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Ralph Pic Of The Week

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week from past weeks click here.

March 30th, 2008

Well, I hope you got some surf this week. There were some good waves to be had if you could find the time. Wednesday and Thursday produced some fun surf for the local kids and the young at heart. Again, another week and another swell.

It's been one long run of surf.

Like a lot of you Northern New England locals, I was fully expecting, that we had seen the last of the wintry white stuff. Not that I am against it mind you, it's just that I was ready to move on. So when I awoke on Friday morning to see that we were all once again, engaged in another snow storm, well, I was both surprised and somewhat upset. Having lived here my entire life, I can't say that I was that surprised by it. I guess I was more annoyed than anything else. Although I did for a moment think about heading North for another fun day on the slopes. But work and other commitments nixed that idea.

And honestly? I'm ready for Spring.

Later that snowy day and night, a good friend of mine (and the seacoast) lost his Mother. She passed away, on what might very well be, the Last Snow storm of 2007-2008 winter season. A devout Irish Catholic, she passed during the Holiest week in the entire Christian religion. My friend and his brothers were the ultimate sons. Visiting their mother every day, week after week, for months, hell, for years,as she battled a disease that has already claimed so many others we all knew and loved, cancer.

I hate cancer. I guess we all do.

My friends might very well be your friends too. After all they're surfers. Johnny Meehan and Patrick Meehan. Johnny is hardcore. He surf's every decent swell that comes ripping up the coastline. He's a good guy and he was right there with me when I lost my own mother just 6 months ago. I know that a bunch of you know both Johnny and Patrick. Please say a prayer for them and their loved ones. These next few days and coming weeks will be hard on all of them.

On Thursday, another close Surf family lost a loved one. John Caisey a WW II NAVY Veteran passed away. John was the beloved father to local Surfers Chris Caisey and his wife Jill. I know the whole Caisey family and they are a true part of this community. I know of their love of the ocean and for surfing. I know that John Caisey also loved the ocean especially down over the border where he was considered by many to be the King of Salisbury Beach. On behalf of the entire seacoast community we send our condoelences to The Caisey family.

That's when friends and neighbors come into play. Being there for a friend is one of life's important roles. Believe me, they won't forget it and neither will you. There is strength in this comfort that we can each apply to our friends and family, and the repercussion is 10 fold in what you get back. A simple "Thank you for being there" goes a long way.

And then there's surfing.

I end each week's column with that simple line. "Surfing heals all wounds". Look, I know it does NOT physically heal all wounds. I get it. But there's something cleansing about surfing and the act, that goes along way in putting things into perspective, that is hard to overlook.

Lord knows I've spent many a day in the water trying to figure the big mysteries of life out, while paddling around in the ocean and catching a few waves in the process.

Losing so many friends and loved ones in my life has been taxing, and if it were not for surfing, I honestly don't know how I would of coped with it all. I'm not going to sit here and write down that surfing will heal all of your wounds.


I'm just sharing with you, that for me, surfing has done something to help my grieving, and that it might work for you. The very least it will do, is get your mind off of the stress of the situation. At least temporarily. You can't really be thinking of anything else, if a set wave is looming over your head now can you?

Surfing can help.

And for my friends the Meehans and the Caiseys, I hope the washing of salt water over your face, helps you get through the sadness. And that in due time, you will only see and remember the good times in your mind's eye. And eventually the hurt and the sadness will subside.

Surfing (can) heal all wounds.

Rest In Peace
Mrs Meehan & Mr Caisey.


The other day, while I was surfing with my friend Jack-o, we were all sharing some fun head-high waves when a decent set popped up on the outside shelf. Jack-o and I were sitting the farthest out and were next in line for the next set when Jack-o turned to me and said "You take it". I quickly thanked him and spun to go on this really nice left hander. I got to my feet rather late but still managed to get to the bottom and crank out a bottom turn. That's when I heard it. "HEY!" That's it, just one word. "HEY!" I turned and saw that some guy about half my age (or younger) come out of the whitewater and was struggling to his feet. That's right. He was just getting to his feet.

In other words, I was already up and riding when he decided to call me off the wave. Now, I was so shocked that I actually eased out of the wave. I paddled back out towards Jack-o who asked me how the wave was. That's when I thought about it. It dawned on me that some kid called me off a wave that was clearly mine! Well needless to say, I went into COP mode and read him the citation.

Look, I'm out there to have a good time. It's not a contest for me. And most of you who know me, know that I am not a wave hog. I'm not trying to get every single wave that comes through. I know there are some who can't let a single wave go by. That's not me. I actually enjoy sharing waves. With almost everyone.

So I was put off by this guy for calling me off the wave. Don't get me wrong here, there were no threats of violence, or anything of the sort. It was just a case of me educating this kid about the unwritten code of conduct. I was not looking for anything other than a little respect. The same respect that I would give anyone else. Especially, someone who's been around as long as someone like myself has. I think he got it.

Speaking of things that happen out in the water.

My friend Phil Beauchesne who now lives out on the west coast shared an amazing story with me the other day. He was out surfing Trestles when a large adolescent Gray Whale surfaced about 3' from where he was sitting on his board. Now I don't know about you, but I have never had a whale come up next to me in the water. I've seen turtles, seals, dolphins,and even the occasional shark, but I have never had a Whale surface next to me. Then he said this week he saw a dam Octopus! Dam Phil!

There's another major concern for Surfers on the East Coast and that is the situation on Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Apparently there's a movement to halt Surfing on that fabled stretch of Coastline. Having surfed there myself over the years I have to say, to lose Cape Hatteras would be a major blow to both the surf community and the local businesses. Here's some info for you all to check out as well as some phone numbers to use to call to try and stem this madness.

Senator Mr. Burd  202-224-3154.    Senator Ms.Dole  202-224-6342.   Feel free to voice your opinion on this . This is a heavy issue and needs our support. 


Happy Birthday to my youngest daughter Noelle. She turned 13 on Thursday. It's hard to believe my youngest is now 13. My oldest is 18 and my middle child is 16. Where did the time go?
Happy Birthday Sweetie Boid!

Here's the info on the fund that is being set-up to help little Ryan Ciolfi. Ryan is the three year old son of local Surfer of Tony Ciolfi and the late Tammy Ciolfi. The fund for young Ryan is a 529 College Plan for Ryan. To donate, please address the check to:

The Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan
On the check write: Beneficiary: Ryan A Ciolfi
and send the check to:
Anthony Ciolfi
33 Morningside Dr
Hampton NH 03842

Please support all the VERY talented photographers who contribute their work here every week.

PLEASE send donations to our other SURFER's son:
The Landon Miller Foundation
83 South Road
North Hampton, NH 03862

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



Yesterday 1989 Johnny Meehan Spring Surf
(Below) Johnny Meehan racing under the pitching lip at a spot better left unnamed. Shot during a time when all of our lives
were without pain and sadness. Still, the image leaves us with the memory of swells gone by. This is the meaning of our
lives. Life is like a wave. It has a beginning, a peak and finally an ending. Remembering better times for the Meehans.
Video Movie Frame Grab by R. Fatello SFOD

2008 Photos BELOW taken this last week in March

(Above) I know it's hard to tell from this photo, but trust me. It was chest to head high.
And there were only two guys surfing this peak.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) You don't need much in the way of imagination here. Earlier in the day.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Hard to tell if these guys were coming or going. The "Fish" Patrol. One of these guys
asked me if the pic would be on my blog. I said "maybe".
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Scraggle Point. That blur in the background is Lenny.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Steve Rafferty lining up a nice right hander at Scraggles.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Stevie or Lenny? Scraggles Rights.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Take your pick on this peak.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) New England looking like New Zealand.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Lenny cruising by a black blob.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Marky J heading for a large Fir Tree.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Another perfect peak.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Unknown Shortboader swinging on left for his peeps in their vehicles.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Lenny or Stevie? The Right at Scraggles.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Lenny at Scraggles Rights with Marky J out the back.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Nice set up at Scraggles Point.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Marky J before the salute.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Meanwhile, back at Cement-land a left winds off.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Cementland looking clean.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Rider on the peak at Cementland.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) A couple hundred yards to the south.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Brian Tabor floating around the line-up had it to himself.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Actually, Jared Velstos (above) was with Brian.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Brian Tabor got a nice barrel on this wave. My cheap camera was too dam
slow and I missed it. Sorry Brian.

Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Oh oh...I guess we all know what this means. Unless you're a Native American from the Pennacook Tribe I guess you can't surf here. Dam.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Sure was clean out there.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Empty waves were plentiful.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Like I said...they were just pouring in and unloading with no one to share their
final moments.

Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) An empty inside section.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Brian Tabor leaning into another right.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Sorry, but I love the empty wave. Even when there's people dotting the
line-up. I love to stop paddling to look at the pitching lip, or the textured face. Oh yea,
I'm smelling the roses.

Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) At this time, Brian Tabor was all by himself.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Brian watching the empty line-up.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) My last photo and then I went home.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Unidentified lip lock. Who da guy?
Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) I know this board. So I must know the rider. Help me out here people.
Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) Blue board getting some lift. Did he make it?
Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) We all love the empty waves. Including Ed...
Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) Stylish turn. How do you make your glove do that?
Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) Say what? No hood? OK I was out was NOT that warm. Kids.
Photo by Ed O'Connell

(Above) Kelp wave.
Photo by Lenny Nichols

(Above) Sparkling ocean.
Photo by Lenny Nichols

(Above) Blue water surf art scenes.
Photo by Lenny Nichols

(Above) Steve Rafferty, on a nice wave...I told you it was head high and better.
Photo by Lenny Nichols

(Above and below) Hoku Nichols. She's only 12 years old. The new female New England breed.
Photo by Lenny Nichols

(Above) Little brother Kai Nichols surfing on Planet Nemo. Where the ocean is bluer than blue.
Photo by Lenny Nichols

VIDEO by SFOD R. Fatello

(Above) CLICK ON Video (photo) Frame Grab of Johnny Meehan from the year 1989.
This SHORT WINDOWS MEDIA FILE VIDEO CLIP is from the yet to be released SFOD movie YESTODAY.
8mm Video Frame grab by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Geoff Haenn lives about 4 hours from the ocean. Don't ask me why. He does get to travel every year
and he more than makes up for his landlocked time in PA...he's a big Eagles fan. I know I know, it's pretty sad.
He's now going to be rooting for the "Bill Buckner" of the New England Patriots...Assante Samuel. Good luck Geoff!
Photo courtsey of Lori Haenn.


2008 This last week of March in Hawaii

(Above) Whoa! Did you see my Big Air!!!! Groms having at it.
Photo by Bernie Baker

(Above) Super blue green turn.
Photo by Bernie Baker

(Above) I said last week that the girls in Hawaii are more relaxed and carefree
in the surf. Here's more proof of that.
Photo by Bernie Baker

(Above) Super Grom turn. This kid's rocking!
Photo by Bernie Baker

(Above) Future ripper putting his whole 90lbs into this turn.
Photo by Bernie Baker

(Above) Hanging by a thread. If this kid pulled this off, I'm quitting.
Photo by Bernie Baker

(Above) Uncle Derek showing the kids how to rock and roll.
Photo by Bernie Baker

(Above) Parker compressed and winding up to unleash on the lip.
Photo by Bernie Baker

(Above) Connor snapping a turn on a board that can't be bigger than 5' 3"...
Photo by Bernie Baker

2007 Max Moody goes to PR this winter...

(Above) This looks like Crashboat. But I could be wrong.
Photo courtesy of Max Moody

(Above) Hey it's warm, it's's only two hours away.
Photo courtesy of Max Moody

(Above) OK Max want to explain this photo?
Photo courtesy of Max Moody

(Above) Max and buddies hanging loose in PR.
Photo courtesy of Max Moody

(Above) Hey look there's cows in Puerto Rico! Unreal!
Photo courtesy of Max Moody

Today 2008 Parting Shot... Torpedo Man.

(Above )Bill Morrissey got a new camera and this is his first submission. Pretty funny. Judges score 9-0. 8-9, 9-0.
Photo by Bill Morrissey



































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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