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THE BIG FLUSH! Down the Drain in 15 seconds – January 2017

New 49'er Newsletter

FIRST QUARTER, JANUARY 2017                               VOLUME 31, NUMBER 1

Dave McCracken

 
 
 

Newsletter By Dave McCracken General Manager

 
 
Note: We normally avoid publishing stories in our monthly newsletter that are not directly related to The New 49’ers. But since this is mid-winter, and Happy Camp has been, more or less, shut down by severe weather (so there is not much gold prospecting to talk about), and the story below provides an entertaining explanation of why the January newsletter is going out a bit late; I’m going to share with you some of the adventures I have been through since our December newsletter. Now that we are all safely back on land and I have more time, I will add a little more explanation to what originally went out in the hard copy newsletter: 

Message from Dave Mack, 17 December, 2016 4:00 PM, Philippine Islands: 

blue boat skyline

I am talking to you through my brother Tim because my Laptop is not working any longer.

My underwater exploration boat got sucked into a giant whirlpool several nights ago, flipped over and sunk all within 15 seconds.   Jasmin and I were asleep and nearly went down with the boat 30 miles north of the nearest populated island.

We spent the next 14 hours floating around the South China Sea until a boat picked us up the on the following day.  Only wearing panties and underwear bottoms, it was the coldest night of our lives!

I mostly believe in and practice the following two philosophical concepts:

1)  Everything happens exactly as it is supposed to. We do our best to make things go the way we want them. Then we adjust ourselves to the way things actually go.

2) God, or The Great Intelligence, or however we personally choose to define that greater force which directs the infinite creative reality we are experiencing always gives us exactly what we need (but not always what we believe we want).

This underwater exploration boat was one of my most prized possessions. Short of running it into something very hard, the boat was unsinkable. Every system on the boat was working exactly as it was supposed to.

We have had occasional problems with flash storms hitting us all at once during the middle of the night, one time forcing us to cut our anchor line to keep from getting swept onto remote rocks by severe winds, we returned this time with heavy chain and a 3/4-inch braided rope and a buoy so that I could secure the boat to a very large boulder or coral head on the bottom of the ocean. In this case, it was a very strong coral head. This allowed us a totally secure answer to any winds Mother Nature wanted to direct our way.

Nearly every problem (many near disasters) we have encountered while doing these underwater search projects for the past several years have had to do with severe winds, usually in the total darkness. Though we have seen a number of very powerful whirlpools out on the South China Sea, they are usually associated with strong tidal flows which rush around the larger islands – though we did see a very large whirl pool one time out in the middle of nowhere with no visible reason for it being there.

skin diving fish
Jasmin

Jasmin likes to drive the boat.

Even though I have seen them, nothing in my life experience jolted me into the realization that we could encounter a powerful whirlpool while at anchor. This is something that is very unlikely to happen when taking shelter in a protected bay. But on this night, we were secured to the bottom of the ocean so far out in the South China Sea that we could not see land in any direction.

I am not at liberty to discuss the nature of these boat exploration adventures we are doing. The truth is that we do some spear fishing to supply the boat with fresh meals.

Since the seas were mostly calm on this trip, we had made the 200-mile voyage down to our destination on a single day. It took us 8 or 9 hours, including one stop to top off our fuel. Unless the seas are bad, Jasmin normally likes to drive the boat. She drove most of the way. She also cleans the fish we catch, cooks all the meals, keeps the boat shipshape, and participates in most of the underwater work. Jasmin is the best boat mate I have ever had.

Our destination was a place where several volcanic rocks protrude out of about 180 feet of water way out in the middle of nowhere. The water is about 50 feet deep near to the rocks, then drops off rapidly into depths too deep for scuba diving. The location is 90 miles out in the South China Sea from the large island of Mindoro, and about 35 miles north of the Large island of Busuanga – which you cannot even see out there unless it is a very clear day. Hardly anyone goes out there, though it is not uncommon to see and visit with local fishermen from remote islands that are shorter distances away.

rocks

These rocks extend up out of deep water way out in the middle of nowhere.

Our surveys around these rocks have a lot to do with the fact that they are full of natural caves. The caves provide hiding places for fish and interesting places to explore.

We were tired when we arrived at the rocks. Even though the weather was mostly fine during our voyage, we were seeing threatening storms on the horizon all around us. So I went down on a hookah system (tether line to supply air to me underwater) and shackled a very strong chain around the base of a huge coral head in about 50 feet of water. Then I connected the heavy rope and buoy to the chain. This would serve as our secure connection to the ocean bottom for the week or so that we expected to be there. That connection was so strong, there was no storm in the weather forecasts that posed any threat to us, day or night.

Since it gets dark early and we were tired, we settled for a snack and went to bed early. There was some mild rain and we could hear thunder in the distance. But since I set the anchor mooring on the down-wind side of the rock, the sea was pretty quiet in our location.

I’m estimating that it was around 9 pm when I felt the boat leaning strongly to the port (left) side.

Being in charge of a boat and passenger(s) out on the open ocean is a big responsibility. Murphy (as in “Murphy’s law”) lives out on the water. Even when you do everything right, unexpected surprises come up that can be catastrophic.

Storm 1 Storm 2

There were some smaller storms around us which prompted me to connect an unbreakable bond to the ocean bottom.

In addition to those who depend upon me, I also have a sacred responsibility to care for the boat – just as the boat has an unfaltering duty to keep us safe. This is not something easy to explain in human language. But anyone who has ever spent a lot of time on the open seas in a vessel will likely agree with me that every boat has a life force, even if it is not the same as what humans experience.

I don’t sleep very deeply when we are out on the ocean, even on a calm night. When I felt the boat leaning to port, I sprang out of my bunk to see what was causing it. This boat had floor lights which we kept on all night.  So there was plenty of light to see a very substantial wave of water rushing in through the stern (rear) door opening. The whole deck was awash with water and the boat was leaning hard to the port side. Water was flowing in so fast, my first thought was to wake Jasmin and tell her to grab the life preservers. She was still trying to wake up.

There was the loud sound of rushing water coming from behind the boat and I could see that the water was moving past the boat kind of like a river, but at a tilted angle. A large standing wave of water just behind the boat was sucking us deeper into the water.

Looking back, I immediately recognized that the boat was going to go down. So I turned around, got on my knees between the boat seats, reached under the bed, and tried to pull out the heavy life preservers – which we keep right there for when we need to get to them quickly. What I got was the waterproof bag which contains our bedding when we are on the go. In just that moment, the boat flipped over entirely upside down. Something heavy smashed me in the head; probably a set of divers weights. After the boat flipped, the heavy motor dragged the stern of the boat straight beneath the rest of the boat. It was all I could do to get out of the canopy-covered area of the boat without passing out for lack of air.

I was worried Jasmin did not get out of the forward cabin where I saw her just moments before.

When I came to the surface, the bow (front) of the boat was still floating a few feet above the water, pointing straight upward as if giving a final farewell to the above-water world. I held onto the bow. The boat was not drifting anywhere because of the way I had it attached to the ocean bottom. To my surprise and relief, I spotted Jasmin holding onto the large Yeti cooler that was floating like a cork. But the cooler was being pulled directly towards the whirlpool.

Jasmin is a good swimmer, and joined me at the boat, which was ever-sinking deeper into the ocean. There were no life preservers on the surface. But there were two inflatable boat bumpers (they keep your boat from getting scraped up when up against docks) there still tied to the boat. The first one came undone quickly. Determined to have more floatation, I was pulled at least 10 feet underwater by the boat before getting the second bumper untied. I tied the two bumpers together to provide us with some floatation.

Then, my diving equipment bag popped up to the surface. We had that out of storage earlier in the day when I set the mooring on the bottom of the ocean. Inside the dive bag was my buoyancy compensator (BCD) – which is basically a life preserver that you can blow up through a mouth piece. There was also an underwater flashlight, my spare face mask and my titanium dive knife. The waterproof bag that I pulled out from under the bed before the boat flipped over also floated to the surface. I used the straps and snaps to connect everything together.

So there we found ourselves floating in the ocean out in the middle of nowhere, with a light rain coming down on is. Best I could tell; the whirlpool had either spun itself out or moved off.

We were together, unhurt, and alive.

The volcanic rocks there are too steep and sharp-edged to climb up on.

We fit Jasmin into the BCD; I used the two boat bumpers for floatation; and we crawled into the diving bag together as best we could and hugged close all night to preserve our heat.

The ocean water was 86 degrees. Sounds warm, right? And it is, if you are not going to spend hours and hours in the water. But the 12-degree difference between the water and our normal body temperature eventually had us so cold that our teeth chattered with shivers when either of us had anything to say – which, by the way, caused us to giggle at our predicament.  Though internally, both of us were feeling a deep loss for the boat which has served us so well.

At first, I believed a local fishing boat would be by in just a short period of time. I had the flashlight tied onto Jasmin’s BCD, ready to use as a signaling device at any time.

I also tied the knife there. There are a lot of sharks in the South China Sea. We see them on nearly every dive. My own experience with sharks is similar to dogs. If you boldly charge forward at a shark, he will normally go away in search of easier prey.

sunsetThe rain picked up after a while and was very cold on our heads. So we draped the waterproof bag over us for the rest of the night. It helped to preserve the warmth that we were breathing out of our bodies.

I was really surprised that we did not hear or see a single boat all night.

First signs of daylight show themselves at 5 am. That’s what I was waiting for. With the light would come a new day, warm skies, and at least a few local fishing boats.

Warmer air was nothing short of nourishing as the sun rose. But there was still not a single boat to be seen.

The problem was that the ocean currents were drifting us to the northeast out towards Apo Reef. Apo is the second largest coral reef in the world and is designated as a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site. That means local fishermen don’t go out there (those that do, end up losing their boats to the authorities).  So that was not the direction we wanted to go…

At about 7 am, facing the prospect of another night or more slowly freezing to death out in the ocean, I pointed to an unoccupied island that was seven miles away. Jasmin and I know the island from earlier voyages. We know there is clean drinking water there.

If you don’t drown, die of exposure or get eaten by something, it is the lack of drinking water that will kill you when you are lost out in the open ocean.

island in the distance

If you look close, you can see the small island way off in the distance that we were going to swim to as an attempt to save ourselves.

Nearly anyone else would have laughed at me under those circumstances if I suggested we needed to swim to an island that was so far away, we could only see it when the ocean swells allowed us a slightly heightened view. Jasmin started paddling even before I finished the suggestion. This is what ultimately saved us. She paddled and I pushed. After a few hours, I was estimating that we had moved about a mile in the right direction. My concern was that changing tides would create currents that would defeat our effort. All we could do was try.

When I first heard the boat, both of us thought it was an airplane way up in the sky. But the sound grew louder; and pretty soon, we saw that it was a boat coming from the direction of Apo. It was coming straight at us. In fact, our intersection was so perfect that the boat would have run us over if we were not seen. But the guys in the boat saw us long before stopping to pick us up.  “Man are we glad to see you!” is all I could get out of my shivering, teeth-chattering voice. This turned out to be quite a large fiberglass speed boat that had been designed and built for a dive company in El Nido, Palawan, maybe about a hundred miles further to the south.

The guys helped us into the boat and served us up with drinking water and fresh sandwiches. We were not hungry. But the water went down like the elixir of life — which it is! Jasmin really appreciated a warm shirt. Under my BCD, all she had on was a pair of panties. My body was too large to fit into any of their shirts. But I was content to be up on a warm boat, even in just my underpants.

After hearing our story, the guys in the boat offered to take us anywhere we wanted to go.

In my mind, there was only one place to go. I had to get back down to the boat where we had clothes, footwear, money and identification. The boat was in 50 feet of water.

I had plenty of diving gear and full scuba tanks on the boat. But I needed help getting down there. There was a time that I could reach down to 50 feet on a single breath; but not anymore.

So we settled on my original plan, regardless of what boat eventually picked us up. We were to be dropped off at Dimpac Island. This is a very remote place just north of Busuanga.  There is a small, friendly fishing community there.  We take shelter at Dimpac during bad weather, and have made friends with some of the locals. I was hoping someone might have a compressor that would help me reach the boat.  This idea was a long reach; but it was the best I could do under the circumstances.

salvage

Here are just some of the goodies we recovered the first day. Everything was rinsed in fresh water and stored away in a safe place.

When we reached Dimpac, we discovered that there was quite a substantial tourist diving boat there with divers in the water. What a stroke of luck! This was one of Dugong Dive Center’s several boats. Over mobile phone service, they arranged to immediately dispatch another dive boat with a crew of 4 dive-masters and a boat crew to help us do initial salvage. It was 4 pm that afternoon when we arrived back out where the boat sank and made the first of 2 dives.

Four of Dugong’s divers and myself worked until dark to recover most of the valuable items off the boat.  I don’t have images of this, because my underwater cameras came up with bags full of disorganized salvage. All I can say is that these Filipino dive-masters working for Dugong were highly professional, hard workers, and maintained a good natured and supportive posture throughout their involvement.

The dive service arranged for Jasmin and I to stay in a very comfortable resort  named Cashew Grove Beach Resort. The resort manager (Melody) was waiting for us on the beach when we stepped out of the boat and escorted us to a warm shower and hot meal. She and her staff arranged a secure place to store our salvage.

The following day, Melody arranged with a second dive service from a nearby resort, Club Paradise, to provide a boat and 4 more dive-masters who turned out to be just as helpful as the team that helped us the day before. In just a few hours, we recovered everything else off the boat that could be removed.

recovery team sunk

The boat remains on the bottom of the ocean at the time I am writing this message.  I have pretty much written that off as a loss. I’m thinking the nearly new 200HP Suzuki 4-stroke outboard motor, with all of its high tech electronic systems, would cost as much to refurbish as to buy a new one. This aluminum hull was the nicest boat I have ever had. But even if we could get it floating (likely), we would still have to tow her 200 miles to Subic Bay, strip out everything, and begin from scratch.  I have already done that once.  Makes me tired just thinking about it!

Tim and Dave

My brother Time and I celebrating just weeks before when we finally had this boat totally ready for its mission.  That was a very happy day.

Immediately upon my return to Subic Bay, my most trusted and experienced boat mentor convinced me that we could fully recover and restore the blue boat and motor if we moved fast.  I had my doubts about a full recovery and the costs involved with a project of that magnitude.  But I know that I would regret it for the rest of my life if I did not do my absolute best to recover the boat; an almost sacred friend that would have given up its own existence to preserve mine and Jasmin’s.

So Tim and I immediately pulled our 2nd (white) underwater dive exploration boat out of dry storage and assigned some work orders to the local boat shop. This was all in preparation for a recovery expedition to try and raise the blue boat and get it back to Subic.  We needed to make two voyages down to pick up our salvage at Cashew Grove, anyway. So there was not much to lose in trying to raise the boat.

A longtime friend of mine who does mechanical work all over the world agreed to accompany me and try to get the motor operating on the 1st boat.  We were just waiting for Super Typhoon Nock-10 to pass by before making the 200-mile voyage to the south where the boat is waiting on the bottom.

Message from Dave Mack, 4 January, 2017 9:00 AM, Philippine Islands:  Once again, I am forwarding this message by mobile phone through loyal brother Tim who has provided very close support since you last heard from me.

As luck turned out, we managed to get my new Laptop going and I was back in live communication with our Happy Camp office the very day that Super Typhoon Nock-10 passed directly over my present location.  All of the weather forecasts predicted 7 days of fair and calm seas.  So, my friend (who I am deliberately not naming) and I departed immediately to Busuanga Island in the Philippine South.

white boat

White boat to the rescue!

We only provisioned the boat for one week because we were carrying a lot of gear and bulky flotation devices to support the recovery mission. We expected to be finished with our mission in less than a week.

It took us two days to get down to Busuanga.  This was not because of the distance.  It was because of my increased concern about the need to drop anchor at night in protected coves.  The problem here is that the weather does not always do what the forecasters say. A calm night can turn into a ferocious storm in just minutes. We have resolved how to sustain very strong winds and seas. Whirlpools in the darkness are another matter altogether!

Our first stop on day-2 of the voyage was where the first boat sunk. Unfortunately, all that remained was the 650 pound 4-stroke Suzuki 200 HP motor.  Someone unbolted the motor and took away the hull.  This is very unfortunate, because these types of aluminum Aussie-Built special long range dive boats are hard to come by in the Philippines.  Having said that, I keep reminding myself everything happens as it should. Clearly, someone else is more enthusiastic than I am about investing the resources to resurrect that boat.

Fortunately, we still have another boat.   Though I will not be putting down anchor in unprotected locations…

Which brings me to the present:  With the boat gone, we devoted a full day searching the entire north coast of Busuanga to see if we could find it. No luck. So we made fast work on day-4 in recovering about half of the salvaged items (the other half will be recovered on the next trip) which were being stored safely at Cashew Grove.

Checking in with Tim over mobile phone service, even though it was too late in the day to start our voyage back, Tim informed me that an entirely new storm system was moving in and that we had to depart immediately to avoid getting caught in it.  Tim strongly emphasized the need to head north as fast as the white boat would take us. The surface of the sea was already choppy even before we departed.

The first 100 miles of our voyage to Lubang Island was just plain brutal.  I am talking about strong winds and waves coming straight at us from the north, sometimes getting slammed so hard, I had concerns about the boat breaking up.  My friend screamed and cried with every slam.  But there was no choice to turn around or stop.  My sole objective was to make it to a small protected cove on the West Side of Lubang Island where we could get certain shelter.  There was no other place we could go get out of the storm’s blow.

We came into the storm that Tim had warned us about 30 miles south of Lubang Island; which, by the way, is the Verde Island Straight.   When the tides are running, these are the most treacherous waters in the Philippines.

Fortunately, the wind and waves were battering us from the East.  With only a few hours of daylight left, this allowed me to direct the boat parallel to the peaks and troughs of the 6-foot waves.  Even so, we were taking a lot of water over the windshield and into the boat, along with occasional punishing slams. These caused my friend to scream out in pain.  I was hurting, too. But he was beyond miserable.

We could have put up the flexible storm window to keep more water out of the boat and my eyes. The reason I decided against it is because so much water on the windshield blocks all or most visibility forward of the boat. Take it from me when I say that running 25 MPH sideways to 6-foot seas requires that you see where you are going.

It didn’t take long for the water coming over the windshield to flood out both of the boat’s GPS sounders.  This was not a serious problem during the daylight.  But after dark, without the sounders, there would be no way to find the protected cove on Lubang.  Just as the sun was on the horizon, with darkness fast approaching, I gave the boat full throttle.   This was a race that we were about to lose!

I was taking a severe pounding myself; but the salt water and spray in my face was so severe that I was having trouble keeping my eyes open.   At one point, my eyes swelled completely shut.  That was when we slammed so hard that my friend fell out of his seat and was writhing in pain on the deck, pleading with me to stop the boat.

I stopped the boat long enough to flush my eyes with fresh water and explain to my friend that we were either going to make it to the protected cove on Lubang or die trying.  Then I suggested he sit in the back of the boat where he might be more comfortable.

It brings me no pleasure to inflict so much pain on another person. But pain is better than dead! Getting swept out through the Verdi Island Straight into the South China Sea overnight during a tropical storm is something we probably would not have survived.

Back to full speed, we pulled into the protected cove just as total darkness set in.   Fifteen minutes later and we would not have made it.

The following morning, my friend wanted off the boat at any cost.  He was so desperate, he pleaded with me to drop him off on a remote coral reef down on the Southwest corner of Lubang which has no roads or trails leading to it.  It would have been a death sentence! He just wasn’t thinking clearly.

Over his strenuous objections I drove the boat around the island and dropped him off at a ferry port where he could catch a ride back to the mainland, and a bus back home. I took on fuel and limited provisions at the port.    As my friend stepped off of the boat, it was the first time in my life I ever saw someone express true joy.  I am talking joy on the level of being in the presence of god.  You would have thought it was New Year’s Day (it was)!  He did everything except kiss the filthy ground at the port.

On that note, this was how we spent both Christmas and New Year’s.

By mobile phone, Tim told me the weather forecast was showing 3 foot waves and 15 knot winds out of the Northwest.  I still had a 100 mile crossing directly to the North of Lubang Island to reach Subic Bay.  So I decided to go for it.

But the waves turned out to be 6 feet and larger coming directly out of the north on such a short interval that the bow of the boat torpedoed through nearly every wave.  I had the foul weather windshield zipped in for this trip even though it prevented me from seeing clearly what was in front of the boat in heavy water.  My plan was just to follow north on the Boat’s Compass until I reached Subic.  After 10 miles of submarining through waves, I decided to turn back and wait out the storm.  That was five days ago.

So I am on the boat alone, having returned to the protected cove.  By driving 2 miles to the north, I am able to pick up a mobile phone service and get daily weather reports from Tim.  The forecast is for high seas and strong winds for at least the next week.

Low on provisions, I am feeding myself mainly on the fish I am shooting with my spear gun. This second boat has a hookah compressor on board, much like the compressors we use when dredging for gold. Most others might consider this over the top; but I have been having good luck by dropping anchor out on reefs in 60 feet of water, and going down to use the anchor to drive the boat. By this, I mean when I free the anchor from the bottom, high winds on the surface sweep me along the bottom of the ocean at high speed until I come upon habitat that is supporting game fish. Then I plunge the anchor again into something solid. I do this over and over. As I only need a single fish a day for myself, I have continued to make more friends with local fishermen by giving my extra catches away.

Once the dive is over, I float the anchor with a lift bag to make sure I’m going to recover it in those strong winds.

Since there is nothing else I can do to get this boat back home at the moment, I’m making the best out of my situation. Underwater adventure has been my life passion; and honestly, the solitude is allowing me some valuable time with myself.

Yesterday, I decided that I should have a larger boat. Up until now, the reason I have used smaller boats is that I can take them out of the water between voyages – and especially when I am not in the Philippines. I’ll be looking towards future seasons to trade this convenience off with the benefits and increased safety margins associated with a larger platform.

Like I said, the adventures just keep getting better and better.

With the need to put out a January newsletter as one of my primary responsibilities this story is the best I can do in my present situation.  This is especially important since we have a Legal Fund drawing coming up very soon.

Please indulge me as I provide several lessens I have learned from these experiences:

As it was, the weather eventually cleared up enough to allow me passage across to Subic Bay from Lubang Island. The boat has been washed down and placed in storage. I have ordered replacement GPs sounders and placed several work orders with the boat shop to bring the boat back to full readiness. The local dive shop will replace the scuba compressor that went down with the first boat. Jasmin and I are gearing up to recover the remainder of our salvage and resume our exploration adventures shortly after I publish the February newsletter.

Note: I want to extend my most sincere thank you to Ian and Melody, along with their entire staff at Cashew Grove Beach Resort in northern Palawan, Philippines. In addition to providing an extraordinary service to their customers (diving, trekking, exploring, enjoying the beach, fantastic meals and lodging), they deliver hospitality far beyond what you would expect from anyone short of family: +639 98 5533 184.

Legal/Political Updates

I know we all have our own views on this. We will have to allow things some time to see how things work out.  My own initial impression is that Donald Trump is going to be very good for America. Looking at the team he is building around himself, I get that his full intention is to pry the government off the backs of working America.

In my mind, it’s not a matter of whether or not Mr. Trump wants to “make America great again.”  The question remains how he is going to deal with the substantial forces which fully intend to obstruct his efforts.

For about as long as I have been an adult, liberals have been having things go their way with so little effort that they have not had to work very hard to make life much more difficult for those of us who have had to make our way by creating wealth and wealth-producing services. Having been on the front lines doing battle with liberals for quite a long time, I have come to the conclusion that very few of them are willing to accept reality as it actually is.

So I am predicting that there will be lots of commotion as the new Trump administration and republican majorities begin implementing policies which will force our liberal brothers and sisters to confront a whole new reality.

In a similar way that Jasmin and I intersected with that boat out in the middle of an open sea, Donald Trump has arrived in American politics at just the right time to turn our country around. He is just the right guy, and perhaps the only guy, who will hopefully be prepared to reverse decades upon decades of misguided, socialist policies which have all but destroyed the American dream.

Dave MackI’m not concerned about Mr. Trump realigning the federal government to support working America. My foreboding is more about how he will persuade obstructionist States and localities. It is State policies that have destroyed so many wealth-producing industries. Imagine, as gold prospectors, the State of California has made it against the law for us to use any mechanized device to locate and recover gold within 100 feet of a waterway – even if there is no measurable impact upon the environment.

That’s liberal thinking; totally divorced from the reality of economic principles.

I predict the Second American Revolution has already started; and it is likely to get ugly (and perhaps violent) as the Trump Team increases pressure upon powerful liberal forces who will do everything within their power to obstruct his progress.

Since the future of America’s “greatness” will largely depend upon our rediscovering the values and principles which made our country great in the first place, along with the future of our small-scale gold mining industry, I strongly encourage you to keep an open mind, contribute in a positive manner, and stand firmly behind Mr. Trump’s efforts as he faces off with the enemies of America’s traditional way of life.

And just remember: (1) Everything happens exactly as it is supposed to, and (2) Each of us gets exactly what we need, even if it’s not what we are asking for! And (3) if it’s not what you think you want, just take a breath!

California Waterboard Scoping Hearings:

The California State Waterboard is conducting Public Workshops in anticipation of creating a new Suction dredging permit. Here is their announcement. I would advise those of you who live close enough to attend the Workshops and put in a good word for our side.

Legal Fund Drawing Coming Soon!
Gold and Silver Eagles

There will be 25 prizes in all:
Grand Prize: 1-ounce American Gold Eagle
Four ¼-ounce American Gold Eagles
Ten 1/10th-ounce American Gold Eagles
Ten 1-ounce American Silver Eagles
Our office will automatically generate a ticket in your name for every $10 legal contribution we receive ($100 would generate 10 tickets, etc.).

This drawing will take place at 12:00 Noon on 24 February 2017 at our headquarters in Happy Camp. You do not need to be a member of our organization to participate. You do not need to be present to win.  There is no limit to the size or frequency of your contributions, or to the number of prizes you can win.

Legal contributions can be arranged by calling (530) 493-2012, by mailing to The New 49’ers Legal Fund, P.O. Box 47, Happy Camp, CA 96039, or online.

Purchase Tickets for the next legal Fund-raiser Drawing

  $10.00 each – Enter the number of tickets you wish to purchase into the quantity field then click “Update” before checking out. Our office will automatically generate a ticket in your name for every $10 legal contribution we receive ($100 would generate 10 tickets, etc). There is no limit to the size or frequency of your contributions, or to the number of prizes you can win. Your contribution to The New 49’er Legal Fund is tax-deductible.

Thanks for anything you guys can do to help!

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The New 49’ers Prospecting Association, 27 Davis Road, Happy Camp, California 96039 (530) 493-2012  www.goldgold.com