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September 26, 2010 It's all IGOR...(well almost).
 The Surf Count of Waist High Or Better  is 30 out of 32 weeks....

What a difference a new swell and Hurricane make. If you recall, these last few weeks have been very trying for me and my patience. For some unknown reason, I've had several negative encounters with surfers of all skill levels. It was not fun. I know some of you got a few laughs at my expense, and I'm happy I was able to bring you joy while I suffered the consequences. But I am here to tell you all, it was wearing thin on me and my whole surf vibe. I had become somewhat defensive in a short period of time,

And quite frankly, I did not like the way I was feeling. Especially towards surfers I did
not know. For a while there, I was almost expecting to get into a hassle. And much to my dismay and surprise, I did. It was if I was causing these situations to occur by thinking that they might. It was the damndest thing. It seemed no matter where I
surfed, I got into a hassle. It was awful.

And then along came Hurricane IGOR.

And believe it or not, I made friends with NEW surfers all week long. It was the complete opposite of what I had been experiencing for weeks. The swell lasted a solid 5 days and from the very first day I had friended new surfers each day. Starting with Saturday. I met Phil Munson. He's a shortboarder who had recently taken up Surf Art. He was so stoked to meet me and just talk about surfing and art. I even shared a few painting tips with him. In fact, I don't think I have ever shared this one tip with any other surf artist. And here I was, sharing this little surf art secret, with a surfer I had just met.

I saw a peak down the beach and wanted to sample it. I waved goodbye to Phil and started to paddle south.

Now I could easily end this "feel good" story here, except less than 20 minutes after paddling down the beach, after my conversation with Phil, I met yet another surfer. A longboarder named Mike. He said he knew who I was, and we started talking about the waves and the new coming swell. It felt good to talk to new surfers I had just met and actually get along with them. But I have to say, I was a bit skeptical. After all, I had
been in some serious hassles as of late.

But my faith in my fellow surfer had been restored with this first day of IGOR.

The next day, Sunday, the swell had come up. I looked at all the usual spots and then found a break that looked like fun. There was only one other guy out. So I paddled out. I was there for about 10 minutes when I finally opened up a conversation. This guy was a shortboarder and his name was Matthew. Seemed like a nice guy. He knew who I was and so the conversation went smoothly. Turns out he's from California, and has been living here for about 10 years. But he's moving back to the West Coast in January. His fiance lives out there. He said he's going to miss it here. I of course said "Just tune in to my column each week. That's what all the New England Transplants do." He laughed and said he would. We surfed together for quite some time. That's 3 new friends in two days. It was such a strange, yet wonderful feeling for me.

I actually got a little melancholy thinking about it all. What the heck was going on?

I said goodbye to Matt and said that I hoped that I'd run into him again before he left for California. But if I don't, I know that if my name comes up in a conversation, I won't be mentioned as the guy that some people think I am. Or at least, I hope I won't be. I have a feeling that my three new friends, would defend my character and honor. As I would theirs. I am that confident of my new found friendship. Imagine that? Making friends with new surfers.

But hold on now...I am not done. Not even close.

The very next day was Monday. It was the BIG Day of IGOR. All the name spots were crowded. I knew it before I drove out of my driveway. The crews would be out in force. IGOR was steaming by and it was going to be good. And it was. The Wall was out of the question this morning. It was thumping out there. No sir, we would have to find a place that could hold the size. I knew exactly where I was going to surf this morning. My buddy Alex Deconstant had planted a seed many months before about a certain break being a high tide break. "Everyone thinks it's a low tide break. But it's really a high tide spot." With those words echoing in my head, I drove North.

Sure enough, when I rounded the corner in Maine, I saw what Alex had been talking about. The swell was hitting this spot perfect. And it was hitting it dead on. I knew I had scored before I even got close to it. The biggest set I'd seen in months, was reeling down the line. When I pulled down the old farm road, past the cow pasture, I could see that there was already a crowd. There were maybe 20 people out. And they were sitting all in one spot. I had my short board. Well, it's a 6'8" and that's hardly short, but clearly it's not Big Black. And I headed for the outside spot, deeper than the crowd.

The sets were marching in at a solid 6-8'. It was easily overhead.

On my first wave, some guy on a Longboard dropped in on me. But I said nothing. There was no need to. There were plenty of waves this morning. Plenty. My second wave turned out to be, according to this guy Chris, "The best wave and best ride he'd seen all morning." I was shocked at the latter. Maybe it was the best wave so far, but the best ride? I don't think so Chris, but thank you for saying that. And this guy Chris became the 4th new friend I had made in as many days. We talked for quite sometime. I was stoked again. Not so much because of the amazing surf (though I'm sure that had much to do with this) but more so, because of the many new friends I was making.

I surfed there for a couple of hours and then it was time to head south to NH and home.

My last ride was insane. Perfectly slotted on a big overhead wave. I saluted the whole way. It was that good. As I got up near the road where my vehicle was parked I went to get my camera to snap a few shots to remember the day. That's when I heard someone call out. "Hey Rock Star!" I looked and saw this guy standing there. He looked to be my age. "Oh my God. Congo? Is that you? Gary Congley?" My childhood friend. I had not seen Gary in about 30 years. He was looking good and he told me how he had been living in Maui for the last 8 winters. He was full on into SUPP-ing. But the real kind of SUPP'n. He was a SURFER who supped.

Gary was also a musician and he was in bands playing at High School dances way before I did. later on when I did have bands, he would jump up on stage and sing back up with us. He was a star football player who used to sing "Hey Jude" as he was running for a Touchdown. Talk about good vibes all week long. I hung out with Gary for a long time. We both got caught up with our lives. Sharing stories of other childhood friends who have since passed on. It was a bittersweet encounter for sure. But I know, I'll be seeing Gary again. I know this in my heart.

So what do you think? Should I end this feel good column here? Hell no! I've got one more day to cover. Tuesday the last good day of IGOR. This day would be the Wall. I got up early and shot the sunrise. *See the video clip of the week. But I went to the wall to get my wave. When I pulled up at 10th Street, I was more than surprised to see that NO ONE Was out. And it was GOING FREAKING OFF! Just then, Ed O'Connell showed up. Ed just got back from England and he was itching to shoot. So I went out.

I was out for all of 30 minutes, when a guy paddled up and started surfing next to me. He said his name was Kyle. He and I became friends. Meanwhile William Haffenreffer swam out with his flippers to do some insane Body Surfing. Then Jared Hay joined us, and then finally, John Carden himself paddled out. This session turned out to be so special. Surfing with Kyle, William, John and Jared. I ended up shooting some water shots after my session. In fact, I may have my best water shot ever. And this all happened during Hurricane IGOR.

So I met 4 new friends, and connected with an old friend I had not seen in 30 years.

So is there a lesson here? Well yea. The lesson is simple. Do NOT give up on your fellow man. And the other obvious cliches. Give a little, get a little. A smile goes a long way, as opposed to a scowl. Be good to one another. Help each other. Help someone who needs help. Just do it. Don't wait until someone asks for help. Reach out to those who are lost and need help. And most importantly. Have faith. Whatever it is you believe in. Have strong faith, in both your family and your beliefs. For me, it is my faith in my family, my friends, my ocean, and most importantly my God. Our God.

And here's what I know with 100% conviction, to be true...and that is my life's motto,
"Surfing Heals ALL Wounds."

Now for some of my Weekly Global Observances:
So the bonehead of the universe was in the Big Apple this week. The muskrat looking Iranian Weasel himself was in town. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. And of course he made his usual absurd statements that got him a verbal bitch slapping from Obama, and other world leaders, who are paying attention to what this loser says.

I even saw Larry King interview the little weasel. I thought Larry King was dead. No? He sure looked it on TV this week. The obvious sad state of affairs between President Nutjob and Iran's people, are once again evident. This guy is so out of touch with the majority of the people he rules in Iran. I just hope that the US and Israel remember that when they finally do take this guy out. Go easy on the neighborhood boys.

Someone in the Iranian cabinet should just set a mouse trap under this guy's bed. When he wakes up in the morning, and rolls out of his big bed, to go over to his magic mirror to comb his beard..."WHACK!" One less Rat in the world. No fuss no muss.

So that was a great game last week huh? The JETS game. Man there is trouble in Patriots Nation. That was ridiculous. I'm sorry but you can point the finger of blame all over the field. Offense. Defense. Special Teams and yes...Coaching. That was as ugly a second half as I have seen in years. We went from 1st to 3rd in a matter of minutes. Miami and the JETS are the real deal. We are imposters. But we have been exposed. Every team in the NFL is studying that tape. And let me tell you sports fans, it does not look good for YOUR New England Patriots.

And if the beating wasn't bad enough, they lost their BEST ever 3rd down back. Kevin Falk. Out for the season. But we all know the real truth. He's gone for good. Another Patriot from the Dynasty years, out to pasture. But at least we have Laurence Marohney.

I guess the big question ALL New England fans really want to know is...will our
Pretty Boy QB Tommy Brady ever cut his hair? What do you think?

WHS Warriors vs EXETER Bluehawks today in Hampton was UNREAL!! WHS won in OT after being down by two TD's most of the game!
I was sitting in my living room tonight watching a movie when I felt the house move! Only the cat and I were aware of it. We had an EARTHQUAKE here in Hampton. It's true.
New Christian Surf Club starting up. Look for ad in right hand column.
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Yesterday Winter 1979...John "JT" Taylor takes the Drop.
(Below) This is my old friend John JT Taylor at a spot called Little Apple Bay. We had both traveled to this spot not knowing what we would find. Things were crazy back home. Our close friend Joe Somogyi had just passed away and JT and I needed to get a way. We scored some insane waves here. We made some life long friends with Jeff Chamberlain and Sam George. And my Monkey story got it's legs here with Sam sharing that story with all the Pro surfers back in the day. But for those who don't know. JT still surfs today. I saw him this week during IGOR. He's still stoked on the lifestyle.
Photo by Jeff Chamberlain.

Click on the photo above to see the larger version.
Today-Tuesday-September 21st, 2010

(Above) Good morning IGOR..
Tuesday, September 21st, 2010. Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) As IGOR passed by the coast he left a little something for you.
Tuesday, September 21st, 2010. Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.
(Above) They say to never shoot into the sun. Good thing I don't listen to them.
IGOR..Tuesday, September 21st, 2010. Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.
(Above) This might be my best ever water shot. The Wall IGOR..Tuesday, September 21st, 2010. Photo By RALPH * Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) The funny thing is, there was hardly anyone out this day. IGOR-The WALLTuesday, September 21st, 2010. Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.
(Above) IGOR-The WALLTuesday, September 21st, 2010. Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

Today-Hurricane IGOR September 20-21st, 2010 by John Carden

(Above) The wave of the day? Maybe. Sure looks impressive to me. Mike Stanek Hurricane IGOR. Photo By John Carden
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Unknown Wall Screamer. Hurricane IGOR. Photo By John Carden
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(Above) Unknown IGOR . Photo By John Carden
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(Above) Longtime local Kenny Sakurai was back and has not missed a beat.
Hurricane IGOR. Photo By John Carden

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(Above) Andrew Kellar Hurricane IGOR. Photo By John Carden

* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) William Haffenreffer was like Mike Stewart out there. Unreal. The Wall. Hurricane IGOR. Photo By John Carden
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.
Today-Hurricane IGOR September 21st, 2010 by Ed O'Connell

(Above) Unknown Wall screamer. Tuesday Sept 21, 2010.. Hurricane IGOR.
Photo By Ed O'Connell
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(Above) Ed knows I love the empty wave shot. The Wall, Tuesday Sept 21, 2010 Hurricane IGOR. Photo By Ed O'Connell
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(Above) OK so this is me...Tuesday Sept 21, 2010.. Hurricane IGOR.
Photo By Ed O'Connell
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IGOR Video clip from this week...

IGOR September 21st, 2010 from Ralph's Pic Of The Week on Vimeo.

Hurricane IGOR gave us 5 days of solid surf. Monday September 20th, 2010 was the biggest. While Tuesday the 21st, was much cleaner. I shot this footage at sunrise on Tuesday in Northern New England.

There's a lot of Casey Lockwood. There's also Ryan the regular foot and Ryan the Goofy foot, and longtime local Steve Baily. The colors on this last day of Summer are so warm and vivid.

The surfing flows with the music. And once again, I have chosen the amazing music by QWILL. The song is called "Learning". So there you have it. IGOR meets Ralph and QWILL and the results are in the visuals and amazing audio track.

Thank you Mr IGOR for a fun few days of waves.


QWILL's music can be found at:


Today-Hurricane IGOR September 20th, 2010

(Above) IGOR-Monday, September 20th, 2010. Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Congo and Ralpho. My old buddy I have not seen in over 20 years. He still surfs! IGOR-Monday, September 20th, 2010. Photo By Bill Morrissey
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

Today-The Hurley Pro at Trestles by Ben Ginsberg

(Above) The Hurley Pro September 16, 2010. Check out the insane contest surfing by Slater and Company. September 16th, 2010. Photo By Ben Ginsberg
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Our main man on the West Coast contest scene Ben Ginsberg sent in these MUST see pics. The Hurley Pro September 16, 2010. Check it out!
September 16th, 2010. Photo By Ben Ginsberg

* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) All Rise: 10th Street District Court of Surf Justice is now in session, the
Honorable Judge Ralph G. Fatello presiding. CASE #75 BLATANT DROP IN OF
Photos by RALPH
Click above to see the Whole CRIME.

(Above) Cape Ann's Hurricane IGOR September 20, 2010!
Photo by Jeff Crawford
* Click above to see more from the Readers Gallery!

(Above) Dr Mark Henschke Hurricane IGOR September 20, 2010!
Photo courtesy of Mark Henschke
* Click above to see more from the Readers Gallery!

(Above) Last Summer's Wounded Warriors. Photo by Ryan McDonald.
* Click above to see more from the Readers Gallery!


(Above) The newly FOUND HURRICANE EARL pics from Ed O'Connell

*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 becomes invisible. *Put the cursor over the photo to see the Real image.
Photos by RALPH

Today 2010 "Reach out and touch someone."

(Above) William Haffenreffer inside barrel number 104. Photo By John Carden

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