for the final-leg of her homeward voyage.  She is scheduled to transit 2,096.7 miles to the Cape Henlopen Sea Bouy, Captain Ogaard's official waypoint for the entrance to the Delaware River.

By 10:49 a.m., New Jersey was away from the dock.   The Sea Victory's crew did their thing once again, riveting attention on themselves from dockside spectators and onboard Pilots whose eyes feasted in amazement on the professionalism and expertise represented by the guys we've come to know who handle the chain, maneuver the tonnage, secure the shackles, signal their Captain winch conditions, and protect their bodies from injury.

New Jersey's passage from the dock to the breakwater beyond Cristobal left time for admiring surveys of a land rising in the far distance Eastward to elevated sweeps of mountains, then dropping noticeably to the Panama Canal's height of 300-plus Feet, then rising again to the West, providing an amateur geologist with the image of an Isthmus.

Captain Ogaard has projected a course for the Delaware River that will proceed from here North to the Serrana Bank (not an alternate Serranilla Bank route as was incorrectly reported here last night) and the Rosalind Bank, Grand Cayman, the Yucatan Channel, then to Cabo San Antonio, Banco Sancho Pardo, Pasa Honda, the Florida Keys, Carysfort Reef, Charleston, Cape Hatteras, Ocean City and then finally to the mouth of the Delaware River at Cape Henlopen, Delaware.

He is sailing with an estimated arrival time, 16 days from now, at Cape Henlopen on Saturday, November 6th.

The Sea Victory's Captain and crew are ready and underway. The USS New Jersey is outfitted for her voyage home, having pleased everyone in Panama with her performance through the grand Canal.

The Commission pilots were all smiles this morning knowing that they had done their job.  The Crowley Marine Services support team, the Battleship experts, held their heads high this morning as their treasured cargo slipped away from Cristobal to begin her final leg home.  And Sea Victory's crew talked anxiously of family and friends at home, plans for winter, how few days remain, how nice the feel of things.  All systems secured for sailing.  Everything's in order, Captain.

And the USS New Jersey is ready, too.  She's turned the corner now, and she's on her way home.

Submitted by Bob Wernet onboard the Sea Victory.


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