Southern gambler Vernon Adkison is the gold-hungry owner of the Wild Ranger. Though still working part-time as a ship's pilot, Vernon is turning more and more of his attention to Nome as he attempts to revolutionize underwater mining. He brought a $250,000 bottom crawler to the Bering Sea for the truncated ice season last year. Despite a series of technical difficulties and unwieldy rock jams, the sub-dredge showed the potential the feisty captain envisioned with all of his "game-changing" proclamations.
This summer, Vernon is betting all of his chips on the bottom crawler and banking that his 'Golden Seahorse' will not let him down. But being on the cutting-edge is often pricey and dicey. Vernon has sunk every last dime into unproven new technology with no guarantee that it's going to pay off.