December 31, 2010
I hope you're having a good holiday season and finding the waves you need for Molly during this flatspell we've got going here.
I've got a bunch of pictures for you from the last swell. I injured my ankle pretty good surfing the big Tuesday swell before Christmas so I'll be shooting a lot more for at least another month and you'll likely see more from me for a while.
Have a great New Year!
Thanks Mike...sorry to hear about your ankle though.
December 30, 2010
"Hey Ralph, I finally had a Molly dream last night and it was awesome....."
That' s great news. I want to hear all about it.
1970, released from active duty with some separation pay, first stop, Ford Dealer, new surf wagon. Note the ‘quiver’ of 2 boards the same length 10’.
I was one year behind you...my first vehicle was a VW bug with Aloha Racks...my first Van was a Dodge Tradesman 1972!
A photo from 1965. A few columns ago you ran some photos of a 57 Chevy surf wagon a guy was restoring. There was nothing restored about my 57 Chev. I bought it for $200 and being a Massachusetts driver under 25 the compulsory insurance to get it on the road was $285.
Fortunately I had enough left from summer employment to purchase a 10 Foot Hansen, a set of Aloha Surf Racks and a Parkway lined sharkskin beaver tail wetsuit that was in the trunk. Life was perfect, till the Army called
Ed you are too much. Talk about classic vehicles...leave it to you to have the CHEVY 57...damn! The only think I came close to was my Chevy Wagon suped up with a 286 3 speed Hurst. It never left the driveway once we converted it.
To prove that the BDI is no recent phenomena, I submit this Kodachrome slide stamped Aug 1970. It shows my buddy George Hutchins dropping in on Steve “Surfer Crow” Watson on a nice late summer wave 40 years ago at the Wells Jetties.
Back then, I was determined to become the East Coast Ron Stoner and capture those nice bright colors on the annoying slow (ISO25) Kodachrome film. Tomorrow is the last day Kodachrome slide film can be processed. Kodak stopped making the unique developer it requires and the lab that has the last batch of developer will run out on Dec 31, 2010, end of an era. I bet you shot plenty of the stuff in your film days also.
Thanks so much Ed...wow. Another classic. I was still in Nam in 1970...Though sad news about Kodachrome slide film. Another long lost era for us old photographers. At least we still have the images we shot.
"Read the column.. don't feel guilty Ralph. Many wouldn't paddle out in NH in winter when it's firing, nevemind flat. What you are doing is both remarkable and dedicated, so no guilt -- even when you don't get your hair wet."
Thanks TC...I could not help but feel guilty today though.
Hope all is well with you, Cory and the kids and you had a great, albeit snowy Christmas. Looks like you guys got hammered.
We got tons of rain, and one day of nice swell, unfortunately I have no pictures to show for it (where are you and Ed when I need you!!!) and an earfull of dirty run-off sea water.
I was hoping you could do me two favors...
First, I'd love to get a copy of "The Run" let me know how much vid+shipping is and I'll send you a check.
and second, I got the feeling from the shout-outs on the Sunday blog that maybe Kim Grondin is in for another fight. I have an email for Kevin, but I think Kim actually deals with his email, so it's tough to ask directly. Please tell Kevin that Linda and I are thinking about them as always, and hope Kim is OK.
Hello to Duffy, Skip, Rick and Mikey, Lenny, Ed O', Mike Stanek, Longboard Larry, too many to mention, but hope everyone is enjoying the winter.
b. michael taylor
Michael I will pass along all of your well wishes and get you the RUN REDUX Asap.
December 29, 2010
hey Vince, just saw the waves from day 156... howling, churning, marching wave after wave... you deserved it!
Thom it was nuts...but thanks.
good xmas blog. Wear hood and gloves. Note my father states 2 minutes is what the military instructed him during survival training, meaning if you parachute into the winter ocean, you’ve got 2 minutes to get into your life raft or you won’t be able to.
p.s. Are you having a Movie Night at the Post for your new flick? If so, let me know.
Thanks...not sure about the movie night. I'll let you know.
"You are extremely dedicated to this cause...you have recently surfed being very sick I do not even know you and have been worried and now this day when we had unbelievable snow storms all over the state and extreme conditions at the beach I'm so glad you saw a rainbow and I am pretty sure it was from Molly or your DAd , Wishing you and your family a Happy and Healthy New Year!"
There are things that cannot be explained. You just have to believe.
"You deserved that rainbow for going out at all, mah baruthah!"
Deserving has nothing to do with it. You have to earn it.
December 28, 2010
Thanks for the update as I always read your “weekly”, but was alerted to the photo by a few buddies who logged on earlier.
I will be sure to thank Ed the very next time I see him as I was humbled with the admission of the photo. A very Big Thank You to you as you knew who I was and Ed was able to put a name with the photo.
Really appreciate the gesture and I am always hoping for a “shot” and now that I have one, makes me want to work harder than ever to get one of those “Stanek” shots....He is absolutely amazing!!
Happy New Year!!
You got your 15 minutes...
sorry Ralph. Nevin's and I had a little morning shoot we did. I really wanted to be there when you were snowblowing out your drive way, but I could not get out of mine! We will try again. I am home for awhile.
No worries...winter is just getting started.
December 27, 2010
"I did the snow-blower thing today too...20+ inches in a brisk single digit vermont afternoon! But you're super hard-core Ralph...no way I could handle the water on such a cold, windy, snowy day!"
Blowing snow is the easy part...
Ralph, caught the movie, great job! Love the December to remember section....!
Got a couple more shots this afternoon.
"Ralph, if you're getting waves like that even in this weather, it can't be all bad, eh?"
Lester P. Great Lakes
It ain't that bad Lester...at least not yet.
Surfed Long Beach 24th 25th with my son and son in law.Should have driven North on the 25th but we had a party at noon.It was head high here for sure with a lot of juice.My friend Jay surfed Braces on that Big Tuesday.He damaged his Meierhoffer that day and snapped it at Long the next day.Strange board but very fast.He said it was the biggest he ever surfed it.Long rides.Good pics on the site this week.
Big storm last night I have a tree down out back.It was probably blowing 70 here. Snow is like cement.I am overlooking the antlers on Patch but I feel his pain.
All the best
The girls love dressing that puppy up. Glad you got good waves.
"Good luck out there today Ralph! I'm putting a ten dollar bill in the "dollar a day ( a wave)" for you today!!! Going to be wild out there!"
I'll be fine. You kidding? This is nothing.
December 26, 2010
Thanks Ralph. The best to you & your family today & always.
Just back from visiting our kids & grandkids & it was fun.
Everyone is well & we are blessed.
Wally E. California
Grampa Wally...that's great!
Wow! You guys got giant waves. The photos were epic! This past tues. and wed. gave us fun, perfect surf in the 3 – 5 ft. range @ Stuart Beach in Martin County (see attached photo).
I was skinnin’ it! (water 65 – air 75)
Happy new year!
If I can be of further assistance please do not hesitate to call.
Glenn M. Florida
I could use some warm water...
Hey Ralph, Merry Christmas to you and your family! I hope everyone is doing well.
You wouldn't happen to have a 6'4"+- short board I could borrow for when this storm passes would you? All my boards are in Florida right now and it would be nice to catch some REAL waves for a change.
Reply at your leisure.
I'll look around Nick...
Thanks for the response. I'll drop a check in the mail tomorrow.
That wave may not have been the biggest I have surfed, but it was certainly up
Thanks again, and I'm sure I'll see you out surfing sometime.
"Good luck in the Nor Easter tomorrow. I'll be thinking about you. Happy Holidays to you guys!"
I'm not that concerned..thanks same to you.
Yes, Merry Christmas to you too.
Betsy and I were out yesterday. A rather large print in the mix down by your stands. Looks like these deer were kicking up the leaves looking for acorns. Not huge, but nice size. I think we moved this deer out of the area when we approached as the tracks were very sharp and fresh. You’ll see them if you go out there today before the blizzard.
I think I was seeing you and Patch’s tracks and they looked pretty fresh too. Yesterday?
I'm not sure, could of been my tracks.
December 25, 2010 CHRISTMAS DAY
When you surfing your wave on tuesday? I would love to come do a piece on you.
I never know...I'll call you.
Merry Christmas. I thought I would send you a picture from our house tonight. the individual at the end of the table is my son-in-law Patrick Mulvey. He is just learning to surf. Yesterday he got his first overhead wave at Jennes and was able to ride it the entire way. We have a tradition on all get togethers with a game called High and Lows for the day. His high still is yesterdays wave. He has been bitten! He is the one sitting up high.
He looks as stoked as you sound.
Great trailer!! Can't wait to see the vid"
"Trailer looks fantastic, thanks for hanging in there Ralph, can't wait to see it."
"thats a great trailer.... be sick to see it on magicseaweed..."
Thank you Ed and John...you are both a big part of this. Merry Christmas
Congratulations on finishing the film! I would love to view it in 2011! Hyped up on too much sugar, and still excited for xmas even though I'm not a little kid anymore, I stayed up to send a few of my veteran friends this poem my grandfather had me memorize every year (since I was 6) for him during the holidays. It has more meaning to me now for obvious reasons.
But you are an old soul as well- and I thought to share with you. Here's to an amazing and healing year of surfing and sharing the lessons learned. And thank you for being one of the generous people who shares their story. Some people forget- but just the act of sharing your truth these days is a brave one.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
William Ernest Henley
Kate...thank you for sharing this. Merry Christmas
"nice! I'll have to pick this up for a friend Dale from Maine,He is another die hard NE surfer like you!!"
Good Stuff Ralph!!!!!!"
December 24, 2010 Christmas Eve
I drove past you this morning and surfed Straws, and I got a ton of emails/FB messages about Straws on Tuesday so you don't have to rub it in....ha.
Merry Christmas, brother. Santa's bringing waves all week....
"Merry Christmas Ralph! YOU ROCK!!"
Merry Christmas to the whole Rowlee Family! I love you guys!
Psyched to see a couple pics of me in your latest blog. I'm the 'unknown on a
blue bottom board' that you captured out at Linkys on 12/14 - what a day! I
was riding my baby blue 7'6" with a white deck, and I remember that wave
vividly - I attached the pics from your blog. Would it be possible to get the
image files? I would be happy to pay for them, let me know.
We met briefly a while ago, and I'm sure we know a lot of the same people. I
always enjoy reading your blog and the pics are great - good stuff.
That was an amazing wave...I'm stoked you want it.
Heard you yell "Merry Christmas" on your last wave this morning and just
wanted to say the same to you as well!!
Great to see you out there this week and let's hope that these "Lows" keep
spinning off the coast and backing in on us!!
Merry Christmas to you and your family!!
That was fun surfing with you and the kids today.
My oldest of friend (man you are old) Merry Christmas to you and your family. I hope you all get to spend some time together over the Holiday. Your the man!
Ouch...but you look older than me...? How is that possible? Merry Christmas Gramps.
27 years ago tonight...
Ralphie - I am glad the forces of Christmas (and rock & roll) brought you and Cory together! Happy if I had some small part to play in it. Your Little Drummer Boy was always the highlight of the show to me. Love you guys and hope your Christmas is a great one. Here's a little pic of Andy and me celebrating the season (The bacon? Turns out decking the halls should only be done with boughs of holly).
XOXOX to all the Fatello family!
Merry Christmas Beth and Andy!
We feel the same. Many Blessings to you and your family! We are greatful that you are a part of our lives!
Wishing you a wonderful Christmas.
W & S
Merry Christmas to the whole family!
December 23, 2010
Ralph, I surfed with you at Straws about a month ago. I committed that I would donate $1 for every day that you surfed every day up to 365 days. Just wanted to put it in writing so that you know that I am serious. Let me know when I should send the check.
I was in Miami on Tuesday and and was back surfing in NH the following day.
Hope that you received the donation. I am glad to help anyone that will go in the water ever day in the winter.
I am off to Costa Rica for 4 months starting on 1/3.
See you in the Spring.
December 22, 2010
You make the wave, the wave dosen't make you.
December 21, 2010
Hey Ralph, got some good rides and a couple pretty good shots today...I'm counting it a sucess! Good to see you tonight.
Same here Steve.
"Ralph would go"
Ralph has to go...
"Some bombs today Ralph"
Thanks for the kind words of sympathy concerning the loss of my stepson Christopher Parks. He was a dynamic leader, graphic designer and lifelong martial artist who touched a lot of people and will be sorely missed. (Some surfers may remember him as a bartender at La Bec Rouge a few years back.) Nothing can take away our pain and loss, and while I'm not happy about it, there is some consolation knowing he died riding his beautiful motorcycle, while doing something he loved. Thanks again for your kindness - and all the great shots!! Waves on your site are amazing. Aloha - John Grady
You're welcome. I am truly sorry for you and Carol's loss. I know words of comfort can only go so far. I know that love and support can only ease the pain at times. But I also know, that time and the ocean can help. Get back into the ocean when you are ready, and the let the healing powers that she possesses do her work on your soul.
Love and the happy memories of Chris will someday fill all of your lives again.
God Bless and Aloha.
Hey Dad! Hope your wave was good today, the sun ended up coming out so I hope you got to enjoy the ocean with some sun and snow! Haha! It must be getting so much colder, especially with the snow starting. And, tonight around 6 I believe it is technically winter!
I'm really glad I helped that poor dog yesterday. All I could think of was Scout, and what I would do just to save him. I took that dog in the pen, I had to. It was snowing, and Christmas is a few days away. I didn't want a family to go through that. Luckly, the dog heard me playing with Patch in the snow and came prancing up to the pen. Our neighbors in the blue house helped out too by calling the police. When the owner came to retrieve his dog, he tried giving me a reward. I declined it and told him Happy Holidays and enjoy it, and I know the feeling of losing a dog. He told me I "made his week/holiday" so it made me feel really good. I know you would do the same too, what can we say, we are DOG PEOPLE!! Mom at one point tried telling me to let him out and run home, I disagreed and said No way!! He could get hit by a car, people were already driving like idiots!!
Ever since Sunday night, I've been listening to the Jimi Hendrix CD mix I made for myself in the car on the way to work. I want to burn some Kings X CDs too, and all that great music we used to listen to. Music is always soothing.
Well, back to work! Mom says you are shopping tonight, Happy shopping and good luck!
I Love You
You did the right thing with that dog. I'm really proud of you. And if there's a place in heaven for Dogs, I'm sure both Gunny and Scout were wagging their tales for you.
I love you Gabby.
Good Luck out there today, it looks very angry on the cam.
No problem...at least I know there's surf.
"Committed. Committed to the drop. "The drop" is 365 wave in 365 days. For Molly. Ralph is "committed to the drop." Thank you, Ralph for all you do."
December 20, 2010
Pats vs Packers...How is your heart doing today?
Brother that was gut wrenching...but therein lies the beauty of the NFL. You just never know.
I got your email from Dave Cropper. How are you? I saw that you took pics during this last swell. I am on the lookout for a shot of my husband from last tuesday at rye--he was out at f- hill between 12 and 2 and said it was just epic. I thought a photo would make a good christmas present. I looked on your page and didn't see him, but didn't know if you had more you haven't posted.
I don't know if you know him-he's Dave B. We are from Ogunquit but he works in portsmouth and surfs down there sometimes. That day he was on a 5'8" rusty quadfin. He's 39, tall with medium build, and has short black hair and a goatee. I know everyone looks the same in a 6 mil...
Thanks for your time Ralph--let me know if you find any shots!
ps--I think what you are doing with catching a wave each day for molly is a beautiful thing. I don't know the family, but Drew and Ginger Kellar are old dear friends of ours, and they shared her story with me. I am a mom also, and I can't imagine what her parents have gone through. they are in my prayers...
Is he a regular foot or goofy foot? And what color is his board?
If I don't have him in stills he may be in my new movie...that's
coming out this week.
December 19, 2010
I think all of you on this email have surfed from a boat. Given that, you'd agree that it is hard to really suss out a break from offshore. Well, there is a place I have gone by about 20 times over the years on my way to my favorite beach break in Bocas, Playa Larga. A great wave worthy of discussion for another time.
On the way to Playa Larga with guest in tow this morning, I spied this break I have seen and wondered about many times. From the back, it broke to the right, long spray coming off the back evenly with white water marking a pretty clean looking line. As the other times, I hooted, pointed...and kept going to Playa Larga. We got there, it looked good with shore ponding barrels and I turned to my guest and said "lets go check out that reef." He was game, we turned around and sped back.
We anchored up about 150 yards off the outside break for safty reasons. This place breaks 35 minutes "out-there". Anything goes wrong, it is a long way back. While paddleing towards the line up, I asked him if he had ever broken in a new spot...the first to ride a wave. "No, but I really have wanted to do this" he said. We were both nervous as the surf was booming on the reef. Also, we could see the bottom in the gin clear water, and the coral below was alive and wicked sharp.
I caught the first wave and got the naming rights..."Long Reef".
Long Reef breaks about 150 yards, right. We caught it at 2 - 4 foot overhead. The outside is a bowl, steep but reasonable for Bocas. It slingshots into a wall that get really hollow as it reels off this super clear reef. There is also an inside section and corner as well making for three distinc lineups. The wave is demanding, fast, and hollow. The sets were four out of five stars, with several unridden waves that were worldclass. This wave stands up to anything I have ridden in the south pacific and easily one of the better waves in Bocas Del Toro. What makes this even wilder is that it broke at 4.5 feet, 9 seconds on a NE swell - this is almost every day in the winter spring and summer.
I'll get pics next time...and I thought about you guys while out there today.
Life is better when you surf.
I'm so there next January Stan...can't wait!.
Fantastic job, You perfectly documented that huge swell. I thought your photos were great, particularly the empty wave shots and the cloudbreak pics. John’s stuff was great also. We were standing next to each other talking in the afternoon and seem to have quite a few ‘Siamese twin’ shots unfortunately. Didn’t the CO always say don’t bunch up, Charlie will take you all out with one grenade?
Thanks Ed your stuff was top notch as always. And it was the Platoon Sgt or Gunny
that told us that...but yea, Do'nt bunch up.
I like your outlook on surfing brutha and can't begin to express the stoke I have on your pics. Blows my mind that it's on ESM. I dropped that wave and saw it setup, I wanted to come out the other side so bad!
See you in the lineup!
ESM is the Best!
I just saw the updated blog. I want to thank you man. Before this winter I've never seen a picture of me surfing. Now because of you I got a seuence of one of the better waves I can remember. Thanks man.
After the holidays are over I would be stoked to get a hi res image for any of those pics you took. Let me know what they cost.
Keep up the good work brutha!
That was a great wave. Keep surfing. Remember, Surfing Heals All Wounds.
Saw your most excellent blog and had to congratulate you.
I don't know if you remember me, but I worked at the Beverly Times as
a reporter from 83 to 85 and we talked about surfing and guitar. I'd
moved to the east from Santa Barbara and stuck around. I wrote a
story on you in your Vinny days, if I recall correctly (or maybe I
just dreamed that).
Anyway, I've been in Atlantic Beach in northeast Florida, a couple
blocks from the beach, most of the time since then, working at the
Florida Times-Union, the daily in Jacksonville. Still writing. Still
surf, still play guitar, and still married to Robin. We have three
kids, the oldest of which is the age I was when I started with the
Times. Both boys surf far better than me.
I'm SUPing a lot these days, mostly for the fun and new challenge and
a change in our usually gutless waves. But the big board and paddle
have also given me access to a fickle, sharky offshore sandbar with a
just-about perfect right point at one end and an awfully decent left
on the other. That's been fun.
I think a lot about how much fun I had surfing up in New England with
my 3-2 California wetsuit on over my spring suit ... You guys have
great waves up there. I think it would have been a good alternate
life if i'd stayed up there.
Love those pictures from your big December swell from, I believe,
what I used to know as Linky's or Fox HIll. I got a few good days up
there, back in the day.
Here's a link to a story I did recently on a cool old surfer from here.
All the best, Ralph. Looks like you're doing some great stuff.
I remember you. Glad to hear that you are still doing the things that make you happy.
Florida huh? I guess the warm water can't be bad. I guess I'll forever be a New England boy.
It's in our blood. Though, I'll be looking forward to getting back to the tropics one of these days after my latest mission is over. I'm assuming you've been aware of my Catch a Wave For Molly Fund raiser. The Internet is certainly a powerful tool. The ability to reach to so many people.
My daily blog and weekly blog has been sustaining me through these difficult times.
Have not got into the SUP scene. Lots of guys have though. I don't know if it's for me. I think not.Yes those shots were of Linkys. Fox Hill was reeling. I mean it was top to bottom 10' plus. Just insane barrels all day long. I did not surf there the big day. I surfed Straws Point alone. It was big and it looked like Indo or something. But not a soul out there. Weird.
Send me pics of your kids and you every now and then. I'd be happy to post them.
Stay in touch Matt. Keep surfing. Remember, Surfing Heals All Wounds.
December 18, 2010
"Ralph, sorry to say this but I think Im going to start taking my surf lessons with Kai.... That pic of Stu is wild, thats a pretty gaping barrel that wave was carrying... Also the pic of the Pre-Dawn photo by Steve is outta this world... I could only wish to get up that early!"
Thanks Justin, Kai is a good surfer.
Some shots from Cold Wednesday. The shots of Kai and his dad at the rocks was taken late in the day.Wanted to shoot earlier but it took me an hour to get out of my wet suit and to be able to hold a camera. Darkness comes early this time of year.Not good for slacking.
Thanks Andrew these are great!
First of all, God bless you for the Molly 365 campaign. i'm not sure how it works, but i'm pledging my 10 cents a day of love. Becoming the Sun and Sky's energy manifest in the ocean as it shoals upon our shores once a day, making the commitment to catch a wave a day to ease the suffering of families, is a beautiful thing.
Amazing alchemy: waves to gold with your determined effort and the good will of mankind. Persevere with joy brother! Get shacked.
Secondly, thanks again for the website and all the hard work it entails. It's a wonderful resource for our community and it certainly fires the stoke. As usual, but even more than usual, i cant wait to see the photos from this past week. Sick waves
Lastly, thanks for the personal photo and undeserved but heartfelt tag Flowmaster. We used to say "he's got mad flow yo!" as the best of compliments. Makes this kook smile inside. i don't even know what to say, are you shitting me? To dissapear into the Flow and radiate the waves living intrinsic beauty, thats some kind a Flow. Someday. Sometimes surfing is a pray in motion for me, often a prayer for the dead, the dying and those being born. A pray for peace and well being for all. Surfing is a way to keep my heart and mind and body smiling. Its the bomb. You've turned surfing into real help for those in need, thats mad Flow yo!
Shazam, I aspire to become the Flow i see in the water around me.
Peace be with you and your family this Christmas season and for the years to come,
Thank you Dale. Those were Beautiful heartfelt words of love.
Thank you again for the kindest of kind words.
God Bless you and Merry Christmas to you and your
Thanks for all of the letters, notes, and phone calls from all of you regarding my Dad. He passed away peacefully last night at 2am, and was and pain free and content at the end. He got to live his life the way he wanted to, and remained living independently as was his preference right up to the very end. He sustained a fall in which he hit his head a week ago, and was never able to recover from that; but I got to see him in the last days and for a bit, we could talk and he was lucid. He was at peace and read to go, and it really couldn’t have been any better. The end was merciful, and we are all thankful for that.
Thanks for all of your thoughts.
So sorry about your dad Jeff. He sounded like a great father.
Hey Ralph, shot these this morning. Got up to check it and the swell's not here quite yet. I'm cleaning Mom's house today, per my brother Mike, I have to be out of here by tonight at 5pm. I'm going to stay with a friend until after the Xmas holiday and I'll be here this week to surf this swell. We'll definietly hook up. Thanks for everything brother.
You're welcome Steve. Again sorry about your Mother's passing.
December 17, 2010
Thanks Ralph, you know some days we get lucky, the sun, surf all right where we want them. Ed
Except in cases like your stuff it's a little more than luck Ed. Talent plays a big part in this.
Looks like things have been rather eventful over there lately. The updates on the Molly blog /facebook fan page have been great. Can't wait to read this coming weeks post! Attached are some photos from a couple sessions I did with Analog team riders Bobby Okvist and Nick Fowler. Hoping for some better surf out here to match the waves you guys are having back east!
Great stuff Ben thanks.
December 16, 2010
"I moved to NC......why?"
Because it's warmer.
December 15, 2010
I'm in Whistler, B.C. Shredding epic powder and couldn't be more stoked. Epic here...bummed that I'm missing waves but not really because I made 1000 bottom turns in waist deep pow today...and yesterday...so my mind is good..ha. Stoked that you got straws. Love you too, brother!
I hope you're taking pics.
Next time it's like this give me a call. That was a great swell! I want to sup that next time it's like that. I took a half day off work and hit Nahant point at low tide and it was firing. Way out everything was bombing and we got the Reef on the incoming with just two sup's and nobody nowhere!
Good pics Ralph!
Thanks Artie. I'll call you, or you can just check the cams.
"BOMBS and BARRELS! Who needs Hurricane season?"
"Great pics Commander ..."
Thank you Colonel.
6 shot of you this afternoon, 1 of some unknown guy on a large wave. You are right it was dam cold, I had it beat except for my hands, gotta work on that.
You need gloves.
"It was good here yesterday but the points looked epic."
It was all time.
That's one heckuva peak!
Up here in Santa Cruz right now, my Dad is in the hospital and isn't expected to survive. He fell the other day coming home from the store and his brain is bleeding internally in several places. I got here in time for him to recognize me briefly but that was days ago, now he's just sleeping non stop and it will be a merciful end. He is in a wonderful Catholic hospital and is comfortable and free of pain. We have disconnected all med and feeding tubes, he isn't expected to last more than a day or so. For him, it is time. The great adventure called life is over and it time to exit. Of all the ways that he could go, this is the most preferable, and he was ready. I'm here at my sister's and we're with him every day.
I'm really sorry to hear about your father. I'm glad that you are there with him and that he saw you briefly. Not sure we ever really got into the whole God and heaven theory, but I know what I believe, and I believe there's something else. I think your dad is headed home. And we are all going to go home again.
We are all issued round trip tickets. Your dad's flight has come full circle.
I hope he's comfortable and not suffering. I'll say a prayer for all of you.
Take care my friend, and know that you have many friends who love and respect you.
I was going to save this image to surprise you his weekend. But I'll send it now,
because you might need some cheering up.
Thanks Ralph, looks like it was mighty fun up there! I'll forward to our Photo Editor Nate Adams, we should be putting together a swell gallery for Friday...
Great thanks Nick.
"Nice photos Ralph! Some (a lot!) of those waves were just insane yesterday. Enjoyed my spectator status:-)! saw some awesome (long!) rides out there!"
That was pretty wild.
December 14, 2010
Hope you weren't offended when I said you looked like shit !!!!!
It was obvious that you were sick but I am impressed that you went out.. I know you have to ride at least one wave a day for a year but don't you get dispensation for being sick???? or is that not part of the marine ethos???????
I was not offended. I was sick. But my pledge is everyday. NO MATTER What. Not sure if that's because I was a Marine, I know it's part of our MO though.
I am watching the weather on tv right now and can't help to think of
you knowing you have to catch a wave. No 4/3 today, I suggest you go
with your 8/6 with vest heater.
Molly ( and everyone touched by her) is proud
I'm looking for my 50 mil.
You should get volunteers to watch you on shore everyday. I would volunteer one day a week. Surfing alone is a bad idea in any conditions..."
Nah...I'm fine. But thanks for the offer.
December 13, 2010
i dont think there was any where easy to surf today.
Not here in Northern New England.
No, there definitely wasn't. I spent an hour and a half getting washed all over the place for the sake of two failed takeoffs; I can't imagine doing that while sick. Hope to see you back to 100% soon
Ed and Ralph, Thanks for pointing me in the right direction! I'll be buying a few more photos as well, I'm all for supporting our local lensemen! I did like the way the sunlight was coming thru the wave, it was a nice golden hour photo.
Ralph, hope you are feeling better, I'll see you guys out there soon enough, looks like another swell has moved in.
That's great. Thanks John.
I just thought of you- since you are the guy I know with the most "surf wisdom" around these parts.
I am looking to try and get my first board. I am guessing that I'll want to get a used one since i am still learning, and long boards are good for me in this regard. In fact, I have never been on a short board- no reason to yet.
I am attempting to continue my surfing education this winter- as in- I am going to get my first "winter suit" and wanted to see if you had any words of wisdom on the matter.
I shared your words with my dad often, and he even took a lesson this summer to see if he could "get into the surf thing."
Oh- and ......GO PATS!!! (We've had some great games, huh?)
There are three shops in New Hampshire and several in Southern Maine that can outfit you with Winter gear. The Shortboard is not for everyone, so your best bet is a lightweight longboard or a Fun Shape board that can paddle. Paddling is key. The wetsuit should be at least a 5/4 with a hood attached. You will need 7mil boots and gloves. And as far as your dad goes...it's never too late to take up surfing. And yes, The Patriots are kicking some serious butt.
December 12, 2010
I have been worrying about you and your excitment about the Pats because you fall so hard when it goes wrong, but I must say watching this game against the Bears I think we can all get excited now, they really look pretty good
They are all singing the praise of Belichik and Brady now...they are the TEAM.
Hey Ralph, Stevie O' and I are hitting it in the morning. Gonna see if it's clean enough to paddle out. I think your cell number below has an extra "0", but if you get text messages I can send you the report from wherever I go out in the next few days? Looking at swell.com it looks like tuesday wednesday is the peak. I just bought a new 6'0" Al Merrick from Crop and a new 5'4" suit so I am SET!! I cant wait to surf my brains out for the next four days!!
Talk soon brotha, thanks for the well wishes.
I'm delaying my movie release to get footage of this swell and you.
Let me know where you're gonna be.
Cmon ralph Yet? I have paddled every square inch of this entire coastline. 400+ yard long rides on this day. I watched some prone guys trying to get out of the point and they got worked and went in. Boston bouy was 10'@ 14 secs this day if I recall. This is why we tend to stay down here when there's size. You can go on for miles on a sup here when it's big and glassy and have found it works on all tides. Sup'ers Paradise and the Pirate hates SUP so that's a bonus too!
I figured as much...I was just asking. Keeping the Pirate at bay is good too..
hey ralph-i was called and told i was in your blog-i thought"oh no-"kook in action"-like magic-you made me look like i knew[kinda] what i was doing-so thanks again-it's the little things........
ps:merry christmas and happy new year to you and your family-yes-i do know i'm not being politically correct-obviously i could give...................
Merry Christmas to you and yours too!
December 11, 2010
I often don't give much thoughts to the "polite" things people say when you take them by surprise with something nice, gesture, gift etc. I thought, however about your comment to me when Elliot handed you the box last night....
I know I go over the top with my spiritual emails, but I am sure you realize too that I owe the karma wheel a few spins.
Surf Family Robinson, Wounded Warriors, Catch a Wave for Molly, your highly personal and enlightening insights on Ralph's Pic. These are all things that have enriched my life beyond words. You invited me to the beach 2 years ago and since then I have surfing back in my life.
To say that we are too good to you is kind of ironic. You simply underestimate the things that you do, and the significant impact these things have on the people around you.
Jon...I love you guys. I love all the kids in our community. My wife and I truly loved the gift. Merry Christmas.
December 10, 2010
Hello all, I hope this finds you well and in the comfort of God's grace. It is with a very sad heart that I send this to you. After a very long struggle with illness, my Mom has been admitted to Portsmouth Regional Hostpital for the last time. She has been sedated and is resting comfortably. It is possible that she may pass as early as this Sunday.
For her friends on the East Coast, she is in room 373. You are welcome to visit, but please call first. My number is 858-735-4050.
Thank you to everyone who has made her life so special. She loves you all dearly. Her ashes will be spread in the ocean and there will possibly be a paddle out. I will send details if you would like when they become available.
Oh Steve...I'm so sorry to hear this. Are you home? You need to be with her.
I will say a prayer for your Mom. Please do not hesitate to call if you need anything.
You KNOW exactly where your Mother is going. She's going home.
We are all heading home. To the Glorious Kingdom of God in Heaven.
Be strong Steve and keep your faith in the forefront.
God Bless you and your Mom.
Thank you Ralph..Mom passed earlier tonight. Peaceful and in her sleep. I've been at the hospital with her since tuesday and I was with her when she let go.
We prayed together everyday and she met with a priest yesterday. I can't tell you how grateful I am to have had this time with her. Both sober and with God's presence.
I will be in town until January 1st. I will call.
I'm so sorry for your loss. She has gone home Steve, and will be watching over you.
We finally got some swell pushing through without rain and sludgy, polluted water. Swam out with Bobby Okvist and a few of his buddies and got some fun shots (and I didn't open up the housing halfway through the session like last time, so no fog inside the housing this time!). Hope I'm not getting these to you too late for this coming week's page!
Great stuff Ben it will all be up by Sunday rhe 12th.
"Ralph, do you hear California calling?"
Actually I hear Hawaii calling.
Good Morning Ralph,
thought you would enjoy this. Sorry if you have already seen it.
Ps. Thank you for the weekly, and daily blogs, they are very appreciated by A lot of people.
Thanks Nate I have seen it and it caused quite a stir with some SUP riders. Stab and Dodge. Too freaking funny.
Stay warm today! Maybe you could cheat a little and borrow a sup? Hahaha! You are Hardcore for sure
Thanks for the offer Artie.
December 9, 2010
Hope all is going well with the Molly fund surf quest. I will continue my
dollar a day donation. I think I'm a little behind on your second 100
days but I will catch up.
I once surfed a minimum of once a week for 2 years, that was difficult enough.
That experience makes me realize how much more difficult it is for you to surf once a day for 365. No matter how bad you feel or what injuries you have, you still have to get
out there. I applaud your perseverance and your dedication to the families of cancer victims. We have all lost family and friends to cancer and we appreciate you efforts.
See you on the water.
Thank you Tim.
Ralph - Great to hear from you - and best of luck with your 365 days of surf - your blog is required reading every week for me, I spent ten years at the wall and miss it
I am jetting off to Switzerland tonight to snowboard so will try to get you some pics
Merry Christmas to you and your family
James R (Ireland)
Same to you and yours James.
December 8, 2010
Hey Ralph, Great writeup this week! You and Ed did a great job documenting our latest swell as usual. Looks like he captured some nice waves you had also.
I was looking thru the Dec 2nd slide and noticed Ed got a shot of me at "Alligator Creek" - it was pict a09.jpg ( i was marked as unknown which makes perfect sense now that it is winter wetsuit time) - i was going down the line on a left. I'd like to buy the high res print from Ed if possible along w/ a few other photos as well.
I'd also like to buy a few of your photos, some from "Wounded Warriors Day at the beach." Whenever you have a moment just let me know how i should go about buying/downloading some prints that would be great.
Looks like we may have anther swell on the way early next week so I'll look for you out in the water. Glad to hear about your new puppy too! Hope all is well.
Where the hell is "Alligator Creek"? Ha! I'll contact Ed for you and send along your request.
Enjoyed the trailer! I’m always impressed not only by the quality of the surf and the skill level of the local surfers in your area, but by the fact that you guys rip so hard while encased in all that neoprene. I especially liked Lenny ripping it up in the last bit as the credits rolled. Please tell him, Kevin and Mike P. I said to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and, of course, that goes to you and yours as well Ralph. You got a heart as big as the whole outdoors doing that surf every day for year charity gig, takes an extreme level of commitment for a great cause. My hat goes off to you Ralph! Be safe.
If I can be of further assistance please do not hesitate to call.
Glenn McDonald (Florida)
Thank you Glenn.
JOHN LENNON 1980-2010 30 years...
I was about to go on with the Eaters at the Music Hall when Marc Parenteau came backstage and told us about it
I remember that night. Steve was my roommate. Don't know how you guys went on that night.
It is one of those situations where I can remember exactly where i was that day. Driving cross country listening to John Lennon on the radio all day. Truly a tragedy of the time
The worst day in the history of Rock and Roll.
December 7, 2010
Your a good man Ralph. My pop would be proud. It always meant so much to him when his buddies would call on this day.
Hope you are surviving to cold, looks like you have had some pretty clean days.
Did you get my flip video acknowledging you for acknowledging Molly?
Rock (San Francisco)
Our fathers were the best Rocky.
Sunday, December 7, 1941...... Remember those that took the 1st hit of the war of the pacific
Amen to that brother.
Below your comments is the back and forth Burkie and I had. It should explain everything. Yes, the Ranch is no longer secret. Yes, nothing should be published on it. If your site was on the W. Coast I’d never send anything to it. That’s just the way shit has to happen. Cuz it’s way at the polar (truly!) opposite end of the County, I can get away with it. But on SURFER, on the internet? Bad ju ju. Some things……………………………………are better off left unsaid,
p.s. bluebird is a surfing term from Waikiki in the 40’s, means a crystal clear blue day, with big blue rollers coming in.
p.s. No, you get all 12 chapters, cuz the edumacation must continue…This ain’t porn, this is intellectual communication between friends of the highest order.
Can't we all jest git along?
December 6, 2010
This game as you said in your blog ---will be great. What a match up with it all on the line—I love this level of competition.
I watched Steelers & Ravens beat the shit out of each other last night. That was some whoop ass my friend & I expect as much or more tonight!
Wally (Central Cal)
We should do fine...but you never know. Those JETS have been lucky as of late.
(After the game)
That was giant can of whoop ass on the Jets.The best thing your boys did was loss to the Browns because after that they are firing on all 8 cylinders!After what they did the last few weeks I wouldn’t bet against them that is for sure. Life is good if you are a pats fan. Don’t forget the third round pick the Vikes gave you for slippery Moss either.
Game? You call that a game? My brother that was a SHALLLLLLACCCKING!
We own the JETS! Rex Ryan and Sanchez and Tomilson...get out of our beloved New England! Go back to freaking New York ya bums!
Get over 2007 & enjoy this year or I am going to slap ya! I sure as hell cant fell sorry for you/your team. Look how your boys have come back each year & where they are now.
In comparison look what happened to the Vikes last year-one game short @ New Orleans & they turn the ball over 5 times. Then you go back to mid-90’s losing same game to Atlanta. Then it’s another 10 years being a contender & 4 super bowl loses. NO SUPERBOWL WINS!! EVER!!Can you feel my pain? Ok enough about history & I better slap myself after that tirade.
Yes it will be cold in Chicago & that division has been called the Black & Blue division for many years for a reason. This game is Chicago’s proof or show me game. Many doubt their ability to go all the way. I am also excited to see how your boys play on the road. I got to tell you I would use a lot of same game plan they used to beat Jets.
We'll see what the master Coach has up his sleeve. Gonna be cold though.
Got in the water for the first time with the new housing from Del Mar Hosing Projects. Awesome. Despite a little condensation inside the housing/lens port and taking more than a few waves to the head, still got some great shots. (Definitely user-error, not manufacturing...was so excited to jump in the water not only forgot my fins but forgot to properly switch to multi-shot from single, so had to open up/change settings after already having been in the cold water, then didn't wait long enough for temps to equalize before going back in, so the warmer air condensed inside the housing...oops). Can't wait for there to actually be some swell here in SoCal so I can get you some epic shots!
Welcome to the wonderful world of water shots. I know you'll be getting it down sooner rather than later. Fire away.
I had to smile when I read this week’s blog and your account of the San Diego guy moving East. I grew up surfing New Hampshire and moved to San Diego for work about 6 years ago. I paddled out yesterday morning in La Jolla – water is about 58,air was in the low 60’s and there was no wind. I was wearing my 3/2 and feeling just fine in the sun…even a little warm when paddling around. Well, about half an hour into my session a younger guy paddles out next to me in the lineup. He has a fullsuit on, booties, gloves and a hood! I had to do a double-take and laughed to myself. I mean the surf was only about waist high (ground swell) so there wasn’t even any real duck diving going on.
Hopefully the surfer you met yesterday is built a little tougher than the guy I surfed next too out here - or he is in for a real long winter.
Justin P (California)
We all have our own personal thresholds for being cold. I'm not a big fan of cold nor heat.
I took the shots from NH this past weekend. Some of the others are from a couple weeks back during that nice swell in Marblehead and Swampscott. If you like them feel free to put the on the website. I like to take photos of overall scenes with waves and or surfers in them as you will see by the shots.
Also you are right about people dropping in. I owe you an apology for an email I wrote to you a couple months back. This weekend was a great example. The wall was a mess this weekend you really had to position perfectly for every wave and even then you had to keep you head up or you would hit someone, you'd think mid 30's air temp and high 40s water temp would keep the crowds away but it was like September out there this weekend.
If you like these I would love to contribute more to your blog whenever I have shots.
These are really good Ryan. You don't owe me an apology. It was your opinion. That's cool.
yeah I just hold it in my hand when I'm in the tube. If I have to paddle in I put it n my mouth first tll i make the drop. same with the step off. put it in my mouth and then once I'm up hold it in my hand.. the view is super wide almost full 180. quality is real killer too. Theres even an HD mode on t. The Contour cam is comparable to these go pros
Those shots are killer! I mean Raven. Insane in the barrel shots.
nahhh not wearing a leash on the thing. the leash scares me that if I drop it it might swing around and hit me in the head... haha. I made a handle grip to hold it and wrapped it with pipe insulation and duck tape to make it float just in case i drop it. I never drop it when I'm surfing but have dropped it a few times goofing off on the ski filmng animals and things.... cant wait to hear the new track of "send me an angel". song is so killer!!!!"
I need to see this up close. My song is yours when it's done.
YEah I've been keeping tabs on you and your blogs. Super killer stuff. Keep the dream alive!!!!!! I love checking out your pages!!!
So def keep me posted on the song "Send Me and Angel" I love it. Prob one of my fav songs def top ten!!!!!!!!!! It moves me in a good way and just gives me great feelings!!!!
I'm a big fan of Big head todd and the monsters and this genre of music!!!!!!! thats whats up.
listening to your song right now holla its gunna be a great day!
Remind me to tell you what that song is about. It blow you away.
December 5, 2010
Sorry this email is getting to you so late. I've been busy surfing, ha! No, it was great meeting you in the water the other day. Surfed the Cape yesterday and went back up this afternoon to Hampton. Pretty fun.
Alright, hope all's well!
Thanks Phil...our water is a little colder than San Diego huh?
Hi Guys -
I'm a little slow with my email. Ralph, I want to let you know how happy Steve was you were able to stop by. I'm not sure Steve will ever have closure when it comes to his loss of Joe. I'm sorry I never had the chance to meet him. I'm glad the three of you were able to spend some time together. Sorry I missed you. We will be sure to make a visit to NH in 2011.
It certainly sounds like you have your hands full with the puppy. Enjoy!
I do visit your website from time to time. Keep up the good work.
Happy Holidays to you and your family.
Peace and Love,
Thank you Donna. It was great seeing Steve too. We all miss Joe. I'll be back. I promise.
First of all, if you would like help for the wounded warrior events next summer, I would love to help you in any way I can.
I have been working with Dana Cummings at Ampsurf, and with the Disabled Sports USA/ New England Disabled Sports/ and the VA adaptive sports programs as a volunteer since the summer time, and I am proud to report I have just been accepted to work as an adaptive ski coach for the winter sports clinics at Sunapee, Bretton Woods, and Loon!
The VA just asked me if I would direct for them, a documentary/ promotional tool that will show the the human impact of the adaptive sports programs throughout New England- showing the community of people who come together to make these programs happen, and the real human emotion/ progress made when a veteran has their first "ah ha" moment in a sports program- the moment they realize that their life is once again full of possibilities. It will be played in programs in all the hospitals/ rehab facilities like Walter Reed, and I am so very excited (and yet very nervous bc I want to do a good job) to begin.
In terms of surfing- I need to get a 4/3 suit so I can continue my journey and not get rusty these winter months. It's important to me to just keep moving forward, small steps, even when I feel like "I suck."
I would love to show you the footage of the adaptive surf clinics I worked with this summer, and at the same time, I would love to see the footage and photos you have on hand- anything you would like to share , I would love to see. Perhaps someday we will get to meet in person and work together to connect the healing power of surfing at large!
Have you had a good fall? From what I read, it sounds like it! Are you psyched for the Pats game tomorrow night? It's been hyped up so much...
I am so glad you wrote! I know how busy you are with work, your family, surfing, and your community initiatives, so thanks for reaching out to me again!
Kate I'm sure you'll do great. You are one of the "Good People doing Good Things". We could always use help with the Wounded Warriors next Summer.
"..killer Ralph can't wait to see the final! I'm back week after next, hope there's some swell! I definitely want NH surf for Xmas!!"
Steve D (California)
Just call when you get in town.
First you’ll be pleased to know that at his request; he was buried in his wetsuit!
Second I was asked to share: here is the draft of my tribute to Flippy:
It’s often been said that big wave riders have big balls, well after helping Flippy in and out of his wetsuit for two plus decades,
I can tell you: IN HIS CASE ITS TRUE…
To a generation of us guys, Flippy was Peter Pan.
He would take us on his powered Polynesian voyaging canoe out and over the horizon to Never NeverNeverland.
On the voyage out all the cares of the world would slip away in our wake, and when we arrived at NeverNeverland youth was eternal, it was as though Flippy took us to a place anchored in the past, and yet connected to and ageless eternity.
While there he taught us that if you love the ocean; it will love you back.
To Flippy; our Commodore Eternal
Matt Baker (California)
Thanks for sharing this.
December 4, 2010
I was the longboarder this am at Sawyers. I can proudly say I
witnessed day 132.
For years I only knew you as the Veteran MC at the North Hampton
Memorial Day parade. My wife is a Major in USAF Reserves and my kids
march proudly in their Scout uniforms at the parade.
Keep up the good work for military families and surfing families.
Thanks for dropping me this nice note. Was I pretty accurate in my daily blog?
I think that guy thought I was kidding. And thanks for letting me catch that wave.
I know you were in position, I just needed to get going.
I love the North Hampton Memorial Parade and service. It's always so nice
and poignant. Please tell your wife that I said "thank you for your service."
Thank you again for the kind words. Keep surfing!
36 rather undistinguished photos from Thursday Afternoon, 2 BDI towards the end and a few more of you and Jimmie Dunn, nothing classic. Next swell I am swinging for the fences, going for the cover of Surfers journal.
Hope all is well
That would be quite an achievement. I think your stuff is already cover quality.
Hey Ralph -
When you get a moment, would you send me the brand name and model of the camera you had me use the day I shot pics of your 100 day CWFM...the waterproof one?
I'm looking for a more universal easy to use camera for work; one I can shoot decent photos of my work with to post on website as well as paddle out with to get resource photos ( from lineup perspective) for paintings. Got a spiffy Nikon D70 now, but too spiffy for what I need a camera at work for; plus need something really small and light.
Saw you catch a couple yesterday at the wall with your new San Diego friend:-). I thought it was Max out there at first (due to guy being goofy-f and good surfer) but then remembered could't be due to his broken leg. Other thing that caught my eye out there was - I could have sworn I saw a small dolphin hop out /back into the water way off to the left. I'm sure it was a fish or a bird diving, but the quick impression from how it moved- small dolphin. Ever see them that close to beach? Possible?
Thanks for any info on camera!
That camera is a CANON D-10 with 12.1 mega pixels and the thing is great. Nevins was the one who told me to get it. That was a SEAL out there.
December 3, 2010
Hi Ralph, that sunrise picture from yesterday is so gorgeous.. it is now my desktop background! I shared it on my wall too, gave you credit of course :) Hope you don't mind. Thank you for all these wonderful photos of the beach that we love! ~ chris
No I don't mind, where do I send the invoice? I'm joking, Thanks.
hellz yes Ralph! thanks for the good words, it means a ton coming from a New England staple like yourself... hope you're ready to take a trip down memory lane in January with our 20th anniversary/ 150th issue!
I'm ready to review it all. You guys RULE the Right coast!
It was a gorgeous post-storm sunrise for catching a few fun pre-work waves yesterday, great shot!
Thanks Mike that was yet another amazing sunrise. .
December 2, 2010
Fun day, Ralph! Great sharing some waves with you
That was as good as it gets around here Jimmy. Thanks.
December 1, 2010
what if you could surf a perfect 5 foot tube every day in a warm place indoors in NH? Would you like that... if so tell me what you think. My husband and I are planning on adding indoor surfing to our business. The machine that we are going to buy will produce 3 types of waves. A training wave... a 3-4 " rolling / river wave and a 4 - 5 curling wave. We are looking for some feedback from the surfing community so if you have some thoughts I would love to hear them.
That would be nice...but could I have it to myself or with a few friends?