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Ralph Pic Of The Week

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

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 workout.

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. was (dare I say) NOT that crowded. It really was wide open at most spots. Especially the beachbreaks.

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 little loopy.

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 special thing.

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 warm.

"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 up.

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 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.

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 1970 Uncle Rico at CROW'S Surf Shop

(Above) OK I couldn't resist that headline. We all know the character from Napoleon Dynamite "UNCLE RICO". Whenever I found this photo in my mailbox from Ed O'Connell I almost spit my coffee through my nose. Talk about classic photographs. But I'll let Ed describe it better for you. Ralph: Not sure if this indoor photo qualifies for Surf pic
of the week status. I took this photo in July 1970 at Crow’s Shop on Long Sands in York (now the site of Mimmo’s restaurant). My friend Denis Rosenblad is standing next to the newly arrived Hobie “Eastern Star” models that were hot that summer. Surf shop workers dressed much more formally back then apparently. Denis is still surfing, caught some overhead stuff in Maine Saturday morning. Photo by Ed O’Connell

Today 2007 This morning, March 18th ...The Last Winter Swell

(Above) Checking it at the Wall this morning this is the first thing we saw. Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Then I saw some friends down a few openings doing the same thing.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Pulling away, I snapped one photo before heading to JB's for coffee and a bagel and waited
for the tide to drop.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

Here's some from John Carden at the very same time I was shooting

(Above) An empty peak beckons...I swear for as long as I live I will NEVER tire looking at empty waves.
Photo by John Carden

(Above) Nor will I tire looking at barrel shots... Kevin "Doc" Grondin, the ageless Barrel rider
Photo by John Carden

(Above) Mike Stanek setting up for sweetness.
Photo by John Carden

(Above) Toby bitch slaps a brown lip.
Photo by John Carden

(Above) Lenny Nichols sampling the Mini A-Frames.
Photo by John Carden

(Above) Toby in the Candy Shoppe.
Photo by John Carden

Today 2007 St Patty's Day, March 17th The Luck Of The Irish

(Above) A Pot Of Gold at the End of the Rainbow...
Photo by John Carden

(Above) I think this is Mattie...the Big Ass Goofyfooter. If it isn't, I apologize. If it is...Mattie You're KILLING IT!.
Photo by John Carden

(Above) If I didn't know any better I would of guessed this to be Ireland.
Photo by John Carden

(Above) Lenny Nichols driving down the face of a semi Green Looking wave.
Photo by John Carden

(Above) Who Da Guy? You know, unless the images I get are labeled I have to guess as to who it is.
Most times I know. Other times my son Max helps me out. And then there are times like this. Stumped.
Unless That's you again Mattie.
Photo by John Carden

(Above) This guy I know. Very well. In fact, he thought that the photographer was me. This is John Meehan
a 100% Irishman enjoying the fruits of this day.
Photo by John Carden

(Above) This is John Meehan at his favorite break. Photo by John Carden

(Above) This is John Boy again. Photo by John Carden

(Above) I more than likely know this guy...but he's not wearing a name tag this sesh. So another Who DA Guy? that you Steve Bailey?
Photo by John Carden

(Above) This place I know. Very well indeed. Photo by John Carden

(Above) John Meehan Saint Patrick's Day. Photo by John Carden

(Above) Unknown Goofy Riding a Green Craft on this Green Celebration of a Day. Photo by John Carden

(Above) Unknown Regular Foot Cutting back for more Green. Photo by John Carden

(Above) This angle looks familiar. Point and shoot. Unknown Regular Foot. Photo by John Carden

(Above) Erin Go Bragh...Irish Pride. Photo by John Carden

Today 2007 BLack & White St Patty's Day

(Above) Unknown Goofy taking the drop. Photo by Chris Shipley

(Above) Tobey tearing the top off of an Irish Brew. Photo by Chris Shipley

(Above) Lenny banking on more juice after this turn. Photo by Chris Shipley

(Above) Unknown regular foot enjoying the Free Saturday Peaks. Photo by Chris Shipley

(Above) I think this is Stanek...and if it is...I know where this turn is going next.
Photo by Chris Shipley

Today 2007 More From the Day of Green

(Above) Backside boulder turn. Photo by Andrew Frost

(Above) I see a fun section up ahead...what do you see?? Photo by Andrew Frost

(Above) Like I was very good and not very crowded. Photo by Andrew Frost

(Above) Which way you going? Photo by Andrew Frost

Today 2007 More St Patrick's Day Swell Saturday March 17-2007

(Above) Mackey V walking in the footsteps of his peers and those who came before him
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) This is what's over that last snowbank. Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Look closely. Can you see my camera and tripod? Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Paul O'Hara doing his Irish reef dance. Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) Take your pick of peaks. Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) My friend and fellow photographer Justin Lamkin setting up his gear.Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) I know I already saw this angle. I can't help it. I love the frozen grass look with the
surf out back.
Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

(Above) My buddy Videographer Glenn still buzzing over his PERU trip trip seems to favor the lefts. And
He's wearing his Saint "Pats" Day Jacket. Photo by R. Fatello SFOD

Today 2007 Finally... a Few From The Phantom

(Above) Tom Craig is one stylish Surfer. Here he glides across the face of one of the most famous righthanders
in the world and in front of The Phantom's camera. The result is another gem for all of you.
Photo courtesy of The Phantom

(Above) The Phantom likes it clean and green on St Paddy's Day Photo courtesy of The Phantom

(Above) Doug's about to get IRA mad on this poor Englishman. Photo courtesy of The Phantom

Parting Shot 2007 This Guy's Gonna Need an Irish Pub after this.
So much for the luck of the Irish. Unless he made it...nahhh he didn't. He got worked.
Photo by John Carden










































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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