March 18th, 2007
So what is this, the winter of the Saint Swells or what? The Saint
Valentines Day Swell and now Saint Patrick's Day Swell. And
remember a few short months ago when we were all talking about the lack
of winter and the lack of surf. Suddenly, the Winter of 07 has
come back with a vengeance. With this latest Ass whooping Nor'easter,
that dumped a foot of snow in some parts of New England, and also
gave us a 3 day swell on our coastline, that rocked and shook the
cobwebs loose, is a Godsend of sorts. I guess it's safe to say,
that this winter might not be as bad as we all originally thought it would.
This past week actually had two days of surf that led up to the big swell
on Friday. Mackey and I joined a few close friends for some
fun beach break surf midweek.
It was the perfect warm-up to the big St Patty's Day 3 day Swell.
No one should be complaining about this week. Unless you missed it. Or,
if you waited until late Saturday or Sunday to dig yourselves
out from all the snow. I went out Friday nite to get a jump on
the snow and it paid off. By Saturday morning, it was only half
the depth. But, it was the hard wet stuff. Anybody who's ever lived in
this part of the country that produces the hard, wet, slushy snow, knows
exactly what I'm talking about. It's like shoveling cement. It's a freaking
Once we got free and clear around late morning on Saturday the
swell had cleared up. It wasn't pretty, but it had size. Besides it was
St. Patty's Day. And just like St. Valentine's Day we were
gonna get what we all wanted. Some overhead surf and some hollow sections.
It would of been nice to see some "Green" barrels instead of
the dark grayish brown. But NO ONE was complaining. At least no one that
I spoke with. There were lot's of smiles to go around. And...it was (dare
I say) NOT that crowded. It really was wide open at most spots. Especially
There's a reason why most don't surf beachbreaks in the dead of winter.
However, the beachbreaks usually provide the biggest waves. You just gotta
eat some, to catch some. Lord knows I ate a few this swell. But I also
got a few. One in particular, was a Big wide open right hander that I
got completely shacked on. I mean, I was deep in this beast, and wanted
nothing but to get out of it. I did manage to squeak out the the end of
it and straighten out before it unloaded on me.
I actually thought about coming in on that wave. In fact, I got to the
beach and stood there looking back at the empty waves where I was surfing,
and over to where Brian and Mackey were surfing and thought..."what
the hell". I made the mistake of going back out. Just in time to
get hit on the head by the set of the day. I had to duck dive about 6
waves in a row, and by the time wave number 4 hit me, I was getting a
Long story short. I was numb.
I remember sitting outside when I woke up out of my stupor. I wasn't unconscious
or anything like that. Just in that freezing-cold-zone that only happens
in the winter. You winter surfers know what I'm talking about. It's like
your brain slows down, and your lips swell up, and you sound and look
like, a Neanderthal man. The only thing that snaps you out of this brain
freeze is a set. I always find myself instinctively coming back to life
when a wave jacks up in my face. Then it's all automatic pilot again.
Until the moment to when I get to my feet. That's when we all do our own
Then you repeat the process until you really are just too cold to do it
anymore. When your brain finally convinces your body to head in and get
"Brain to legs- brain to legs. We need you to get this dumb ass to
the beach before he kills us all. REPEAT. We need you legs to get the
body to the beach." Roger that Brain, we are engaged and
we will be moving to the beach Over" "Legs you are Cleared
Hot to get to the beach." Roger that...
The news about Brad Delp this week was especially sad to hear.
I mentioned his passing last week and at the time I did not know the
cause of death. That kind of pain is very real, and it seems that if
people like Delp and the comedian Richard Jeni could have
that moment back, they might in fact, choose a better way to deal with
it. There's help out there. If you are that lonely and lost there is
help out there. And there's no shame in asking for it. Leaving behind
grieving family and friends is not the answer. There's help in so many
shapes and forms. From Jesus, to medicine, to surfing. Just don't give
On the good news department. A few surfers had some babies this week.
Terence and Sandy Kirby had baby (boy) number three this
week and we wish them the best.
My buddy Artie Beauschene from down south had their 3rd child
( a girl) and we wish the best as well. There was someone else who told
me they were having baby this week too but I can't remember who. But
if you read this, I apologize for forgetting who, but wish you and your
wife the best just the same.
On the get well list, I want to send a big shout out to longtime surfer
Tony Beradini who just had his hip replaced. He'll be out of
the water for a few months, but is doing remarkably well. They had him
walking the day after the surgery. You'll be back in the water in no
time T just hang in there. Mike Moran is also mending from his
surgery. Mike is getting a tad on the inpatient side as he wants
back in the water now. He actually offered to shoot today as I was getting
ready to go out. I guess in hindsight I should of let him...he might
of gotten that barrel I was talking about earlier. Finally, our own
Dave 'Crop' Cropper is under the weather with a severe case of
laryngitis. Seems like Crop's had his share of getting sick this
winter. This is what happens when your kids get sick. You eventually
get it. You reading this Skip? Oh yea...if you've never had conjunctivitis...oh
oh. Little Grif's gonna give it you!
I've had a few comments on the SUPB's (Stand Up Paddle Boards)
from last week's column. Most people who have them, love them and claim
they are a great workout and use them as an alternative to when the
waves are small or flat. That's cool. I know they will be around this
summer...so let's see what happens.
Did you all hear about the Lawyer who was attacked by a Shark while
out surfing? Man talk about jokes that write themselves. Now I'm not
going to go down that road. Some of my friends are lawyers. And I certainly
wouldn't want to offend them. Lord knows, I seem to offend enough people
as it is. But dam...a Lawyer getting bitten by a shark? And while he
was surfing? Whoa. The guy's name is Adam McMichael from Florida.
It would be bad enough if it was just another surfer getting bit by
a shark who no doubt thought the poor guy was some sort of sealife...but
the fact that he was a lawyer...well like I said...some jokes just write
themselves. So feel free to write your own humor here.___________________________________.
The good news is he's OK. Except he's the brunt of all kinds of office
jokes and late night comedian material.
Hey, he got his 15 minutes of fame.
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
below to see Danny Tribute or see Danny Surfing
Tribute to Danny.
North By Northeast
my friends...Surfing heals all wounds....
Pray for Surf. Pray for Peace. Surf For Fun.