Bering Sea Gold: Under the Ice gave fans a chance to hear from the dredgers in the multi-part episode of “After the Dredge.”
Producer Thom Beers met with the dredgers to hear what their feelings about the past season were. They all seemed to agree that the 28 degree water was not fun. Any skin exposed will burn. Zeke explained how the hot water in the wetsuit worked, but it did not always reach the extremities making the hands and feet vulnerable to hypothermia. Cody was below when the hot water started to fail and knows that thinking clearly is not routine when hypothermia starts to set in.
Phil from the “Shamrock” explained why he was gun shy diving below because he had a near-miss several years ago. The divers also talked about diving at night when thousands of eyes of shrimp are staring at them under the glow of their diving lights. They talked about the dangers of doing what they do. How they hear themselves breathing, hearing the bubbles and the voices of the crew talking to them above.
Zeke told Thom how he was driven to dredge for gold. There is no intermediary, you win or lose and have only yourself to blame. They used some of the summer equipment from the other dredger.
Steve Pomrenke said that Shawn’s dredge used too much power to bring the water to the sluice box. “The Clark” had too much drama and to little gold, but Zeke is notorious for drama. As for drama, “The Clark” led the league in arguing and conflict. Steve and Emily, Steve and Zeke, Emily and Zeke were all at each other’s throats, while the other dredges had very little conflict. The “Lazy Gator” crew was a well-oiled machine and the “Shamrock” had little drama.
Steve Reidel told Thom Beers that he hopes to strike it rich so he can buy an airplane. Being in Alaska since he was three years old, he knows the value of having an airplane in Alaska.
Steve and Shawn Pomrenke spoke about the criticism that Steve gives Shawn. He did not have much criticism this time. Shawn knew that his crew consisted of good guys, but he looks to his father’s approval.
The crew of the “Lazy Gator” had a different method. Each diver got to keep his “pickers” which are pieces of gold large enough to pick up with your fingers. This gave each man incentive to dive when it was their turn. Thom also mentioned the problem with Jacob’s mask when he panicked and left his mask below. Jesse went to retrieve it; mainly because it was the only mask.
Fans got to meet the cameraman who was below with the divers when Jesse had to retrieve the lost mask. He demonstrated how the communications work between the divers and the crew above, but the camera crew also can communicate with the divers. They discussed how things can and did go wrong with the equipment.
Emily described how being a diva to a diver and her escapades in Austria. She only had about $18 when she returned to the United States. This season gave her very little income, but Zeke described how he is driven to gambling. They all decided to give it another try next season and fans of Bering Sea Gold: Under the Ice will be waiting.
Photo credit: Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest website on Wikimedia