Journal Entry  -  October 30, 1999  -  Day 49

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

21 Degrees, 33 Minutes North

Longitude:

84 Degrees, 39 Minutes West

Days Run:

Jogging Easterly toward Isla de la Juventud

Speed:

Calculated at the point of detention and fixed at 4.09 knots.  Detention Time - 12 Hours and Counting

Total Run This Leg:  The Sea Victory's logged mileage at the point of detention was 819.6 Nautical Miles from Cristobal, Panama waypoint.
Hours / Days This Leg:  212.3 Hours / 8.84 Days
Distance To Go This Leg:  From the point of detention, 1,276.9 Nautical Miles.
Estimated Time Of Arrival:  The new, and still tentative, 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 from the Captain.
Present Course:  Various, on an Easterly track to Isla de la Juventud, Cuba.
Winds:  East-Northeast at 25 Knots
Seas & Swells:  Combined at 12 Feet
Barometric Pressure:  1014.5 Millibars
Air Temperature:  78 Degrees
Sea Temperature:  81 Degrees
Visibility:  10 Miles
Skies:  Overcast and Squalls
Sea Floor:   Ocean depths beneath the USS New Jersey at this point are 3,040 Meters, or 9,206 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 this Saturday morning is 14 Miles off-shore of Cabo Corrientes, Cuba.  Captain Kaare Ogaard now has the Sea Victory and New Jersey jogging on an Easterly heading toward Isla de la Juventud, or Isla de Pinos (Isle of Pines).

He wants to seek protection from the current deteriorating weather conditions, and to distance the USS New Jersey from the Yucatan Channel, and any possible emergence there of Tropical Storm Katrina from the South.

Sea Victory and the New Jersey began their cessation of forward progress, or detention, at 8:00 p.m., Friday, October 29, at 21 Degrees, 35 Minutes North / 85 Degrees, 07 Minutes West, 18.5 Miles off-shore of Cabo San Antonio, Cuba, in the Yucatan Channel.

At this point, they began jogging, or slowly transiting, into the weather, to maintain the best possible towing conditions for the USS New Jersey, while awaiting arrival of the tug Mariner.

Tracking South Of Cuba, Awaiting The Tug Mariner

Captain Kaare Ogaard spent this morning analyzing weather conditions, which were fairly miserable as far as tugboats and Battleships were concerned, and shelter points where he can establish a suitable transfer point for the expected arrival of the tug Mariner.

The Captain continued the Easterly jogging along a track South of Cuba, as he and all the crew anticipated the quick departure of high winds and seas which have made the past 24 to 36 hours less than comfortable.

Meanwhile, the tug Mariner continues her run toward a rendezvous with the Sea Victory.  When the two tugs finally come together, Captain Ogaard will determine where the transfer of the New Jersey will take place, and when.   He will not execute the transfer after nightfall, and he prefers calmer seas than the Battleship has been passing through this morning.

It's an hour-by-hour process.  He has spent time studying shelter points in this part of the Caribbean Sea South of Cuba, and will make a final determination when the Mariner arrives.  He has briefed the Sea Victory crew on the process they will employ to make the transfer to the Mariner, and the crew knows what to expect.  No problems are anticipated.

There are indications that the weather could turn more acceptable, and the Captain's decision to move New Jersey Easterly, within the calmer leeward influence of the Cuban land mass, will pay off in making for less volatile seas.

If and when that happens, the Battleship can be handed over to the Mariner with a minimum of difficulty.  The Sea Victory can then return to the Yucatan Channel, enter the Gulf of Mexico, pick up the Gulf Stream, and head full out to Miami.  She will be accompanied on the trip by an engineering specialist who will begin to analyze the engine malfunction that needs to be fixed in Miami.

At the same time, the Mariner will then take the New Jersey under tow back along the same track as Sea Victory will be on, but she will not make the speed Sea Victory will, so she will not cover the same distance as fast.

When the Sea Victory reaches Miami, and her main port engine is examined and repaired, she will then be expected to leave Florida, and return to the New Jersey.

There, she will once again take over the tow, at whatever point they have transited, and re-connect the Battleship to the Sea Victory's tow wire, and then resume the New Jersey's Final Voyage to Philadelphia.

Exactly how long this will take is speculative at this writing.  There are too many variables at work to make an accurate prediction.

But this is certain - everyone involved in this project wants the transfer to be conducted safely, securely, and certainly.  Then, they want the Sea Victory to reach Miami expeditiously, and to undergo repairs satisfactorily.   After that, they want her to re-establish the connection with the Battleship, and take her home to New Jersey, safely and securely.

Until a little more time passes, it will be impossible to ascertain exactly the schedule of events, but we will continue to report as much information as is reliable and possible to let everyone know exactly what the circumstances are and how the New Jersey is faring.

So far, everything is going as well as can be expected.   Captain Ogaard is very confident that everything will proceed smoothly from here.

A Halloween Side Note

Just in time for Sunday, October 31, the crew of the Sea Victory has received a Happy Halloween E-mail Greeting Card from the Grade-4 kids of Room 24, at the Harriet Bishop Elementary School in Rochester, Minnesota.

The Captain and crew are very appreciative and extend their thanks to "The Kids of Room 24."  Their digital, email Greeting, via the Blue Mountain Arts Animated Greeting Card Website, reads as follows, accompanied by five flying animated bats at the top of the card:

Happy Halloween: Happy Halloween: To Sea Victory and Crew

You batter not shout
you batter not cry
you batter not pout
I'm telling you why . . .
Oops (imagine the sound of a tape squealing) - Wrong holiday.
Happy Halloween: You batter enjoy it.

"We hope that this Greeting can get to the Sea Victory and her crew. Wishing them good sailing on Halloween Night.  From the students of Room 24."

Thanks, Kids of Room 24, from the Sea Victory. Happy Halloween to You!

Submitted by Bob Wernet onboard the Sea Victory.

 

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