Waves of Trash in Surfer Paradise

Aug 13, 2013 6:00am
HT trash wave nt 130807 3x2 608 Waves of Trash in Surfer Paradise

Surf champion Dede Suryana surfs through a slick of trash in Indonesia. (Zak Noyle/A-Frame)

It’s what many imagine as paradise: Crystal-clear, blue-green waters perfect for catching a wave.

But the reality is sometimes far different, as captured by surf photographer Zak Noyle on a recent trip to Indonesia. On assignment for Surf Magazine, where he’s a staff photographer charged with traveling the world in search of perfect waves, he flew to a remote spot near Bali where there were “no people only jungle and wild animals around.”

“The trash suddenly showed up while we were out in the water in a large mass, including tree trunks the size of cars, lots of food wrappers and bottles as well, we even saw soccer balls floating amongst the debris,” he said.  ”I kept on thinking I would be seeing a body of some type of animal or something float by.”

The debris and trash, he said, came in with the very swell Noyle was there to photograph. “It came in a large field seemingly out of nowhere and covered the entire area we were in and then washed ashore. At one point it was as far as the eye could see.”

Noyle was living on a small fishing boat with no means to clean up all the trash.

The remote location — it took almost 24 hours of flying, 12 hours of driving and an eight-hour boat ride to get there– made the trash all the more surprising. “The trash was devastating to see, it seemed to have been adrift for awhile and came in with the large swell into this bay that we were at. I love the ocean and we need to take care of it.”

For more photos, visit Noyle’s web site.

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