Essentially, today was a ‘getting there’ day. An 05:00 breakfast followed by an 11:30 flight to Nome via Anchorage. En route there were beautiful views of snow-capped peaks and glacial lakes. At -9 GMT we are on board the ship at the tiny town of Nome (64N 165W). It is a rainy and wind-swept scene as we wait for departure at 22:00 for the Bering Strait.
By 1900, Nome was a sprawling town of 20,000 people. Its development was linked, like so many other places in Alaska, to the history of the Klondike. However, the Klondike River and the gold district named after it are not in Alaska, but in the Yukon Territory of Canada. The Alaska Gold Rush came off the back of the Klondike when particles of gold were found in the sandy beaches at the mouth of the Snake River. This is where our ship is moored, at 1000 miles to the west of the Klondike.
Nome was the departure and arrival point of Henry Larsen’s first ever crossing of the Northwest Passage in both directions. More later.