Journal Entry  -  October 24, 1999  -  Day 43

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

15 Degrees, 23 Minutes North


80 Degrees, 37 Minutes West

Days Run:

36.7 Nautical Miles


3.06 Knots (Average)  running to meet a fixed ETA.

Total Run This Leg:  361.6 Nautical Miles
Total Average Speed:  4.5 Knots
Hours / Days This Leg:  80.3 Hours / 3.34 Days
Distance To Go This Leg:  1,734.9 Nautical Miles
Estimated Time Of Arrival:  3:00 p.m., Saturday, November 6, Cape Henlopen Sea Buoy, at the mouth of the Delaware River.
Present Course:  355 Degrees Northerly
Winds:  Northerly at 20 Knots
Seas & Swells:  Combined at 9 Feet
Barometric Pressure:  1012.5 Millibars
Air Temperature:  80 Degrees
Sea Temperature:  82 Degrees
Visibility:  10 Miles
Skies:  Cloudy
Sea Floor:  Ocean depths beneath the USS New Jersey at this point are 1,226 Meters, or 4,022 Feet.

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:  The USS New Jersey is now due East of Gorda Bank, South of Rosalind Bank and Southwest of Serranilla Bank.

The Battleship Riggers and Tow Masters ...

Last Thursday morning before the USS New Jersey slipped away from her Cristobal, Panama berth, 15 men gathered on the ship's foredeck, in front of turret number-one, and posed for pictures.

One of those photos comes with this evening's report.  The 15, from left to right, are as follows:

Captain Al Anderson, Manager of Special Projects, Crowley Marine Services; John Hurst, a Crowley Diver and Rigger; Dean Halpaus, Rigger at Crowley's Terminal 105; Dennis Grennan, Crowley Terminal 105, Ballasting Specialist; Byron "Buck" Buckingham, Crowley Port Engineer; Chief Engineer on the Sea Victory, Andy Cleland; Sea Victory Able Seaman Fred Davis; Sea Victory Cook C.J. Good; Steve Keniston, Terminal 105 Tow Wire Worker; Byron Ward, Terminal 105 Tow Wire Rigger and Splicer; Captain Kaare L. Ogaard, Jr., Sea Victory; Terry Jacobsen, Sea Victory Chief Mate; Mike Poirier, Sea Victory First Mate; Celso Martinez, Sea Victory Able Seaman; and Don Hess, retired Navy Captain, Operations Chief for the USS New Jersey and held the same role for the USS Missouri tow to Pearl Harbor last year.

The work, effort and expertise of the Sea Victory's Captain and crew during the past six weeks is clear.  What preceded the USS New Jersey's departure from Bremerton, and has continued all the way along, is the similar effort and expertise of the men who outfitted the Battleship for her Tow and Rigged all the equipment for the lengthy voyage.

Much preparation was conducted in Bremerton before the departure. Strict U.S. Navy towing standards had to be met; the ship had to be completely secured, free from pollutants of any kind, made essentially water-tight, and rigged with towing gear for the connection to the Sea Victory.

A crane barge was brought in to the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard to work the heavy chain towing connections which would attach the the tug's tow wire.  Compartments below New Jersey's main decks below the waterline were secured and armed with flooding alarm sensors.  The propeller shafts were locked.   Running lights aboard the ship were prepared and rigged for the tow.

The list goes on and on. The details numbering a thousand, the plans always being adjusted for last-minute adjustments.  Ever attentive to the smallest need for safety and security, the Battleship was readied for the Sea Victory, and on September 12, the two vessels were joined and the voyage began.

The men in the picture, though, didn't leave her there.  They were with her in Panama and will be with her again in Philadelphia to un-do what took them months to do.

These men did the same thing in 1998 for the USS Missouri before she departed Bremerton for Hawaii.  They do their jobs very well.   They're the Battleship experts at their work, and their pride shows in their performances.

The New Jersey, and before her, the Missouri, were in good hands, and continue to be.  It's the behind-the-scenes effort that makes the entire voyage work.  They wouldn't have it any other way.

Submitted by Bob Wernet onboard the Sea Victory.


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