Life in Nel’kan
We left Iakutsk on June 13th and started sailing down the river Lena. After 280 miles, we turned into the river Aldan and went up the river. On the 17th, we got to Ust’-Notora, where our brothers stayed behind. They got off the ship, carried all their belongings on shore and said their good-byes to us. The ship set sail. After sailing for another 180 miles, we went to the Skoptsy village of Petropavlovskoe. The ship stayed there for 10 hours; they were loading flour for the workers. My brother and I also stocked up on everything necessary since it was difficult and expensive to get anything in Nel’kan. From Petropavlovskoe, we sailed up the river Maia and we no longer saw any Russian population. Here and there, one could see Tungus and Yakut yurts and some indigenous people, but these were rare occasions. We safely arrived in Nel’kan on the 26th, thank God. The settlement of Nel’kan served as a warehouse for tea brought from China by steamship. In winter, tea was carried from Aian to Nel’kan on reindeer sleighs. The total amount of tea transported during winter time was 60,000 bushels. The distance between Aian and Nel’kan was 208 miles. There were warehouses built in Nel’kan, and three Russians in charge of them lived there. They had their own families. In the fall, the three warehouse workers came to Nel’kan from Iakutsk by boat, and in winter, they received the tea shipments.