In this exclusive interview with Examiner, Emily Riedel graciously took some time from her busy schedule to share with fans a little about what they can expect to see during the sixth season of “Bering Sea Gold.” If fans want to know even more, they can head over to the “Bering Sea Gold” Facebook page where she is holding a question-and-answer session. “Bering Sea Gold” posted on March 29 that fans can swing by and ask her questions about, “Nome, diving for gold and how she’s handling Zeke going corporate!”
Since Riedel is the only woman in command of her own boat as she dredges for gold in the Bering Sea, she is fully aware of the huge responsibility she chose to undertake. When asked if working in a male-dominated field has made her a better captain, she acknowledged that it has. She has been captain of the Eroica for three years and during that time, she states that she has learned how to be not just a boss, but a leader as well.
“The responsibility is huge. Being a boss, you have to choose to be lonely, kind of like on an isolated plane. Dictating the decisions, not getting too close to the crew, making sure they continue to look at you as an authority figure and respect you, that’s all very challenging,” she explained.
Besides never giving up or backing down, Riedel went on to say that part of her success has been to observe and imitate what other miners are doing. As an example, she referred to the Pomrenke family, stating that she has learned from their sheer tenacity and strength. Steve and Shawn Pomrenke run a large and successful dredging barge called the Christine Rose. Zap2It shared that this season the Pomrenke’s will split up, with Shawn (also jokingly known as Mr. Gold) heading back to a claim they call “The Bluff,” while Steve starts a new inland mining operation. “I can look at the way that they work and organize their crew, and learn from that,” Riedel stated.
When discussing the new season, Riedel agreed that it will once again be a volatile time for all the miners. “Gold miners are the divas of the Northwest,” she said with a laugh. Riedel went on to say that she has observed that the rigors of being in Nome and mining for gold does seem to have an effect on everyone. “This season, yes, is very volatile. I’ve said before gold mining is a very bi-polar activity. You’re either extremely happy because your boat is working and the gold is good, or you’re extremely unhappy because you’re having breakdowns and the weather is terrible and you can’t work.”
Former flame and dredge partner Zeke Tenhoff will be working for a corporation this season, and when asked if she would ever work for anyone else, Riedel gave a resounding “no.” She stated that she didn’t go through everything she had to deal with to just turn around and work for someone else. Riedel feels it is important to be her own boss. This season on Bering Sea Gold, Zeke and his brother Gabe will be working together on a dredge called the Havilah. Riedel is the youngest in her family and has two brothers and one sister, and said it was unlikely that any of them would ever be interested in joining her for any length of time on the Eroica. One of her brothers, Paul, has come up in the past to help her with the boat, but for the most part her siblings have no desire to be on camera.
Emily Riedel has a strong work ethic, and has learned how to captain her boat mostly through trial and error. As she gains more experience and confidence with every passing season, she seems to have come into her own and is definitely grasping what it really means to be a successful and respected captain on the Bering Sea. For fans who are interested, they can follow her through her Facebook page.
Are you a fan of the show? What do you think about Emily’s impressive growth as a captain? Leave your comments, thoughts and opinions below. “Bering Sea Gold” premieres on Wednesday, March 30 at 9 p.m. ET on the Discovery channel.