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Friday, July 27, 2012

Fair Weathered Friends

The weather is still the pits in Nome today; upper 40s and raining.  Rain won't stop the crew from dredging with Goldenrod.  However, the winds blowing (more than 10mph) any direction but from the Northeast usually will keep most all of the small dredge operations at bay.  Which, for now, is fine with the Goldenrod crew, as they are awaiting a part for regearing the Kubota engines that run the suction hoses (currently not operating at the proper RPMs).  Instead of dredging, they have been busy cutting windows into the container (which makes the living arrangement more like an RV or mobile home rather than a cracker box).  Speaking of home, the crew was visited by a Shelbyville, KY native (Rob Purnell) and his sons this week!  Just so happens the weather has been the worst it has been since the crews' arrival this summer.
Photo of Dad setting Kubota engine inside Goldenrod (Tommy operating backhoe).  Each of the two suction hoses is powered by its' own Kubota.


  1. Keep the nitty details of dredging coming... inquiring minds want to know about the mechanical challenges of making it work... I seem to remember about reading about an early monster sea dredge that produced 100,000 oz of gold - averaged 0.02oz per cubic yard of material so its obvious that you need to move lot of sand to make it pay - I think your Kubotas are going to be a real asset. Keep the details coming - what makes your dredge work for you? Post cleanout amounts please. Smooth seas, Doug

  2. Hello Doug,
    And, thank you for the feedback. There have been several necessary changes that have been made to Goldenrod, as she was never tested prior to shipping for reassembly in Nome. Our team had planned on taking her out on a local lake to test, but there just wasn't time for it. Goldenrod is 40 ft in length ((the pontoons alone), and 12 ft wide. There is a mechanical arm on the front that has the suction hoses (8" in diameter) attached. There are cameras attached near the ends of each suction hose to eliminate the need for divers. The video display of the seafloor is viewed comfortably from the cabin. So far, the front end was a bit heavy, and required the removal of one of two anchor systems from the front of the boat. Then, the sluice boxes needed a slightly different 'miners moss' to capture the fine particles of gold (a recommendation made by the old timers in Nome who have spent many years dredging). Then, the Kubotas (that power the suction hoses) were not operating at the proper RPMs, and that needed to be adjusted. Now, we are good to go. Just awaiting a solid break in the weather. Wendy