Bering Sea Gold: Under the Ice - Smoke Under Ice 1.02
With the stakes higher than ever, some miners are already reaching their limits while others are on cloud nine. Gold mining is a hard life, and not everyone is cut out for it – especially in the winter.
Shawn makes the hard decision to move the Shamrock operation to a new location after coming up empty-handed in their previous spot. He is desperate to get a payday for his crew and to have put enough gold in the box to impress his father, who has just decided to make an impromptu trip to Nome to oversee Shawn’s dredging operation.
After four hours, Shawn still isn’t on the gold. He decides to move one more time and finds a nice pile of large rocks and boulders that are hiding some fine gold. As soon as he starts sucking it up, his hot water stops flowing. Topside, his tending crew realizes that the water heater has run out of fuel, so Shawn must resurface until it is refilled.
On the night crew, Vince dives while Cody tends. Vince gets on good gold, but an electrical fire in the tending tent fills his mask with smoke. Without air, he struggles to resurface safely. He finally makes it up the ladder and is able to get his mask off for fresh air, but his brush with death has him questioning his chosen line of work.
Vince: “Yeah, I almost just died, and I’m still broke. What does that say for me?”
Shawn takes over for the day shift, but his time has run out to fill the sluice box ahead of his dad’s arrival. With Steve on the scene, he is less than impressed with their current production levels. He tells Shawn that now that he is here, he can finally start fixing some of the things that are broken and they can turn the box yellow the way it should be.
Gold Total: 6.5 oz
Joe hits the water for the first time, battling a halocline (the haziness that forms when freshwater and saltwater meet). But he doesn’t let the poor visibility stop him from picking up a 5-ounce nugget. What’s more exciting – every member of the Lazy Gator crew keeps their pickers, making Joe ~$1,200 richer. Not long after, Joe accidentally sucks up a large rock that gets stuck in the suction hose. He passes the nozzle to the topside crew and resurfaces to help dislodge it. Joe heads back down to make up for lost time.
Gold Total: 0 oz (no cleanout)
Steve: *puts on Emily’s wetsuit by mistake*
Zeke: “I was wondering. You looked a little slutty.”
Steve takes the first dive, but moments in, he becomes terrified of his surroundings. He is unsettled by the difference in visibility from the summer to winter mining seasons, and he has trouble getting his bearings. After five minutes, he frantically resurfaces, claiming that his regulator froze up and that he was unable to get any air. Zeke checks the airflow and tells him that the mask is working just fine. He says that he probably just panicked, but Steve disagrees and is unwilling to go back down.
Emily: “I read my horoscope. I expect great things for gold today.”
Emily takes her first ice dive, admittedly claustrophobic. She is a little worried that she will freeze up down there (no pun intended) and not be able to produce enough gold. Once she gets underwater, she has a few moments of excitement for her ability to face her fears and the beauty of the Bering Sea ice, but her hopefulness is short-lived when she begins to feel like she isn’t getting enough air pressure. Zeke pulls her up and has John prepare to dive in her place.
Gold Total: 0 oz
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