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January 10, 2016 The RUN is 9 out of 9 Weeks.
Waist high or better at least once a week.

There were GOOD waves on the January 5th,and the 9th. 2016
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Widowmakers and Sea Smoke

There's a saying that I'm sure you have all heard. Unless you're one of the dozen or so readers in IRAN (true). And that saying is "Don't take anything for granted." Wise words. Not sure who penned the original saying, but we certainly have all heeded that line. And really, that saying could be used in so many walks of our lives. But I'm specifically talking about friends, family, and our pets.


I know, some of you are scratching your heads right now.

What I am referring to is when you find out that a certain friend had just been hurt, or passed away and you are basically stunned by the news. And you immediately think of the last time you spoke with that person, or the last time you saw that person. The other day I got a call from an old friend of mine. John Carden, some of you know him, but for those who don't, I'll give you a quick rundown on who he is.



I need to first go back and tell you how we met.

Way back in the late 80's and early 90's I was playing in a band called The NOR'EASTERS. We were playing the local club circuit from Boston to Maine and beyond. This was during a period when I was writing songs every other day. And when you write a song that the band likes, and better yet, your fans love, then you have to think about recording those songs. John Carden owned a recording studio in Beverly, MA. I was at the time living in the area along with my brother and drummer. Whitey our bass player, lived on the south shore.

Any way, long story short, I found John and we chatted. I told him who we were and what we were looking for. He had known of our previous bands and was somewhat familiar with me and my music.

His studio was called BIG CHEESE. It was a cool studio, and we recorded some of our best material with John. We hit it off and began a friendship that is still strong today. He was introduced to surfing by me, and that solidified our friendship even more. We did some bartering back in the day, and it always revolved around surfing.

Fast forward a few years and we both ended up living here in Hampton. During that time, John also got into photography. No doubt you've seen his work on the blog. For a while it was Carden, O'Connell, Nevins, and myself. I became closer to John. He was also a veteran, and I was heavily involved in the local veterans post. John ended up joining Post 35, and we had another thing in common.

John recently got married and has found peace and happiness with Missy and their daughter. We are always in touch. Either by phone, email, facebook, or on the beach. So when he called and told me about his near death experience
, I thought about that line. "Don't take anything for granted."



John had what the Doctors call a "Widow Maker"
heart attack. This happened on New Years Eve. They said an artery in his heart was 99% blocked. He was one step of the way of stepping into the other world. You can imagine how shocked I was to hear this. Had he passed from this earth, it would of sent shock waves through the community. He's lucky to be here.



On a better note, John had to quit smoking. He smokes way too much. But his near death experience has shaken him awake. I told him how happy I was that he made it. And I meant it. I was happy to be talking to him, rather than talking about
him with someone else.

After hearing in detail the horrors of that day and the following days and nights at Exeter Hospital, I said to him, "John, I'm glad you made it back, but, if this should happen again, where do you want your paddle?" I was of course referring to the surfer's paddle. He laughed and said "The Wall, 10th Street." I thought that was a good choice. Then I added, "John if it happens again this month, or the next, would you mind if we had your paddle in the Spring?"

We both laughed. And less any of you think I am that cold, I told him before we hung up "I love you John and I always considered you a good friend." He paused, and then he said "The same here Ralph."



When I awoke on January 5th, 2016 I knew it was cold outside. I also knew that with the
water temps being so high, and the air temps being so low, it was the perfect recipe for SEA SMOKE.

And the best of all, was we had a decent swell running. It was a no brainer for me. I grabbed my gear and shot down to the coast. My son and Kody were already driving along Ocean Blvd looking for a place to paddle out. Now I can't really write about Sea Smoke without mentioning the master of the smoke. Brian Nevins. That guy has shot some of the most dramatic Sea Smoke scenes I personally have ever seen. Imagine my surprise that I beat him to the coast by 3 minutes. Ha. Actually we were both shooting elsewhere and had both experienced frost bite on our hands.

We laughed about it as we stood side by side shooting the boys out in the boiling ocean. I was doing my two fisted deal. One hand had the NIKON 7100 and the other had the CANON HF G 30.

All hand held this day. It was too cold for exposing any flesh.

If you're a New England surfer and you have yet to surf in Sea Smoke, you need to add that to your bucket list and get on it the next time the air temps drop below the water temps. Trust me it's trippy.



Just ask Britt Swartley here. Can you see him behind the smoke screen? Pretty cool, don't you think? And there was NO PUN intended there. Well, maybe a little. Seriously, the next time it gets that cold, do yourself a favor, and get down to the ocean before the sun rises. It's worth every layer of clothes you throw on. .

"Surfing In Sea Smoke
Heals All Wounds"

 

 

 






"Ed's Corner" pic this week is another shot from the winter of 2009.This week's pic is another grinding right hander. Not a 100% sure who is in the tube there, it looks like Ross Kunkel but I can't be certain. In either case, it's another one of the thousands of pics that Ed has shot around these parts.

To see more of Ed's pics just hit the archives tab and scroll through the years and see some of Ed's work. It's worth the trip down memory lane.
Be sure to pick up the SFOD movie The COLD COAST
and check out the extra feature of Ed O'Connell's gallery.

Each week I will feature one of Ed's great pics from this blog.
Photo by Ed O'Connell
*Click the photo above to see a larger version of Ed's Pic.


Now for Some More Of My Weekly Global Observances

Just when you think it's ok to watch the news, something else absurd hits the airways. This little creepazoid got his grimy little hands on a Hydrogen bomb and did a full on test.



Are we in danger? Yes and no. I mean if this little maniac wanted to push a few buttons, we have more buttons that we could push, and send him scurrying underground, to hide in the local barber shop. Alright, I'm sorry, but that hair cut? Are you shitting me? Talk about creepy looking.



I was amazed at how many of the people who live there reacted to this news. I don't know, I may be guessing, but it sure seems like they are all being forced to cheer and cry when haircut makes a public experience. It is beyond pathetic. Here they are getting their Kim Young Un updates. Look at them cheering. It must be cheer and cry or else.



Are you shitting me? The poor South Koreans and the people of China. They are right there in his back yard. The South Koreans said it felt like an earthquake. And China was so pissed. Even though they were allies in the Korean War. So what does this all mean? Well simply put, it means the word is MORE unstable today than it ever was in our lifetime. And that's pretty scary.

Pick your poison. Al Qeada, ISIS, North Korea, China, and Russia. The new army of Germany is also a gathering storm cloud.

Gee, we sure could use a a superhero. Know any?




So we now know that the New England Patriots will host the Kansas City Chiefs next Saturday night. I don't know about you guys, but I actually enjoyed the stress free weekend. It was fun to watch other teams fold under pressure and poor decisions. The BENGALS game? Oh my God. Then today's VIKINGS game? Again, OH MY GOD. I bet there are a few suicide watches going on tonight. Talk about choking.

I like our chances. Especially if we are at full strength.

KSM Photoshop of the Week

What's wrong with having with KSM this week? I'll tell you. NOTHING. I had to put him with Kim Jong Un. They are buddies. Doing these KSM photoshops are the highlight of the week for me. It's fun, and degrading.



Please my friends, enjoy the weekly humiliation of the master mind behind the September 11th, 2001 attacks. The man who was behind the killing of 3,000 innocent civilians. The number two big dog of Al Qeada. Khalid Sheik Mohammed.


* Note to self, must pick up a case of Mushroom military hats. at Home Depot.


HAPPY and HEALTHY NEW YEAR!

Please say a prayer for the family of Doug Derome a local Surfer and Navy veteran who passed away recently. A friend of Jack and Mike Keefe, Doug surfed the 6th street opening each summer. Speaking of Mike. Please send positive thoughts to Mike Keefe Mike's a local surfer who has been surfing these parts for decades. Our condolences go out to Richard Donahue who's dad passed away this week. Also say a prayer for my good friend Robert Gerard. And please continue to pray for local Hampton surfers Terry Morrison and Rick Fiorentini and their families.
Also please pray for Marine SSGT George Masten. A combat Marine who served in Korea and Vietnam. He was awarded the purple heart for wounds received in Vietnam in 1967. George is battling cancer. PLEASE say a prayer for him.

Please Support ALL The photographers who contribute to Ralph's Pic Of The Week every week for the last 9 years. **Think about BUYING a HIGH RES Photo from any of the weeks on RPOTW.

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


Ralph

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Yesterday- Stevie O'Hara Summer at The Wall 1980
(Below) I have been gathering old footage from the 70's, 80's, and 90's. I'm trying to put out a clip per week. This last week I posted three videos that I shot in the last two weeks. I plan on posting this particular clip on Throw Back Thursday on Facebook, and of course it will appear on the blog next week. So what's so interesting about this? Well for starters, Stevie has short hair. And, I believe he's riding a twin fin. But I'm sure he will know exactly what's under his feet when he sees this. Photo Video frame grab from a super 8mm RALPH



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Today- Saturday Morning January 9th, 2016
Photos by RALPH



(Above)
I think this is Chris Stelman. But I could be wrong.
January 9th, 2016
Photo by RALPH
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(Above)
Britt Swartley carving some gray humps on a a rainy morning.
January 9th, 2016
Photo by RALPH
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(Above)
I know this is Chris Stelman. And I know what came after this photo.
January 9th, 2016
Photo by RALPH
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(Above)
Jared Veltsos in a cool as shit style gliding along the roof.
January 9th, 2016
Photo by RALPH
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(Above)
I got out of the rain and drove north. And this is what I found.
January 9th, 2016
Photo by RALPH
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(Above)
And this is who I found. Kai Nichols taking off and heading for hollowland. January 9th, 2016 Photo by RALPH
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Today- Later that same day. January 9th, 2016
Photos by RALPH




(Above)
The swell came up and so did the wipes. Which isn't bad if
no one was watching. January 9th, 2016
Photo by RALPH
*Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery





(Above)
Except these guys saw the whole thing, and they were kind enough to point it out to me, so I could get the shot. Thanks fellas.
January 9th, 2016
Photo by RALPH
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(Above)
Ryan Jackson hoping for more room to make this section.
January 9th, 2016
Photo by RALPH
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(Above)
Weston Rogers is one of my favorite local surfers.
He's got style for miles. January 9th, 2016
Photo by RALPH
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(Above)
James Morse projecting for some shoulder meat.
January 9th, 2016
Photo by RALPH
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Today- The SEQUENCES of January 9th, 2016.
Photos by RALPH




(Above
) Weston Rogers again. Ducking into the Roach Motel.
You know, the roaches check in-but they don't check out.
January 9th, 2016.
Photos by RALPH
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(Above
) Max Fatello full torque cutback. Check the guy caught inside.
January 9th, 2016.
Photos by RALPH
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(Above
) Stevie O'Hara on one of the longest rides of the day.
January 9th, 2016.
Photos by RALPH
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(Above
) I'm sure there's a name for this move, but I'll be dammed if I can tell you. MVF January 9th, 2016.
Photos by RALPH
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"North Conway's Family Mountain"



"Southern New Hampshire's Favorite Mountain"




"Superior Snow. Guaranteed.”






(Above
) Like I said, Weston Rogers has style. The head looking down
on t
his smooth as hell cutback. That's style people. You can't teach that.
January 9th, 2016.
Photos by RALPH
*Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery


Today- The SEA SMOKE Pics January 5th, 2016.
Photos by RALPH



(Above
)
That's why we live here. Seeing magnificent beauty like this. For free.
January 5th, 2016.
Photos by RALPH
*Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery















(Above
)
There's something about this pic. Matt Colby walking back
up the beach with all of that nature erupting beside him.
January 5th, 2016.
Photos by RALPH
*Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery

(Above) This may be my favorite Sea Smoke pic of the batch.
How dramatic is this? January 5th, 2016.
Photos by RALPH
*Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery




(Above) I suppose it's a toss up for Matt Colby. Which does he like better?
Airs or barrels? January 5th, 2016.
Photos by RALPH
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(Above) This action shot would be good enough on it's own, but when
you add the sea smoke? Well, you just don't see this on every beach.
January 5th, 2016.
Photos by RALPH
*Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery













Today- The Video Frame Grabs From 12-31-15
Photos by RALPH




(Above
)
Shayne Forsley on one of the last waves on 2015.
December 31st, 2015..
Photos -Video frame grabs by RALPH
*Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery




(Above) Perry Reynolds leaning in on December 31st, 2015.
Photos -Video frame grabs by RALPH
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(Above) Jesse Gould ducking under the lip one last time in 2015.
December 31st, 2015.
Photos -Video frame grabs by RALPH
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(Above) To watch this on video is crazy. He got swallowed up by this wave.
December 31st, 2015.
Photos -Video frame grabs by RALPH
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(Above) MVF testing the Issac Newton's law of gravity.
December 31st, 2015.
Photos -Video frame grabs by RALPH
*Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery



Today- Now for something a bit warmer. Hawaii
Photos by Corey Beale




(Above) The winters on Hawaii are like no where else.
December 2015
January 2016. Photos by Corey Beale
*Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery






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Great NEW MARINE FORECAST Website


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We welcome all Surf Related pics from our Readers. Just make sure they are at least 900 pixels wide. If you have any OLD photos of local New England surfers and or of local New England surfing, we would love to see them and share them with our readers.

We can scan them for you. And we get them back to you undamaged. Trust me. We can do this...people love the older stuff. So if you have any, please send 'em along. If you have prints/slides we can scan them for you.

And we don't care if you shoot pics with with your cellphones. I mean it. Most of the images you see on the news and on the Internet were shot with them Smart Ass Phones. So shoot and ask questions later.











(Above)
The Nichols girls back in Hawaii.

Photo courtesy of The Nichols

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(Above)
This can't be good.

Photo by Bruce Crisner
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(Above)
. This is Big Fort Point.

Photo by Charlie Daley

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(Above) ALL RISE: The 10th Street District Court Of Surf is Now in Session.
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CASE
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CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON on each clip to view videos


INTO THE FIRE AND SMOKE

Sea smoke has always captured the imagination of those of us who are lucky enough to live by the ocean. Sea smoke is caused when the ocean is warmer than the air. On January 5th, 2016 the air temp was 7 degrees. The water temp was in the mid 40's. It was a perfect recipe for Sea Smoke. This is not the first clip I ever shot of sea smoke, and I'm sure it won't be the last. I will admit I have been inspired over the last 10 years or so from the master of sea smoke himself, Brian Nevins. Sure enough he was there when I shot this clip. We were both freezing and laughing. The surfers in this clip are: Matt Colby, Britt Swartley, Max Fatello, James Morse, and a gaggle of others. All bobbing in the smoke, and taking off on waves that were just steaming. The horizon looked particularly wild with the sun and clouds ablaze. Just a cool phenomena to witness. The music is by Demons.




NEW YEARS EVE 12-31-15 from Ralph's Pic Of The Week on Vimeo.

The Last day and the Last Swell of 2015. December 30th and December 31st, 2015 had some fun surf.
It snowed on the 30th and it was foggy on the 31st. By late afternoon the fog burned off and the boys had themselves a run of good surf. We stayed until dark, or until that massive cloud showed up and it started to pour. The surfers out those last two days included: Perry Reynolds, Johnny Reynolds, Matt Colby, Becca and Harrison Speak, Britt Swartley, Jesse Gould, Max Fatello, Kai Nichols, Ryan Reed, Markey J, Dave "Crop" Cropper, and a bunch of others.

The music is "Let it Snow" by HC Jr and "Auld Lang Syne" by Rod Stewart

 



Christmas Morning 12-25-15 from Ralph's Pic Of The Week on Vimeo.
The novelty of any surfer getting to surf on Christmas day is alive and well. If you live in Northern New England, chances are you are facing cold weather by Christmas. You know, snow on the ground, temps in the teens, that kind of cold. Well, this Christmas was a bit different. The water temps were tolerable, and the air temp was ridiculous. 68 degrees. Say what? It's true. It was balmy and sunny. So for a handful of local surfers, this was a chance to surf on Christmas Day. They had already surfed on Christmas Eve the day before, though it was misty and foggy. There are three waves from Christmas Eve on this clip. The surfers include: Kody Grondin, Max Moody, DJ Sparks, Max Fatello, Matt Evans, and a few unknowns.

The music is by my favorite surf band The VENTURES and the song is "Sleigh Ride". Check it out, it's under 3 minutes.

 

 

 


MATTERAS Thanksgiving Week 2015 from Ralph's Pic Of The Week on Vimeo.

The week of Thanksgiving 2015 was one of those swells that kept "giving back" to all the local surfers. The color of the water on the last day, and the amazing pinkish purple skies on the 20th, were just beautiful. I'm very impressed at the way the young men and women have been surfing as of late. I've been around the block
a few times and think I have a handle on the who, what, and where around these parts. My only regret for this clip is I didn't shoot from the water. But then again, I am nursing a few broken bones. But I'll get back out there.

Especially if I get to the West Coast and the tropics this winter. Until then, I'll be shooting down the street. Music is by Buckethead buckethead.com
and Jimi Hendrix jimihendrix.com

 


 















 

 

 


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COMING NEXT WEEK....looking good on Monday


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COMING NEXT WEEK... 2016 on week two and it's kicking!


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(Above) Put the cursor over the images above to see what happens when you DROP in
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Simply put the mouse over the photo to see the
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Today January 10th, 2016
"You gotta be flippin me!"




(Above) Not sure if this guy knows what's beneath the surface here. I took the photo wondering what made him do that. There's an unforgiving rock reef there son.
Photo by RALPH



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