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December 27th, 2009 44 out of 45 weeks of surfable waves.

Please don't be mad at me. It is now Sunday early evening and this column has been done since 8:00PM. All kinds of things have happened in our world. But I can't share them with you because I have NO Internet service. By the time you all read this it could Monday late or Tuesday...damn. I feel like I'm cut off from the rest of the world. Which I basically am. I do 99% of my business over the Internet.

There have been times in the past, when my servers were down, and I have been delayed. But not having Internet access? This has been crippling. I am on DSL. My Internet connection is through Verizon. But the local Verizon was bought out by My Fair Point (ridiculous name). Having no Internet has only fueled my wife's plea for Comcast. I have been on the fence about switching, but now I am thinking about it. The thought of the tens of thousands of you, who read this column every week, not being able to chuckle, and or sneer, at my weekly comments, while marveling at the incredible photography, by all the pro photographers each week, has been weighing heavy on me.

What should I do my friends?

Stay with DSL or switch to Comcast? Ideally, I would want FIOS but FIOS is not available in my area. Why the hell not? I live in Hampton, NH! Is that not a bustling metropolis enough of an area for them? Hampton Freaking New Hampshire? No FIOS? Talk to me my brothers and sisters. DSL or Comcast? Help a brother out.

You know it wasn't always like this. I've been writing and shooting for years. In fact, I once wrote an article for SURFER magazine about 20 years ago. I wrote it with a type writer. I printed out the pages and sent them, a double spaced story, with a bunch of slides. That was in 1989. Some of you older surfers might remember the article. It was called COMFORTABLY NUMB. Michael Baytoff took the photos. It was petty exciting getting my full featured story in SURFER. After all SURFER has been around a long time. Long before The SURFER's JOURNAL and Long before Eastern Surf Magazine. There was SURFER. In fact, they are celebrating 50 years in business this year. 50 years is a long time. And I'm sure all the other mag guys, are giving a nod to the magazine that started it all.

My only complaint, of that 20 year old article, I wrote on my beloved New Hampshire surf scene was, that Baytoff, the photographer did not submit, the one good photo of me. He thought it was too dark. He told me he thought they would never run it, because of how dark it was. Was it dark? No. At least not to me. In fact, I have it hanging over my computer here in my studio. People who stop by the office will always ask, 'who and where that photo was taken. Always. But Baytoff refused to submit it.

I never forgave him for that. Ever. I know in the Christmas spirit I should...and maybe, if I ever see him again, I would. But he has dropped off the planet. No one knows where Michael Baytoff is. So if any one of you Jersey or ESM guys know of his whereabouts, please tell him I was asking for him. And if you want to bring up this sore subject, feel free to do so. Why the hell not? After all, it was my one and only time to get a decent photo of myself surfing in a major surf publication. Damn you Baytoff.

Friday morning there was surf. It's true. Christmas morning, and throughout the whole day there was surf to be had. The celebration of the birth of Christ brought forth another swell. I shot a few of my friends, and my own nephew Jesse, and his girlfriend Kay ,were out surfing at an undisclosed reef on the North Shore. I know I've written in the past about surfing on Christmas Day, and how special it was. I did not personally have time to surf that this Christmas. Yes I shot a few waves, and I suppose, if I really needed to surf, I could and would have. But I was content to just shoot and talk to those who did. Hearing my nephew Jesse say he went surfing with K was all I needed. I was happy for him. And for me. For you see my friends, I turned Jesse on to surfing. That was many many years ago.

And, I sort of introduced him to the music scene too.

In fact, Jesse who is known as QWILL, is featured heavily in my new movie The RUN. QWILL sets the pace for the movie and I believe I use 3 of his songs. QWILL does the first and last song in the movie, and a part of one in the Blatant Drop In section. There is no denying his talent. His song is also the song I use in the Trailer. I can't say enough good things about QWILL. And not because he's my nephew. He is as talented as anyone out there today, making millions in the music world. Don't believe me? Listen to his music. Listen to the song on the RUN trailer or go to his site directly. QWILL.

But there are other musicians featured in the RUN. My good friend Dave Cropper's band Kings Highway and guest guitarist Steve Canty, and guest vocalist Catherine play a rousing Allman Brothers jam. And my friend Skip Brunette, and his band Todo Bien play a couple of songs that flow well with the video. Mike O'Neill's new band Before The Crash have a couple of great rocker's on the tape, And finally, yours truly (Big Handsome Daddy) have two songs. My songs were recorded live in the studio. In other words no over dubs. No additional tracking. I was happy to have this be an ALL New England production. All New England surf. All New England photographers. All New England bands. It's an All New England Surf Movie Bonanza.

By the way...The RUN continues. It's now into the 45th week as I write this.

So I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. And a Happy Chanukah. Or a Happy Kwanza or whatever it is you celebrate. For me, it's Christmas. I am Christian. I believe in the birth of Jesus Christ. I believe in the whole story. I believe. I am not trying to make anyone else believe. I'm just stating what I believe. But I will say this. You should believe in something. Especially if you have a young family. All you young parents and those who are planning on having kids, should seriously think about believing in something. Your children will make whatever decisions on their own once they are old enough. But we all need something to believe in when growing up in this world.

So this decade is about to end. 2000-2009. And there were so many things that happened over the last 10 years. For me personally, it was decade full of joy and sadness. I lost both of my parents, my father-in-law, my cousin, my aunts and uncles. And too many close friends. From Bob Hayes, Ray Hackett, Todd Ross, Mrs Meehan, Gert Keefe, to Molly Rowlee and Linda Paugh. And there were many others who have passed on that we all had surf connections to.

There were many tragic worldly disasters as well. The horrible Tsunami that claimed 250,000 lives on December 26, 2004. That figure is still numbing. 250,000 lives. That's as heavy as it gets. But nothing was as sad for us Americans as September 11, 2001. Our world changed that day forever. We are still battling with those cowards this very day. The Christmas Day Terrorist attack this last week.

But speaking of the last decade. There were some memorable events. Like what you ask? Well, the Patriots won 3 Superbowls. The Sox won two World Series and the Celtics won a World Championship. And there were many local Surf events as well. We had an unreal run of surf in the WINTER of '05 and an equally great Summer in '05. Back in 2000 and 2001 I surfed every single day for 365 consecutive Days to raise money for the American Diabetes Association (ADA) in memory of my father. I also put out 15 SFOD movies in the last 10 years. Holy mackerel! 15 movies? Yikes.

There were plenty of Hurricanes and Big Nor'easters and a few Summer swells too in the last decade. But then again, there were some nasty weird storms as well. Last year's 2008 Ice Storm...that was such a drag. So while there was sadness, there was also happiness. Let's hope the next decade brings more Happiness than Sadness.

On that note...please be safe this New Years Eve. Let's all wish each other a Happy and Healthy New Year. And let us never forget those we have said good bye to this last year and last decade. May they always be in our thoughts and prayers.

Now for some of my weekly Global observances:

So another bonehead coward Terrorist tried to take down a large airliner on Flt 253 on Christmas Day. 23 year old Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab tried to ignite an explosive device on his body, but only succeeded in lighting his own bonehead pants on fire. His failed attempt was foiled when a few brave passengers, got to him first, and bitch slapped his bony ass silly. My only regret is, they should of let him burn a little more. This coward had the explosive device sewn into his underwear. It's true.

Now of course our Nation, and it's typical reactionary counter moves, will now make air travel even more of a pain in the butt. Look, this guy was on a watch list. A Nigerian who had clear ties to Al Qeada was allowed to board a freaking plane heading for America? WTF??? Are you kidding me? This guy should of been thrown in freaking jail! I don't give a rats ass about racial profiling either.

Look, if known Terrorists were Italian men. I'd be the first to step up and say...SEARCH me!

If known Terrorists were Scandinavian Blonde men, I'd be OK with all my blonde haired friends and relatives being searched. But they are not. They are typically young Muslim men. And not that I think that ALL Muslims should be searched. I do not think that. But for God's sake, if some Muslim has ties to Al Qeada, we can't allow him to fly on Airplanes period. Hello??? Are the Politically Correct that far out of touch with what's happening? I listened with shock and disbelief this morning as Janet Napolitano spoke about the current administration releasing about half of the detainees at GITMO to be repatriated in YEMEN.Yemen is where the next Al Qeada stronghold is being nurtured. Why would we knowingly let these Terrorists go back to Yemen and be reacquainted with Al Qeada? Why? Seriously, can anyone tell me why we would do this? I need to understand this way of thinking.

How many more of these domestic and International acts of Terrorism can we sustain? America is the new Israel. We will slowly, but surely, learn to live with this BS in the future. There will be no more grand scaleSeptember 11th types of attacks. It will be BS cowardly attacks like this, and what happened at Fort Hood Texas last month. I have not heard yet, but I am surprised that this bony ass coward was not chanting the infamous "Allah Arkbar" chant. Maybe the passengers who subdued him, stuffed his soiled underwear in his mouth. And his chant was muffled by his own panties. Loser.

The Patriots beat the snot out of the Jaguars today. 35-7. Max and I attended the game and we witnessed one hell of football game. It was great. Randy was on fire with three TD's! And Sammy Morris was running roughshod on the Jag's defense. We clinched the AFC East with this win today and we are headed for the Play-Offs.

My big question of the day is what the hell happened to the Colts? How and why would they sit Manning and Company when they could of easily beat the JETS and kept the unbeaten streak alive? Why on earth did they do this? I get the big picture theory, but Good Lord, those guys wanted to play and win. And how about the MOST important factor of all? The Fans. The Colt's fans wanted them to win. They let NFL history slip through their hands. Oh well... the Dolphins keep their undefeated record and so do the Patriots. I guess I should be happy.

A continued Speedy Recovery to Surf Mom Kim Grondin.
GET Healthy Robin can do this Robin!


*Check out the updated DROPPING IN ON RALPH blog Section.
*Molly Video by Joe Carter has been moved to the Community Page.

Please Support ALL The photographers who contribute to Ralph's Pic Of The Week
every week for the last 6 years. **Think about BUYING a Photo from any of the weeks
on RPOTW as a GREAT Gift Idea. A nice framed photo of your favorite Surfer!

Remember my friends...Surfing Heals All Wounds....
Pray for Surf. Pray for Peace. Surf For Fun.


Click above to see trailer.
Yesterday- 20 years ago 1989...The photo that Never made it into
the SURFER Magazine story I wrote...

(Below) My friend and fellow photographer was hired to shoot the pics for the story I wrote about New Hampshire back in 1989. That was 20 years ago. This photo was the BIGGEST wave in the whole damn story. But it never ran. Why? Because Baytoff thought it was too dark and that the Mag would never run it. My complaint was to send it anyway and let them decide. He refused. And I watched my one and only chance to get in a major publication slip through my fingers. I cursed Baytoff for months after. Last I heard he was heading for South America. If anyone knows where Baytoff is...tell him I said hello and to check this photo out...
Photo by Michael Baytoff

Today- December 24-25th, 2009 New England's Christmas...

(Above) Steve Rafferty cutting back on Christmas Day. December 25th, 2009.
Photo By RALPH * Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Steve Rafferty sneaking up on his loose board. He lost his board 3 times in 4 waves. He said he forgot his leash. Steve's a good swimmer. I watched him swim 3 times. He looked cold though. Christmas Day. December 25th, 2009.
Photo By RALPH * Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above)...." I'll have a Blue Christmas... "December 24th, 2009.
Photo By Ed O'Connell * Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

Today- 2009 Monday, December 21st, 2009

(Above) Mike Moran walks across the snow desert on Monday December 21st, 2009.
Photo By Brian Nevins
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Dr Brent streaking home for the Holidays. 12-21-09
Photo By Ed O'Connell
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Unknown at the Wall on 12-21-09
Photo By Ed O'Connell* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) The early morning blustery peak. Monday December 21, 2009.
Photo By RALPH * Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Mike Murray on a nice head high (or better) Monday December 21, 2009.
Photo By RALPH * Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Another Winter Solstice peak. Monday December 21, 2009.
Photo By RALPH * Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

Today- 2009 Sunday, December 20th, 2009

(Above) Blue Wave Field. Sunday December 20th, 2009
Photo By Brian Nevins * Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Drive By Barrels anyone? Sunday December 20th, 2009
Photo By Brian Nevins * Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Cold and rocky...Sunday December 20th, 2009.
Photo by Ed O'Connell
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Sand flooring... December 20th, 2009.
Photo by Lenny Nichols
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.





The RUN Trailer December 15-2009 from Ralph G. Fatello on Vimeo.

Dave Cropper EDDIE Video Below Shot on December 8, 2009 at WAIMEA BAY
To see the WHOLE Viddy drop by Cinnamon Rainbows this week!


The Quiksilver 25th Eddie December 8, 2009 from Ralph G. Fatello on Vimeo.

Today 2009- The BLATANT DROP IN of The YEAR.

(Above) All Rise: 10th Street District Court of Surf Justice is now in session, the Honorable Judge Ralph G. Fatello presiding. CASE #36 BLATANT DROP IN OF THE YEAR -Shortboarder vs YAKKER. You all remember this sequence. No need to see it again. Although it is featured in my new movie The RUN. The Yakker was found guilty last Summer. His sentence...ha! See way below. The YAKKER is NOW Invisible!
Photo By Ed O'Connell

RANDOM Pics from Readers
(Above) The foto of the pier is in Newport Beach Pier at around 0545.....Dream Time
.Photo By Dale Kobetich

(Above) Here is "Bollo" the carbon fiber Panorama wonder...with over 83 nuts and screws , 2 cameras 5dmk2s , 2 fish eyes , 24 operational controls , 3 high power water proof flashes powered by a 12 amp hour 6 volt water proofed battery.....weight 35 pounds...for surfing , free diving , enviromental photos......more to follow on Facebook....pass them along ...Dale Kobetich...Photo By Dale Kobetich

(Above) Mike Stanek lift off. Today Monday December 28th, 2009.

(Above) Lenny Nichols this morning. Monday December 28th, 2009.

The NEW Invisible Surfer Man Series
*Click masthead above to read the original ISM story.

(Above) This is what should of happened. The surfer should of had a clear face to deal with. Instead...well check it out. Just know that this is what happens when you DROP in on someone. You become Invisible. Put the mouse over the image to see the original photo and then marvel at the results of what happens when the criminal becomes invisible. *Put the cursor over the photo to see the Real image.

Today 2009 PARTING SHOT-"Happy NEW YEAR!!!!"

(Above) Marcelo Matos on December 24th 2009 in Costa Rica. Happy Holidays!

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To contact the advertisers below, simply click on the Ad space. Anyone wishing to find out info about advertising here can do so by emailing me directly. Ralph's Email I'll send you a template and other info.

We highly recommend the various businesses and artists listed below. Why? Well simply put, each and every one of them is a Surfer, who lives the Surfing Lifestyle.

Hi Everyone
I have posted a group of small "Sports Art" paintings and painting studies I have done to the following webpage:

All paintings are between 4" x 6" to 8" x 10" in scale, are framed and are in the price range of $150.00 to $350.00

If you are interested in buying one for the sports fan on your holiday shopping list (or a gift for yourself:-), give me a call at 617-285-8310 or email at

These sale prices are the new prices, so if you are interested in purchasing one after the holidays, and it is still available, the sale price will still apply .



The Rowlee family is still accepting donations to
the Lil Miss Molly Fund to help other families
fighting cancer.

Click on this Ad to go to the website and read all about Stan Chew's Panama Surf Camp!


Think about BUYING a Photo from any of these Great Local Photographers from past weeks on RPOTW. It's a GREAT Gift Idea. Just think, a nice framed photo of your favorite Surfer! Just contact me and I'll contact the right
photographer and put you in touch with him.