FROM Village Girl

Other lives part 2

There are 2 cruise ships in town, small by comparison with some of the beheviathans that we see in Sydney. In the photo, ‘The World’ anchored offshore on the left, ‘Roald Amundsen’ on the right, alongside in the harbour and a gaggle of passengers looking at sled dogs lower left. A supply barge out on the far horizon. Perhaps 1500 passengers all told and Nome is busy with yellow school buses ferrying them around and guided tours of the old gold mining sites and Iditarod dogs and souvenirs. There is some lovely carved walrus ivory in town, but I think the souvenirs are mostly made in China. There ya go. Not a big source of income for the town either, as most of the money stays with the cruise companies, but Alaska Airlines lays on extra flights to keep the ships full. ‘The World’ has an entry port low down near the waterline and it must be an interesting transfer to the modified lifeboat that ferrries people ashore. Through the binoculars I can see the lifeboat riding the 5ft swell alongside and it’s a bumpy ride from there to the inner harbour. The Amundsen seems to have an ice strengthened hull and is on its maiden cruise. Nome is a small town and all low level. I went for a run yesterday on a loop that took me about 4 miles north of town and looking back, ‘The World’ completely dominated the skyline, a huge squat apartment block much higher than the church steeple at Old St. Joe’s. I know people for whom cruise ships are a way of life. For others, a cruise is a lifetime dream. I’m privileged to have been able to sail here.

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