There's a long breakwater at the entrance to Nome's shallow harbor, which is continuously dredged in calm weather; even so, the harbor itself is shallow, about 10 feet, and since the 64-foot Ocean Watch draws nearly nine, we've been keeping a close eye on the depth sounder. Once outside the breakwater, the definite highlight of the paddle was having a close look at the makeshift barges, some of them pretty rickety, that a whole slew of hopeful prospectors use today in their search for gold. The original Alaska Gold Rush took place a little over 100 years ago, but a new one of sorts is under way. Gold is currently trading at around US$950 an ounce, and some of the boys say they're finding up to four ounces a day. All I can say is that they're earning their money.