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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!!


  1. Wendy,
    How about adding some Goldenrod dredge into the story... your dredge operates so spin the stories together into one....

    Just an idea...

    Cancum Mexico underway for Oregon

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