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Monday, November 11, 2013

Beast of the Bering Sea, The Movie

Do NOT watch this movie unless you are a SYFY junkie (which I vehemently am not)  You will not appreciate it.;_ylt=Aji7WhbNzkONnEIUuEMyV8mbvZx4?p=bering+sea+gold+movie+syfy&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8&fr=yfp-t-900

Bering Sea Gold is Back UNDER THE ICE

Yep, the Bering Sea Gold guys are back in action!  Oh what fun it is to snuggle under a blanket while watching these courageous individuals freeze their buns off in pursuit of Bering Sea gold.  Catch the action and the fever!

Do you think Zeke and Ian should have allowed Emily back to work with them this season?

As much as I am pro-women (I am a woman too), I totally agree with Ian and Zeke.  Emily gets anxious under the water. Period.    You cannot do that there.  It is way too dangerous, not to mention counterproductive.  Sorry Emily.  The guys are right.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Recent West Beach Activity off Nome Coast

A recent sunny day in Nome reveals many dredge boats out searching for gold off West Beach.  Notice the similar jack-up rigs.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Political Garbage in Nome

Gold mining in Nome has more than it's share of challenges (as if the technicalities of dredging and Mother Nature aren't enough)!  Our claims are many miles West of the Nome harbor.  Getting out and back is challenging and time consuming when the weather can change at the drop of a hat.  By the time you realize the seas are starting to become rough, if you aren't ready to pack up and turn back for harbor then it is often down right dangerous getting back.  

Therefore, the KY Goldenrod crew arranged to mine in the East on one of the local miner's claims, as the claim is much closer to the Nome harbor, and has a great deal of gold potential.  Anything our crew mines, an arranged percentage goes to the claim owner (very common arrangement in Nome).  We have a very powerful 10' suction dredge that could really get some gold!  And, there in lies the problem. Seems a handful of greedy locals don't want outsiders (lower 48ers) to prospect promising land.  It's becoming a political mess.  It started with the underwater lease auction date fiasco (we were given a date in December 2011 and the actual date was in September 2011 which we luckily found out about in the nick of time), and it just keeps getting messier!  It has political garbage written all over it. Do you smell a rat?


Monday, July 8, 2013

Nome Offshore Gold Placer Area

Nome is one of the top 100 placer fields in the world.  There are literally millions of ounces of gold all over the area and even under the town itself.  Onshore placer gold production from the Nome area between 1897 and 1964 was about 5,000,000 ounces of gold, the greater part of which was derived from placers on the coastal plain.  

Profitable gold placers are rarely found more than 6 to 12 miles (10-20 km) from bedrock sources.  The Nome Offshore placer area extends from the current offshore beach for 2 miles to water depths of about 60 feet. It extends about 10 miles parallel to the modern strand-line, commencing west of the the mouth of Nome River and continuing westward to the vicinity of Penny River.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

In the Nome Harbor this Summer 2013

A message from the Captain of KY GoldenRod...The unusual trawler (Espirit) was a French group.  They were traveling with their families.  They had 2 boats on deck. One was a small sail boat that they are going to ice sail to the North Pole.  The other is a row boat that two of them are going to row from Northern Alaska to Greenland via the NW passage. I found one of them that could speak English and wished them luck.

There are several boats here waiting to hear if the NW passage is open to Greenland.  More Ice this year than usual and they are fearful it may not open.

Celebrating Aviation in Nome

A message from the Captain of the KY GoldenRod (Thomas O.)...

We have made it in the water and been out several days mining (working out the bugs).
We have been fighting with lots of icebergs until last week. They are all gone now.
One day there were dozens around the boat.  Some the size of a train car, most the size of a car.
You have to be careful with the big ones.  We don't want to be another titanic.

A couple of weeks ago they had a city BBQ and 100 years of avaition in Alaska celebration you will see some of the planes featured. The big red bird I had never seen before.  It was used as an airliner here in Alaska in the 30's, 40's, and early  50's.  The museum in Anchorage refurbished it and it is beautiful!

Go Big or Go Home in Nome, New Mining Technology

Message from Thomas O. Palmer

Thought you may be interested in some of the new technology that is appearing in Nome this summer, 2013.  The days of the little dredge operator may well be numbered.  

Phoenix Marine has the spud barge and Pacifica has five of the elevated Trackhoes with wash plants.  The Spud Barge simply jacks up the barge to clear all the waves during times of bad weather and the Elevated Trackhoe just drives up on shore when bad weather comes, otherwise thay are mininig 24/7.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bering Sea Bergs

Spring 2013 was the coldest on record for the past 100 years or so in Nome, Alaska.  And, in May there was record snowfall in Nome.  The cold temperatures have delayed the start of the dredging season in Nome.

Nobody is going out now until the ice clears.  Believe it or not, it is short sleeve weather now in Nome.  Today the temperature will be in the 70s.  Perfect for dredging the Bering Sea.  Just awaiting the departure of ice.

Kentucky Goldenrod was out dredging for the first day this season on June 13.  On June 14th, the day was cut short due to sudden dense fog and icebergs. Good news is...Tom SAW gold while diving!  

                                                          Looking down onto Nome and the Bering Sea.
                                                            A wall of sea fog. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Hope is NOT a Strategy

an excerpt from Dredging Nome Man's Land, p. 247

Mom, Tom, and I knew that there was a lot of truth to Dad’s
notion of “not finding much gold our first dredging season.” We
had originally teased Dad of being a pessimist (although he is
adamant about being a realist, which came true with his Nome
Project prediction). The rest of us just thought, “If we were going
to go for it, why not believe all out in it?” Dad wanted to be
wrong but had a feeling he was right. Dad knew we had a lot to
get accomplished our first season before dredging a single day,
i.e. establish residence, move house to said residence and rebuild
a boat (a rather large one at that). All before day one of what we
went for. We all needed to have “hope” as it is a crucial aspect
of any American Dream. Without hope, dreams don’t seem to
ever get off the ground and come to life, much less blossom
into fruition.
We learned a lot this season. Obviously we have come to
realize that the weather can be quite unrelenting in Nome (just
about year round). No one could have forecast just how terrible
Mother could be on the Nome gold dredgers this past summer! It
was stifling to most dredging operations. The amount of quality
dredge time on the seafloor equates to the likelihood of finding
gold. Essentially, “time is money” in a very literal sense, except
that gold will likely soon be more valuable than currency. With
the mining operation that we currently have, inclement weather
will simply impede progress and will continue to require patience
to see through. Only the uncommonly large operations (like the
Pomrenke’s Christine Rose) can leave the confines of the harbor
on days of high waves and with zero to poor visibility, as they
operate from atop a barge and do not utilize divers.


Although American dreams start with hope, dreams don't magically come true without a great deal of concentrated effort and planning.    

Our crew left for Nome in early May, driving from Kentucky to Anchorage (through Canada along the Alaskan Highway) with a 5,000 lb. box of supplies and such to be flown to Nome.  The crew and the box are in Nome and plans are underway to begin dredging once the ice melts!   "The Kentucky Boys" have anticipated the worst and plan for the best this summer 2013.  We are converting Kentucky Goldenrod into a 12" suction dredge boat.  She'll be a beauty.               Dredging Nome Man's Land

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Will Gold Reach $10,000?

On April 26, 2013 the price of gold gained $38.30, or 2.7%, to $1,465 an ounce in New York, building on recent gains and retracing 50% of its dramatic fall just 10 days ago.
Gold suffered a $200-plus decline that began on Friday 13 April and accellerated into Monday when the metal dropped to multi-year lows of $1,326 an ounce.
Thursday's push higher breached important technical levels around $1,440 an ounce and the 50% recovery of recent losses is also a bullish signal for the gold market.
Gold's resurgence also comes after an unexpected upbeat view by a closely followed bullion market strategist.
Société Générale's global strategist Albert Edwards says in a new report that he is sticking to his recent prediction that gold is on its way to $10,000.
The French investment and London bullion bank's Global Strategy team's forecast is also in stark contrast to that of its commodities researchers who predicted "The End of the Gold Era" and an end-2013 gold price of $1,375 per ounce. That call was made at the beginning of April when gold was trading above $1,550:

"We repeat our key forecasts of the S&P Composite to bottom around 450, accompanied by sub-1% US 10-year [bond] yields and gold above $10,000."
Edwards' new report acknowledges that forecast [of the SocGen commodities team], calling it "prescient" and a "rare exception" to the financial community's usual tendency to stick with the consensus view.
"In that [same] vein," writes SocGen's global strategist – and with gold price 10% below the level when Patrick Legland and Michael Haigh's report was issued – "holding gold is a bet against central banks' competency.
"Given their track record, that's certainly a bet I'd be happy to still take."

Friday, March 22, 2013

Dredging Nome Man's Land, The Book


Coming SOON!!

Gold Diving in Nome, Alaska

Interesting and Cool to Watch!
                                                     Video by Ian Foster, Gold Diver et al

R.I.P. John Bunce

                                          John Bunce 26

Police investigate a Nome gold diver's death
In the morning hours of Sept. 1, Nome police officers responded to a report of an unexpected death on the east end of First Avenue.
NPD confirmed the death of John Bunce, 26 of Nome, but declined to comment on the manner or cause of death.
NPD said the death is under investigation.
Bunce’s remains were sent to the State Medical Examiner for an autopsy.   Nome Nugget Sept 2012

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Considering Dredging for Gold in Nome Alaska?

A person CAN make money in Nome, but it isn’t easy.  Mining in general is a difficult business and is surprisingly more difficult than it looks.  It can be an emotional roller coaster.  When it is good it is really good, and when it is bad, it is terrible!

You shouldn’t be a Gold Dredger in Nome if...
1) You want or need a steady paycheck.  

2) You can't handle the uncertainty of finding gold.

3) You lack the belief in finding gold.

4) You can't think clearly in a crunch.

5) You melt under pressure.

6) You panic easily.

7) You regularly have poor judgement.

8) You can’t take scratches, bruises, freezing half to death, mosquito bites, sunburn, seasickness and other physical abuses.

9) You can’t pick up 200 lbs without a problem.

10) You are afraid of water and the ocean or cannot swim.

11) You lack patience and perseverance.

12) You dislike labor intensive jobs.

13)  You lack the ability to see past the miserable conditions during the dredging season.

14) You are generally moody. 

Just a few real good reasons to think again about it.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Did You See "Bering Sea Gold" Last Night?

There's always quite a healthy dose of drama on "Bering Sea Gold", and last night's (Feb 8th) episode proved no exception!  Let me break it down...

The Anchor Management crew had a good dive last episode and began this episode with Scott Meisterheim taking his gold finds to sell.  He was hoping to have at least 5 ounces of gold, but discovered he'd only found half what he originally thought (with 2.5 ounces).  He needs to have at least $9,000/month to pay off his investors (who are laser focused on him these days).  I don't know what he pays his deck hand, Todd Allen, or the other diver on his boat.  Surely something!  After realizing he's still in the hole, Scott parks himself at The Breakers Bar for an 8 hour drinking binge.  By the time he left, he staggered outside, slamming the door behind him (seemingly mad at the world).  Scott has just realized that the business of dredge mining for gold is bigger than he thought possible.  It takes an extraordinary amount of emotional stability to get through it, as the 'downs' often supersede the 'ups' in this profession.  If it were easy, why would there be so much gold lying there on the seafloor for the 'getting'?  I don't know what Scott has been through and seen in his lifetime, but with his attitude it's a wonder he has a friend in the world. Many of us have endured more of our share of heartbreak and misfortune.  Get over it!  Scott needs to shape up real fast or SHIP OUT!


The Edge was back on the water this time, just in time for rougher seas.  Zeke Tenhoff, Emily Riedel and John Bunce each took their turns diving.  The more bottom time, the higher the likelihood of finding gold.  One has to have divers rotating every four hours or so to keep the operation running as many hours as possible (especially on good days).  John had some trouble with carbon monoxide leaching into his airline from backed up exhaust.  That sure is a real problem that can get lethal in a hurry! Take note all of you dredgers out there...  And then, there is Emily.  After nearly drowning two weeks ago, she tried diving again in this episode.  She means well, and truly seems passionate about dredging.  Work ethic and devotion are not her issues.  Instead, she is battling her own inner conscience  that keeps telling her "don't do this Emily, it can kill you."  She keeps trying to dismiss her fear of diving, and in doing so, becomes completely overwhelmed with panic during dives. Her true feelings manifest themselves despite her attempts to squelch them.   I just don't know that she should continue to put herself through the misery of it all.  A sign is a sign is a SigN! The universe is communicating to her, if she'll only take heed.


The Christine Rose continues to dredge on (day and night) without Shawn this time.  Seems he had a little mishap with the law (DUI) and landed himself in jail for 10 days.  Perhaps it wasn't a bad thing for Shawn, as he needed to learn his lesson about drinking and driving.  It certainly seemed to give him a good scare, and also made him realize that being away from his kids and family is devastating (to all involved).  Steve Pomrenke is going to make a man out of his son, Shawn, if that's the last thing he ever does. I was glad to see that Steve took the news as gently as he did.  It could have been way worse for Shawn.  I do hope he's learned his lesson about getting behind the wheel while inebriated.

And, last but not least, The Wild Ranger had a 'wild' ride this week!  After finding a sweet honey hole (place with lots of gold) during the last episode, they marked it with a plastic water bottle buoy.  While Vernon Adkison was away (repairing his dredge) the 'cats' came out to play...the Bering Booty cats.  Vernon's daughter and her 'man' operate The Bering Booty (one of Vernon's six dredges) on the Bering Sea.  The two became privy to the fact that Vernon was on the gold, and made the decision to dive where the bottle marked the spot.  His daughter left her father a message in the bottle that said, "Next time use your GPS."  That certainly is a good point.  Who would openly buoy a hot spot and hope that nobody else dives there (I'm assuming that Vernon had been in a public mining area)?  Find a hot spot, and mark the coordinates on your GPS.  That way, one can keep it a secret! And, go back for more later.  Hope Vernon learned his lesson.  He laughed about it and said, "I've trained my daughter well."  I think it was a rather slick move, but also unethical of his daughter.  Her remark was, "It's my bank account that I'm worried about, not his."

Season Gold Totals:

Christine Rose        
 184.08 ounces

Wild Ranger            
 20.8 ounces

The Edge              
 11.8 ounces

Anchor Management
2.5 ounces



Thursday, February 7, 2013

Underbelly of KY Goldenrod

The KY boys (my Dad and brother) will be making some changes first thing this upcoming season to Kentucky Goldenrod.  They will be converting her to a 10" suction dredge boat.   In doing so, they will be removing the two 8" suction hoses first.  These two hoses will be replaced by one 10" suction hose with a swivel head (to maneuver more easily on the seafloor).  We've got the 10" hose in Kentucky now, and it is very heavy and cumbersome.  Dad just received the 10 inch power jet and diffuser today and is working hard to figure a way to ship the hose, power jet and diffuser up to Nome (the most inexpensive way).  He and Mom are potentially planning to leave early for Nome (in early May).  Mom is interested in driving up to Anchorage to see the beautiful scenery along the way (most notably in Banff National Park) along the Alaskan Highway.

                                                Lake Louise, Banff National Park in Canada

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Nice Guys Don't Always Finish Last

In regards to "Bering Sea Gold" this past week, Scott Meisterheim (Captain of Anchor Management) says, "Nice guys finish last.  Good thing I'm not a nice guy."  I say, one can be nice, ethical and compassionate AND finish first.  Nice doesn't necessarily equate to being macho.  And, macho doesn't necessarily finish first.  Scott Meisterheim is a prime example of mean guys not finishing first.  One does NOT need to be an unscrupulous bully in matters of business and life to come out on top.  Scott clearly needs to ease up on Steve Reidel, who obviously fears him.  It's not funny Scott.  And, why would you drink your spiced rum from poor Steve's red mug? That was a passive aggressive, "push Steve's buttons" kind of move.

As for Steve Reidel...he really has no right to say that Scott cannot stay at the Dredge #6 campground as it is open to the public.  Perhaps Steve is a bit paranoid.  Scott had a good point when he said, "Who takes a stalking order out on another guy?"  It was pretty comical, and it was great to hear Scott laugh (even though it was surely alcohol induced).

Despite the drama between Scott and Steve, Mr. Reidel got a dive in from The Wild Ranger.  Vernon Adkison had six boats on the Bering Sea this past summer and has had trouble employing worthy gold divers.  Steve may be a bit "kooky" at times, but he is a loyal and trustworthy man (so it seems).  Vernon should definitely give him props for that.  Steve actually brought up some gold this time (flour gold).  He couldn't see it because it was so finely spread out.  Vernon needs to "take a chill" on poor Steve.

Things were a bit Helter Skelter for the Pomrenke's this week too.  They lost their right to mine near the mouth of the Snake River in last week's episode due to causing too much turbidity in the water there and subsequently disrupting the spawning of salmon.  The Pomrenke's seem "dumb struck" when they found out about this from the DNR (Department of Natural Resources).  The State of Alaska put together a guide of stipulations and such in 2012 called Nome Dredgers Resource Guide.  This information is available at  It is obviously worth becoming familiar with (especially for those who are actively dredging the waters of the Bering Sea offshore Nome).

Fortunately, the Pomrenke's were able to  strike a deal (for 20% royalty) with another lease owner to dredge his land (even though the land was not in an area that was known for "good gold").  Once there, Steve broke out  his dowsing rods to determine whether or not gold was there.  Shawn (younger Pomrenke) laughed and called dowsing "pure voodoo".  Steve Pomrenke seems to be highly offended by Shawn's ridicule of the matter.  Shawn doesn't quite understand his Father (after 37 years) but realizes who the "boss" is.

As for the crew of The Edge...Emily became very emotional this week when while she was diving a hose became disconnected (affecting her air supply).  Obviously, that is a good reason to panic.  However, she should have had a talk with Zeke about it instead of copping a bad attitude and giving him the finger.  Really, what good is that?  Zeke is fairly intuitive, but communication is better.  The apple truly does not fall far from the tree in the case of anxiety in this family (Emily is Steve Reidel's daughter).  Each were innately dealt a healthy dose of caution (which is great for gold diving).  Without it, one may well die.  Trust your instincts!

Zeke had been accused of dredging on the wrong lease last week.  After checking his coordinates with a lease map he discovered that he had been right after all. Despite clearing his name of "stealing", the DNR shut him down (at the end of this episode) for a reason concerning permits.  Again, be familiar with the rules.  They apparently change every now and then.

Earnings thus far....
The Christine Rose   $157,429.20
The Edge                  $12,065.44
The Wild Ranger      $1050.00
Anchor Management   $0

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Nome Dredgers Resource Guide

The Department of Natural Resources in Nome Alaska put together (in 2012) a complete resource manual for those interested in dredging in Nome.  This guide details the following: stipulations and permits, taxes rents and royalties, Alaska vessel safety requirements, Nome community resources, mining related commercial services, equipment requirements and safety, harbor information, etc.  KNOM the rules!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Gold Diving From KY Goldenrod offshore Nome

The KY Goldenrod lost her arm this past summer 2012 while in Nome.  The conditions in the Bering Sea simply do NOT allow for the smooth operations with a mechanical arm.  The seafloor is filled with cobble, rock, and heavy black sands.  The arm was set up to do the job that a diver can do;  move rock and suction beneath for gold.  However, our crew simply could not keep the boat from shifting away from the dig site during mining (something spud bars are excellent for, but would surely sink our operation).  So, off with the arm.

We are converting our dredge into a 10" suction nozzle diver operation.  Before, we had two 8" hoses leading to two separate sluices aboard.  Now, we will have the single 10" suction hose that will vacuum the contents of the seafloor and be equally divided and emptied into the two sluice boxes.

I will be in Nome this coming summer, and am looking very forward to it!  I am a certified scuba diver and have done a great deal of diving in the past.  However, operating a 10" suction nozzle is extremely physically demanding, and very dangerous.  I will NOT be diving.  My brother, Tom, will be diving and we will be looking for one more diver to join our team this upcoming summer.  We've had a lot of interest from people, but have not yet chosen anyone.  

Monday, January 7, 2013

Critique of Season 2 "Bering Sea Gold" Premier

This season the Discovery Channel chose to highlight four different dredge mining operations offshore Nome:

Zeke Tenhoff's boat (he doesn't own, but operates) is called 'The Edge' and is a 42 ft ten-inch suction nozzle diver led dredge boat.  The power of his equipment and what it is capable of has significantly improved from previous seasons on The Clarke.  In fact, this system is 20 X more powerful and Zeke says, "I can clear in 10 minutes what used to take 1 hour on The Clarke."  Since this ten-inch nozzle is so much heavier and more cumbersome in the water, perhaps it is too much for Emily.  Don't get me wrong, I'm all for equal rights for women, but as Zeke said, "There's NO room for error down there.  Mistakes can be fatal."  Zeke's new crew mate (and best friend), John Buntz, missed the first day out on 'The Edge', as he chose to take a friend to the airport and was delayed in getting to the Nome harbor in time for take-off.  Because of this, John decided to swim for the dredge (without a wetsuit).  It was obviously a terrible mistake and showed his lack of good judgement.  He had to be rescued and taken to the local hospital for severe hypothermia.  At the end of the premier both Zeke and Emily were headed to the hospital to check on him.  How could Zeke have possibly known that his friend would do such a thing?  Zeke should seriously be thinking of Dredging 101 for John about now!

Vernon Adkison is back with the 27 ft Wild Ranger (after many adjustments so that his operation is mechanically sound this season).  He brought his 21 year old daughter with him to help out this season and Steve Riedel is back as his main diver.  Vernon is willing to put up with Steve's eccentric ways and finds him, "quite comical at times."  Steve got a rough start his first diving day;  his mask flooded and he panicked.  When he tried going back down, he hadn't recovered from the previous anxiety, and had to return to the surface, calling it a day.  Vernon was disappointed, but not angry.

Speaking of angry, Scott Meisterheim is back this season too!  He built his own dredge (with money from investors) called 'Anchor Management'.  Apparently, the name, 'Anger Management' was already taken.  Scott is a known 'hot-head' and according to Steve Riedel, "can't set an anchor worth a damn."  Scott brought along several 'friends' from back home to be deck hands/divers.  One of them is already having a lot of trouble with Scott, as he Scott just CANNOT be appropriate with people.  It's his way or the highway!  Scott's got a lot to learn, and Anger Management 101 should be a top priority for him.

Steve and his son Sean Pomrenke are also back with the 80 ft Christine Rose this season.  Their operation remains to be the largest offshore Nome at this time.  They have some competent workers as part of their operation, and the equipment they have is second to none.  The track hoe on the front of their barge is easily capable of extracting scoop after scoop of rock and heavy black sands from the seafloor of their offshore leases.  Steve states that the "biggest challenge is communication" for he and his son.  Steve isn't sure he will be able to eventually have Sean take over the business, as he sees Sean as being extremely immature and often irresponsible.  What we witnessed on the show, this episode, was typical 'tempers' getting in the way of progress.  Take a chill Sean, and realize, your Dad has expectations that are not likely to change.  If you can't make it on time (for good reasons or bad), call Steve and let him know.  It would be well worth the 20 second phone call.

It's gonna be good!!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Gearing Up for Crazy to begin again 10/9 C tonight!

Get ready cause Bering Sea Gold is back tonight with an all-new Season 2 and, as Discovery says, "Crazy is definitely back in the water."

Be ready for my critique to follow!