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Ralph Pic Of The Week
If you want to access the Pic of the
week from past weeks click here.
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.
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.
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.
We need to SAVE HATTERAS!
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?
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:
my friends...Surfing heals all wounds....
1989 Johnny Meehan Spring Surf
I know this board. So I must know the rider. Help me out here people.
(Above and below) Hoku Nichols. She's only 12 years old. The new female New England breed.
(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) Super blue green turn.
Connor snapping a turn on a board that can't be bigger than 5' 3"...
2008 Parting Shot... Torpedo Man.