May 26, 2009

Ah! Finally in Nome!

front street

For those unfamiliar, I am Zeke Tenhoff, and with much help from friends, business partners and family, am assembling and launching a gold dredge offshore from Nome, Alaska, and with any luck will be mining until the ocean freezes in november.

The gold dredge in question is essentially a small catamaran raft with a Volkswagen engine powered vacuum and sluice box on board. The operator of the dredge dives to the ocean bottom with the vacuum suction hose and sucks up gold bearing sand and gravel. The sand and gravel runs up the hose, through the sluice box, and exits, leaving behind the gold.

Loading equipment, hauling it to Anchorage and shipping was a logistical nightmare best forgotten – fortuitously I took no pictures.

All of my equipment arrived safely in nome – over four thousand pounds of steel, plastic floats, volkswagen engines, clothes, suction hose, a big black poodle. Isaac, John and myself hauled it all to our dredge staging area on a trailer pulled by a Mighty Subaru Loyale.



As of this post, the dredge is mostly assembled and almost ready to be trailered to the harbor and launched. The harbor is still mostly frozen solid and will be for a few more days; we’ll wait on that. Ice floes are still bumping around a little way off the beach and stirring up sediment the bottom, creating what would be a underwater visibility problem if we were to be diving. Waiting is fine.


Luckily we were given the oppurtunity to live rent-free in a somewhat horrible apartment, under the condition that we mud and tape the drywall, paint, clean incredible cigarette messes, wipe old coffee off the ceiling, fix the toilet, etc. We are busy with impressing our new landlord and getting the place fixed up. Thankfully I’m not living on the beach as I expected to be.

nome ocean


6 Responses to “Nome!!!”

  1. Geo Rip Says:

    So glad to be along for the ride. Yeeehaww!!!

  2. Hey Zeke, Lee and I are headed over to the Tutkas…its about 8 pm the sky is blue and the water fairly calm. Looking forward to the first night on our new job. Hope alls well, keep posting this is just so great to get some pictures and details. Hug Charlie for me. Your brothers are being worthless partying slouches so we left them at home to sleep it off and hopefully do some packing to redeem themselves. Sam is surley…surley sam…new name…He leaves the day after tomorrow…safe on the high seas before his underdeveleped frontal lobes get him in a world of shit.We are exiting stage left love m

  3. mike Says:

    aw man what fun! You must keep posting, i want to hear many a gold diggers story!

  4. sams off to sea…i may not recover…gabe is going to be sooo spoiled. last week end in the house…got stuck for the day high and dry at Tutka…that was nice but Lee got behind and paid the price today with a 2 yurt cdelivery supposed to make a boat…didn’t.
    Anyway, this is not the forum then is it? Well here I am and so where is the next post??? miss you loads….love m

  5. Geo Rip Says:

    Jessie, This is fun, I get to hear all the news from Homer too….Love to Lee and Mom.

    Geo Rip

  6. Zeke your gold is your story…I truly believe that! Its great to hear some details altho it makes the mother fearful.
    I miss you around here. 30 foot set ups ahead and Sams the man. he’s a newbe but we are hopeful. he’ll be hitting Nome soon ready to rock western alaska. stage name is samus nystagmus…or mr wiggly eyes. hehe
    Zeke be careful , you should be 2 on the dredge…you know that right? you do know that. this is mom…get someone to come along always. right?
    Love the writing love it. m

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s