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February 13th, 2011-The Latest RUN continues. The NEW Run- 14 out of 16 weeks (Waist high or better)
If you look at the sub head above, it says that the NEW Run is 14 out of 16 weeks. Now if there is NO photographic evidence in this column can I legally make this claim? Some of you who live in the area are probably wondering, what day this past week had waist high or better? That day my friends was a week ago today. Or more specifically, a week ago this morning. There were at least waist high waves at the Wall a week ago Sunday morning. I know there were, because I saw them. So did Steve O'Hara. We were both watching the waves because that was the day I was going to surf in the Penguin Plunge without a Full Wetsuit. We both saw waist high sets first thing in the morning.
Of course they were gone by midday. It was a short lived swell.
But there were waves.
So therein lies my dilemma. I have no actual proof. Just witnesses. And not just witnesses, but credible witnesses, the kind of witness you want in a court of law.
Steve O'Hara is a credible witness when it comes to judging waves and wave size. Most of my surf related friends are as well. But I did not communicate with any of them that early morning. I did speak with Ed O'Connell but Ed was prepping for the plunge. He never saw the short window swell. At one point I thought about heading down to shoot for 20 minutes, but believe it or not, there was only one guy out and he was leaving.
I was too preoccupied with the Plunge and I let the one opportunity to document waist high waves this week slip by. You will just have to take my word for it. Or ask Stevie O'Hara. He'll tell you the truth. There were waist high waves last Sunday morning. But by 12 noon they were gone. I know this because that's when I went surfing.
So how about that Penguin Plunge? Well, it was cold. Very cold. 36 degree water temp.
What was really cold, was the waiting. I had to wait at least 20 minutes before I was allowed to catch my wave. You see, the good folks who head up the NH Special Olympics were kind enough to allow me to kick the whole thing off. There were however a couple of restrictions. The first was, I needed to get just one wave and ride it. (No kidding. Like I wanted to hang around and surf in those conditions) The second was, I needed to wear something on my feet. Now for the record, I had every intention of just surfing in my trunks and rash guard,
but the officials wanted me to wear either wool socks or sneakers on my feet. When I suggested to wearing booties, they agreed and allowed me to wear my wetsuit boots.
So I surfed on Sunday February 6th 2011 in 36 water temps with a biting North West wind without a FULL wetsuit. And it was by far the coldest I've ever been in the water.
Most of the Plungers just run down and splash around in the water and then they run out. Some of the heartier ones (or intoxicated ones) will actually dive in the water. Regardless, it's for a great cause and the NHSO raise a lot of money each year doing this.
I used to run security out in the water before they had the Firefighters in their Survival suits. Seriously, I would paddle around (in my wetsuit of course) and just keep the swimmers from getting too far out. I did this the first few years. And then one year there were waves and I could not help myself and started surfing. That did not go over too well with the authorities. So ever since they've had the guys in their survival suits.
My plan was simple. I would stand on the shore and wait for a wave. When I saw it I'd rush out and catch it and be out of there in less than 30 seconds. That was my plan.
But like all good plans everything changed when I was given the green light and had to follow through. There were hundreds of people watching. And Mark Ericson on WOKQ was great with his introduction. He plugged the Molly fund and then looked over and cast me off and into the unknown.
At first I jogged down to the water. I thought I would run faster but at that moment, there was a lull. A Bona fide lull. The surf was small to begin with but when I hit the water it went flat. So I waded out to my waist and then jumped on my board and paddled. I stopped, and sat up and scanned the horizon for anything at all that even closely looked like a wave. One of the benefits of surfing everyday is, I have gotten very good at catching and surfing small tiny, almost non existent waves. As I sat on my board I could feel my family jewels leaving the cold water and heading back into the inner sanctum of my body. I looked at the closest fireman in a survival suit and asked him how things were. He just looked at me.
Then I saw it. A slight ripple. I started paddling Big Black and was picking up speed.
I actually had to slow down my paddling to let the ripple catch up to me and do it's thing. I knew I had the wave when I felt the board moving on it's own. I got right up and immediately saluted. I went the distance of my board and then some. When I hit the sand I stepped off. Now for all intents and purposes I could of and should of ended there. But I felt guilty. I felt that I had not done enough. Especially to those who sponsored me to surf the plunge. My own POST 35 were my sponsors. So, much to my own surprise, and horror of my wife and two daughters who were there documenting, I ran back out into the water and dove under! Now that was freaking cold!
Ed O'Connell who was right there shooting did not see me actually take the plunge because the surge from the crowd was
getting bigger by the second. They were there to see plungers, not some old surfer surf without a full wetsuit. Still, my daughters and wife say that many people were calling out my name. I could not hear anything. The only sound I heard were my testicles cursing me.
So just like that, I had surfed a "One and Done and then added a Plunge" without wearing a full wetsuit. In hindsight, it may not seem like a big deal. But I can always say that I surfed in February in New England without a a full suit.
Later during mid week I had something happen to me that shook me a little. You are all familiar with the saying "In the Blink Of An Eye". Most of you are I'm sure. In the blink of an eye your entire life can change. That almost happened to me on Wednesday around noon . I was at the Post Office mailing DVD's and Photos to friends and fans of RPOTW and SFOD. I ran into an old friend Randy Radkay. Randy had the first surf shop in Hampton back in the day. I was talking about getting together with him as I am working on a documentary about the History Of Surfing in New England and more specifically, New Hampshire. I need to get Randy's story and his knowledge of what was going down in the early 60's.
We laughed a little and brought up some old names of surfers who have since moved on.
Then I said goodbye and that I would talk with him soon. I got in my vehicle and he got in his. He followed me out of the Post Office parking lot. There was a vehicle in front of me. I had my puppy Patch in the dog crate directly behind me.
As we pulled out and approached the light on Route 1 (Lafayette Road) all three vehicles stopped.
The light turned green and we all moved forward. The woman in front of me was driving at a normal speed limit and I was as well. The woman turned left and just as I started to go and follow her turning left (North) onto Rte 1... I caught something out of the corner of my eye. A large old Buick four door clunker, with an elderly man wearing an old cabbie hat came speeding through his RED light and almost hit me broadside. I leaned on my horn and I could see his elderly wife yelling at him. But he was shocked.
You could see that he had no idea what had just happened, and how close he came to crushing me and my vehicle.
In those fleeting seconds I could see all of this.
It freaked me out. Because if I had been looking anywhere else but where I was, I would not have stopped in time. He may not have killed me. But he could of killed my puppy. And he would of clearly messed me up on my Surfing everyday. Which is sort of funny, because Stevie and I were joking about what would happen if I had a heart attack while surfing the cold water that Sunday. That's when I asked him out right. "If something were to happen to me, would you step up and finish for me?" Without skipping a beat, he said he would. And I know if anyone could do do it. Stevie would and could. So I felt better about that. But I was still upset about what had almost happened.
What if that was one of my kids, or my wife? Like I said...in the blink of an eye.
My life would of changed forever. So why bother telling you all this? Well, it's just another wake up call. The snow and the high snowbanks has made driving more difficult
and treacherous. Tell your kids that drive, that just because it's broad daylight and that you have the legal right of way, that they need to be extra cautious. In other words watch out for the other guy.
Because in the blink of an eye, our lives can change forever.
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!
for some of my Weekly Global Observances:
OK that was a crazy few days there in EGYPT. First the world thinks President Mubarak is stepping down on Thursday and then he comes on the TV and says he is NOT stepping. The crowds swell and demand that he step down. The very next day as I was getting into my wetsuit the word was out that Mubarak had in fact stepped down and was leaving Dodge. And so the world once again holds a collective breath to see how this will all play out. There is much at stake here.
The Military is in control of Egypt as I write this. And there are more countries feeling the after shocks of what just happened. These are uncertain times for all of us. And one can only hope and pray ,that democracy and freedom for all will weave it's way into the hearts and minds of those rule with an iron fist. But my gut feeling is, that's wishful thinking. However, these winds of change along with Facebook and Twitter have changed the outlook of the people who live in these countries.
For those who fought it,
Freedom has a taste, the protected will never know.
We lost another Rocking Blues icon this week. Gary Moore. He played with Thin Lizzie and went on to do have a successful solo career playing Blues Rock. Back in 1979 Thin Lizzy was in Boston playing some concert. My band was headlining at the RAT in Kenmore Square that night. When in through the doors walked the members of Thin Lizzy. Phil Lynott, Gary Moore and the rest of the band. They asked if they could use our instruments and play. Gary Moore played my Les Paul that night. I'll never forget it.
Rest in Peace Gary, you'll be reunited with Phil and Hendrix and the other Rockers who have passed on.
In the most embarrassing news this week Has to go out to Christina Aguilera for her butchering of our national Anthem to kick off the SuperBowl. Are you freaking kidding me? You don't know the words to this? Why the hell didn't you have a teleprompter? She was more concerned about taking that song and turning it into some other crazy version of it. Look to all future SUPER STARS. Sing that song straight. Don't try and bastardize it and turn it into something you think is cool. Sing it FREAKING STRAIGHT!
Damn you loser celebs. Speaking of which, will someone get Charlie Sheen a shrink or a therapist and while you're at it can you throw a net over Lindsay Lohan. Charlie has substance abuse problems and needs to be treated. Same with Lindsay, except she's also into the petty thievery. Celeblosers...give us a break.
The Green Bay Packers are SUPERBOWL Champs! They played a great game and deserved to win it all. We on the other hand are still a young team and we will be there in the hunt next year. But for now the team that earned the victory has the crown.
The GREEN BAY PACKERS have their Lombardi trophy back home. Congrats!
ANNOUNCEMENTS: THE RUN REDUX IS OUT! Pick one up in the shops or email me and order one directly or go to www.surffreeordie.com
Rest in Peace Gary Moore.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Jesse (QWILL) February 17, 2011!
Have a Happy Valentines Day!
Congrats to the PACKERS!
Don't forget to Check the DAILY BLOG on My CATCH A WAVE FOR MOLLY. (Click
On the Banner on this page.) Started on July 26, 2010 ENDS July 26, 2011. A Wave
a day for 365 consecutive days. Just click on the banner ads on this page.
OUT THE NEW/Old YESTERDAY PAGE! ALL OLD New England and
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*Check out the NEW updated DROPPING
IN ON RALPH blog Section. ALL of December and January will be up before the end of this month . The DROPPING IN ON RALPH section will be up to DATE as soon as I can find the time to do it. There's just so much a man can do in a single day. But I do want to update that as it is entertaining to say the least. Because there's some great letters from you guys from all over the world. (And a few hurtful ones too). But check it out.
*This is the blog section of this website
where you can write in and comment. The only downside of this
blog is, you actually have to use your REAL Name. No hiding behind
some fake handle and name. If you want to comment, you have to
man up, and be yourself. I will post all comments, both good and
bad. You just have to be yourself.
Support ALL The photographers who contribute to Ralph's Pic
Of The Week
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my friends...Surfing Heals All Wounds....
Pray for Surf. Pray for Peace. Surf For Fun.
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Click YESTERDAY Banner Below to see new Old Surf Pic Page
Yesterday 1972 Our second Year Surfing This Place...
(Below) In 1971 we went North and discovered so many waves and breaks that we went back for almost 12 consecutive years before the rest of the world found out about it. Back then it was still a dream trip. This is a photo of me. Look at how warm it was. Photo by Jeff Crawford.
Click on the photo above to see the larger version.
Today-A Warm Look Back at Last Summer 2010
by Ralph, Ed O'Connell, and Brian Nevins
(Above) I thought it was time to look back at the Summer and to possibly look ahead to
what our Summer might be. May these images of last year warm your souls. Summer 2010.Photo ByRALPH * Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.
(Above) Who could forget the MOLLY surf contest? Not these guys and not you if you were there. Summer 2010.Photo By RALPH * Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.
(Above) Small but fun empty waves all summer long. Summer 2010.Photo By RALPH * Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.
(Above) One of my personal best memories of my life. Last Summer's Wounded Warriors HIT THE BEACH III. Teaching Jerry how to stand up and surf will go down as one of my fondest surf memories ever! Summer 2010.Photo By Wounded Warriors Staff * Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.
(Above) Jay Gould. Last Summer 2010.Photo By Ed O'Connell * Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.
(Above) Kody Grondin in a late afternoon Wall barrel.2010.Photo By Ed O'Connell * Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.
(Above) Ross Kunkel is currently in Puerto Rico chasing down tropical barrels. Last summer he was chasing down his own backyard tubes. Last Summer 2010.
Photo By Ed O'Connell * Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.
(Above) My son Max is a way better surfer than I was at his age. Last summer he took to riding my old BLACK VINNY Fish. I think he likes it. Be fun to surf with him again this summer.
Photo By RALPH * Click on the photo above to see the MVF Sequence.
(Above) Sometimes the SUP does not work in our waves. This was one of those times.
If you enjoy seeing people mess up on the SUP check these images out. If you don't
then skip to the next batch of pics. Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the SUP-UP Sequence.
(Above) This is one of the warmest summer surf pics ever taken at our home break.
Kai Nichols loves to surf. He has since he was just a toddler. He can do it all. Photo By Brian Nevins * Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.
(Above) And this photo? Well it's my favorite summer photo from last year. It might be from all time. There's something about the clarity of the water, the colors, the warmth,
it's all here in this tiny wave. Photo By Brian Nevins
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.
Today-Sunday February 6th, 2011 "One and Done for MOLLY With a Plunge for NHSO!" By Ed & Kathy O'Connell and Gabby
(Above) I stood out there for 20 minutes freezing my gonads off waiting for the word to hit the surf. February 6th, 2011. Photo By GABBY
* Click on the photo gallery of the COLDEST day so far for me.
(Above) The moment of truth in 36 degree water temps. February 6th, 2011. Photo By Ed O'Connell
* Click on the photo above to see this week's Molly Wave and Penguin Plunge Gallery.
(Above) Ed's wife Kathy shot this from a different angle. Check the men in their survival suits and the snow on Boars Head in the background. February 6th, 2011. Photo By Kathy O'Connell
* Click on the photo above to see this week's Molly Wave and Penguin Plunge Gallery.
(Above) After I rode my wave I went back out and dove in the water. February 6th, 2011. Photo By GABBY * Click on the photo above to see Molly's Wave & Penguin Plunge Gallery.
(Above) After I dove in the water I was out of there. February 6th, 2011. Photo By GABBY
* Click on the photo above to see this week's Molly Wave and Penguin Plunge Gallery.
Today-WORLD SUP CHAMP Kai Lenny at Turtle Bay on Oahu February 5th, 2011Photos by Bernie Baker
Above) That's a late drop for any kind of craft. Are you kidding me? Kai Lenny showing why he's the Champ. February 5, 2011Photo by Bernie Baker * Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.
Above) And this turn? If I could turn like this on my 6' 8" I'd be beyond stoked.
Kai Lenny February 5, 2011Photo by Bernie Baker * Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.
Click above graphic for Daily BLOG or to DONATE to the Fundraiser.
CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON BELOW
Newport Beach goes XXL in October! Great Newport California Clip
How many barrels can you count?
This video clip could easily be about Surfing. This short spot will be one of the
best video clips you will see this year. DREAM
THE "CATCH A WAVE FOR MOLLY" video
by Joe Carter and GITV (Get In The Van)
This video clip was done by my friend Joe Carter and my friends at GET IN THE VAN
It is a short video clip that was shot on DAY 172 of my daily undertaking. Joe did an amazing job on this piece, and it has already been seen by many on the internet. From the Facebook crew to GITV site and beyond. I could go on and on about Joe and the GITV trio of Joe Carter, Brian Nevins, and Nick LaVecchia. I love those guys.
They are part of this surf community and have a tremendous amount of talent and heart and soul as any group of individuals I have ever worked with. I am both proud and humbled by their creation. My daughter Gabby also contributed to this piece by shooting the day before.
But what Joe did with this video clip was in short; Help put surfing up onto another level. By making surfing bigger than how it is portrayed within the industry, and outside of our surf world. Dealing with cancer, and the lives of the children and families suffering through it, and using surfing as a vehicle to create awareness was no easy task.
But I think that after watching this video, you will have a different outlook on both cancer, and of surfing. That was our goal. And I think we did that.
Thank you Joe. Thank you GITV. And Thank you Buck, Meg, and Kieran. And to you Molly, who I know is watching me every day I'm out there.
Surfing Heals All Wounds...
THE RUN REDUX RALPH INTRO Trailer JUST RELEASED!
For those of you who have seen my movies before, you know, that I am notorious
for these quirky Intros...well, the RUN Redux is no different.
Though this is a first. Using my young GSP pup Cpl. Patch and my guitar. Oh yea this intro is unique to say the least. It's also serious in tone. I bring up the "Catch A Wave For Molly" fundraiser I'm doing. And that my friends is serious business.
The movie itself is chock full of surf action by local surfers, and local photographers, as well as local musicians. It's along the lines as the original RUN that came out last year by keeping it local.
The RUN Redux is available at your local Surf Shop or by emailing me at: email@example.com.
Hope you all dig the flick. And May The Run Be With You.
THE NEW RUN REDUX Trailer . JUST RELEASED!
December 2009 to December 2010
OK it took me five attempts of rendering this puppy but I finally got it.
I have footage from the GREAT DECEMBER TO REMEMBER Swell.
Dec.-14 & 15th 2010 as well as all the other big swells of 2010 and let me tell you, there were a bunch.
Great local music. Great local photographers. And Great Local Surfers...I apologize for the delay...but it's here. And I did finish it before Christmas albeit the day before.
Better late than never, besides you guys that are buying this thing are surfers. Surely you can all understand the reason why I had to have that last swell in this movie.
Happy Holidays Kids! I hope you like it.
Street District Court of Surf Justice
is now in session, the
Ralph G. Fatello presiding. CASE
#96 BLATANT DROP IN OF
THE WEEK-The More GOOFY FOOT Trouble. CLICK and SEE the verdict.
Photo by The Phantom
(Above) Lenny Nichols getting into the depths of creativity. Winter NH 2011. Photo By Lenny Nichols *Click on the photo above to see the larger version
(Above) Lenny Nichols B&W Winter NH 2011. Photo By Lenny Nichols *Click on the photo above to see the larger version
(Above) Col Jay Hammer USA sent this in to me this week and said that we shouldn't worry about him, because he is keeping warm. Why you gotta be so hurtful Colonel? Photo By Col Jay Hammer USA
(Above) Ian Evans sent this in of his kids at Jenness this past Summer. Photo by Ian Evans
(Above) The Phantom is back out after his harrowing Mavericks experience. This rarely surfed outer reef off the central coast is just one of his many stops. COMING NEXT WEEK! Photo by The Phantom
(Above) Looks good to me. Drop anchor! COMING NEXT WEEK!
Photo by The Phantom
(Above) A rare land locked shot from the Phantom COMING NEXT WEEK!
Photo by The Phantom
*Click masthead above to read the original
(Above) Put the cursor over the images above to
see happens when you DROP in on someone. You
become Invisible. Simply put the mouse over the photo 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. Photos by RALPH
Today 2011 "In a White Room with Blue curtains..."
(Above) This is wild. A white room inside looking out from the Mountains out west.
Photo by David Powers.
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