Au....eh?

Wot's Au?
5
10%
Baaahhh, fool... I'm a Paper Bug.
1
2%
Never seen/held/touched Au.
2
4%
My friend has some (I touched it)
1
2%
I got drunk on Goldwasser once!!!
2
4%
Got some jewelery, bro' --> (24k, 22k, 20k, 18k, 14k)
2
4%
My significant other has LOTS of bling-bling
3
6%
Got physical - but just a few grams/ozs
4
8%
Got physical - a nice pile of ozs
4
8%
I just buy kgs... go big or go home
0
No votes
Yo, I gonna get me dat Golden Goose!
1
2%
I like gaming w/ Big Boyz at the Sr. mining casinos
2
4%
I get down/dirty at the Jr. mining casinos
4
8%
Who needs them, I have shares in Gato &120.
4
8%
Au will be much more in fiat (choose yours?) at year-end (target?)
12
24%
Au will be much less in fiat (choose yours?) at year-end (target?)
3
6%
 
Total votes : 50

Re: Au, my preciousssss...

Postby jehturner » Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:49 am

greg~judy wrote:
Dig a hole in the ground four feet deep, pack gold and silver in a piece of plastic PVC pipe, seal it, and bury it.
Metal detectors are a big worry.
Basic detectors can find metal on the surface or in the first 12 inches to 14 inches below ground, depending on soil conditions... bury it at least four feet deep.

Except according to another recent thread, if you put it 4 feet deep you'll need to buy a mining concession to dig it up again! (Seriously, it might be quite a bad idea to put directions in your will if it's on record and people start arguing about the legalities.)
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Re: Au, my preciousssss...

Postby Another Joe » Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:36 pm

greg~judy wrote:
dilbertgold.jpeg

:alien:



d'oh!! How'd I miss this one. ROFLing!!
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Re: Au, my preciousssss...

Postby greg~judy » Fri Nov 11, 2011 11:00 am

kinda quiet these daze on the preciousssss post?
let's check in w/ our-as-yet-unmet chilean xpat~pundit...
clive offers this very cogent (as usual) commentary...
http://www.clivemaund.com/gmu.php?art_id=68&date=2011-11-6
...world leaders are cornered and only have one card left to play in the intractable global debt crisis fiasco, which is to continue to procrastinate with full on Quantitative Easing (QE) - just stop and think about this term for a minute - what kind of idiots do they take most people for that they can't see past patronizing language like this? - if you or I did this with a machine in our backyard we'd be thrown in jail for counterfeiting, but now that they are unencumbered by the inconvenience of a gold standard they can do this in broad daylight and get away with it.
<snip>
The charts of currency cross rates, for example the dollar versus the British Pound or the Swiss Franc, tend the mask the ongoing demise of fiat, because all fiat currencies are going down the drain together in a race to the bottom. This has massive inflationary implications which will have a huge impact on peoples' standards of living and quality of life in the future, a simple example being that many people who think they have have put away enough for a decent retirement are in for a very nasty shock, because they haven't reckoned on government bandits pillaging their savings via rampant inflation that is set to get much worse, in order that they can stealth default on debts and avoid a liquidity crunch and the resulting political turmoil. Just how bad this situation can be guaged by looking at the charts for gold going back to about the year 2000.
goldlongterm061111.gif
goldlongterm061111.gif (74.45 KiB) Viewed 909 times

As we can see gold has risen more than sevenfold in just over 10 years against the US dollar, and if we stop to consider that gold is real money whose intrinsic value does not change, and which rises or falls in nominal price in response to the rise or fall in the actual value of whatever currency it is being measured against, it is quite clear that fiat currencies like the dollar are on the road to worthlessness. Furthermore, there is no prospect of this process ending - on the contrary, since politicians response to the debt crisis has been to pile on more debt, raise the debt ceiling etc and engage in more financial engineering and rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic to stave off the inevitable, it is set to accelerate, and this being so it is reasonable to expect gold's steady uptrend to continue, and if anything, accelerate, and as we can see on the chart, even if gold now enters a more lengthy period of consolidation or reacts, there is plenty of room for it to do so without breaking down from its long-term uptrend.
<snip>

and so, we continue to wait with bated breath...
to see the next Fed and ECB QE (?x?) move?
please - "bring it on" - i.e. got preciousssss?
:idea:
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Re: Au, my preciousssss...

Postby Another Joe » Tue Nov 22, 2011 3:47 pm

I don't think I can compete with g~j's creativity in presenting a post. But I can provide complementary content for the AU lovers perusal. Of course, AU skeptics will likely find this interesting as well. The article is long, but worth your while if you're so minded. Here's a snippet from about 2/3rds down. There are a couple of repeated paragraphs - editor must have missed the. I've contacted CR, so they might be fixed before you get there. :)
http://www.caseyresearch.com/editorial. ... 231ED1111A

Gold Is Not Record High in Inflation-Adjusted Terms

Gold is just bouncing off $1,900/oz highs, a record in nominal terms. The blue line shows the average monthly price of gold. As you can see, the previous peak was in 1980 at $675 per ounce monthly average, which included an intraday high of $850. But the dollars of 1980 would purchase more than the dollars of today. To estimate the number of today's dollars that would be required in 1980, we can use the inflation index of the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The red line indicates that even by this manipulated government measure, the 1980 price of gold in today's dollars would be $2,000. We are getting close but have not yet reached the old peak.

However, as you are probably aware, the government's CPI numbers seriously underreport the amount of inflation. The government has made a number of significant adjustments to its CPI calculations, all of which cause it to be understated compared to the CPI as constituted in 1980. Thus, for example, today's CPI uses rental equivalent for housing costs; inflation is revised downward based on new improvements in products; and even the basket of commodities used in the calculation is changed when an item becomes expensive.

Another view of inflation comes from John Williams of Shadow Stats, who removes the adjustments and concludes that inflation is much higher than the CPI admits to. Applying his inflation numbers suggests that the 1980 gold price peak would have been $7,000 in today's dollars, as indicated in the green line. The visual conclusion is that in inflation-adjusted terms, gold still has a ways to run.


It's interesting to note that the inflationary pressures on the USD are to the point that $10,000/oz gold could have varied meanings. Is it because gold went up in market value? Is it because dollars depreciated? The likely answer? Yes.


Enjoy. Consider. DYODD. Prepare accordingly.


Regards,
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Re: advertising gold, or ideas - maybe both?

Postby greg~judy » Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:15 am

Two television spots developed by a national investment firm specializing in U.S. gold and silver coins have been rejected by major television networks, including the Fox News Channel and the Fox Business Network, for apparently political reasons.

The ads by Phoenix-based Swiss America Trading Corp., a WND advertiser, feature President Obama and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke as animated characters engaging in the potentially inflationary policy of printing paper money with abandon to stimulate the struggling economy.

Singer Pat Boone, a spokesman for Swiss America for more than 15 years, appears in the commercials as an animated announcer who concludes that investing in gold is a prudent strategy to diversify a portfolio in inflationary times.

Swiss America CEO Craig Smith said the intent of the ads was not to make a political statement.

The goal, he said, "was to take what we thought was a humorous approach to a timely and important economic topic in order to advertise our company and promote a new book we've recently published."

Along with Fox News and Fox Business, the two commercials have been rejected by NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, ABC, CBS, CNN/HLN and the Discovery Channel.

Comcast, in rejecting the spot, told Swiss America that it "does not meet our standards on public symbol."

Comcast's Public Symbol Policy specifies that the "use of the name or likeness of the President of the United States and/or the Presidential Seal for endorsing commercial purposes must be authorized by the White House."

Fox News said the "representation of public figures is something we try to avoid."

CNN/HLN told Swiss America the commercials were "not appropriate for the current political landscape."

"The networks' reaction shocked me," Smith said. "It's a threat to First Amendment rights when a commercial message is rejected not because it is inaccurate or misleading, but because it makes what is perceived to be a political statement the networks want to avoid."

Smith told WND he was concerned that the networks were protecting Obama and Bernanke.

"All we are saying in these two commercials is what dozens of responsible professional economists are saying every day," Smith said. "Gold investment as a responsible diversification strategy when governments printing of fiat currencies with abandon risk unleashing inflationary principles."

Only Google TV accepted the commercials, for broadcast on the DISH Network and Direct TV satellite networks.

Google TV has planned a test in which the two ads will be broadcast 1,132 times on the DISH Network and Direct TV from Dec. 5, 2011, through Jan. 12, 2012.

Ironically, the Swiss America ads will be seen nationally via Google TV on many of the major networks that have refused to air them. While cable subscribers to Fox News and CNN/HLN will not see the ads, for example, subscribers to the DISH Network or Direct TV will see them on those networks during the test period.

"The silver lining," said Smith "is that many of the television and cable networks who told us 'no' have come back saying 'yes' to Google TV, which will begin broadcasting the two commercials next week. We are very thankful to Google TV for helping us keep free speech alive on the television airwaves."



Obama and Ben: Part 1 "The Inflatocracy"
The first Swiss America commercial, seen below, plays off the theme "Helicopter Ben," a nickname Wall Street has conferred upon Bernanke for his reputation of "helicoptering" into financial crises to dump money on a problem.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GU2iFJu31ik&feature=player_embedded

Obama and Ben: Part 2 "The Wizards of Oz"
The second Swiss America commercial, seen below, evokes imagery from the classic movie "The Wizard of Oz" to portray Bernanke and Obama as "financial wizards" hiding as "the men behind the door" in an inflationary scheme to solve economic problems by printing money.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3Sd49HVDC4&feature=player_embedded
Things are not what they appear to be: nor are they otherwise.
--- Surangama Sutra
“If we want everything to stay as it is, everything will have to change."
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Re: DEUS EX MACHINA...

Postby greg~judy » Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:02 am

you all know that g~j like to share pretty images~graphics...
so, whilst perusing the www today we found a couple cogent chart columns
the choice to enjoy (or not?), as always, is an individual matter
:|

Gold-vs-Stock-Markets-Nov-2011 ac.png
Gold-vs-Stock-Markets-Nov-2011 ac.png (218.25 KiB) Viewed 875 times


as we near year-end '11...
might any individuals care to comment...
which column they have (or, would like to be) associated with
:?:

btw - some interesting reading, too...
Egon von Greyerz always expresses himself well
so again, enjoy the perspective (or not?)
:idea:
DEUS EX MACHINA
http://goldswitzerland.com/index.php/deus-ex-machina-egonvongreyerz/
Things are not what they appear to be: nor are they otherwise.
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Re: Au, my preciousssss...

Postby regioncentralX » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:09 pm

Today's excerpts from Jim Sinclair, just 1 POV.

Today is an important day. There are many days we talk but this is a mile-marker. What the Fed did today is they turned on the light of what will be QE to infinity. Today the light went on with regards to the intentions of the Fed. They did that for very specific reasons, we have troubles people can’t see and this is one of the ways out.

The announcement itself is a game-changer because of the way this game is going to change, Eric. I think you are going to see a very significant change amongst investors, corporations and companies with extra capital and people of the mainstream. You’re going to find gold being accepted as a hedge against what’s going on by entities, that up to now, you would think would be the last ones to be buying gold. How about someone like General Electric?

I used GE as an example because the principal of GE is a major advisor to the government. That would be the most unlikely thing (for GE to buy gold). But don’t count it out. You are going to see a lot of things this year you thought at one time impossible, becoming reality.

I’m going to predict you are going to see a new definition of investors in gold that, up to now, haven’t even been considered. Up to now there’s been the retail crowd and there’s been the international central bank crowd which have been the primary entities in gold....

But you’ve never had mainstream investment, mainstream pensions, mainstream life insurance companies, mainstream health plans, which gather money looking to use a medium in order to maintain the buying power of what they’ve accomplished. This is a huge change, huge new demand, a total new definition.

You’re going to find out that public companies with significant resources, tech companies (as an example), are going to start to recognize that gold is an important part of protecting what they have. So I think you’ve identified a game-changer for corporate America and corporate global Western finance, to begin to look at gold as an alternative to the normal cash and debt instruments they would use to hedge themselves.

Last year was the year of discussion and confusion. I’ve labeled this year a year of action. Not necessarily a year of solution, but a year of action. Today you saw an action. The Fed’s swap line is an action. The IMF’s willingness to seek and to distribute loans, an action.

Actions have consequences. So this year is the year in which we are going to be experiencing the consequences. $1,700 to $2,100 gold is a conservative range. The reason why you got the breakout today is the light just went on. So any idea the accordion chop in gold we were in is still on is total nonsense.

Bear in mind that when gold breaks out above those ranges, it will do it based on a loss of confidence, primarily, in currencies. And it is the dollar, not the euro, that is the specie in danger as we are having this conversation.
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Re: Au, my preciousssss...

Postby greg~judy » Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:15 am

regioncentralX wrote:...just 1 POV.

Today is an important day. There are many days we talk but this is a mile-marker. What the Fed did today is they turned on the light of what will be QE to infinity. Today the light went on with regards to the intentions of the Fed. They did that for very specific reasons, we have troubles people can’t see and this is one of the ways out.

The announcement itself is a game-changer because of the way this game is going to change...

ok, let's add more preciousssss substance to rcX's post with this op-ed...

Fed To Markets: Buy Gold And Silver

The Fed just spoke. Here's a slightly edited transcript:

Blah blah blah ... the economy has been expanding moderately ... blah blah blah boilerplate inanity blatant lie ... the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability ....

To support a stronger economic recovery and to help ensure that inflation, over time, is at levels consistent with the dual mandate, the Committee expects to maintain a highly accommodative stance for monetary policy. In particular, the Committee decided today to keep the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and currently anticipates that economic conditions-including low rates of resource utilization and a subdued outlook for inflation over the medium run-are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate at least through late 2014.

This of course comes as no surprise to anyone. But seeing it in print had exactly the impact you'd expect. Stocks erased their early losses, the dollar tanked, and precious metals soared. With good reason. It is now the stated policy of the US government to have negative real interest rates for years to come (eons in trader-time).

The carrying cost of gold and silver bullion will remain more or less zero, while all manner of "risk-on" strategies and carry trades will generate virtually guaranteed returns. Think back a decade or so and ask your younger, more naive self what the result of open-ended zero interest rates would be. You'd have probably said "that will never happen, but if it did, gold and silver would go parabolic". You'd be half right. Grab those junior miners with both hands. :!:

~ :idea:
~~ :idea:
~~~ :idea:
~~~~ :idea:
~~~~~ :idea:
Things are not what they appear to be: nor are they otherwise.
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Re: Au, my preciousssss...

Postby jehturner » Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:53 pm

Cool. I bumped up my retirement account gold shares just a couple of days ago, thinking things were too good... Should have got more (they just made 5%!).
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Re: Au, my preciousssss...

Postby California South » Tue Mar 13, 2012 2:53 pm

University of Texas Takes Delivery Of $1 Billion In Physical Gold
http://www.zerohedge.com/article/golden ... sical-gold
"The only open question is who was the broker with enough gold to deliver to the UofT. "

A Golden Tipping Point: University of Texas Takes Delivery Of $1 Billion In Physical Gold
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/16/2011 19:59 -0400

Tipping points are funny: for years, decades, even centuries, the conditions for an event to occur may be ripe yet nothing happens. Then, in an instant, a shift occurs, whether its is due a change in conventional wisdom, due to an exogenous event or due to something completely inexplicable. That event, colloquially called a black swan in recent years, changes the prevalent perception of reality in a moment. This past week, we were seeing the effect of a tipping point in process, with gold prices rising to new all time highs day after day, and the price of silver literally moving in a parabolic fashion. What was missing was the cause. We now know what it is: per Bloomberg: "The University of Texas Investment Management Co., the second-largest U.S. academic endowment, took delivery of almost $1 billion in gold bullion and is storing the bars in a New York vault, according to the fund’s board." And so, the game theory of a nearly 100 year old system of monetary exchange has seen its first defector, but most certainly not last. With an entity as large as the University of Texas calling the bluff of the Comex, the Chairman, and fiat in general in roughly that order, virtually every other asset manager is now sure to follow, considering there is not nearly enough physical gold to satisfy all paper gold in existence by a factor of about 100x. The proverbial Nash equilibrium has just been broken.

From Bloomberg:

The fund, whose $19.9 billion in assets ranked it behind Harvard University’s endowment as of August, according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers, added about $500 million in gold investments to an existing stake last year, said Bruce Zimmerman, the endowment’s chief executive officer. The holdings are worth about $987 million, based on yesterday’s closing price of $1,486 an ounce for Comex futures.

Years from now, when historians attempt to define who may have started it all, one name may emerge...

The decision to turn the fund’s investment into gold bars was influenced by Kyle Bass, a Dallas hedge fund manager and member of the endowment’s board, Zimmerman said at its annual meeting on April 14. Bass made $500 million on the U.S. subprime-mortgage collapse.

“Central banks are printing more money than they ever have, so what’s the value of money in terms of purchases of goods and services,” Bass said yesterday in a telephone interview. “I look at gold as just another currency that they can’t print any more of.”

In summary - the fiat tide is now going out. And among those who will first be
observed swimming naked are the very same people whose fate has been so
very intrinsically linked to the perpetuation of a flawed regime (and
who coined this very saying). In the meantime, hold on to your hats: should a scramble for delivery ensue, the recent parabolic move in various precious metals will seem like a dress rehearsal for what is about to transpire.

The only open question is who was the broker with enough gold to deliver to the UofT. We hope to find out soon enough. We also hope that the UofT is smart enough, and that Kyle Bass advised it, that if they are getting "delivery" in a Comex vault in New York, the gold has likely already been leased out at least several times to various entities demanding paper allocations...
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Re: Au, my preciousssss...

Postby California South » Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:52 am

As Scooby Doo would say, ruh roh...
What's your take, Another Joe?

http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/20 ... -with.html

Saturday, March 24, 2012
HOT: Gold Bar Discovered Filled with Tungsten
Australian bullion dealer ABC Bullion is reporting that one of its suppliers has provided them photographic evidence of a tungsten filled 1 kilo gold bar,. The bar passed a hand-held xrf scan which showed 99.98% pure AU. The tungsten was only discovered when the bar was physically cut in half.

After numerous reports of 400oz tungsten filled bars being discovered in Hong Kong, this is the first documented and verified report with photographic evidence that has been made public, states Silver Doctors. ABC Bullion is a major player in the gold bar business and thus this report should be taken seriously.

Here's the reports from ABC:

Attached are photographs of a legitimate Metalor 1000gm Au bar that has been drilled out and filled with Tungsten (W).

This bar was purchased by staff of a scrap dealer in xxxxx, UK yesterday. The bar appeared to be perfect other than the fact that it was 2gms underweight. It was checked by hand-held xrf and showed 99.98% Au. Being Tungsten, it would not be ferro-magnetic. The bar was supplied with the original certificate.

The owner of the business that purchased the bar only became suspicious when he realized the weight discrepancy and had the bar cropped. He estimates between 30-40% of the weight of the bar to be Tungsten.

This is very worrying and reinforces the lengths that people are willing to go to profit from the current high metal prices. Please be careful.

Note, ABC is not insinuating that this tungsten discovery is part of some grand scheme. They are noting that it is very profitable to try and get away with slipping tungsten in the core of gold bars. At the same time, though, there have been rumors for a long-time that Fort Knox gold may be salted. Here's Silver Doctor on a Rob Kirby 2009 report on the manufacture of tungsten blanks and Fort Knox:

Now that we have confirmed documentation that 1 kilo gold bars have been drilled out and filled with tungsten, look for a rapid scramble to verify the AU contents of 400oz bars which reportedly have also been tainted with tungsten (the market is 'stuffed full' of gold plated tungsten 400oz bars according to Rob Kirby).

For those unfamiliar with the original reports that 60 metric tonnes of 400oz 'good delivery' bars were gutted and filled with tungsten, and swapped with US Treasury gold at Fort Knox in a highly sophisticated plan, an excerpt of his 2009 piece is included below:

The amount of “salted tungsten” gold bars in question was allegedly between 5,600 and 5,700 – 400 oz – good delivery bars [roughly 60 metric tonnes].


This was apparently all highly orchestrated by an extremely well financed criminal operation.
Within mere hours of this scam being identified – Chinese officials had many of the perpetrators in custody.

And here’s what the Chinese allegedly uncovered:

Roughly 15 years ago – during the Clinton Administration [think Robert Rubin, Sir Alan Greenspan and Lawrence Summers] – between 1.3 and 1.5 million 400 oz tungsten blanks were allegedly manufactured by a very high-end, sophisticated refiner in the USA [more than 16 Thousand metric tonnes]. Subsequently, 640,000 of these tungsten blanks received their gold plating and WERE shipped to Ft. Knox and remain there to this day. I know folks who have copies of the original shipping docs with dates and exact weights of “tungsten” bars shipped to Ft. Knox.

The balance of this 1.3 million – 1.5 million 400 oz tungsten cache was also plated and then allegedly “sold” into the international market.

Apparently, the global market is literally “stuffed full of 400 oz salted bars”.
Makes one wonder if the Indians were smart enough to assay their 200 tonne haul from the IMF?

Bottom line: Ron Paul has a very good reason to want an audit of Fort Knox gold. Let's see if there is any validity to these rumors
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Re: Au, my preciousssss...

Postby greg~judy » Tue May 01, 2012 3:55 am

~
fwiw...

The Rhyme of the Ancient Gold-Mariner --- Written some years earlier by Smeagol (who now goes by the name Ragnarok)

Around the World the story had been told,
About a Race that would in time unfold,
Which would intrigue all, lofty or lowly,
With stakes higher than any in history.

The outcome would turn out to affect
Even those who didn't participate or bet.
Irresistibly altering everyone's course
In subtle or brutal ways for better or worse.

Finally the season came for which many long had yearned.
And then dawned the day on which all eyes were turned
To such a spectacle as rare as one would ever see.
Quite possibly the only of its kind to ever be.

Long in preparation with no expenses spared,
While news reporters shouted and klaxons blared,
In the morning at precisely eight-twenty on the clock,
The largest vessel the World had ever seen slid from her dock.

Christened with only the finest of Champagne
In the midst of an extravagant ad campaign,
With a thunderous wave that drenched onlookers ashore,
The Derive was launched, greater than any before.

Financed by those who had no peers,
Built by teams of respected engineers,
Underwritten by triple-A rated papers,
Her decks and bridges rose like skyscrapers.

Stronger she looked than the fortress of a treasury.
Each of her engines could power a very large city.
Her itinerary was impeccable and the menu was endless;
She would make many a tidy sum, this new empress.

One could choose to have every affair managed and let their cares go,
Or experience the thrill of risking it all in the world's largest floating casino.
Thousands boarded and the staff their merchandise stowed.
The Derive was open for business and the profits flowed.

Since she commanded resources so vast,
Against this behemoth surely no other could last.
With every option, every benefit one could describe,
What could ever compete with the great Derive?

Yet in time a glorious ship on the horizon did appear.
Old yet majestic was the Standard, proud and without fear.
Wherever and whenever her tall silver sails unfurled
She was considered the greatest ocean-going craft in the World.

Glad cries went up as the renowned Standard dropped anchor.
Trusty and secure, "Good as gold" everyone ranked her.
A boast in typical good faith her Captain did make:
"Come, Derive, we challenge you to follow in our wake!"

Then the parties commenced and everyone celebrated.
In sleepless expectation the start they anticipated,
Only to be rudely stunned awake by the news at break of day;
The great Standard had sunk, right there in the bay!

Treachery! Skullduggery! Sabotage, Cloaks and Daggers!
Conspiracy! An inquiry! yelled headlines in the papers.
But as the days passed it soon became obvious
It was unlikely that any would soon be brought to justice.

Dejected, the daily crowds of spectators milled about.
Derive remained unchallenged and many began to doubt.
"Now what? We might as well go home;
With Standard gone the Derive surely stands alone."

For the great ship Standard had been damaged beyond repair.
Indeed never would her lofty sails again embrace the air.

Meanwhile, far out on the ocean a brilliant flash of sun
Glanced from golden hulls; from the middle one,
A golden mast with yellow sail canted at a jaunty angle.
From another the legs of some of her crew did dangle.

A sleek seaworthy time-tested trimaran was she,
Skimming the sun-dappled waves like golden dolphins three.
At first few noticed the elegant ship's approach;
After all the harbor a great many and much bigger did boast.

But nimbly she wove, through and between, eventually to arrive
Right under the bow of the humongous Derive.
Her crew and captain were rugged, strong and lean as wires.
In some other tale perhaps, they might pass as miners.

"Many a thousand mile we've come to see this big pile o' ship.
I'm Captain Goldheart. Excuse me, *BAU-URR-I-I-P-P*!
But your claim to be the best we most emphatically doubt.
We're throwing down the gauntlet. Calling you out.

We've seen a few rough times, but no race we've ever lost.
I don't care how huge, how powerful or how much you cost.
Goldwing here's a four-nine ship with a mighty fine crew,
And we're just itching to trounce the likes of you!"

The multitude was bemused by Goldheart's rash bravado.
Something about the depth of passion in his voice was odd, though.
Perplexed, confused, they wondered at some hoax;
"Maybe it's someone's strange idea of a joke?"

Now Goldwing wasn't a small ship compared to some,
But when nearby the tremendous Derive did she come,
Most obvious to all was the great difference in size.
Her mast not halfway to Derive's first railing did rise.

The scene certainly didn't suggest any possibility of a race.
By now some were thinking the whole thing a disgrace.
"Give us a break!" "A trimaran?" "That design's a relic."
"Pretty, yes, but... isn't it kind of barbaric?"

Then, to the utter astonishment of all,
The Captain of Derive answered the call!

"We're going abroad no matter who you are or what you say.
You may tag along if you want, only stay out of our way!
Frankly we stand to gain whether or not a race is run.
But we like good times and speculation as much as anyone.

I bring word the Board of Directors will hand to you Derive,
Should you circle the World before us, and here return alive.
Otherwise, you must give up your antiquated ship of gold,
As our trophy to display in our Ancient Exhibits hold."

Every eye went to and fro the two ships, worlds apart.
"What say you to these terms, Captain Goldheart?"
Goldheart said nothing, carefully weighing the words.
All grew hushed, expectant; only seagulls could be heard.

Then,"You've nothing we can't get, even if we wanted it, you see.
We live life to it's fullest and make our own prosperity.
I wouldn't give anything for that, much less bet," he said.
"But if that's what you think you need then that I'll accept."

A mighty cheer went up and around the World the message ran,
And one day at noon as cannon boomed the great Race began.
All kinds of boats, from skiffs to freighters of many thousand ton,
Took to sea to see them off, even to the setting sun.

Liesurely it seemed, but never forgetting the true intent,
Around the World in fair weather and foul Derive and Goldwing went.
Occasionally lesser ships to and from Derive would ply,
Changing crew and passengers, bringing fuel and supplies.

Only rarely would anyone draw alongside Goldwing,
Save to bring news, encouragment, or perhaps trade them something.
For they were resourceful, independent and industrious.
Long ago they learned what to stow for any journey perilous.

Far too long was the Race to relate here every detail
Of the contrasts and the struggles of brute force versus sail
As each sought to divine the other's strategies,
Weaknesses, strong points, capabilities.

Making the most of breeze or calm, Goldwing expressed competence,
While Derive plowed on relentlessly, heedless of wind or currents.
Neither could gain for long a truly decisive lead;
Who the victor would eventually be was impossible to read.

Thus had they come to the most dangerous part,
The last but not the least leg of many since the start.
Ahead lay the treacherous Horn which they must round,
Then they would be homeward bound.

It had been noticed with not a little concern,
A severe storm unpredicted was brewing astern.
On all ships barometers were falling rapidly;
Dangerous weather would be upon them presently.

The wind came up hard and Goldwing made time,
Leaping easily past Derive, leaving her far behind.
For the first time some aboard Derive felt a bit seasick,
While those on Goldwing exulted in adrenaline's kick.

But like Derive the storm itself was unlike any other before.
Therefore no one really knew what it held in store.
And as the winds rose fiercer in its darkening gloom,
Goldwing's crew must trim sail and therein lay her doom.

Helpful wind had become a threat and the current only mocked -
From behind in driving rain came Derive like a juggernaut!

"Captain, it's a big storm, looks like a bad one too.
It's different than any I've ever seen before, have you?"
With easy confidence Derive's Captain reassured,
"Yes, but it matters not; by highest-rated paper we're insured."

"She's a big storm, Cap'n, an' a real blower, too.
Different, colder than any I've ever felt before, have you?"
"That's 'cause she's a perfect one." Goldheart said. "Let 'er come!"
Secure every kilogram of ballast. Pass 'round this rum."

And so it was in shrieking gale in the worst possible strait
That they went neck and neck round the Horn, there to meet their fate.
For there instead of open water an icy wall towered high;
Massive storm-carved battlements raked the ragged sky.

On Derive the sirens wailed
As her watchmen loudly hailed,

"DEBT BERG, DEAD AHEAD!"

On Derive a passenger uneasily said,
"It sounds a bit worrisome, this Debt".
"Au contraire," said the waiter, "There is no need to be alarmed.
It happens all the time. Would you like your coffee warmed?"

For indeed Derive in ponderous majesty
Always rode the sea in aloof supremacy.
Aside from her impervious hull small bergs were haughtily cast,
While titanic ones with a shuddering boom were spectacularly smashed.

Indeed it had become tradition to save a souvenir
To float in a drink or ice down some beer.
In fair weather the spectacle was a popular hit;
In conditions like this none would be bothered to see it.

On Goldwing an uneasy crewman said,
"It could be the end of us, this Debt.
We're berg-side of Derive and toward it the current's driving us.
We might avoid her but not that colossus!"

Captain Goldheart considered, then wryly shook his head.
"Looks like we'll have to one-up them both instead.
The wind's across the current seventy-nine degrees."
And he charted a course for all of them to see.

Low murmurs of "That's insane!","It's suicide!".
"I'M the Captain and I'LL decide!"
bellowed Goldheart, eyes flashing under his brow.
"Trust me nevermore but trust me now!

We've all been through many a nasty blow together.
This one's a doozy but that don't mean we can't win 'er.
Just do as I say, lash you down, raise spinnaker and bide,
And get yourselves ready for one HELLUVA ride!"

In failing light and lashing rain the orders were obeyed,
While Goldwing's crew (and her captain) silently prayed.
Wet lines snapped taut singing, slipped in white-knuckled hands;
Overstressed canvas nearly ripped from its bands.

Like a golden stone from some legendary giant's sling,
Across the spindrift-blowing breakers Goldwing shot skipping.
Right into the harrowing rapidly narrowing slot she was swept,
Between imperious Derive and importunate Debt!

Through roaring twilight's last fading
Thundered the crunching shrieking grinding
Of many dreams and hopes, of life's fortunes imagined and real,
Shredding on ice that would not yield.

Over the howl of the wind, to the soaked and shaking crew,
Goldheart shouted "We're past them, we're through!"
Sail was hurriedly gathered and all was made fast;
No one spoke and finally Goldheart said at last,

"Though it mighta looked impossible back there,
I'd've never put you through that if it wasn't clear
She's a four-nine ship with a mighty fine crew;
It was a hard test and I'm very proud of you"

But upon the wind was borne many a terrible sound;
Somewhere out there the great Derive was going down.
There was nothing else those on Goldwing could do,
Except batten down for the night as heavy rain blew.

After setting a watch they slept fitfully
In their little golden boat on the vast heaving sea.
Yet the storm did abate some time in the night,
And they began a search by morning's dreary light.

"We can make room for a few, but no more",
Thought Goldheart, looking on the grey swell in horror.
"I wish that we could've saved them all,
Goldwing my love, but that's not our shot to call."

But no flag nor flare nor smoke was to be seen
Amid the endless rafts of flotsam drifting.
In the near distance the giant berg slowly rolled over,
Mindlessly drowning the scars of the deadly encounter.

"I see no lifeboats, and that's the worst.
How could they have been so-" and he cursed.
But he knew truly wherein the tragic blame did lie:
On belief, not knowledge, did the lost rely.

Out of the thousands lost in the wreck of the Derive,
Only two dozen were found, cold, exhausted and barely alive.
With gilded life-rings attached to sturdy lines
They were drawn to safety, one or two at a time.

Over the next several days the weather gradually cleared,
And towards home still far away they steered.
As those who had been rescued regained their strength,
They talked among themselves at length.

And as they discussed the events of recent days
They discovered that each of them, to lasting amaze,
In some pocket or other for luck or so they thought,
Along on the fateful trip a coin of gold had brought.

These they decided to give to Goldheart in gratitude,
For the selfless deeds of he and Goldwing's crew.
But he said, "Don't think we don't appreciate such a gesture fair.
Someday you may need them again; it's an uncertain world out there.

"Because you had that gold your fortune was such
That you were able to escape the worst of ruin's clutch.
Keep it, save it, and remember how it proved true
As things you thought secure slipped from under you."

In the weeks ahead they busied themselves learning sailing;
Life this close to the sea they found very different, yet satisfying.
"On this ship, like it or not, you're part of the crew,"
Goldheart grinned, "but you'll find it kinda grows on you."

Forever it seemed had passed when finally they returned
To the port whence they had started, and a long rest truly earned.
They were welcomed with fireworks, celebration and laughter,
Tempered somewhat by sobering tales of the incredible Derive disaster.

Everyone wanted to know and would hardly let them rest
Until they told them all about how they survived such a grueling test.
And finally after several days when the hubbub had died down,
Captain Goldheart boarded Goldwing and took a look around.

"Well, what's the damage, or dare I ask?",
Goldheart queried a crewman as he uncapped his flask.
"She's done us more than well, Cap'n, considering what we ask of her.
None the worse for a little wear and tear; a worthy credit to her Maker.

Some nicks here and there, a few good buffs and a scratch,
But we've lost the ball from the top of the mast."
"No surprise, that," Goldheart said as he took a swig and laughed.
"'Twas her last ten-thousandth, and it was made of brass!"


~
:alien:
Things are not what they appear to be: nor are they otherwise.
--- Surangama Sutra
“If we want everything to stay as it is, everything will have to change."
--- Giuseppe Tomasi di Lamedusa
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greg~judy
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