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size, email me first and I'll write back.
Start shooting crackie!!

Ralph Pic Of The Week

If you want to access the Pic of the
week from past weeks click here.

April 22nd, 2007

This has got to be one of the craziest weeks in our local and national history. Where to start? I guess we start at the beginning of the week. Sunday April 15th. The wind started to howl and the skies darkened. The surf came up overnight and stuck around for 7 days. In fact, there's still surf today. Granted, it's nothing great, but it's surf. The Marathon Monday/Patriots Day Swell rivaled all the big name storms that came before it. The Blizzard of '78, The Halloween Storm of ' was right up there with the best of them. As far as wave size and ocean damage, it was on par with the big boys. Don't know where you were during the height of the storm on Monday, but I can tell you first hand. It was impressive. How impressive?

Well let me share a story with you all.

Knowing that surfing on Monday might be a bit hectic, I opted for getting some memorable surf footage. I shot during the Halloween storm of 1991 and got some great stuff on tape. Kenny and Kevin called me that morning to tell me to try and get to Kenny's house to shoot from the inside and dry safety of Kenny's home. Well, long story short. By the time I got moving down my street to the beach (2 hours before High Tide), they started to redirect traffic. Dam. I had to move parallel to the ocean and take a side street to reach my destination.

This was around 9:00AM.

I could tell by the amount of tree limbs and branches flying about that this was going to be something. I ended up on the high ground of Rte111 overlooking the ocean. I stepped out of my vehicle and shot some footage from that high point and got some impressive wave footage as well as some great action footage. What kind of action? Waves hitting homes. Waves hitting vehicles and spinning them around. I even have footage of a wave hitting a small compact vehicle and slamming it into a telephone pole.

I was giddy with excitement. But I wanted more.

I needed to get closer. Now those who know me, know that I have some reasonable sense about the ocean and it's dangers. Lord knows I've had my share of close calls in my younger days. But I've since matured (somewhat), being married with three children and all. My risk taking days are basically behind me. I'm embarrassed to say, my common sense skills were not working that morning.
I parked my vehicle up on higher ground and made my way across Ocean Blvd and into the abyss. There were no blockades up yet. The National Guard had yet to arrive as well. I was on my own, under my own supervision. Or was it 'Stupidvision?'

I ran out in front of the soaking fish shacks and cottages that were taking a beating from the pounding surf. It was madness out there. The sound of the ocean's fury coupled with that stinging rain was lighting up all my senses. My heart was pounding with excitement. It was intense.

I had both of my cameras with me, and my main concern was to try and keep them dry. Turns out, that was next to impossible. I remember asking Kevin earlier if I should grab my other video camera and housing. I don't recall his answer. Not that it made any difference now. I had my good camera, my trusty GL1 with no protection.

I was faced with a 50 yard window to run a gauntlet style path to safety. I wanted the action footage and I got it. The ocean appeared to be burping and heaving as the water level was way beyond anything normal. And this was 2 hours before high tide. I ran through foam that was waist high. With the buildings a mere two yards to my right, and the raging ocean a mere 10 yards to my left, I ran shooting as I zig zagged through the debris.

Then I heard a loud thump.

I turned to see a wall of whitewater 20' high rise up out of the sea and unload on me. The force of the wave slammed me face first up against the cottage. I tried to keep my cameras dry by covering them with my body. By the time the water receded I was down and actually getting sucked under the building. The water was rushing under the cottages and rushing out into the street. I cursed my self and this absurd situation. When suddenly, another wave came and hit me. Adding insult to injury. I managed to free myself and pick myself up. I ran to the open parking lot that was being rained on by huge rocks and boulders. I stood there soaking wet and numb.

I was panicked thinking I had killed my camera. My GL livelihood. What was I thinking? I placed my cameras under my soaking wet jacket and made my way through the parking lot that had turned into a river.

A Friend of mine who is a Police Officer drove by and saw me standing there. He rolled his window down and had this look of total, incredulous, disbelief..."Ralph?"

I shook my head and shrugged my shoulders. What else needed to be said?

I had messed up in more ways than I care to think about. Was I in danger of drowning? No. Well...I guess I could of if I got stuck under the house. But later as I drove back around the seacoast towns assessing the damage, I realized that I was in real danger of being hit by one of those massive boulders or huge driftwood logs that slammed into all those homes. That's when the lights went on in my head. What if I had one of my kids with me? I was taking chances trying to get footage for a surf movie. Was it worth it? Well, turns out, my camera seems to be working. I had taken it back to my office and bathed it in warm water and dried it pretty good. It's the salt water that kills those things more than anything.
Saltwater and sand. But so far, so good.

But yea, it was worth it. I shot some impressive video.

Then I went home and got into some dry clothes and turned on the news. That's when I first caught wind of the VT shooting. Like I said. That day was Madness. The Ocean's fury and the Evil Fury in Virginia.

I'm not going to waste time elaborating on this crime. There's been more than enough coverage on the whole thing. I will say that, once again Evil has shown up in our country. I've said this a hundred times before. There is Evil in this world. There is Good and there is Evil. The good news is, there are more good people, than there are bad.

I feel bad for all of the victim's families and friends. If you have room on your prayer list, say a prayer for them.

The week was not all doom and gloom. The surf hung around for days on end. I mean, there was still surf today! Granted it was not all-time, but clearly, there was surf.
Seven days of surf. In April? You have to love that. And the water seems to be getting warmer too. My winter suit is officially retired for the season. I felt loose as a goose in my 4/3 although I still had my hood at the ready when I needed it. Usually paddling back out I'd slip it over my head. I did get a couple of waves on my exposed cranium that caused the proverbial "Ice cream" headache.

The warm water also opened the flood gates to the bizarre and unusual. Huh? You know, a couple of days of sun and surf and you have the early markings of Summer Madness. I saw a guy in the water today with no hood, no gloves and...NO BOOTS! I had to tell him to get his ass down to the shop and pick up a pair of each. He seemed to agree. Let's hope so....or not.

Last week I complained openly about American Idol and the contestant from wackworld Sanjaya. Well, I am happy to report that the Idol Voters have awakened from their mean and hurtful vein and voted that fool out on his ass. I mean, that boy was about to drive me crazy. I know I'm not alone. There are many of us out there who are pleased to see this freak back where he belongs. Hanging out with Michael Jackson at Neverland.

The Red Sox beat the Yankees two days in a row. The Red Sox Nation are all a giddy. They play game 3 tonight. Be nice to sweep the dreaded Yanks. Keep yer fingers crossed.

And before I forget. Put May 11-13 on your calendars. Why? Those are the dates of the ESA-NNE Regional Surf Contest. Yea so what's that got to do with us you ask? Well, the Regionals are being hosted by the local branch of the ESA...NNE (Northern New England) . In Other words, the local boys and girls are hosting this event right here in Hampton. Now, I don't know how many of you have ever seen a surf contest of this level, but I will say this. Some of those Jersey and New York boys (and girls) can surf their asses off. I mean those guys rip. Trust me, it's worth seeing. This will all take place (hopefully if there's surf) at the Wall...10th St. The show is coming to town.
Check it out...

Oh and one more thing. Some of you may have noticed me sitting in the passenger seat of my Jeep recently while checking the surf. The reason? Mackey V is old enough to start driving...he's 15.5 (sounds like a movie title) and I've been teaching him how to drive. I've only had to cuff him a few times so far. He's slightly erratic behind the wheel...Lord help me. Give me the strength.

Please Remember The Danny Miller Foundation.
Donations for Late Surfer Danny Miller's young son can be made to The Landon Miller Fund through ANY Citizen Bank.
Or send your donation to:
The Landon Miller Foundation
83 South Road
North Hampton, NH 03862

Click below to see Danny Tribute or see Danny Surfing
Tribute to
North By Northeast

Remember my friends...Surfing heals all wounds....
Pray for Surf. Pray for Peace. Surf For Fun.



Yesterday 1986 Dave "Crop" Cropper Pre-Tavvie Lip Bash
To think, a couple of decades after I shot this Super Eight movie footage of Cinnamon Rainbows owner Dave Cropper, he would go on to be a great guy, a friendly shop owner, a devoted partner to Heather and a loving father to Veda Day. And who also gets to travel to exotic surf locations like Tavarua every year and surf unreal waves. This year was no different. He and Phil Carey scored some INSANE surf out at Cloudbreak and Restaurants. They hung out with Joel Tudor and Reef again. The trip is always a mind blowing experience for the boys. And it's always fun for us back home to hear the stories when they get back. Video Frame Grab from WAVE HUNTERS SFOD. R. Fatello

Today 2007 Manic Marathon Monday Swell April 16th- 22nd

(Above) This photo taken at 10AM on Monday 4-16-07 does not convey the absolute insanity of this particular
moment. I will post some of my impressive video frame grabs in the next few weeks. Meanwhile try and imagine
what this was like.
Photo by SFOD R. Fatello

(Above) Photo taken at 10:30AM on Monday 4-16-07. That's Ocean Blvd in North Hampton, NH.
Photo by SFOD R. Fatello

(Above) Check out the rocks near the curb. Think they'd hurt if they smacked you in the teeth?
Photo by John Carden

(Above) The Marathon Monday Madness aftermath. Photo by John Carden

(Above) The Million dollar view comes with some serious dues. More Marathon Monday Madness aftermath.
Photo by John Carden

(Above) They called in the National Guard. Photo by John Carden

(Above) They called in the News Media. Photo by John Carden

(Above) It was literally raining rocks...Photo by John Carden

(Above) The Day after Marathon Monday, Tuesday April 17th, "Two riders were approaching, and the wind
began to howl..."
Photo by Ed O'Connell

Find the right wave and it just might be worth the effort. Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) Two days later on the 18th and the swell was still frothing at the mouth. Photo by SFOD R. Fatello

(Above) It was still Victory at sea on the 18th. Photo by SFOD R. Fatello

(Above) By Friday the 20th, things had started to settle down and clean up. Photo by SFOD R. Fatello

(Above) In fact, Friday the 20th was actually glassy and fun. Photo by SFOD R. Fatello

(Above) Justin Lamkin shooting the 20th leftovers. Photo by SFOD R. Fatello

(Above) The GL1 back in action on Friday the 20th. Photo by SFOD R. Fatello

(Above) Friday the 20th local gallery weighs in. Christos, Doc, and Vince. Photo by John Carden

(Above) The Giles Girls on Friday the 20th. Mary Ellen waiting for Larry to relieve her of baby duties so she
can get some surf. The dilemma of surf parents.
Photo by SFOD R. Fatello

(Above) Alex DeConstant on Friday the 20th. Photo by SFOD R. Fatello

(Above) Friday the 20th reflections of a crazy week. Photo by John Carden

(Above) Friday the 20th. Photo by John Carden

(Above) Say a prayer for the VT families. Photo by John Carden

(Above) John Carden recently told me he does not like "artsy surf photos"...really John?
What the hell do you call this? I'll tell you what I call it. A dam good photo.
Photo by John Carden

Today 2007 Nevins Norway-land Pictorial

(Above) Local Pro Surf Photographer Brian Nevins must have the thickest dam passport on the planet.
The guy's been everywhere. And he's scored more than anyone I know. There's no dead weight on his
sojourns as he travels with some of the best in the East. Last year's ESA Champ Zach Humphries samples
a Norway right and Nevins captures the action.
Photo by Brian Nevins

(Above) How's this look? Norway glass. Photo by Brian Nevins

(Above) Sam Hammer back lit in Norway. Photo by Brian Nevins

(Above) Is it cold in Norway? Photo by Brian Nevins

(Above) Does it snow in Norway? Check out this insane snowbank! Photo by Brian Nevins

(Above) Jesse jams one in Norway! Photo by Brian Nevins

(Above) Ian drifting in Norway... Photo by Brian Nevins

(Above) Does it get steep in Norway? Sam testing the limit of his Testosterone. Photo by Brian Nevins

(Above) I like the night life baby...she said...Brian package this one up and sell it as Postcard. Or next year's
Holiday card...freaking beautiful photo!
Photo by Brian Nevins

(Above) This is Norway. Cold or not...this is beautiful Photo by Brian Nevins

Today 2007 Parting Shot....Be careful of what you wish for....
Massive Marathon Monday

(Above) The Day after Marathon Monday, Tuesday April 17th. Swallowed Goofyfooter. Photo by Ed O'Connell







































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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