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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!