DORIAN THE KILLER HURRICANE. Oh yeah it was a bitch of colossal proportions. A Category 5 Hurricane that marked time over the Bahamas for 9 straight hours with sustained winds of over 200mph, with gusts up to 225 mph! Killing people by the dozens, and wiping out homes and businesses.
The death toll at last count was 43 dead (but that number is without question going to rise). And over 70,000 people are homeless.
It was like having a Tornado sit on your house for 9 hours. Think about that for a second. A Tornado that just sat there spinning and churning it's way into the ground like a demented cork screw.
And with people clinging to whatever was left of their homes before the winds tore the roofs off their homes and then the storm surge came just sweeping women and children away. Unspeakable horror as DORIAN refused to weaken. It was by all accounts a terrifying experience.
Some of my close surfer friends have surfed in the Bahamas.
I've always wanted to surf there. Not anymore. I have no desire to go there now. I'd give money to help them, but as far as a surf destination? No, I couldn't even think about that. It just wouldn't be right. And I'm afraid we've only seen very little of what is to come. If you remember how things went with MARIA. Listening to El Presidente you'd think it was no big deal. But we all know the truth now. It was way worse than what he said it was. Way worse.
And not for nothing, but Mr "I Can't Help But Brag About Myself" made the ridiculous statement about Alabama being in the direct path of DORIAN. After all, Nobody Knows More about Hurricanes than 45. Right? Is there anything he doesn't know more than anyone else? I swear there are times when he must think he's the freaking Wizard Of Oz. Except he really is a wizard...
He's the WIZARD OF ODD. To think that he might actually get voted back in.
But back to The Bahamas. They are saying that the landscape itself will be changed forever. That's insane. But the photos don't lie.
It wasn't until we saw the pictures and the video did it start to make sense.
Not since MARIA have we seen such devastation. It is beyond sad.
I can't even fathom what it must be like. The horror of that storm just sitting there. How many prayers can you say before you lose everything? The wind and the sounds must be haunting for those poor people.
And then once it stopped kicking the snot out of the Bahamas it made it's way towards the mainland. Florida and the Carolinas. They were all on full alert. Mandatory evacuations were in order. Our relatives in Hilton Head were forced to evacuate. There was no telling where DORIAN was going to go. But one thing was certain...it was on track to produce good surf all along the East Coast. And as always, the Surfers up and down the entire eastern seaboard stopped thinking about the Bahamas and started thinking about the surf.
It never fails. Surfers only want to surf. And I don't mean that in a negative way.
But it's true.
I'm guilty of it. Every surfer I know is guilty of it. We all know that there are times when your "Guilty Pleasures of riding waves comes with a serious price tag. And yes I'm talking bluntly about death and destruction. We surf waves from Hurricanes and Nor'easters that cause all kinds of heartache. I feel guilty at times. As I;m sure most Surfers do. But...what are we going to do? Not surf? That's not gonna happen. So we turn a blind eye to the suffering and get back to the business of finding out where the best surf will be.
And the track that DORIAN did take brought it's waves right into our beaches.
In New England we all got surf. From RI to Maine and into Nova Scotia.
Because there were still great waves this morning, the only stills you will see from me and my fellow photogs are from Saturday. I shot a lot of video. And not just HD. I shot it all on 4K. So the quality from the DORIAN footage will be high grade stuff. And I'm feeling guilty about it, because it was really beautiful. I guess that's the silver lining in that dark cloud that was DORIAN. I think I may have shot some of my best (if not the best) water footage of my life.
But there were some negative aspects to the "Surf Scene" with DORIAN.
The hype from the media outlets was non stop. And typically whenever we have a Hurricane go by our coast it brings out the hordes of in-landers and others who want to see the large surf and "the crazy surfers" who will ultimately paddle out to ride them. The main road on our coast was jammed with gawkers of all types. For instance, there at one of our premier point-breaks stood a woman in her 70's standing on the side of the road taking pictures while dressed in a skimpy bikini. She had to be someone's grandmother. Oh and speaking of grandparents...today is GRANDPARENTS DAY. So Happy Grandparents Day to Judith and John and JoEllen! I didn't expect our own grandkids to acknowledge this day. We have enough days to celebrate.
Now back to your regularly scheduled Blog post. Granny in the Bikini.
Yeah it was kind of creepy. Am I wrong for saying that?
I'm sorry, I guess I'm not as liberal minded as some of you are. I don't know, it just seemed odd and weird and a little creepy. But as I am fond of saying..." whatever."
So the crowds out surfing were at an all time high. There were so many beginners and just outright Kooks and Bonehead clogging the line-ups as far as the eye could see. I counted over 50 at the most popular break on Saturday. And they were coming and going in shifts. And it was non stop.
And not only were there too many surfers, there were also too many photographers. Now there are the regular photographers that show up for every swell and then there are those who I never see show up. And not for nothing, but it can get congested on the land when you're trying to shoot.
Case in point. Here's a photo of me standing in "my spot" shooting my friends, when this one guy with a tripod walks directly in front of me and sets up his camera.
I looked over my shoulder and there were several others one of whom I knew (Erica who took this photo) and a few others. They were all standing behind me. Call it respect and acknowledging the pecking order. But this one guy with his trusty HD camera and tripod was struggling to find the perfect spot when I spoke up.
"Hey man you're in my shot!" He looked at me and was surprised to see that I was standing there. (I had been there for two hours.) "I'm shooting this way" as I swung my arms in the direction that surfers were going. "You need to step back" as I motioned with my arm. "I'm sorry, I'll move." I just shook my head and mumbled under my breath "You're damn right you'll move."
It was like the equivalent of a BLATANT DROP IN. Only with cameras.
Has it really come to this I thought? Nah...that was the only incident.
So on Friday night Cory and I joined our friends David
Robinson and his girlfriend Nancy as we went and saw another Beatles tribute band. They call themselves 1964 The Tribute. They only do music from 1964 to 65'ish. Although I prefer the whole 6 years of The BEATLES 1963-1969 I still wanted to see them. And they did not disappoint us. It was fun and they were really good. They had it down. As I'm sure all the Beatles tribute bands do.
They use all the vintage Vox amps and Ludwig drums like the Beatles. Including all the guitars. The Hofner bass for Paul, the Gretch Country Gentleman for George, and the Rickenbacker for John. And they did their
best to style their hair/wigs to look like the Beatles.
I prefer to sit far enough away
from them to keep the illusion real. In this photo it's hard to tell how much they don't look like the Beatles. I'm sure if we were closer, we could tell. But this is a safe distance. We did the same with RAIN
* who in my honest opinion is a better act to see. But only because they do all six years, and songs from every LP and single.
These guys only do 64. But, they do it well. They have their voices (speaking
and singing) down pat. They have their mannerisms and their clever humor as did the actual Beatles. So it was worth it. And I'm sure at some point I'll see them again. RAIN is playing in March of 2020...now if I can only convince my wife to go. "The Long And Winding Road...that leads to these tribute bands.
*The annual RE-DEDICATION of our GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM Monument is taking place on September 11th. This year we are adding six new names to our monument.
If you're around the seacoast of NH on 9-11 please stop by our post and take in the observance. We start at 6:00PM and end at 7:00PM. It's Important to remember.
"Surfing, Beatles, Love, and Remembrance Heals All Wounds."
The across the bay shot at one of our spots. Ed owned that corner. Before we became friends I would see him hiding in the rocks snapping pics from across the bay. This was his angle. In a way, when I came up with this weekly tribute to Ed and calling it "ED'S CORNER" I was thinking about this actual corner. It just seems fitting to call it that. Photo by Ed O'Connell
*Click the photo above to see a larger version of Ed's Pic.
Now for Some Local, National and International News
This is a first for me. I'm going to be speaking at a local brewery in Salem MA. On Wednesday September 18th, 2019 at 7:00PM I will be speaking about surfing In the Northeast at The EAST REGIMENT BEER CO on 30 Church Street in Salem, MA. I will be speaking for an hour and in the hour I will show a couple of web edits of mine. And, I will hold a Q & A afterwards. So if you're in the neighborhood stop by. I'd love to meet some of you who read this Blog every week from the North shore of Massachusetts.
I promise I will make it entertaining enough for you.
Their logo is pretty cool. If you like cool logos that is.
Tonight it all starts my friends. as most of you know, I am a hardcore New England Patriots fan. Yeah I'm a fair weather fan for all other Boston Sports (for the most part). I mean I like the Bruins, The Soxs, and the Celtics well enough. But I LIVE for the Patriots. Why? Are you kidding me? SIX TITLES BABY! And we all want one more. The LUCKY 7 WORLD CHAMIONSHIP.
TB 12 and company take on the dreaded Steelers tonight at 8:00PM. and as of yesterday we somehow we picked up Antonio Brown. Who was their star receiver last year. Yeah he comes with some baggage, but I've learned long ago to NEVER EVER question Bill Belichick and his thinking. He apparently knows more about this game than we do. Or rather I do. I know nothing compared to BB. So let the games begin my friends. Let the HATERS HATE! And most importantly let's give them all the reasons to hate us even more when we take Number 7 baby!
Oh HELL YEAH! LET'S GO!!!!
CULL (KILL) THE FRICKING SEALS!! Something MUST Be Done about the Seal Population on the Cape. It's time to cull the Seals. *I came up with I think might be a good solution. Why Not get robotic ORCAS and have them putter around the beaches of the Cape? Great White Sharks are terrified of them. Hell the mechanical shark (Bruce) in JAWS terrified an entire generation. Let's try the motorized ORCA and terrorize the White Sharks!
ESM (Eastern Surf Magazine) using a READY MAG format did the Best of Ralph's Pic. And while they couldn't possibly use everything thing I've ever done, they did manage to put up some 50 pics of mine, plus two videos. And I was truly humbled by their intro. Mez said some nice things about me. CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE TO SEE THE WHOLE Spread.
Speaking of The Beatles...This show is worth seeing.
COMING FATHER'S DAY 2020.
While I was making the GRANITE GIRLS video I came up with this project and concept. It's never been done before. As hard as that seems to be. I'm onto yet another never been done before Surf Movie concept. This will be an overview of Surfer dads and their sons. It's a work in progress and I'm hoping to get as many dads and their sons as possible in this movie.
The DVD's are available at all the local surf shops. Or by
sending me an email. firstname.lastname@example.org or send a check for $20.00 made out to ADLANTIC and send it here:
c/o OC Studio Suites
703 Ocean Blvd Suite C-4
Hampton, NH 03842
Or RENT or BUY it Online. You have spoken and I have listened. You don't have a DVD player so I made it available Online. Watch it on your Smart TV, your computer, or your cellphone! I can't make this any easier my friends.
GRANITE GIRLS and The RIVER WOMEN from Ralph's Pic Of The Week on Vimeo.
NOW AVAILABLE on VIMEO ON DEMAND.
KSM Photoshop of the Week
This week was all about DORIAN. And you just knew that somehow Ole KSM would find his way into this scene. So maybe it was Khaliddy who convinced 45 that DORIAN was headed for Alabama. From Bahama to Alabama. I admit, it looks good on paper. But you can't trust KSM. He's a freaking Terrorist!
And so my friends, please take advantage of this weekly photo shop of the mastermind who planned 9-11 and resulted in the deaths of 3,000 innocent civilians by KSM (Khalid Sheik Mohammed).
*Note to self -must pick up a case of Gumbo Shrimp
at Home Depot this week.
CONGRATS TO KAINALU NICHOLS Going PRO!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Jaiden Ciarmataro September 4th, 2019!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Hoku Nichols September 7th, 2019
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Max Fatello September 14th, 2019!
GET WELL SOON Brylee "Peanut" Welch!
GET WELL SOON Jody Wiles Goucher!
GET WELL SOON Kim Grondin and Lilly too!
REST IN PEACE Tilly Chamberlain
Lenny Nichols & Colin Madden
Co-Directors, NNE District
Eastern Surfing Association
Support ALL The photographers who contribute to
Ralph's Pic Of The Week every week for the last 13 years.
** BUY a HIGH RES Photo
from any of the weeks on RPOTW.
my friends... Surfing Heals All Wounds.
Pray for Surf. Pray for Peace. Surf For Fun.