Send your SURF Pics to me directly. (See link below) Just make sure they're 800 pixels wide. PLEASE NO smaller. Need photos by each Saturday at 12 noon if possible . In fact if you have any questions about the size, email me first and I'll write back. Start shooting my brothers and sisters!
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October 30th, 2011-New RUN is 36 out of 36 Weeks.
Waist high or better, at least once a week.
The Surf on Saturday was waist high or better.

*WE LOST POWER SATURDAY at 11:30PM as I was writing the column. The OCTOBER SNOW STORM hit with FULL FORCE and the power just came back on (Sunday October 30, 2011 at 6:30PM) !

*Also the SURF Was HUGE today. On the 20th anniversary of the PERFECT STORM SWELL. The column/blog was written yesterday
but it needs a footnote due to this MASSIVE Swell that coincided
with the HALLOWEEN SWELL of 1991. The following (below) was
written before we lost power.

I am looking out my studio window at the snow that is swirling around the street light. My lights have been flickering for hours. We have lost power twice, and both times it has come back on within seconds. I am thankful for that. No I am REALLY truly thankful for that. Ralphie can't write this crap in the dark and without power. I keep waiting for that final crack, when the power goes, and it stays dark. I have a feeling it's only a matter of time. And I am running out of time.

The snow? The crazy snow that is here for the second time this week. Is this really happening? Getting snow in October is not the first time this has happened and it won't be the last. But it is rare. I know somewhere Brian Nevins is giddy with himself. Smiling from ear to ear. But me? I'm just not ready yet. I love the Fall. I do not mind the winter, but I absolutely LOVE the Fall. Please...can we have a little more of Fall before winter? Please?

So the timing of the Nor'easter could not have come at a more ironic time in our local surf culture. It was Twenty years ago today, Sgt Pepper taught the band to play...whooops wrong story sorry. It was 20 years ago today that we had the Halloween Swell. You know the PERFECT STORM. What most non surfing locals don't remember is this. We had waves for 5 days leading up to that final fateful day. And not just any kind of waves. We had REAL waves. Big dark and gray waves. Brown water waves. Dare I say? Manly waves. Ugly man waves.

Those of you who are old enough to remember, know what I'm talking about.

When Hurricane Grace and that large Nor'easter met up and fell in love and then they mated and produced that Halloween Horror Monster it was the capping off of an extraordinary week of surf. Unreal surf. Hollow surf. We were all scoring waves that week and we were out of our minds. There was so much happening that week. I can recall paddling by Kenny Sakurai as he got one of the sickest barrels I have ever seen anywhere! It was the week that I dragged my friend Tony B out to the reef and made him paddle through the impact zone.

"Anybody can paddle out in the channel Tony!" I yelled. "Paddle through the whitewater and let them all know you mean business!" Taking waves on the head rather than staying dry on the paddle out was always the way for me. I wanted to punish myself. I wanted to set the tone for my session. The Beauchesne brothers did the same. They followed my lead when they were young groms. And they earned the respect of others. All except the Mouth That Roared. He was never going to warm up to anyone. But that's OK. That made the sessions all the more entertaining for all of us.

But that week back in October of 1991? Good Lord. It was insane.

For those of us who cut our teeth on that reef, to those who ventured down from the Great Granite State. It was a week that will go down in our Surf History as the BEST week ever in October. And for it to end like it did? With that monster swell? It was the stuff of legend. Of surf folklore. The kind of swell that people make movies about. You know. Big Wednesday. Huge Monday.
It was that kind of swell. It was a freak. An absolute freak of nature.

Whoever heard of a Hurricane mating with a Nor'easter? I mean come on.
It was something out of a Hollywood script. People died that day. And more people almost died. The Surfers who surfed that week, and the handful who surfed that final day will never forget it. How could they? You couldn't.

I will never forget driving down the street that morning and picking Kevin up and stopping at the Wall to see if it had gotten any bigger. We were both stunned by what we saw. Without any hesitation, I turned to Kevin and said. "I've never seen it this big before." And I had not. And we're talking since 1964.

We both stared out to sea that morning and could not comprehend what we were looking at. As far as the eye could see, were HUGE billowing peaks that were spilling over a good half mile or more out to sea. It didn't even look like the Wall. It looked like the North Shore of Oahu. It just was something I had never seen before, or since for that matter. It looked like the end of the world.

I went back home and grabbed more film and gear. I knew that whatever we were going to find that day was going to be documented. Thank God I brought all the gear I did. There was tension in the air that morning. It was thick with it.

By the time we pulled up in the parking lot at Pirates Bay we were met with huge gusts of wind. I mean it was howling. Really howling. Most of the guys were smart enough to bring their long narrow guns. They were going to need them just to paddle down the face. The peaks were marching in from the outside and gaining speed and girth, while pushing and heaving against the wind.

By the time it hit the reef, the lip was thick with the resistance of the wind, making it almost impossible to get over the edge. The boys held onto their guns and made their way down the beach. Just holding onto the boards on the beach was a struggle. 30-40 and up to 50 knots. Maybe higher. It was blinding. Stinging. Like a shotgun full of BB's spraying you in the face. It was like sleet or hail in your face. But it was all from the wave in front of you.

There was no rain. No sleet. And certainly no snow. In fact, the sun popped out several times that morning. Under a dozen men paddled out that morning. I'm not sure how many actually rode a wave. It was that heavy, and it was also impossible to see. I do know that Kevin Grondin got waves. Kenny Sakurai got waves. Zappy, Dean Savastano, Jack Keefe, Chris Valhouli, Dave Eon, Phil and Arthur Beauchesne and a handful of others got waves.

They all rode into the history books on that day. Local surf history.

Later that night, I assisted Kevin with helping his parents save their belongings in their condo on the beach at Plaice Cove. And that my friends is a whole other story about that fateful day and night. It was the first and possibly the last time I had ever almost drowned in someone's living room.

Kevin had called around 6PM saying that his parents condo on the beach was in jeopardy. They had a basement condo facing the ocean. He needed help in salvaging anything he could from the storm surge. I agreed to meet him at his parents condo at 6:30PM.

By the time I drove down to the ocean the streets were flooded. There was no parking anywhere. So I parked up on High street and walked the rest of the way in. I could hear the ocean as I got closer to his parents condos. As I walked along Ocean Blvd I could see huge mountains of white water between the houses. I thought I was seeing things. Is it really that big?

As I got closer to his parents condos the ocean started to pour down from the house line and into the streets. It was like nothing I'd ever seen before. As I got closer to Kevin's parent's condo I realized that there was NO ONE around anywhere. It looked like everyone had left Dodge.

I got to the condo and yelled for Kevin. It was so loud that that no one could hear anything. So I made my way to the front of his parents condo. It was a frightening scene. The walls of white water must of been 20 feet and they were just smashing against all the homes on the beach. I was hiding behind a shed or bulkhead. I yelled for Kevin but heard nothing. His parents condo was facing the ocean and the windows were broken. The venetian blinds were swaying back and forth in the darkness. I yelled to Kevin again. Nothing.

Then I thought. "What if he's inside and he's hurt?" I yelled again. Silence. Except the thundering ocean. I was soaked from the ocean spray and the water rushing up and down the walkway. It was a scene from one of those disaster movies. I looked at my watch. It was 6:45PM. I yelled again for his name. Nothing.

"Dammit. I need to go inside and check to see if he's OK." I thought.

I waited for a lull and then leaped through the window and into the living room. The whole room was full of water. Thigh to waist high. It was completely dark in there. I called out to the darkness. I heard nothing. It was so eerily dark and loud in there. I waded from room to room searching for anyone.

I realized I was the only one in there and started back for the broken picture window in the living room. I was standing in thigh high water when I heard a large "WHUMP". I looked at the window just as it filled up with a huge wall of whitewater and came pouring into the condo. I know I yelled, and I know I climbed up on some furniture. I stood up and had to bend over because my head was hitting the ceiling. The water filled up that room and went up past my waist and up to my chin as I stood there bent over freaking out.

Then I felt the furniture move.It was floating down the hall way. I was standing on this piece of furniture surfing down the hallway.

I jumped off and ran into one of the back bedrooms. The water subsided and I ran back out and as I did I saw the furniture I was standing on. It was an Organ! I started to laugh out loud. Why? Because I had combined my two loves without knowing it. Music and surfing.

I made my way out of there and down to the safety of the street. Kevin eventually showed up and I gave him a piece of my mind. He said he turned around and left when he first got down there thinking it was too dangerous. Gee you think? We did go back into the condo after the tide backed off. We found fish in the back bedrooms. It was wild. Hell, it was a wild week.

And that's how I remember the Halloween Swell of October 30, 1991.

I posted a video from that day and night on the blog this week. It's about 10 minutes long. But worth watching. If you like that kind of stuff. Local Surf History.

The ASK CRACKIE SERIES is now into our fourth week. Most of you know that CRACKIE has his own Facebook page. If you have a question for Crackie please email him directly.

Crackie's email: crackie@adlantic.

He'd love to hear from you and I know he'd love to friend you on Facebook.

So until the snow stops, and the swell builds...remember my mantra
"Surfing Heals ALL Wounds..."

Now for some of my Weekly Global Observances:

So there's been a rash of Shark Attacks the past couple of weeks. Including one on Friday in California. The others occurred in Australia. All Great Whites. There's a posse out trying to find the shark responsible for the killings in Australia. Are you kidding me? Give me a break. What do they have a Shark CSI team? You trying to tell me that they can tell which shark is attacking people without killing all the sharks and emptying their gullets? Look Whitey has got to eat too. Leave them alone.

Speaking of unusual situations. What is the deal with Herman Cain? Is he really that popular? Did I miss something along the way? Isn't he a pizza guy? Obama must be secretly hoping Cain gets the nod...Good Lord this country is in so much trouble. No mater which way you face. Left or Right. There's no one that can save us...

The Patriots Play the STEELERS today. Coming off the bye week the boys better get their tackling down a little better. If the Steelers ever had a game plan about throwing the ball today would be that day. We have no secondary. Zero. It should still be a good game to watch.

Unlike my son's football game today. Endicott has fallen off the high horse. They are now 8-1. They lost a wild game in the snowstorm today in Springfield. One more regular season game next Saturday before the Playoffs. They play MIT. Yes I said MIT. Don't ask me why MIT has a Football team...but they do, and we will be going.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY Patrick Meehan November 1st, 2011!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Kelsey Gauron November 1st, 2011!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Mike Paugh October 26th, 2011!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Jon Anderson November 2nd 2011!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Katherine J. Burke Smith November 2nd 2011!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Jack Fleming November 3rd 2011!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY John Wheatley November 4th, 2011!
GET WELL SOON Joanna Rob...The Friends and family of Toby Parke ALL LOVE YOU!
*CONGRATULATIONS To My Good Friends The Rowlees...It's going to be a BOY!

Don't forget to go back and read the whole DAILY BLOG on My CATCH A WAVE FOR MOLLY. (Click On the Banner on this page.) Started on July 26, 2010 ENDED July 26, 2011. A Wave a day for 365 consecutive days. Just click on the banner ads on this page.

beyond Surf Pics!
*NEW PICS added each week!

*Check out the NEW updated DROPPING IN ON
RALPH blog Section.
It's coming soon (I promise).

Please Support ALL The photographers who contribute to Ralph's Pic Of The Week
week for the last 8 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.


Yesterday- October 30 1991 The "HALLOWEEN SWELL"
(Below) There are some who called it the PERFECT STORM. While others called it the NO NAME Storm. Most of us called it the Halloween Swell. For five days straight the swell pulsed and heaved sending us the BEST EVER October waves ever. It capped off with the HUGE HALLOWEEN DAY SWELL. There is a video from that day on the video section this week, and this is the video frame grab from one of the many images from that week. To me this image says it all. A vehicle being pushed across Rte 1A in Rye New Hampshire. Video frame grab from super 8mmm movie by SFOD /RALPH

Click on the photo above to see the larger version.
Today- TWENTY YEARS LATER The October Snow Swell.
Sunday October 30, 2011
Photos By RALPH

(Above) Looking like a Mini Chopes in Tahiti. The October Snow Swell.
October 30
, 2011.
Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

(Above) Johnny Meehan slotted. The October Snow Swell.
October 30th
, 2011.
Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

(Above) Billy Ritchie on the inside and Terence Kirby out the back. The October Snow Swell. October 30, 2011. Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

(Above) Billy Ritchie's big open face cutback. The October Snow Swell.
October 30
, 2011.
Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

Wide open barrels. Unknown (or unidentified) The October Snow Swell.
October 30th
, 2011.
Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

(Above) Exactly 20 years ago today I shot Kevin Grondin surfing HUGE surf during the PERFECT STORM/HALLOWEEN Swell. It's funny, I'm still shooting and he's still ripping. The October Snow Swell. October 30th, 2011. Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

(Above) It was BIG and Hollow. The October Snow Swell.
October 30th
, 2011.
Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

Yesterday-The PERFECT STORM-The HALLOWEEN SWELL-The NO NAME Storm. October 30th, 1991 Video Frame Grabs By SFOD/RALPH

(Above) That ain' t Emerald City kids. Thursday October 30, 1991.
Video Frame Grab B
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

(Above) Oh it was a horror for some people. Thursday October 30, 1991.
Video Frame Grab B
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

(Above) The day to end all days. Thursday October 30, 1991.
Video Frame Grab B
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

(Above) Kevin Grondin and Mike Paugh making that walk into Surf History.
Thursday October 30
, 1991.
Video Frame Grab By SFOD/ RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

(Above) Kevin and Jacko talking about their life changing experience. .
Thursday October 30
, 1991.
Video Frame Grab By SFOD/ RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

Today-The First Dusting...October 28th 2011 Photos By RALPH

Happy Birthday Mother...we still miss you. Friday October 28th, 2011.
Photo B
y RALPH * Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

(Above)The morning sunrise. Friday October 28th, 2011.
Photo B
y RALPH * Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

(Above) I know. I have a thing for Gulls and Sunrises. Friday October 28th, 2011.

Photo B
y RALPH * Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

Today- My Garden Photos...What? Oh Hell Yes I said Garden!
Summer /Fall 2011
Photos By RALPH

(Above) Every Garden needs a good scarecrow. Summer/Fall, 2011.
Photo B
y RALPH * Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

(Above) I love my Blueberries. Summer/Fall, 2011.
Photo B
y RALPH * Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

(Above) Hey I'm Italian! I love Tomatoes and Eggplant. Summer/Fall, 2011.
Photo B
y RALPH * Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

(Above) The first year I ever harvested corn. Sweet white corn. Summer/Fall, 2011.
Photo B
y RALPH * Click on the photo above to see the Whole gallery.

What the hell? Funny stuff huh? October 21, 2011.
Photo By JC

Two Surfing Marines. Pvt Collins and Col Collins. Father and Son at Parris Island Boot Camp Graduation. The young Marine was home for leave recently and got to surf the Wall with his dad. Semper Fi boys...which reminds me, the Marine Corps birthday is coming up (11/10/11 and so is Veterans Day (11/11/11).
courtesy of Joe Collins

(Above) REAL Shark attack from Friday. October 28, 2011 in California.
Photo By JC

Somewhere out in our big blue planet. October 21, 2011.
Photo via The Internet.

now the ESPN website too! Wow!

To see it on this site go to the Molly Page.



The fourth installment of ASK CRACKIE. This week's question is from a Grom from Maine. He asks Crackie a Halloween question and well...Crackie was not very happy.
You should check it out.

Crackie now has his own Facebook Page. You should Friend Him...though there are
no guarantees that he'll be nice to you.

Hope you all learn something from this informative Q&A.

TODO BIEN "Don't Bring Me Down" from Todo Bien on Vimeo.

Check out Joe Carter's slick video of Todo Bien's NEW single from their new CD. Great tune, great band, and really good video by the man Joe Carter.


The 20th Anniversary of the HALLOWEEN (Perfect) STORM Swell of 1991 from Ralph's Pic Of The Week on Vimeo.

Man, this was one of those swells where if you were around, you clearly remember it. Five days of insane waves capping off with the Mack Daddy of all on Halloween...HUGE Surf. Huge Wind. Huge damage.

Hurricane GRACE mated with a sub tropical Nor'easter and gave birth to this mutant storm. People died. Homes were destroyed. But the surf was all time.

This all happened 20 years ago this weekend.

I'd like to see more mutant swells like this. Without people dying and homes being destroyed.

Hope you enjoy it.



(Above) All Rise: 10th Street District Court of Surf Justice is now in session, the
Honorable Judge RALPH presiding. CASE #133 BLATANT DROP IN OF THE WEEK-
Shot this summer CLICK and SEE this Surf crime and the verdict.
Photo by RALPH


Click above graphic for The Daily BLOG I wrote from July 26-2010 to July 26-2011
Yes you can STILL
DONATE to the Fundraiser.


Halloween October 30, 2011 Photo by RALPH. COMING NEXT WEEK!

Halloween October 30, 2011 Photo by RALPH. COMING NEXT WEEK!

(Above) The PHANTOM PHILES. MORE Insane Phantom score!
October 21, 2011 Photo by PHANTOM COMING NEXT WEEK!

(Above) It's how they roll...with the swells. The PHANTOM PHILES.
October 21, 2011 Photo by PHANTOM COMING NEXT WEEK!

*Click masthead above to read the original ISM story.

(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
invisible.*Put the cursor over the photo to see the Real image.
Photo by RALPH

Today 2011 "BIG Foot rides a Longboard NOT a SUP!"

(Above) Finally the mystery is over. So many people have wanted to know. Does BIG FOOT Ride a SUP? The answer is NO. He rides a Longboard. Photo by ME

Click on Wave to return to top of page

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