Journal Entry  -  November 05, 1999  -  Day 55

Friday Evening Position Report
8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time
Latitude:

29 Degrees, 23 Minutes North

Longitude:

79 Degrees, 37 Minutes West

Days Run:

61 Nautical Miles

Speed:

5.08 Knots (Average)

Total Run This Leg:  166.6 Nautical Miles
Total Average Speed:  5.21 Knots
Hours / Days This Leg:  32 Hours / 1.33 Days
Distance To Go This Leg:  659.4 Nautical Miles
Present Course:  33 Degrees Northeast, with Sea Victory trying to take advantage of the maximum strength of the Gulf Stream's approximate axis, which as charted can produce a 1.5 Knot boost to speed under the most favorable conditions.
Winds:  East-Northeast at 20 Knots
Seas & Swells:  Combined at 10 Feet
Barometric Pressure:  1029 Millibars
Air Temperature:  72 Degrees
Sea Temperature:  78 Degrees
Visibility:  10 Miles
Skies:  Partly Cloudy
Sea Floor:  The ocean depth at this point is 410 Fathoms, or 2,460 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 passing off-shore of Northern Florida, 76 Miles East of Daytona Beach, and approaching the Georgia state line.

Fish Catch:  The lines are fully extended, but so far no luck.  The flying fish are plentiful, though.  They're seen constantly, ejecting themselves from the water a few inches above the surface, then darting 25, 50, 75 Feet across and in between the water's waves with projectile-like speed, then just as immediately re-entering, perfectly, no splash, as though watching a gold medal Olympics diving champion.  Scores of them.  All the way from Panama.

BB-62 Website Visitor Questions, and Some Answers

This will be most likely be our final Q & A segment of the homecoming voyage.

The Sea Victory's Captain and crew extend their gratitude and appreciation for the opportunity to share their expertise and knowledge with New Jersey's visitors.

The reporter on board also extends his thanks to everyone who took time to participate, and apologizes for not being able to obtain answers to every question submitted.  Time and space, but basically time, prevented the handling of every question.  We may have another opportunity for those, but we can't count on it before arrival

Question:  What was the purpose of the blue tarps on the 16-inch guns and draped over the middle of the bridge?  Were these just awnings for onboard guests to shade them from the Panamanian sun?

Answer:  Yes, they were provided for guests onboard, and for workers.

Question:  At sea there is 270 Feet (actually, 260 Feet) of anchor chain outboard of the New Jersey's bullnose.  Since there is no power on the Battleship, how is that chain retrieved and where is it stowed when the Sea Victory shortens her tow line?

Answer:  For the Panama Canal transit, for example, the Battleship's chain was disconnected on the bow of the ship, then lowered onto the deck of the Sea Victory.

Question:  Will the Battleship New Jersey be traveling between Pea Patch Island and New Jersey or between Pea Patch Island and Delaware?

Answer:  Captain Kaare Ogaard says that the Battleship will remain in the main shipping channel for the entire transit.

Question:  Was the bottom fouling of the New Jersey affected by fresh water during the Canal transit?  If so, has it changed the way that the ship tows?

Answer:  Captain Ogaard says this question cannot be honestly answered at this time.  Crowley Marine Services' divers in Bremerton examined her hull before the voyage, and in order to compare, they need to dive again.

Question:  Regarding the method of anchoring, a questioner asked about the Long Beach and Panama processes:

Does that mean that New Jersey was being held in place by the weight of the Battleship's anchor chain and the tow cable lying on the harbor bottom, or was it secured to the Sea Victory which was in turn anchored by means of it's own anchor?

From the archives of October 15, 8:00 p.m., in the Bay of Panama, in the incident related there, it seems to say that the tow gear acted as an anchor and was starting to slide.  Did I understand that correctly?  Does that accurately reflect the method of anchoring the Battleship?

Answer:  Yes, to all questions.   The exact same systems were used in Long Beach and Panama.

Question:  Could you have the Captain explain what he would do if he encountered a hurricane as he is bringing the USS New Jersey up the Atlantic Coast?

Answer:  Captain Ogaard says the trick is not to get caught.  If somehow the forecasting breaks down, and one finds himself or herself in the line of the hurricane's fire, there are set guidelines for any and all vessels to reduce the severity of the elements, wind and sea.

Hurricanes can be divided into two semicircles, one dangerous, the other navigable.  Using the best knowledge available, you try to navigate your way into the navigable portion of the storm.

This navigational knowledge is complex and requires far more time and space than available here.  But, for a cursory and superficial glance at this seaman's survival tool, here is a brief reference from "The American Practical Navigator: Bowditch."

It is based on Ducth meteorologist, C.H.D. Buys Ballot, who published his rule for locating the center of cyclones and anticyclones in 1857. Ballot's rule states that:  "Facing away from the wind in the Northern Hemisphere, the low pressure lies to the left.  Facing away from the wind in the Southern Hemisphere, it is to the right."

Using Buys Ballot's Law, Bowditch says: "The safest procedure is to avoid them.  If the ship is found to be within the storm area, the proper action to take depends in part on its position relative to the storm center and its direction of travel.

"The first action to take if the ship is within the cyclonic circulation is to determine the position of his vessel with respect to the storm center. While the vessel can still make considerable way through the water, a course should be selected to take it as far as possible from the center.  If the vessel can move faster than the storm, it is a relatively simple matter to outrun the storm if sea room permits.  But when the storm is faster, the solution is not as simple."

Later, the reference says: "As a general rule, for a vessel in the Northern Hemisphere, safety lies in placing the wind on the starboard bow in the dangerous semicircle and on the starboard quarter in the less dangerous semicircle."

This explanation continues at great length, but these brief references give the novice at least an idea of what skills can be applied if known, understood and properly executed.

Question:   Many people have inquired about the distance from shore the USS New Jersey will be when she passes locations on the Atlantic seaboard on her way north to the Delaware River, and whether people will be able to see her as she transits.

Answer:  Captain Ogaard says the Battleship will be too far out from shore for anyone to see her, and the idea of sailing out to her vicinity should be avoided because of the distance, and sea conditions at this time of year.

Here are the Captain's calculations of the generally applicable nautical mile distances between selected southern shore points and New Jersey's present trackline:

Jacksonville, Florida -- 116 miles

Charleston, South Carolina -- 105 miles

Cape Fear, North Carolina -- 73 miles

Cape Lookout, North Carolina -- 50 miles

Cape Hatteras, North Carolina -- 37 miles

Question:  Leaping ahead a bit, will the Sea Victory "deadhead" all the way back to Seattle, or are other towing jobs scheduled on the return trip?  Also, will this "super" crew bring her back to Seattle, or does a relief crew?

Answer:   Captain Ogaard says that at present, after delivering the USS New Jersey to Philadelphia, the Sea Victory will stay overnight, then deadhead to Jacksonville, Florida for routine maintenance.  The crew will fly home to Seattle from there.  New towing jobs are always being analyzed and so far none have been assigned to the Sea Victory.  But a towboat is a valuable asset and and will soon be put to use again.

Question:  I noticed that the Battleship New Jersey has only one anchor on its return trip home.  What happened to the other anchor on its bow?

Answer:   It was placed on the ship's stern for the voyage.

Submitted by Bob Wernet onboard the Sea Victory.

 

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