Journal Entry  -  October 29, 1999  -  Day 48

Friday Morning Position Report
8:00 a.m., Central Daylight Time
Latitude:

21 Degrees, 11 Minutes North

Longitude:

84 Degrees, 42 Minutes West

Days Run:

38.5 Nautical Miles

Speed:

3.21 Knots (Average)

Total Run This Leg:  789.8 Nautical Miles
Total Average Speed:  4.19 Knots
Hours / Days This Leg:  188.3 Hours / 7.84 Days
Distance To Go This Leg: 1,306.7 Nautical Miles
Estimated Time Of Arrival:  The new ETA for the Cape Henlopen Sea Buoy, depends upon the progress of events in the next few days.  A regular assessment of this ETA will be reported as it becomes available.
Present Course:  318 Degrees Northwest
Winds:  East-Northeast at 18 Knots
Seas:  3 Feet
Swells:  Easterly at 8 Feet
Barometric Pressure:  1015 Millibars
Air Temperature:  82 Degrees
Sea Temperature:  81 Degrees
Visibility:  10 Miles
Skies:  Cloudy
Sea Floor:  Ocean depths beneath the USS New Jersey at this point are 4,280 Meters, or 14,040 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 USS New Jersey is now due South of Bahia de Corrientes which surrounds the Peninsula de Guanahacabibes, Cuba.   She is proceeding Northwest toward the Yucatan Channel waypoint, as numerous other vessels throughout the night have also been doing, on their way to the Gulf of Mexico, and that precious time-saver, the swift and sure Gulf Stream.

Correction:  In Thursday evening's Special Advisory Position Report, an error occurred in transcribing the Captain's statement.  His reference to the day the engine malfunction occurred was Saturday, October 23 (not Thursday).

A Day Of Assessment and Preparation

With the decision now made to run the Sea Victory to Miami, Florida at her best starboard-engine speed, for repairs to her main, port 3,600-horsepower engine, the Captain is now concentrating on the transfer, or "shift" of the USS New Jersey to the Crowley tug Mariner from Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Captain Ogaard planned to spend today analyzing this part of the Northwestern Caribbean Sea for the best location to rendezvous with the Mariner and transfer the Battleship tomorrow.  The second tug is expected to arrive in the area about mid-day Saturday.  The Caribbean Sea here is quite deep, affording the Captain ample "sea room" to execute the transfer.  The Yucatan Channel between Mexico and Cuba is very wide, but most vessels follow a designated passage route through the Channel to the Gulf.  Captain Ogaard will avoid those areas.

He plans to seek a Southerly or Southwesterly high-seas shelter, afforded by the large land mass of Cuba, which has already given the New Jersey, even this far Southwest of the Island, significant relief from yesterday's much higher winds and sea swells.

A developing, Westward moving Tropical Storm over Panama has generated winds even to the North of Cuba and throughout the Gulf of Mexico, which helps to explain the heavy seas New Jersey was running with for the past two days.

The greater Cuba's presence between her and the storm's wide-reaching arch of counter-clockwise winds extending far North of Panama, the better the sea conditions are for the transit.

The same applies to the USS New Jersey's transfer from the Sea Victory to the Mariner.  Captain Ogaard will choose a deep-water, relatively sea-sheltered location to execute the transfer of Sea Victory's New Jersey connections to the second tug.

Everyone hopes for seas as calm as they were this morning, only three Feet, with an eight Foot Easterly swell, which seemed as good as could be desired under these circumstances.

Time will tell soon enough.

Meanwhile, Chief Engineer Andy Cleland is preparing the engine room for the arrival of another technician expert in the workings of these powerful, EMD / 3,200 horsepower engines.  He will board the Sea Victory and proceed with the crew to Miami, assisting Cleland along the way in pinpointing exactly what caused the malfunction in the first place.

Tomorrow, the USS New Jersey will meet her new and temporary companion, as the Sea Victory makes way for Florida.

Submitted by Bob Wernet onboard the Sea Victory.

 

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