Journal Entry  -  October 29, 1999  -  Day 48

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

21 Degrees, 35 Minutes North


85 Degrees, 07 Minutes West

Days Run:

29.8 Nautical Miles


2.48 Knots (Average)

Total Run This Leg:  819.6 Nautical Miles
Total Average Speed:  4.09 Knots
Hours / Days This Leg:  200.3 Hours / 8.34 Days
Distance To Go This Leg:  1,276.9 Nautical Miles
Estimated Time Of Arrival:  The new ETA for the Cape Henlopen Sea Buoy, depends upon the progress of events in the next few days.  A regular assessment of this tentative ETA, and any changes to it, will be reported as it becomes available from the Captain.
Present Course:  The Sea Victory and the USS New Jersey are jogging on an easterly course along the Southern coast of Cuba, awaiting arrival of the tug Mariner from Lake Charles, Louisiana.  Earlier today, the tug was reported on her way to a rendezvous with the Sea Victory making 13 Knots.
Winds:  Easterly at 20 - 22 Knots
Seas & Swells:  Combined at 10 Feet
Barometric Pressure:  1015 Millibars
Air Temperature:  81 Degrees
Sea Temperature:  81 Degrees
Visibility:  10 Miles +
Skies: Scattered Clouds
Sea Floor:  Ocean depths beneath the USS New Jersey at this point are 1,652 Meters, or 5,419 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 18.5 Nautical Miles from Cabo San Antonio, Cuba, on the Western extremity of the 600 Mile long island nation.  Captain Ogaard at this hour began "detention," referring to Sea Victory's having ceased forward progress while awaiting the arrival of the tug Mariner to accept the transfer of the USS New Jersey.

An Unwelcome, but necessary, Jogging Detention

The USS New Jersey and the Sea Victory this evening are "jogging" on an Easterly track South of Cuba in a combined sea and swell of 10 Feet, with winds of 20 - 22 Knots, keeping things stirred up quite nicely here in the Yucatan Channel.

Captain Ogaard has reached his farthest northern point in the Channel, and now is in a holding pattern - "jogging" or transiting slowly into the weather just to maintain the best possible towing conditions - while awaiting arrival tomorrow of the hand-off tug Mariner.

The weather has picked up some since yesterday when hopes for relief in this area were higher.  How it will be in the morning and through tomorrow remains to be seen.  The Captain obviously hopes for the best possible sea conditions for the transfer of the Battleship, but will deal with the circumstances as they come.  He's seen the worst of the worst in his long career.

A tropical storm has developed well to the south of New Jersey's position, but the seas and winds in this part of the Caribbean Sea seem related to forces North of Cuba.

Katrina, the newly named Tropical Storm, is currently threatening an area the USS New Jersey passed a few days ago, some 650 miles to the South of her current position.  The National Weather Service in Miami has issued a tropical storm warning for the East coast of Nicaragua, North of Bluefields, to the Nicaragua / Honduras border.  It is unlikely to affect the USS New Jersey's position at this writing.

Saturday will bring more maneuvering into an area here that will maximize the opportunity for the best transfer of the Battleship.  Once that has occurred, it will mean full-speed to Miami for the Sea Victory, and through the Yucatan Channel into the Gulf of Mexico for the USS New Jersey with the Mariner.

Submitted by Bob Wernet onboard the Sea Victory.


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