Journal Entry  -  November 10, 1999  -  Day 60

Wednesday Morning Position Report
8:18 a.m., Eastern Standard Time

38 Degrees, 26 Minutes North


74 Degrees, 39 Minutes West

Days Run:

50.8 Nautical Miles


4.23 Knots (Average)

Total Run This Leg: 800.5 Nautical Miles from Grand Bahamas Island
Total Average Speed:  5.72 Knots
Hours / Days This Leg:  140 Hours / 5.83 Days
Distance To Go This Leg:  25.5 Nautical Miles
Estimated Time Of Arrival:  3:00 p.m., this afternoon, at the Cape Henlopen Sea Buoy, the entrance to the Delaware Bay.  Here, the Sea Victory and the New Jersey will rendezvous with the Delaware Bay Pilots, arranging their transfer to board both vessels for the transit through the Bay into the River, along the New Jersey shoreline, beneath the Delaware Memorial Bridges, and into the Philadelphia Navy Yard tomorrow afternoon.
Present Course:  329 Degrees on a specified trackline through the In-bound Traffic lane.
Winds:  Southwest at 20 Knots
Seas & Swells:  6 Feet Combined
Barometric Pressure:  1018 Millibars
Air Temperature:  63 Degrees
Sea Temperature:  62 Degrees
Visibility:  3 Miles
Skies:  Heavy Haze
Sea Floor:  The ocean depth at this point is 95 Fathoms, or 570 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 Battleship New Jersey just passed the Cape Henlopen Traffic Buoy "D," marking the entrance to the "Delaware To Cape Henlopen Traffic Lane," a designated in-bound / out-bound traffic coordination shipping corridor for vessels approaching into and departing the Delaware Bay.

Our Final Report Underway

Thank you all for your interest, your support and the overwhelming generosity of your goodwill toward Captain Kaare L. Ogaard, Jr., First Mate Terry Jacobsen, Second Mate Mike Poirier, Chief Engineer Andy Cleland, Cook C.J. Good, Able Seaman Fred Davis, Able Seaman Celso Martinez, and your correspondent. We are forever grateful and thankful.

This will be the final position report until a Monday concluding report on the entire homecoming welcome, already well underway with helicopters, ferries, recreational boats, and well-wishers of all kinds, as we write.

All The Untold Stories...

There are so very many.  The sailors from the wars we could not talk to. Their families.  The young Navy crewmen aboard the O'Kane and the Curts.  What were their thoughts after they passed the New Jersey, one in the Pacific, the other in the Atlantic?

The Navy weathermen in San Diego and Norfolk who provided Captain Ogaard withup-to-the-minute forecasts with a precision that enabled the Sea Victory's skipper to keep the Battleship out of harm's way for the entire voyage, 59 days worth today, and tomorrow, Veterans Day, 60 days.

The Panama Canal Commission pilots up there on the New Jersey's bridge who felt such pride in their role as

New Jersey's guides though the Canal.  The U.S. Ambassador to Panama, whom we felt would offer great insight into the Canal's transition into the millennium.  And the Panamanian operations manager who would have told us about the challenges his people confronted, and met, in getting the ship cleanly through.

Maritime illustrator and Vietnam Jerseyman James Flood, whose work is available through the Battleship New Jersey Foundation, and tells a wonderful and colorful story of his background, the ship's background, and his years spent loving her.

Mr. Entertainment, Bob Hope, a 50-year volunteer on behalf of the troops, sailors, Marines, pilots, and all U.S. personnel overseas.  We certainly did not expect Mr. Hope personally, now 96 years young and by all reports, still kicking and joking, but hoped for references to his two USS New Jersey performances, Christmas 1968 off Vietnam, and Christmas, 1983 off Beirut, Lebanon.  Good luck and thanks for the memories, Bob Hope!

The father of the Panama City taxi driver who was denied passage to view the Battleship.  The U.S. Army veteran would have had valuable things to say.  There was no time, and a lost opportunity.  This was a regular disadvantage throughout the voyage, but carried with it its own benefits: curiosity heightened even more for something later, perhaps.

The families of the Sea Victory crew.  How do they feel about their men being away for so long on this homecoming voyage, and for three of these men, much longer than Bremerton to Philadelphia?

The thousands of Jerseyman, really.  They carry the flame of her spirit.

They were there.  We honor all of them tomorrow for their sacrifice, and that of their families.  So very many untold stories come with New Jersey's 57 years.  What about the Philadelphia shipyard workers who created her better than anything else sailing in 1943?  What about the Philadelphia fruit, vegetable and produce suppliers who kept the Battleship crew stocked with food before she went to war?

And what about the Captain and crew of the Mariner?   How did they feel for those few days from Cuba to Grand Bahamas Island escorting the Navy's most decorated battleship part way home?  And the Louisiana engineers who helped pull Sea Victory's port main engine together in Miami?  Were they aware of their role in this episode of history, this line from books that may one day in the new Millennium refer to this passage?

New Jersey and all her crew made this all possible.   Our tribute to them on this memorial eve of Veterans Day.  Captain Ogaard and the crew of the Sea Victory want them to know this.  Their constant effort, their 24-hour commitment to this ship's safety, and their always conscious concern for her welfare was for them.  This tow is dedicated to you, Jerseymen.

Captain Ogaard and the crew thank you, gentlemen and sirs.  Thank you for standing on the wall.  Thank you for your sacrifice, and God bless those of you who have passed, during engagements, or since, and even now.  You stood on the wall for all of us, and for that you are to be honored, today, tomorrow, and always.  The nation's gratitude should be with you forever, and is.

To all our website visitors, another thank you.  More than 80,000 registered "hits" have occurred as of this morning.  Your questions through the voyage have been supportive and challenging.

To everyone involved in this effort, our thanks, completely.  And to the Governor of New Jersey, Christie Whitman, and all her staff throughout the state of New Jersey, a special debt of gratitude for making this all possible in such a noble fashion.  Permit this writer one personal comment - the Governor's grace in this memorial homecoming is only surpassed by the USS New Jersey's.

God Bless America, and all her veterans.  They really deserve far more than we have to offer.

Submitted by Bob Wernet onboard the Sea Victory.


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