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October 10th, 2009 33 out of 34 weeks of surfable waves.

I remember the day like it was yesterday. The day I married Cory. October 10th, 1987. As a surfer, I was concerned about the swell activity for that week. What if there were waves on my Wedding Day? Would I be able to surf? Would I surf and be late for my own wedding? Would my friends miss my wedding due to the surf? These are questions, that I am sure most surfers have had, who have either already gotten married, or are thinking about getting married. And make no mistake about it. It is a legitimate question. And that goes for all you ladies who surf as well. What would you do, if there was surf on your blissful day of matrimony? Well...?

The obvious thing to do, is to turn a blind eye to the surf, and just go forward as if there was no surf. That's the obvious thing to do. But that's not what most surfers would be thinking, if they woke up on the day they are supposed to tie the knot, and found out that the surf was going off. I've seen it happen to friends. Big summer swells on their day of marriage. Big Fall Swells landing on the day of those well planned wedding days. And I've seen the results of grooms being late. I've seen the Best man at a wedding be late due to a new swell. Of course, this does nothing for the surfer's over all image of "dropping everything to go surfing". In fact, it only perpetuates that negative stigma. We are what we are.

I lucked out on October 10, 1987. There was no surf. Well, that's not exactly true.

I was in the Chapel that over looks one of the premier point breaks here in New Hampshire. It's the Union Chapel. Built in 1877. And if you surf around here, you know where and what I'm talking about. As the groom on that day, I was in the back with my best man (my brother John) who didn't surf, waiting for the OK from the Reverend to step out and onto the alter. And from that vantage point in the back of the Chapel, I could look directly into the break. If there was surf that day, I would of been staring at it. But as luck would have it, there was no surf. It was flat. Or rather, it was under knee high.

No reason to get excited about surf that day.

As I was pacing back there with my brother Johnny, I saw something out of the tiny window that caught my eye. A bump on the horizon. At first I didn't believe it. Then the bump got bigger and pushed towards the point. It was high tide, and this spot that I'm speaking about breaks perfectly at high tide. The wind was slight, 10mph out of the west, and it blew directly into this one lone wave face. This one rogue wave of the day, gained speed and lifted itself as it hit the reef. I stared dumfounded as the wave jacked, and then folded going both ways. "Did you see that?" I said to my brother. "See what?" he answered. "That wave! Did you see that wave?" He looked over at the dissipating white water and casually said "No, not really." I strained my eyes to see if there anymore coming. "That was at least chest high." I said. "Yea well forget about waves, you're about to get married." Johnny said as he peeped through the crack in the door to see where we were at. "Almost time for us to step out" He said.

I looked back out the window at the ocean. I was thinking to myself, that this was a positive sign. That one wave was a sign. But from who? God it could have been anyone back in those days. But I thought it was from Joe and Moira. My two close friends who surfed and who had passed away long before their time. They were lovers. They loved the ocean and being together. It was a sign. That one wave. Then I felt this overwhelming feeling of positive energy take over my whole body. This was going to be a great day. This was going to be the beginning of something special in my life. I turned to my brother and said "Let's do this. I'm ready to start a whole new life with the woman I love."

As we walked out of that tiny room, I looked back one last time at the ocean. It was dead calm. I smiled and walked out into the chapel. That was on this day, 22 years ago today.

We went to Hawaii on our honeymoon. Kauai and then Oahu. I surfed some great waves at Hanalei Bay that first week. I even had a special session with just me and Joey Cabell. That was truly a memorable surf session. He was riding a longboard and I was riding a short board. He shared with me some great surf stories. I took a few water shots of him that night. I posted them here on this site a while back. He was still a great surfer. So stylish and graceful. Me and Joey Cabell at Hanalei Bay. Can you believe it?

Heading to Oahu the second week was equally as rewarding. We stayed at the Turtle Bay Hilton. There was a break right there. Albeit it was a weak and funky spot. But none the less, I could surf if I wanted to. The North Shore was a familiar place to me by then. I had traveled there many times leading up to this honeymoon. Staying with the Nichols in Kaneohe and surfing the North Shore with Kevin and Lenny. I had become pretty comfortable on the North Shore in the 80's.

If you've never experienced Hawaii, you really should go at some point in your life. If not for anything else, it's worth it just to see the infamous stretch of sand and reef along the North Shore. Sunset, Rocky Point, Gas Chambers, Pupekea, Off The Wall, Pipe, Log Cabins, Lanis and Haleiwa. And if you're lucky to see it, the Bay. Waimea Bay is still one of the BEST Big Wave spots on the planet.

I recall seeing our old friend from Hampton, NH, Mr.Jay Hammer on that trip as well. He had flown over from Maui and hung out with us for the day. That same Jay Hammer just recently got promoted to a full bird Colonel in the US ARMY. Wow. My late friend Joe Somogyi and I used to give him so much shit back in the day when he wanted to enlist in the Army. Now look at him. He's a full blown Colonel in the United States Army. Well "J-Rat" I am very proud of you. And I know that, if Joe were alive today, he would be too.

Does that mean I have to salute you when I see you?

So I hope you all got to sample this week's Monday Swell. There was another great session on Monday. There was. I went down and shot in the morning, and then surfed a few and then went back out in the late afternoon, early evening, for a Water Camera session. This time, I believe I got the goods. While not exactly Nevins quality or size, it was a special bonding session with the little Canon D-10. The funny thing about taking a water camera out in the line-up is trying to stay discreet. I was basically looking for empty wave shots. But once the local surfers catch wind on what you're doing, they turn into amphetamine Piranhas. So the dilemma of shooting empty waves without dissing the surfers takes hold. While I'm not exactly Mr. Diplomacy, I thought I handled the influx of boards akimbo in my face out there. At one point I had to yell at one guy, who kept his craft in my face for virtually every set wave. I finally had to say..."Hey man you're ruining my shot!" He looked dazed and confused. "Huh?" I explained that I was trying to get an empty wave shot, and not a series of him flailing on his board looking like a tazed drunk criminal on COPS.

"I'm just trying to get an empty wave photo." I pleaded. "Oh...I'm sorry." he said.

I eventually got what I was looking for that night. Monday October 5th, 2009. The night of perfect light and color. Like I've said a million times before. I love the Fall.

Now for some of my weekly Global observances:

I walked by the TV on Friday morning and did a bona fide double take. I swear I did. What made me do a double take? Glad you asked. The news of President Barack Obama receiving the NOBEL PEACE PRIZE. Are you kidding me? Look...I find this particularly hard to believe. I can't understand what the NOBEL PEACE PRIZE committee were thinking about. And this just proves, that this once prestigious award, has been lessened with this absurd result. I mean, what the hell has Obama done to warrant this? Or a better question might be, what has Obama done period? Besides spending us into oblivion? GITMO is still open (thank you). The troops are still in Iraq. The War in Afghanistan is getting worse. The economy is doing terrible. The spending and taxes are out of control. The Health Care Reform is a mess. But hey, we almost got the Olympics to Chicago...nope!

I'm sorry, but this is just one of those news stories that just screams "What The Hell is wrong with this world?" A friend argued that Obama wants world peace. Really? Name one US President who didn't want world peace? Seriously. Name one US President who didn't want World Peace. Hell, every Miss America contestant speaks of world peace. Why not name one of them a Nobel Peace Prize recipient? But Barack Hussein Obama?
Even Obama himself was shocked that he got it. Thank God. Unless of course, that's another part of his clever acting scheme. Look, he wants to sit down and talk with IRAN's wacky Leader who claims that the Holocaust never happened. What the hell are you going to talk about? The Nuclear facility that he's been building under your nose and wants to destroy Israel with? How many more years of this?...Oh yea 3.

Seriously... How's that Hope and Change working out for you?

The RED SOX are in trouble. REPEAT. The SOX are in deep trouble.
The SOX have Game 3 against the ANGELS at FENWAY on Sunday in a do or die situation. Can they pull it off? Yes. Is it likely? Probably not. These PLAY-OFFS against the Angels are not givens anymore. They just lost to the Angels in the last series against them. The SOX have great pitching, but you need the bats to come alive to win games. One run in two games is not gonna cut it. But having said all still gotta believe.

The Patriots travel to DENVER this week to play the 4-0 Broncos today. The Pats looked great last couple of weeks against the Falcons and RAVENS . Let's hope we can beat that little High School student posing as a head coach Josh McDaniels. Maybe he'll have detention and miss the game. That would be great for Belichick to beat this kid who learned everything he knows about football from Belichick and Brady.

Come on Josh.... come out and play.

Happy 22nd Wedding Anniversary to Cory and Ralph October 10th!
Happy Birthday Markey J October 11th!
Happy 50th Birthday to Johnny Meehan October 12th!
Happy Birthday Arlene Nichols October 16th!
Happy Birthday Melanie Velstos October 16th!


*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.

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


Yesterday- October 10th, 1987. 22 years ago today.
(Below) This is the point that I was describing in the column above. That one rogue wave came through on this day. One wave. This photo is interesting in so many ways. First of all, it was taken by my late father Gus. And the man standing in the foreground is Cory's late father Jerry. Taken on October 10, 1987.
Photo By Gus Fatello

Yesterday- October 1987. 22 years ago this week.
(Above) This is me surfing on Oahu's North Shore. Taken on October-1987.
Photo By Cory Fatello

Today- 2009 Monday, October 5th, 2009
*Click on Photos Below To See Photo Galleries

(Above) Stevie O' Hara back to back Monday Swells. Monday, October 5th, 2009.
Photo By RALPH Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery and more.

(Above) Unknown drifting through a nice section. Monday, October 5th, 2009.
Photo By RALPH Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery and more.

(Above) Eric Canon drops blasting through the pitching lip. Monday, October 5th, 2009. Photo By RALPH Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery and more.

(Above) Empty Wave the first water photo I shot that Monday evening.
Monday, October 5th, 2009.
Photo By RALPH
Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery and more.

(Above) Empty Wave #2 the water photo series I shot on Monday evening.
Monday, October 5th, 2009.
Photo By RALPH
Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery and more.

(Above) The behind the Wave Sunset . The water shots shot from Monday evening.
Monday, October 5th, 2009.
Photo By RALPH
Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery and more.

(Above) Ed's Wave. Ed loves this shot. Monday evening. October 5th, 2009.
Photo By RALPH Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery and more.

(Above) Empty Wave Colors. Water photos are hard to do. Monday, October 5th, 2009. Photo By RALPH Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery and more.

(Above) After getting two nice barrels, Nevins went in and shot these. Click on this image. September 28th, 2009 Photo By Brian Nevins
Click on the photo above to see the whole Nevins gallery.

(Above) Mikey Moran in the speed blur world. Brian was all alone out there. Click on this image too see the rest. October 5th, 2009 Photo By Brian Nevins
Click on the photo above to see the whole Nevins gallery.

(Above) This is Big Handsome Daddy. I'm always looking for any kind of tubey section. CLICK ON IMAGE TO SEE MORE. Monday, October 5th, 2009 Photo By Ed O'Connell
Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery and more.

(Above) Ryan from Long Island NY. CLICK ON IMAGE TO SEE MORE.
October 5th, 2009
Photo By Ed O'Connell
Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery and more.

(Above) John Carden from Hampton. Putting the camera down to snag a few for himself. CLICK ON IMAGE TO SEE MORE. October 5th, 2009 Photo By Ed O'Connell
Click on the photo above to see the whole gallery and more.


FOR a VIMEO VIDEO CLIP. Monday September 28, 2009 by RALPH
*muisc by BIG HANDSOME DADDY *SEE BHD at Rudis in Portsmouth 10-22-09


BIG MO September 28, 2009 from Ralph G. Fatello on Vimeo.

Today 2009- The BLATANT DROP IN of The Week. 10-10-09

(Above) This week's Blatant Drop-In is dealing with apparently a blind surfer. How else can you explain this BLATANT DROP IN? To see it all click on photo. Click on the image above to see the complete DROP IN Sequence. Photos By RALPH

Today- 2009 Leftover Images from Sept-Oct. 2009
(Above) Kai Nichols back Home after the Easterns. Click on the image above to see who it is? Photos By Lenny and Arlene

(Above) Jared Velstos at the Easterns. Click on the image above to see who it is? Photos By Lenny and Arlene

(Above) Ladies and Gentlemen meet Mr and Mrs. Col. Jay HAMMER US ARMY.
Click on the image above to see more.
Photos courtesy of Jay Hammer

Today- 2009 The Bernie Baker Files October 9th 2009
BILLABONG Jr PRO at Sunset Beach -Oahu

(Above) There's something about pulling in at Sunset. Click on the image above to see the whole Gallery. Photos By Bernie Baker

(Above) MORE insanity from 54th Street NEXT WEEK! Photos by Ben Ginsberg


(Above) BI SWELL hits Newport and Ben Ginsberg get's it all on digi. COMING NEXT WEEK! Photos by Ben Ginsberg

Invisible Surfer once again spotted and captured on film.

(Above) Maybe it's the settings my camera is on...I don't know. All I know is what comes out when I take a photo of this Invisible Surfer. I thought I was taking a photo of this man putting a leash on...but when I saw the photo...well...It's downright mind boggling.. *To see what you might of seen, put the cursor over the photo.


Today 2009 PARTING SHOT- This Can't be Good...

(Above) From Hurricane BILL. Put the mouse over the image for the rest of this horror show. Ouch that has got to hurt. Put the cursor over the photo.
by Kevin Doherty


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