In Nome, we met Alex from Barcelona. We did not know anything about Alex until he started emailing us. At the time, we were in Dutch Harbor and he himself was in Seward where he had heard of us from a French sailor who had heard of our plans from a friend of ours. Anyway, Alex is a committed vagabond and he was determined to sail the Northwest Passage with us. We had declined his kind offer of becoming a member of our small crew already several times by email but, when you have a dream, it is hard to give it up. So, Alex had decided to fly to Nome to meet us! Naturally, we had no knowledge of his plans. Imagine our surprise when a few days ago we heard somebody calling us out at the dock and there he was, a young man with a broad smile on his face, greeting us with the words “Hi, family!” He had spent most of his money on the plane ticket to Nome and had to find a job before he could fly back to Seward. As far as we know, Alex is now digging gold somewhere outside Nome and hopefully making his fortune!
Yesterday, we went to do the laundry. Finding the place was a bit difficult as there was no proper sign on the building. It said Mark's Soap N Suds Bar and Grill on the outside wall, and it took a while before we understood that it also referred to the laundry. Inside the building, there was a small take-out restaurant and at the back, a smoke-filled bar with a pool table in the centre and a few tables around it. Along the back wall, there were washing machines and gas-operated!! dryers. Although one of our socks got stuck on the dryer's inside wall and melted in the flames, for once we actually enjoyed doing the laundry. The place was open from 6 pm to 3 am, so both the time of the day and the venue itself gave us a good excuse for having a G&T and a game of pool while waiting for our clothes to dry.
One thing that we have not managed to sort out so far is the musk ox viewing, i.e. we are still without a car. In Nome, the problem is that there are either too many tourists or too few rental cars. People fly here as that is the only way to reach Nome, except by boat of course. And they all have reserved a car well in advance which means that there is not a single car left for us. However, we still have a few days left before we leave for Barrow, and anything can happen before that.