Cyrus Sutton Returns to Surf Kamchatka, Russia. A Photo Essay.

by Owen James Burke


“10 days ago we were dropped off here in a MI-4 helicopter,” writes Scuttlefish friend Cyrus Sutton. “We were greeted by hollow chest high waves, poachers, bear tracks, waterfalls and swarms of deet loving mosquitos. The first day we surfed till dark with a large group of seals. After the session we returned to camp and setup the electric bear fencing which looked much more flimsy than advertised. We huddled around the fire to warm up, hide from bugs and cook dinner. Around midnight a caviar poacher from downriver walked towards us with a large gun. He explained that he feared for our safety and handed us the rusty over under shotgun loaded with two rounds then disappeared in the moonlight. We didn’t sleep too well that night . . .” Photo: Cyrus Sutton.


“There are no roads in this part of the world and the only way to access it is by renting an ex-military helicopter. At the north end of the beach one of the most pristine salmon runs in the world. This estuary flows into the icy Pacific and forms what looks to be a perfect sandbar.” Photo: Cyrus Sutton.


“We watched flawless tiny waves peel across the small cobblestones as we pulled large Silver Salmon from the river.” Photo: Cyrus Sutton.


There’s at least one good thing about spotting big bear tracks along the river; it’s a good indication that the salmon might be running. Photo: Cyrus Sutton.


Photo: Cyrus Sutton.


“After the swell died on the remote beach we came back to town and hired a guide named Evgenia. He was an ex-military Russian guy who loved canned beef and vodka. His job was to take people through difficult roads to volcanos in the Kamchatkan hinterlands. Lucky for us he drove a Mitsubishi Delica. Illegal in the USA, Delica vans are turbo diesel 4×4 mini vans that can handle almost any terrain in the world. I was frothing.” Photo: Cyrus Sutton.


Photo: Cyrus Sutton.


Photo: Cyrus Sutton.


Photo: Cyrus Sutton.


Photo: Cyrus Sutton.

A photo posted by Cyrus Sutton (@cyrus_sutton) on

Read Scuttlefish interviews with Cyrus Sutton and Chris Burkard and Follow Cyrus and Chris on Instagram. -OJB

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