Diomede is located on the west coast of Little Diomede Island in the Bering Strait, 135 miles northwest of Nome. It is only 2.5 miles from Big Diomede Island, Russia. The international dateline lies 1.5 miles from Little Diomede, between the two islands. Temperatures range from 40-50 °F in the summer and -10 to 6 °F in the winter. The total population is approximately 133 people consisting of greater than 90% Alaskan Natives.
Due to environmental conditions, accessibility is often very difficult. Transportation by air is limited to helicopter during the summer months (plane access is not possible because of steep slopes and rocky terrain), while in the winter it is possible to land planes on the sea ice. Boat travel to Wales also occurs periodically, sometimes by skin or aluminum boats. The trip by boat is approximately 28 miles from Diomede to Wales and can be very dangerous due to rapidly changing weather conditions and strong currents.
The Diomede people depend almost entirely upon a subsistence economy for their livelihood. Fish, crab, walrus, seal, bowhead & beluga whales, and polar bear are among the resources utilized. The people of Diomede hunt whales during the spring from open leads in the sea ice. The practice of whaling was not successful or not pursued for several decades in the middle to late 20th century until 1999 when the hunt was again successful.
Bogojavlensky, Sergei. 1969. Imaangmiut Eskimo Careers: Skinboats in Bering Strait. Description: v, 250 leaves : p., map ;, 29 cm. Language: English
Curtis, Edward S, Frederick Webb Hodge; J Pierpont Morgan. 1930. The Alaskan Eskimo.
Norwood, MA : Plimpton Press.
Eide, Arthur Hansin. 1952. Drums of Diomede: the Transformation of
the Alaska Eskimo. Hollywood, CA: House-Warven.
Diomede weather from the Weather Underground
Sea Ice conditions for AK, images from the last 14 days
Diomede community site from Kawarek, Inc.