|Hunter's Moon, Red Sox, and Kooks Galore...
I was impressed with the Hunter's Moon this week. If you live anywhere near the seacoast you know exactly what I'm talking about. Watching that moon rise on Thursday and Friday, made me feel insignificant in the big picture. It was that big and glorious.
Just beautiful. And later that night, my whole backyard was lit up. I let the dog out around 1AM and easily could of walked around the entire town of Hampton, with complete clarity. It was that bright.
The HUNTER'S MOON.
I look forward to it each year.
That bright moon, and the unseasonable warm temperatures, made it all seem like we were living in a different climate.
Though, I prefer the colder October chill, I did take advantage of what Mother Nature had provided. Warm weather, warm water, and a perfect head high plus swell. Most local surfers will attest, this is what we live for.
The tourists have gone back to their homes, and the beaches are free and clear of crowds (for the most part), but more importantly, the Fall Swells get everyone's blood pumping. And this last week was proof of that.
We had great waves most of the week, but Friday the 18th? Well, that was special. As you will see by the chock full galleries of surf action in this week's blog. It will be an unprecedented amount of surf pics for you hardcore surfers. 15 galleries in all. Hello? That's a lot of photos. Al beit, it is all digital.
Still, that's 100's of surf pics.
I suggest you check each gallery closely as you might be in one.
As much as we local hardcore surfers would all like to think that this time of year is "ours" we know better. More and more people have taken up surfing, making it increasingly difficult to educate those who just fell off the surf turnip truck.
In other words, there are more Kooks than ever before.
For those of you who don't surf, a "Kook" is a beginner, or someone who never advanced beyond the beginner/novice stage. Unlike Skiing and snowboarding on the mountains, there are no signs warning or advising of certain skill levels at certain breaks.
And there is no Surf Patrol per se to educate those who need to be educated in the code of surfing. It has been this way since the very beginning. Lord knows it has been a struggle.
That's why we have to police our own, in and out
of the water.
And look, we were ALL Kooks at one point in our lives. Every single surfer was a kook in the beginning. EVERYONE.
A few days ago, on October 18th, I had to school three separate individuals. The first one was a guy from Maine who decided to park his vehicle on a dangerous sharp curve where a particular surf break is located. There is NO parking allowed where he pulled over. And to make matters worse, he never put on his hazard lights nor did he use his directional. He was from Maine, and he was a surfer.
Sitting with two friends watching the surf and taking photos I shouted out
"That's how you get us (surfers) in trouble!" To which he replied "I'm not parking here, I'm just checking it." Agitated I yelled back, "WELL CHECK IT AND CHECK OUT!". He laughed at me until he realized that I was serious. Reluctantly, he got back in his vehicle and parked where we all park.
I was starting to feel like RANGER RALPH.
The 2nd situation happened when a young energetic surfer dropped in on two friends of mine.
*For you non surfers, read my rules and tips page to get familiar with that term. His second time dropping in on a local resulted in his being asked to leave the water. Actually, it was more of a demand than a suggestion.
Here you see the surfer being shown the way to the beach. When he climbed up on the rocks to head off to a more user friendly break, I called him over. "How long have you been surfing?" He sheepishly said "Two years." I looked at him and said "Look don't take this personal, but, two years is not enough time to think you can paddle out at one of these premier surf breaks, and take off on some of the locals, who have been surfing longer than you have been alive."
He nodded his head, as if he understood.
Then I said, "Remember a few years ago, when mommy was teaching you how to cross the street? Looking both ways before you cross? It's the same out here. Look both ways, before you take off. You need to to earn the right, to sit in the pack, and take off on set waves when it's that crowded."
He seemed to get it. "You've got to earn it son. Now git along lil doggy." And with that, he left with his buddy. I'm sure they cursed me and the guys who yelled at them in the water, but I also believe they heard what I had to say. Because, it's an unforgiving world out there at the rest of the surfing locales. Best they learn at home before they go traveling to places like California, Hawaii, or Australia.
That kid will thank me later in life.
The third incident happened shortly after.
A young woman pulled up and started to get ready to head out into the pack of 20 plus aggro surfers in the head high to overhead grinding surf. For the record, this break is a rock reef. In other words, there is NO sandy bottom. It's all rocks. It's a "black diamond" break for you skiers.
This woman walks up and gets ready to hit it. Now before any of you start thinking that I am a sexist, and think that women have no right surfing here, and mixing it up with the boys out in the line-up, think again. I have no problem with any woman surfer. Just as long as they know what they are doing. Especially in big surf at rock/reef breaks.
In fact, all women who surf around here know that. They know, that if they paddle out in serious surf, there are consequences to deal with. From the waves and conditions, to the crowd and skill levels of those out in the line-up. The ocean is free. But you better have your shit together out there. I know plenty of women surfers who can handle all of that and more.
But this woman? Not even close. We watched her try and get out
and well, long story short? She never got 10 yards off the shore line.
You can click on this photo to see for yourself.
When she struggled back up the rocks I asked her. "How long have you been surfing?" She looked at me embarrassed and said "Since this summer..." I was shocked, as were the others who were standing there. "This summer? You have no right to be out there! That's crazy! You could really get hurt out there, not to mention getting someone else hurt."
She pointed towards the line-up and said "They make it look so easy." She was obviously shaken by her short session. She was in and out of the water in less than 5 minutes.
The good news is, she was smart enough to realize she was in over her head (pun intended). But it was scary to think, that she thought initially, that it would fine to just paddle out, and join in on the fun.
I said to her "Those waves are unforgiving. And more importantly, those surfers are unforgiving." That's when we noticed that she had NO wax on her board.
"You need to put wax on the deck." She seemed surprised. "Really?" she asked. "Yes really. "
She was struggling the whole time she stood there, dealing with her loose leash as well. Meanwhile, elderly couples were trying to walk by her, but the way she was holding her board, swinging it every which way but right, was causing them to duck and weave.
I showed her how to wrap her leash around her board, and then suggested she find a more forgiving spot, "you know, a place with a nice soft sandy bottom."
She thanked me as she walked off. We all shook our heads.
Surf Ranger Ralph,
just doing my job, one kook at a time.
The bearded ones are heading to the World Series! That game was great on Saturday. And that grand slam by Shane Victorino was amazing! Riveting stuff right there.
I mentioned a few weeks back that I was a fair weather fan of the Red Sox. I'm into the team when they are doing well. Well? I'm into to them now. I'm basically a big Patriots fan, though that Jets game today made me ill. But the Sox? That was exciting.
I was happy for all the TRUE fans who bleed this team and sport. I truly was.
And look, I'm not going to brag here, but I actually hit a grand slam myself in Little league Baseball when I was a kid.
My dad made me play baseball and basketball when I was growing up. Maybe that's why I hate both sports so much. Truth is, I was never any good at either one.
But I did hit a grand slam in Little League. I remember it well.
Yes that's a Yankee's uniform. That's me on the right and my old friend Ben on the left. Ben was also a bass player in 1963 and we played in a Surf Instrumental band back in those days. I think the "B" on our hats was for Beverly. As you can see, I'm not exactly Roger Maris or Mickey Mantle.
I was uncomfortable playing baseball. Hell, I was terrible.
But in this one particular game, we were losing by four runs. It was a night game. The bases were loaded with two outs, and (gulp) I was up at bat. My whole team groaned as did my coach, who knew I was hopeless and useless as I walked into the batter's box. I remember his instructions..."Don't swing the bat...let him walk you. DO NOT SWING that bat!"
I nodded and stepped up and into the batter's box. And unknowingly, at the time, I stepped into into my one historic baseball moment.
I remember standing there. Knowing that my dad was in the stands, and my teammates were cringing at the thought of me blowing this chance. I'm sure I was sweating from the pressure. I tried to be calm, but it was obvious, I was not in any kind of comfort zone.
The pitcher wound up, and threw his first pitch. A hard fast ball that was low, and outside. And me? Hell I did what any fool would do. I swung as hard as I have ever swung a bat. But it was more like a golf swing. I golfed it. I hit that ball dead on and it went up and over everyone's head, and into right field.
Stunned, I stood there for a moment before I registered what I had actually done.
"RUN!!! " I heard my coach yell. "Run!!" I heard my dad yell. "RUN RALPHIE RUN!!!" I heard my teammates yell. I ran through first base and was rounding to second, when the throw came in. Much to my surprise the second baseman missed the catch! "GO TO THIRD!" I heard my coach yell. Off to third I ran... my helmet falling off.
As I tagged third base, the throw came in from left field and once again, another error! "GO HOME RALPHIE!!! KEEP RUNNING!" I heard my coach yell. Now the whole team was up and screaming at the third base line to home plate.
I ran as fast as I have ever run in my life! "SLIDE RALPHIE SLIDE!!!" And I slid into home plate head first with the Umpire standing there,
and the catcher ready to catch the ball from the third baseman. I was running so hard, that I'm sure I was about to pass out. I ran like the wind, and just before I reached home plate, I slid in on my stomach touching the plate, and hearing the Ump yell "He's SAFE!"
The place went crazy. My coach lifted me up, and my teammates were jumping all over me. I could see my dad on his feet cheering! Pointing to other parents 'that it was his son' who just hit that grand slam. I was so happy! I felt like a million dollars. Hell, I felt like a damn baseball player!
It was one of those moments in a young boy's life that stays with you forever. I was never happier in all the years I played baseball. And my dad was so proud of me.
Oh, we lost that game. But my dad saw me hit a grand slam. And he and I, never forgot that day. My day in the sun.
Now for Some Of My Weekly Global Observances
I was happy that the Government is back in business. Though I'm not really sure what we accomplished in the last 15 days or so. Regardless, those who are depending on the Government being back in business are happy. I guess we all are.
OK this coming week marks the 30th anniversary of one of the darkest days in the USMC History. October 23rd, 1983 the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut Lebanon killed over 241 Marines and sailors. I remember getting ready to go surfing that morning when the news came on TV about it. I cried all day thinking about it.
It was the single biggest loss of life in the Marine Corps since Iwo Jima. That's pretty significant. Semper Fi to ALL the Marines who served in Beirut.
Because I'm into the Red Sox I thought I'd mess with KSM as a Cardinal fan this week. So let's all take a minute, and enjoy the weekly humiliation of the mastermind terrorist who killed 3,000 innocent civilians on September 11th, 2001.
Note to self. Must pick up some bird seed
at Home Depot this week.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Evamarie Fatello October 20th, 2013!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Josh Day October 23rd, 2013!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Brendan McCray October 24th, 2013!
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.
Keep in mind the photos you steal from this site are low RES. You can't blow them up. Order HIGH RES photos that are suitable for framing. It's a GREAT Gift Idea. A nice framed photo of your favorite Surfer or Surf Break!
my friends... Surfing Heals All Wounds.
Pray for Surf. Pray for Peace. Surf For Fun.