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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

No End in Sight

Still raining cats and dogs in Nome.  Buckets and buckets of rain poured from the skies last night.  Luckily, the Nome Home shipping containers are holding up and dry as a bone (now that they are sealed properly).  But, with the heavy rain, also comes wind and waves.  Enough to keep most gold mining operations cooped up.  As for the Goldenrod crew, Tommy isn't due back to Nome until this Friday.  Additional supplies for repairs and modifications to Goldenrod will arrive in Nome when he does.

GRC (General Refining Corporation) has a new office in Nome now.  They are one of several companies in Nome that will assay (determine the specific contents of the precious metals) and purchase gold from the Bering Sea miners.

This past weekend GRC held a Gold Miners Banquet in Nome.  Both Dad and Mom attended, and became acquainted with more of the mining community in Nome.  The banquet was actually quite a big hit!  Most of the Bering Sea miners were there.   I'm sure there was a lot of note comparing going on, as dredge mining is such an imperfect science.  The Discovery Channel film crew was on sight to catch any dramatic scenes.  As far as I know, no fist fights broke out at the banquet, despite the angst caused by the seasons poor mining conditions.   Just Bering Sea gold dredgers getting together and celebrating.

Gold dredging is a very difficult job.  I've a great deal of respect and admiration for those who are willing to brave the Bering Sea for the 'deadliest catch' or for the precious amber metal we all so covet.
Hoping the weather clears for you all!  

http://www.generalrefining.com/alaska.html

                                    John Mehelich, a friend and fellow gold dredger in Nome.

John visited our Kentucky home in Feb 2012 while roaming the Lower 48.  Here is a picture of my Mother standing with John.  



19 comments:

  1. Nice human touch with pixs of John and Mom.

    What was used to seal and protect the top of the containers? Was a second "car-port" roof built over the containers with an air space between contain top and car-port roof?

    Weather - i.e. drifting ice - in the Arctic has been excessive this season for NW Passage yachts - even though 2012 is going down in the records books as the lowest level of polar ice - I believe ice has broken off from the polar cap and been blown into the Arctic islands causing more navigation problems than in the past three years which have been 'open' navigation - there still are ice "pinch points" as of August 22 2012 which did not exist in the past three years. Expect more severe weather! You cannot fool Mother Nature - she is turning off her Polar air conditioner for how long?
    Smooth seas,
    Doug

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    Replies
    1. Hello Doug, The containers have been fully insulated and panelling on inside walls and ceiling. There were no leaks from the outside prior to those adjustments. However, condensation build up prior to the changes became a problem. It was if it was raining inside the containers when it got cold outside. No longer an issue. As for diving under the ice for gold...not sure it is worth it!!!! The Bering Sea Gold Under the Ice will be a big hit! Can't wait to see it. The NY Times article was interesting to read. Thank you. Interesting viewpoint regarding the polar ice caps. It is becoming quite significant.

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    2. Hello Doug, The containers have been fully insulated and panelling on inside walls and ceiling. There were no leaks from the outside prior to those adjustments. However, condensation build up prior to the changes became a problem. It was if it was raining inside the containers when it got cold outside. No longer an issue. As for diving under the ice for gold...not sure it is worth it!!!! The Bering Sea Gold Under the Ice will be a big hit! Can't wait to see it. The NY Times article was interesting to read. Thank you. Interesting viewpoint regarding the polar ice caps. It is becoming quite significant.

      Delete
    3. Hello Doug, The containers have been fully insulated and panelling on inside walls and ceiling. There were no leaks from the outside prior to those adjustments. However, condensation build up prior to the changes became a problem. It was if it was raining inside the containers when it got cold outside. No longer an issue. As for diving under the ice for gold...not sure it is worth it!!!! The Bering Sea Gold Under the Ice will be a big hit! Can't wait to see it. The NY Times article was interesting to read. Thank you. Interesting viewpoint regarding the polar ice caps. It is becoming quite significant.

      Delete
    4. Hello Doug, The containers have been fully insulated and panelling on inside walls and ceiling. There were no leaks from the outside prior to those adjustments. However, condensation build up prior to the changes became a problem. It was if it was raining inside the containers when it got cold outside. No longer an issue. As for diving under the ice for gold...not sure it is worth it!!!! The Bering Sea Gold Under the Ice will be a big hit! Can't wait to see it. The NY Times article was interesting to read. Thank you. Interesting viewpoint regarding the polar ice caps. It is becoming quite significant.

      Delete
    5. Hello Doug, The containers have been fully insulated and panelling on inside walls and ceiling. There were no leaks from the outside prior to those adjustments. However, condensation build up prior to the changes became a problem. It was if it was raining inside the containers when it got cold outside. No longer an issue. As for diving under the ice for gold...not sure it is worth it!!!! The Bering Sea Gold Under the Ice will be a big hit! Can't wait to see it. The NY Times article was interesting to read. Thank you. Interesting viewpoint regarding the polar ice caps. It is becoming quite significant.

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    6. Remember - Living spaces need ventilation - even if insulated - whenever you breathe you exhale moisture so need either nature air flow else fans - so do not seal the containers air-tight - especially if living inside. Additionally you should roll a coat of "snow-seal" roofing rubber membrane over the top to protect... I'd also suggest a 'car-port' metal or fiberglass peaked-roof over the containers.

      So how many days this season (out of a 100?) have you been able to operate?

      We are preparing for hurricane ISSAC here - ETA Aug 28th

      Thanks
      Doug

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  2. Any word about winter gold diving in the sea ice off Nome?
    Check out: http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/tv/brrrrace_yourself_for_sea_gold_W1RKsa7NO8hTbmgAvp1BFJ

    Standing by,
    Doug

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  3. Hello Doug,

    So sorry for the delayed response to your questions. Yes, we are planning to install a 'fresh air' kit of some sort that provides fresh ventilation in the containers. When there is some down time next, the team plans to install a stove stove to heat the containers. At that time, the fresh air kit will also be installed. Good idea regarding the snow seal rubber membrane for the roof! Eventually, we plan to put a roof over the containers. Dad would like to have a U shaped deign of 3 containers with a workshop in between covered by a tin roof. Currently, the containers are side by side with a passage inside between the two.

    As for the days worked...every day our team is blasting ahead, busy as bees with their 'to do next' lists. Actual dredge days have been minimal as it has taken so long to get established, and to rebuild Goldenrod and to work out all of her kinks. That is sure to change very shortly, weather willing.

    Baton down the hatches,

    Wendy

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    Replies
    1. Please do a season recap of days in Nome, days at sea dredging and days lost to wx and days making repair/revisions - I estimate the season as 100 days?

      Standing by - ISSAC eta August 18th PM.

      Doug

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  4. Well, my parents arrived in Nome on June 7th, right around the time that the barge with containers arrived. It took the first several weeks to get land permits for residence and gravel lain, electricity hook ups, water and porta potty delivered, etc... My brother, Tommy, arrived in Nome ten days after Mom and Dad. He immediately began rebuilding Goldenrod. The launch date of Goldenrod was on around July 10th. Since they were not able to test Goldenrod in water prior to disassembling for Nome (as time did not permit), there were some leveling and mechanical issues that needed work prior to dredging. Then came the unrelenting rains. So, now it it August 26th, and we've dredged twice. Luckily, we have zeroed in on what needs to be done to get the sluice boxes working at optimum capacity. And, we plan to persevere and dredge until the ice no longer permits. Essentially, days of repair/revisions to Goldenrod have outnumbered days at sea dredging and getting settled in Nome. Wish us luck!
    Wendy

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  5. Here is just what everyone needs who wants to be Nome gold minders....lol $110K

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Offshore-Gold-Mining-Operation-w-8-Dalhke-Dredge-Nome-Alaska-/300738658928?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item46056bc270#ht_1646wt_1271

    :-)
    Doug

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    Replies
    1. That's a good looking operation; the whole lot (container, dredge, truck, vials of gold, and four wheelers).

      Wendy

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  6. 8" dredge for $30K - http://anchorage.craigslist.org/boa/3215658146.html

    lol

    :-)
    Doug

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    Replies
    1. Built it for 12 K, selling it for 30.

      (:
      Wendy

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  9. I do try to pay attention. As for my writing skills...always room for significant improvement!
    This blog started out as a way for me to take notes on what was going on in Nome while my family was there this past summer. It's been gradually evolving.
    Thank You
    Wendy

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