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.