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You stalled my Battleship! Weather delays U.S.S. Iowa's trip to Los Angeles

Ben Margot/AP

The journey of 345 nautical miles begins with one tow.

For the retired Battleship U.S.S. Iowa, however, that tugboat-towed journey has been delayed since last weekend because of rough seas off the coast of California.

A decade-long member of the "mothball fleet," the famous battleship is preparing to make its way from San Francisco Bay to the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro, where the Pacific Battleship Center will continue vessel restoration, and turn it into an interactive naval museum permanently based at Berth 87.

Meanwhile, keeping the boat at bay is a costly situation, says the non profit center's president, Robert Kent. 

Kent told KPCC's Ashley Bailey, "It’s about $10,000 dollars a day, so we’re really anxious to get underway as soon as we can." At almost three football fields long, it'll take about four days of tugging for the Iowa to make the voyage south.

With cooperative weather, the operation would depart the Bay Area before Memorial Day. With a bummer shot fired across the bow, meteorologist Stuart Seto says that doesn’t look likely. Winds are not expected to calm before the weekend.  

"Especially in the offshore waters," Seto told KPCC. Today [Wednesday] we're gonna have swells out of the west 5 to 7 feet, and then Thursday they’re going to have swells 6 to 8 feet, and then if you put wind waves 2 to 4 feet on top of that – that’s pretty significant. There’s going to be some rough seas out there," he said.

The U.S.S. Iowa, a ship that once carried President Franklin Roosevelt to a World War II summit, was last actively engaged in conflict in the late 1980s during the Iran-Iraq war.

Lisa Brenner can be reached via Twitter @lisa_brenner