Position: USS New
Jersey safely and securely docked at the Balboa Port Terminal at about 11:00 a.m.
The Battleship USS New Jersey's
approach up the Bay of Panama, her pass by the Balboa Sea Buoy, her handsome transit
beneath the historic Bridge of the Americas, and her berthing at the Balboa Port Terminal
this morning was as successful and heartwarming as last night's misadventure was trying.
Panama Canal officials boarded the USS New Jersey very
early this morning, at about 6:00 a.m., well South of the Balboa entrance, as Crowley
Marine Services' pilots, state of New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
overseers, and Panamanian line handlers selected to secure the Battleship to the dock once
in port joined with them for the casual ride into the beautiful port of
Panamanian assist tugboats joined the Sea Victory early,
and spent three or more hours with her as she entered the port. Sightseers along the
shores watched as the famous and historic ship slowly passed. News media
photographers in boats, along the rails of the Bridge of the Americas, and along the
docking pier satisfied their photographic hunger as the ship finally entered and took her
final berthing in Panama.
Well wishers waved and congratulated the Sea Victory's
Captain and crew as the crews on the pier, in the assist tugs, and aboard the Sea Victory
executed their jobs with the ease of the veterans who served on the New Jersey during her
The details, the feelings, the long-to-be-held memories
of this arrival will be dispatched with this evening's report.
For now, let it be said that the USS New Jersey entered
Balboa, Panama with the same pride she displayed when she departed Bremerton on September
12, thirty-four days ago. Her spirit and symbolism will enliven this place during
her stay here. And most definitely it will carry over, through her Canal passage,
and into the waters of New Jersey along the Delaware River next month.
But first, New Jersey will linger here in the former
Panama Canal Zone, among those who know what her past has meant, and what her passage
through this place will mean for their future. For the Battleship, her future means
Submitted by Bob Wernet onboard the Sea Victory.