ASC Microplastics Adventurer
Papua Province on the island of New Guinea is a wild and remote area. Poor infrastructure and the simmering conflict between native Papuan and the Indonesian government have restricted development.
While exploring the coastline, our surfEXPLORE team met a cross-section of local residents, including tribal people with little involvement or concern for the 21st century, betel-nut chewing indigenous Papuan people who have lived in this area continuously for roughly 30,000 years, quite a few trans-migrasi ethnic Malay Asian Indonesians who’ve received government assistance to leave crowded areas like Java and Bali and resettle in Papua.
What we did not see was a single Caucasian foreigner.
SurfEXPLORE is a multi-national group who travel to some of the world's more remote and exotic locations seeking undiscovered surfing waves. Our core team is French surfer Erwan Simon, British longboard champion Sam Bleakley, Italian surfer Emiliano Cataldi, and me, Hawaiian photographer John Seaton Callahan. This was our fifth project in Pacific Indonesia, and it remains one of our favorite places to travel, explore and surf.
When we contacted the Tourism Official in Sarmi, a large town on the coast known as "Kota Ombak," or “City of Waves” in Bahasa, the woman there said they recorded 24 foreign visitors in all of 2014.
We had researched the coastline for several months prior, and we found that some of our marked areas did have good waves, some did not, and we found several waves in unexpected places!