The Yakutat Expedition: Part 2

Joe Curren carving ice sculptures through Yakutat.

Coastal Code: Conservation Work

After playing in Juneau for a few days, we boarded a puddle jumper to the small seaside surfing community of Yakutat. Believe it or not, a majority of us had to check in kegs and cases of beer to keep our group warm over the next weeks surf explorations.

Needless to say, it was easy to make friends with the locals. We were blessed to have met local shredders Sam and Joey on the plane flight over. After checking into our compound, we quickly set out for an impromptu beach clean up/surf check.

After hanging with Alaskan's for a few days, it's easy to recognize that these people don't do anything half-ass. Beach clean ups commonly included ATV's with trailers, knives, water proof suits, beers, a lot of hard work and literally tons of trash collected. Alaskan trash pick ups can tell you a lot about their sea's currents which pick up not only local industry pollution but neighboring countries waste as well. Sadly, these untouched and isolated beaches were covered in driftwood, tangled fishing nets and trash from countries like China, Japan and Russia. For most of us it was a harsh reality. Fortunately great organizations like the Coastal Code have teamed up with other organizations such as the Marine Conservation {{{Alliance}}} (MCA) to help monitor and manage the tremendous amount of waste that Alaskan shores are currently facing.

After taking over 2,500 lbs of marine debris to the local dump, we spent the after noon playing in the ocean. The waves were small, but the cold water worked perfect on our sore bones. We were surfing by ourselves in a natural preserve across the bay from the snow capped St. Elias mountain range, which is the tallest coastal mountain range in the world. Later that night we barbequed with our local buds and heard that the next few days might provide us with some fun surf and clear skies.

[Log onto Wed for the final installment and Lightbox of the Yakutat expedition]

OC surfer Rick Erkeneff, Eli Saddler, Joe Curren, Chris Del Moro, Tara Molle and Mike Wheeler check the Alaskan Brew Company.