Journal Entry  -  November 9, 1999  -  Day 59

Tuesday Morning Position Report
8:00 a.m., Eastern Standard Time

36 Degrees, 55 Minutes North


74 Degrees, 29 Minutes West

Days Run:

59.8 Nautical miles


4.98 Knots (Average)

Total Run This Leg:  706.6 Nautical Miles
Total Average Speed:  6.09 Knots
Hours / Days This Leg:  116 Hours / 4.83 Days from the Freeport, Grand Bahamas Island transfer point of the New Jersey from the tug Mariner last Thursday at noon.
Distance To Go This Leg:  119.4 Nautical Miles to the mouth of the Delaware River.
Estimated Time Of Arrival:  3:00 p.m., tomorrow, Wednesday, November 10, at the Cape Henlopen Sea Buoy.
Present Course: 000 North
Winds:  West-Southwest at 10 Knots
Seas:  1 Foot
Swells:  5 Feet from the Northeast
Barometric Pressure:  1028 Millibars
Air Temperature:  68 Degrees
Sea Temperature:  77 Degrees
Visibility:  10 Miles
Skies:  Clear

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 this morning was passing 72 miles due East of Cape Henry and the general area of Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Virginia, and the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay.  She was proceeding due North along the DelMarVa coastline toward the mouth of the Delaware River, where Captain Ogaard is scheduled to bring her at the estimated time of 3:00 p.m., tomorrow afternoon, Wednesday.

USS New Jersey's Gear Changed For The Final Time

About 72 Miles East of Cape Henry, at the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay, the USS New Jersey came to rest this morning behind the tug Sea Victory.   For the final time in her journey from Bremerton, which began more than eight weeks ago, her tow chain and assorted connection gear was removed for the final cruise into the waters of New Jersey beginning tomorrow evening.

The seas were benevolent, which is why Captain Kaare Ogaard decided early this morning to execute this substantial effort now.  It is always easier, safer and cleaner to perform this essential tugboat maneuver in calmer seas than wilder ones, if you can find them.  When you can, you take advantage of them.

The crew was called out at 8:00 a.m. to begin preparing to haul in the line, muscle its tonnage one last time, and get the Battleship set for shallower water, a slower run, and her eventual docking at the Philadelphia Navy Yard Thursday afternoon.

The always impressive performance took about 45 minutes.   The New Jersey was slowly drawn up to the Sea Victory's stern to allow the crew to uncouple the chain, pennants, and connection gear attached to the ship's anchor chain, then use the tug's winches to spool in the primary wire and shift the ship's attachment to the other tow wire for the final run.  This switch permits the primary wire to remain protected as long as possible for the deep water runs.

There were no injuries, everything was conducted safely and efficiently, and when it was all over, Captain Ogaard remarked that it was one of the nicer efforts of the voyage.  The gear worked smoothly, the seas were extremely cooperative, and the crew was at peak performance.

Everyone senses the homecoming is very close now, and the thought of bringing her home, then doing what they must do in port before they leave again, has filled them with anticipation.  Today's final tow gear removal and exchange was the clear signal to them that soon they will be delivering the Battleship home, and thereafter they will get themselves home.

These seven men have dealt with a very long journey, albeit not nearly as long as Ogaard's Oriskany voyage earlier this year of 15,000 Miles, but long enough.  In fact two of them, Cook CJ Good and Second Mate Mike Poirier, were aboard the Sea Victory for the Oriskany voyage.  For them, nearly the entire year has been at sea with a naval vessel.

It's come time for the New Jersey to leave the deep seas behind her, cruise with pride up the Delaware River to be welcomed by her admirers, and then find her final resting place when the decision about her future becomes clear.

Today's effort was the prelude to that.  For the men of the Sea Victory, it was a moment in the long journey that carried considerable meaning, a turning point for them as they begin to think ahead to their next assignments, some known, some not.  For the New Jersey, her future is also less known than her past, but never mind.  She's coming home now, and that's really what counts.

Submitted by Bob Wernet onboard the Sea Victory.


Previous Journal Page 
Next Journal Page
To Photo / Journal Index Page



Line Drawing of Big J

For best viewing use Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 or Netscape Communicator 4.61 or newer.
This site is privately funded and maintained, it has no official sponsorships or affiliations.
Please send any Comments or Questions regarding this site to the webmaster.
Last updated on June 10, 2002.