“There’s no place like Nome.”
At the end of Alaska, the town that marks the end of the Northwest Passage is very different from the Inuit communities we’ve visited so far. Nome still bears the scars of a major gold rush in the early 20th century. In 1925, the town was hit by a diphtheria epidemic. While ice and a blizzard prevented any shipments of medicine by air or sea, a sled managed to reach Nome with the life-saving serum. The last musher in the relay is Gunnar Kaasen, and the dog leading the sled is Balto.
The story inspired the animated film “Balto”, and is still celebrated today in the Iditarod, a 1,757 km dog sled race across Alaska.
As for the sailboat Que Sera, the crew is currently on its way to the Aleutian Islands.
Photos: Pacifique – Alexis Blanc