Total Run This Leg:
Total Average Speed: 4.33 Knots
Hours / Days This Leg: 140.3 Hours / 5.84 Days
Distance To Go This Leg: 1,488.9 Nautical Miles
Estimated Time Of Arrival: 3:00 p.m., Saturday, November 6, Cape Henlopen
Sea Buoy, at the mouth of the Delaware River.
Present Course: Captain Ogaard shifted course last night from 335 Degrees
to a pre-designed trackline of 318 Degrees, a fact we failed to mention in last night's
report. This will take the New Jersey to the Captain's Yucatan Channel waypoint.
Winds: North-Northeast at 25 Knots
Seas & Swells: Combined at 10 Feet
Barometric Pressure: 1012.5 Millibars
Air Temperature: 86 Degrees
Sea Temperature: 81 Degrees
Visibility: 10 Miles
Skies: Partly Cloudy
Sea Floor: The Caribbean Sea at this point ranges in depth from 1,927 to
2,167 Meters, or from 6,321 to 7,108 Feet.
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
Total Average Speed First Leg: 5.54 Knots
Position: The USS New Jersey is now 205
Nautical Miles from Captain Ogaard's waypoint at the Yucatan Channel. To the
Battleship's West is the Cayman Trench and the Cayman Ridge, and to her Northeast is Grand
USS Curts Renders Honors To The USS New Jersey
"The USS Curts' mission is to escort and protect
convoys, underway replenishment groups, amphibious landing groups, and carrier battle
groups. Curts' missile, gun, and anti-submarine warfare systems, combined with its
quick reaction and high speed capability, make the warship a valuable asset in today's
So states the Oliver Hazard Perry Class guided missile
frigate's website (http://www.curts.navy.mil/).
But when she called the Sea Victory's Chief Mate Terry
Jacobsen early this morning, shortly after sunrise, she requested nothing but slow time,
and a chance to render proper honors to the USS New Jersey, passing Northward toward the
Yucatan Channel between Mexico and Cuba.
"Sea-going tug Sea Victory, this is US warship 3-8,
good morning, sir," announced the Curts radio. Jacobsen acknowledged the Navy
vessel. Then the Curts told Jacobsen their intentions, and requested his permission.
'This is Navy warship 3-8, Captain. I'd like to
propose our ship to overtake the USS New Jersey at the range of approximately 500 yards
and give you a proper salute on your last voyage, over," said the Curts.
"Absolutely, Captain. Bring her on in
here," Jacobsen said. "We'll just keep her steady on this course."
"This is warship 3-8, roger, Captain, thank you very
much, and we'll talk to you as we get a little closer .. Navy warship 3-8, out."
Jacobsen had been tracking the Curts on radar, and was
glad to hear from them. He watched her at about 6 miles off Sea Victory's starboard
beam, now heading toward USS New Jersey at a good clip.
In another brief conversation before the Curts reached
the New Jersey, Jacobsen learned that Commanding Officer John Riley runs the show, and
that the ship is named after the late Admiral Maurice Curts, who commanded the battle
cruiser Columbia in the battle of Leyte Gulf during World War II.
Curts became Commander of the Pacific Fleet later in his
After the exchange, Curts came back.
"Roger, captain. We find it's an honor to be
able to do this, and lucky we found you out here. We have just gone through the
Canal and one of the pilots was telling us the planning efforts that were going into the
Canal transit for the New Jersey... over."
"Yeah," Jacobsen responded, "the Canal
transit went well ."
"We went through about the 8th of October,"
Curts replied. "We got held up in the second set of Locks because of fog, then
we got a daylight transit," the radioman reported.
"Sir," said Jacobsen, "we appreciate the
information you're passing along there. We had the Navy warship O'Kane meet us on
the other side of our path there, and she did the same thing you guys are doing. She
brought her in close and spent some time alongside her to give the crew an opportunity to
see her one last time, okay?"
"Yes," said the Curts radioman, "that's
exactly what we wanted to do. My leading Chief Boatswain's Mate over here brought
the New Jersey into commission as a young seaman, over ..."
"Oh, roger, that's excellent. Well, captain,
you bring her in as close as you like there, and stay as long as you like, okay?"
"All right, captain, I appreciate that. I may
close in a little closer than 500 yards, and I may settle out for awhile. We'll
definitely hold the hand salute for some time for the finest warship that ever sailed the
seas and we appreciate your cooperation in this, over."
As the Curts continued her approach to honor the New
Jersey, Jacobsen learned that three of her crewmen hail from the Garden State: Kirk
Anthony Fraser, from Bloomfield, New Jersey, Thomas Edward Steele, from Little Egg Harbor,
and Daniel J. Barbero, from Tuckerton.
Also, the Curts' BMC Isaac Doyle, Jr., was a seaman
aboard the New Jersey for her 1981 recommissioning, and served in her 3rd Division.
He came in with Jacobsen as they approached the Battleship.
"Yes, I'm boatswain's mate chief Doyle," he
said. "I got to New Jersey in January of '81, as a seaman recruit, and I left
New Jersey in 1985. I was part of the 3rd Division, and we took care of the
aft-portion of New Jersey, from the starboard king post aft, to include turret 3, mount 6,
and all of the helo requirements," Doyle explained.
'Roger, roger, sir, It's a pleasure to have you so close
to your old girl then," Jacobsen said.
"That's true," Doyle replied. I was just
explaining to a few of my crew members here, New Jersey was my first ship. 18 years
later I just so happened to have the pleasure of seeing her on her last voyage, and USS
Curts will be my last ship, so this is definitely an honor and a pleasure for me,
"Absolutely, sir," said Jacobsen.
"Well, it's a pleasure for us to have the opportunity to bring her home for the last
time to the state of New Jersey, where we know she'll be loved and taken care of in the
proper fashion which she deserves as a well-decorated warship."
"I agree wholeheartedly," said Doyle.
"I wish you guys a safe journey, and we'll see you guys soon."
"Roger that, thank you sir," said Jacobsen.
"Good morning, and fair winds and following seas."
"That's fair winds and following seas to you and all
of your riders from New Jersey, from the USS Curts ... this is Curts standing by channel
1-6, 1-3 .. out."
Then, after the frigate passed New Jersey, the Curts
radioman announced himself again. "Sir, shortly we'll be coming up alongside to
render you a proper salute, and fair winds and following seas. We'll be standing by,
channel 1-6 and 1-3 Curts out.
Jacobsen responded in kind, "Roger that sir, we
appreciate the opportunity, and we enjoyed the opportunity also."
So ended this morning's Navy salute, similar to the one
rendered by the USS O'Kane on Saturday, October 2 off the coast of Mexico. Curts is
homeported in San Diego. O'Kane, just last Saturday, in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, was
formally commissioned for service to join the Curts in the Pacific Fleet.
Submitted by Bob Wernet onboard the Sea Victory.