Hours / Days Since Leaving
Miami: 6.5 Hours
Distance To Go This Leg: 826 Nautical Miles from the Freeport, Grand
Bahamas Island transfer point to the Cape Henlopen Sea Buoy.
Present Course: 328 Degrees as of 2:00 p.m.
Sea Floor: Ocean depths beneath the USS New Jersey at this point are 250
Fathoms or 1,500 Feet
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
Total Average Speed First Leg: 5.54 Knots
Position: The USS New Jersey tow has now
been resumed by the tug Sea Victory, after an impressive transfer from the tug Mariner at
10:39 a.m. this morning, 2.7 Miles off the sandy beaches of Grand Bahamas Island, nearly
due East of West Palm Beach, Florida in the Atlantic.
Fish Catch: All is well aboard the Sea
Victory when the fishing lines go out again. Such was the case this morning after
the New Jersey transfer. The crew hasn't pulled one in since October 25, which seems as
far back as Baja California, but, of course, wasn't.
Ogaard's Sea Victory Wins Back "The Big J"
It was only four days ago that the Sea Victory and her
disheartened Captain and crew had to cut loose the U.S. Navy's most decorated Battleship
in waters off-shore of Southern Cuba, but one might have thought it was four years ago.
For Captain Kaare L. Ogaard, Jr., whose professional
standards serve as a model to less experienced seamen, as well as anyone around him,
having to transfer the USS New Jersey to any third party, friend or foe, tore at his core.
He wouldn't reveal it, of course, but it was there. Nothing mattered more to him at
the instant of release than to get her back. And fast.
His supervision of the tug's single-engine journey to
Miami for engine repairs, his oversight of the intricate, laborious and skillful
mechanical effort, his insistent pressing forward at each turn and with each breath to
complete the work and return to the ship, every expression said let's get her back.
When it came time to depart Miami to rendezvous with the
tug Mariner and the New Jersey out in the Atlantic, he slipped the Sea Victory away from
the dock with the same assurance his vessel's name carries. Confident and eager, his
midnight departure along the watery corridor of Miami's multi-million dollar apartments
couldn't proceed quickly enough.
Soon he was in deep water, and he let the newly tuned
engines go. Off she went, the Sea Victory bound now for a meeting place where he
would recapture his decorated vessel and take her home. It couldn't come soon
enough, and it wouldn't be real until it happened.
This morning, just after the sun broke the horizon off
the Bahamas in the East, there she was, the puffing little tugboat Mariner with the giant
Battleship New Jersey. Ogaard had come here to reclaim his tow.
By 7:00 a.m., he was in contact with Captain Ray Wilson
of the Mariner. They discussed where to execute the transfer, and it was decided to
proceed a few miles more Northward to seek the lee side of the Grand Bahama Island, where
the 20 Knot wind and five Foot sea would be less direct and challenging to the three
vessels engaged in this open-ocean transfer.
Three hours later, after the Mariner found her place,
brought in much of New Jersey's tow line, and made ready the transfer to the Sea Victory,
Ogaard's vessel pulled alongside the Mariner's port side, stern to stern.
Each vessel's crew worked their respective decks,
preparing lines, tow wire, and stoppers to secure the New Jersey's heavy gear while they
prepared it for a safe release into the water and for the journey to the Delaware River
As the Sea Victory and the Mariner rode the sea together
and transferred the Battleship's connections, Ogaard waited patiently for the lengthy
process to unfold on the other tug. Finally, the ship's gear transferred to his tug,
and the second it occurred, one could almost feel the jubilation. He turned to his Captain
colleague on the Mariner and waved a grateful thanks.
All the heartache at losing an engine had evaporated.
It wouldn't be forgotten, but this morning it didn't matter. All the pain of
waiting for the repairs had vanished. The young mechanics from Louisiana and their
counterpart engineers from Crowley and other outfits worked small miracles in very short
order to repair the Sea Victory's 3,600 horsepower engine. Their work was praised by
But this morning, none of that mattered. Ogaard and
his crew had recaptured the USS New Jersey and were once again taking her home.
It was a quiet victory for the Captain today, but
everyone who looked into his eyes saw the joy of it as clearly as this morning's sun.
He's now bound for the Delaware, and he's honored to be bringing her home again.
Submitted by Bob Wernet onboard the Sea Victory.