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The GET IN THE VAN Video of "Catch A Wave For Molly"
by Joe Carter from the ESPN website.

April 30th, 2011 -July 26, 2011 Day 279
At Least One Wave, Every Day, For 365 Consecutive Days...

And just like that April was over. Looking back at this month, I counted 20 days of at least waist high waves. And 8 days of head high and better. Not bad for Spring. Still, a lot of suffering worldwide for this month. But for us here in Northern New England, things are looking pretty good. Flowers are blooming everywhere.
The birds are singing...the water is even taking on a more tropical tint.

I've got a good feeling about May. I shot this photo this morning.

I shot this as well this morning.

I've got a thing about birds in flight.

I showed up at my spot and there was one guy out. He was on SUP, is that OK?
I caught one wave and was on my way...Goodbye April.

279, only 86 more to go. I'll be back tomorrow.

Surfing Heals All Wounds...


April 29th, 2011 -July 26, 2011 Day 278
At Least One Wave, Every Day, For 365 Consecutive Days...

The Royal Wedding took place in London early this morning and I slept right through it. The people who suffered and died in the Tornadoes yesterday woke up to a living hell this morning. That's if they slept at all. 1,000's of protesters in Syria were fired on by their own troops today. Killing dozens. And here in Hampton, NH?
It was a bright and sunny Spring Day. Life goes on all over this world.

No hood. No hat. It's too warm for either. Photo by Noelle.

That's me waving to Chris Kellar as I strolled out this afternoon at 10th Street. Chris is surfing in his first ever ESA Regional contest tomorrow in Rhode Island. Remember what I told you Chris...and you'll do fine. Photo by Noelle.

Hey that wave looks waist high...well I'll be by Noelle.

There's the salute. God please help those who are suffering all over the world today. And when you get a free minute, bless the Royal couple. Photo by Noelle.

278, only 87 more to go. I'll be back tomorrow.

Surfing Heals All Wounds...


April 28th, 2011 -July 26, 2011 Day 277
At Least One Wave, Every Day, For 365 Consecutive Days...

The clouds that are streaming over our heads as I write this, are the very same clouds that spawned those violent Tornadoes in the south earlier in the day. The last count I heard was over 250 people dead. That's unbelievable. 250 people.
They were being warned all day about the possibility of these storms touching down. And yet, even with all that warning, the biggest loss of life from Tornadoes since the 70's happened. How is that possible?

I felt queasy out there today. Looking up at those innocent looking overcast skies, and knowing what they had just did some 12 hours earlier. I know we'll get surf from these storms, but at what price? Say a prayer for those who lost everything including loved ones.

That's 277, only 88 more to go. I'll be back tomorrow.

Surfing Heals All Wounds...


April 27th, 2011 -July 26, 2011
Day 276
At Least One Wave, Every Day, For 365 Consecutive Days...

These warmer days are here to stay. The days of the hood, though not entirely out of the picture, are fast becoming a thing of the past. The not so distant past, but none the less, the past. I wore just the Molly cover again today. In fact, I took a not very good photo of me riding a wave while wearing the Molly cover.

It won't be long before the gloves and then the booties come off. I'm looking forward to those days. The freedom of surfing without rubber.

I think I'm on a finger kick this week. I'm pointing towards the beach and where Molly's name is written on the wall.

When I was done riding my wave and saluting, I ran into my b
uddies Jimmy Dunn and Bill Morrissey (with his frisbee catching dog). Jimmy's recuperating from the surgery on his ear. All you surfers who get water in your ear canal be forewarned.
It will not get any better on it's own. Trust me. I had both of my ears drilled. It's not fun. Especially being out of the water for 4 to 6 weeks.

You need to wear ear plugs "before" it gets too bad. Not after.

276, only 89 more to go. I'll be back tomorrow.

Surfing Heals All Wounds...


April 26th, 2011 -July 26, 2011
Day 275
At Least One Wave, Every Day, For 365 Consecutive Days...

This day seems a lot like yesterday. Same drizzle. Same overcast. Same waves.
I'm not complaining. I'm just pointing things out to you.

I caught and rode a left today. I had been riding rights for so long, I wanted a left.
I would of left (no pun intended) on that first wave, except I was a bit too shaky on my salute. I stumbled and almost fell. So I went back out and caught another wave. It was a right. I guess there's a reason why I've been riding so many rights out there. They're better than the lefts.

I've been Surfing in my Molly cover (hat). I've surfed two days in a row with the Molly cover on my head and have not gotten it wet. It's no big deal. I'm just pointing another thing out to you.

I came home in time to see my wife's vehicle get hauled off to the auctioneer. I guess I'm still a little in shock over that whole 24 hour period. My daughter get's her license. My daughter goes for a ride with her friend. A vehicle hit's her broadside less than a 100 yards from our home. They both narrowly escape death and injury.

Then today, they hauled the Jeep off for metal scraps to be sold to China. Like I said, I'm still not over the series of events that happened this past weekend. But I'm moving forward.

That's 275, only 90 more to go. I'll be back tomorrow.

Surfing Heals All Wounds...


April 25th, 2011 -July 26, 2011
Day 274
At Least One Wave, Every Day, For 365 Consecutive Days...

The day after Easter was a gray and rainy day. It was also another day without Molly for the Rowlees. Another day without my mother. Another day without Linda. Another Day without Joe...the list goes on and on. The passing of loved ones.
Yet the day before and the days that followed, were what the whole Christian religion is based on. The Resurrection. The ascending into heaven.

One day we will all find our way back home again. Until that day, we must continue to do good things. To stop and help others in need. To sacrifice a part of ourselves. Or to simply put a smile on someone's face. The Rowlees will see Molly again just as she is seeing them today. It's not a secret. Being good to each other.

My new "BOMB" wetsuit from Zapstix. Thanks again Zappy. I'm liking this suit and I like the name. It seems to fit me well. The BOMB. Photo by Tony Berardini

I just caught one today. I had my Molly cover on and didn't want to get it wet.
Photo by Tony Berardini

Hello and goodbye by Tony Berardini.

That's 274, only 91 more to go. I'll be back tomorrow.

Surfing Heals All Wounds...


April 24th, 2011 -July 26, 2011
Day 273 EASTER SUNDAY "He has risen"
At Least One Wave, Every Day, For 365 Consecutive Days...

Today is the most holiest of days in the Christian faith. The resurrection of Jesus Christ. As a Christian, you either believe it, or you don't. We believe." We" being my family. I'm not going to shy away from it. I believe. I also believe in Angels. I know this because, I have seen proof of their existence many times over the last 10 years or so. I just saw proof of it yesterday.

For those of you who read and follow this daily blog you will remember that on Friday I wrote about my youngest daughter getting her license. You will also remember (or you can just scroll down to Friday's blog), that I asked Molly to watch over my little girl. It's right there. Go on and re-read it.

Yesterday in the pouring rain, my lil girl was involved in a major 3 car accident. Less than 100 yards from my home. A speeding vehicle hit her broadside on the passenger side (where her close friend was sitting) and then drove her car into another vehicle that was waiting for the light to change, and hit the drivers side.

Just 12 inches to either side and she or her friend would of been seriously hurt or worse. We believe an Angel combined with these Rosary beads (below) that my wife placed in the vehicle that very morning saved her.

The Rosary beads broke during the accident. They got jammed into the shift.

It was every parent's worse nightmare. To come up on that scene, and seeing all those vehicles involved in this wreck was just a sick to my stomach feeling. It was very stressing. But she and her friend were OK.

I caught my wave For Molly and then I went out and caught a wave for every member of my family. Today was the first day I surfed without a hood. It felt good. Even though I could not stop thinking about what happened yesterday.

I shot this hand held shot of myself as I went into the inside hollow section today.
My head was not cold. In fact, I felt really good out there. Not cold at all.

This is some new graffiti at 18th Street. I'm not happy about it. In fact, I'm anything but. And to prove that point, here's my answer to this BS.

Happy Easter Everyone. I mean it...hold on to your loved ones. In the blink of an
eye it can all change.

That's 273, only 92 more to go. I'll be back tomorrow.

Surfing Heals All Wounds...


April 23rd, 2011 -July 26, 2011
Day 272
At Least One Wave, Every Day, For 365 Consecutive Days...

Today felt eerily similar to last Saturday. Including seeing the devastation on the news from more Tornadoes in the Midwest, just like I did last Saturday. And that wind whipped rain and cold sure did feel like last Saturday. Is the surf going to be as Big as Last Sunday? Probably not. But there will clearly be waves tomorrow. On Easter Sunday. That will be nice to see. Something about waves on Easter.

Walking out into the surf today was a slight struggle. Holding my longboard in that wind and biting rain was almost challenging. If I didn't experience what I have already this winter, it would have been. But it was (for me) a minor inconvenience.

I grabbed this off the Cinnamon Rainbows website. Looks cold, wet, and raw.

I paddled right out and caught one wave. I rode it all the way in, saluting as I do, I stepped off in the shallow water, and then walked up to the wall where Molly's name is written in surfboard wax. I said hello, and then went about my day.

That's 272, only 93 more to go. I'll be back tomorrow.

Surfing Heals All Wounds...


April 22nd, 2011 -July 26, 2011
Day 271
At Least One Wave, Every Day, For 365 Consecutive Days...

My youngest daughter got her driving license today. My head is still spinning. How did she grow up so quickly? My little girl is driving? I suddenly feel old again. She was so excited though. It's hard not to feel happy for her. But it's equally hard not to worry. I know what's out there. The "other" guys. Except today's drivers are all on the cellphone and or texting. It's dangerous for sure. But I'm happy for her.

Here she is with her new license minutes after getting it.

She followed me down to the beach to watch me surf my wave for Molly. Yes there was room in my vehicle for her, but she wanted to follow me in a separate vehicle. I get it. I was young once. I remember what that was like, driving solo for the first time. It was both weird and exhilarating. You're only 16 once.

Here I am in my NEW 4/3 from ZAPSTIX. Thank you Zappy. Photo by Noelle

Here I am surfing a small sloppy 1/2 foot wave. And my salute is a little shaky too. Photo by Noelle

"Molly please
watch over my lil girl." Photo by Noelle.

Happy Earth Day and Good Friday...

271, only 94 more to go. I'll be back tomorrow.

Surfing Heals All Wounds...


April 21st, 2011 -July 26, 2011
Day 270
At Least One Wave, Every Day, For 365 Consecutive Days...

So I get this call from a friend last night telling me that our mutual friend, and fellow surfer, Duffy McCarthy and his wife Jenn, are the proud parents of a new Baby Boy. Connor Allen McCarthy has entered our surf community and we all couldn't be happier for the two of them. They named his middle name after Duffy's late father Allen, who passed away this past winter.

Allen is smiling down from heaven as I type this.

This is the house that Allen and Jane built and raised all those surfers in. Now we can add another little McCarthy grandchild to the mix, and before we all know it, little Connor will be paddling out into the line up at 10th Street.
Photo by Ed O'Connell

Here's my wave and salute for Molly this afternoon with either Ryan or Robert out the back cheering me on. Photo by Ed O'Connell.

And you guys know me by now. So I paddled back out and got one for little Connor. So here's my salute for the McCarthy family. Photo by Ed O'Connell.

That's 270, only 95 more to go. I'll be back tomorrow.

Surfing Heals All Wounds...


April 20th, 2011 -July 26, 2011
Day 269
At Least One Wave, Every Day, For 365 Consecutive Days...

I wanted to take a photo today, but it just seemed too gray and dreary. I surfed at 10th Street. It was about waist high. But it was messy. Not worth shooting. There was no one else out. In hindsight, I should of taken a photo of the sky. It was wild looking. Like nothing I'd ever seen before. So after my wave and salute, I drove home and jumped in the shower, and then quickly headed back down to take the photo. But the sky and the clouds had changed.

And just like that, I was standing there with my camera, with nothing special to shoot. I suppose I could of taken another shot of my silly mug. But honestly? I'm getting tired of those. I just wished you had seen that sky though.

Because that was special. Like some kind of claymation. It looked like an upside down gray honeycomb. Does that make any sense? Use your imagination today my friends. Because that's all I have.

That's 269, only 96 more to go. I'll be back tomorrow.

Surfing Heals All Wounds...


April 19th, 2011 -July 26, 2011
Day 268
At Least One Wave, Every Day, For 365 Consecutive Days...

I was pleasantly surprised to find more waves waiting for me this morning. And not just me but my friends too. Terence Kirby, Erica Nardone and myself shared some fun waves today. Good Lord it's been a wave bonanza. Took me a while to catch that first wave though. I was too amped out there. Can you imagine that? I've been surfing 268 straight days and I was amped? I saluted Molly on my first wave and Linda Paugh on my last wave today.

That was fun guys. Then some other friends paddled out JJ and Todd Peble and Andrew Kellar. Sharing waves and sharing good vibes.

That's Erica going right on this sweet peak. I only had my point and shoot D-10 with me today. Otherwise I would of been tighter on this shot.

That's Todd Preble on the left and JJ on the right. Everyone sharing and behaving.

That's some seaweed. Would you eat that if you had to? Yes you would.

Some real surf shacks. Nice front yard though. *All photos by Ralph.

268, only 97 more to go. I'll be back tomorrow.

Surfing Heals All Wounds...


April 18th, 2011 -July 26, 2011
Day 267
At Least One Wave, Every Day, For 365 Consecutive Days...

OK if yesterday was BIG SUNDAY then today has to be MEDIUM MONDAY. And it was. It was only half the size of yesterday, but still fun. The whole seacoast is still buzzing over that swell. Good Lord it was EPIC. On Palm Sunday. Here's a Ralphie first. My first self portrait of me on my cellphone at the beach. I was actually talking to my buddy and fellow surf photographer Ed O'Connell.

My how surfing has changed. Cellphones, texting, FaceBook, and Blogging.
Ed came down and ended up shooting a few of my waves.

It was a beautiful day for all of us. Surfers, SUPP's, and Kayakers. Say what??

I got a few good ones, and a few good ones got me. But hey, that's surfing.

I base all my surfing these days on calculated moves. I thought I could make this barrel.. What do you think...?

Did I make it, or didn't I...? I could see the light at the end of the tunnel...but...?

That's 267, only 98 more to go. I'll be back tomorrow.

Surfing Heals All Wounds...


April 17th, 2011 -July 26, 2011
Day 266
At Least One Wave, Every Day, For 365 Consecutive Days...

Today shall now be forever known as BIG SUNDAY. How big was it today? I'd say double overhead easily. It was Big and it was powerful. Put it this way, I knew from yesterday's session that the swell was coming up hard and fast. I just didn't know how big it would be until I got down to the ocean. Then I knew. It was big.

Does that not look like Hawaii? It was Big and hollow. And very dangerous.

Check out the DEATH GRIP someone has on that board. Whoever that was got his butt kicked on this wave and then some.

I went out surfing after shooting all morning and most of the afternoon. I surfed alone. Actually, my wife and daughter were in the vehicle watching. I caught 6 waves. I fired off two salutes as well. I felt good. My paddling is insane. I think I could paddle to France and back before most of my friends could paddle out and catch a wave. Hey I've been surfing everyday for 266 days.
But I've been mostly paddling if you stop and think about it.

A woman and her young child asked me
if I was really going to surf alone. I looked at her and said "I am unless you two join me." She was really concerned about the surf. I had to give her a quick Ralph history lesson. I think she was OK after I told her what I was doing. This day, BIG SUNDAY was an amazing day to be alive.

I felt good. It is after all, P
alm Sunday.

After surfing I went back to shooting some more video and stills. The moon rise left me with such an amazing feeling about life and surfing that it almost brought me to tears. It was so beautiful. This day of Power and Raw Beauty.

Today was a good day.

266, only 99 more to go. I'll be back tomorrow.

Surfing Heals All Wounds...


April 16th, 2011 -July 26, 2011
Day 265
At Least One Wave, Every Day, For 365 Consecutive Days...

In my mind, I thought this day was a milestone of sorts. Day 265. Only a 100 days left. You know, coming in on the homestretch, or rounding 3rd base. The last 100 days. It was all in my mind though. It was in reality, just another day at the beach.
The surf was messy and unruly. It was a difficult session. In fact, I wrenched my back paddling out in that relentless onslaught of chest high madness.

It's hard to tell from this photo, but trust me, it was a struggle. I caught my wave for Molly and then I went back out and caught another for my friend "Peg".

Today I found out that "Peg" Daly had passed away on February 23, 2011. She was the mother of a young woman that I knew and cared deeply about back in the 70's and early 80's. She died in a car accident up here. Her name was Moira Daly.

Moira was a fixture at 10th Street back in the day when we were all young and spent our days surfing and rock and rolling. A beautiful young woman who passed way before her time.

Her mother Peg had to bury her oldest daughter. I found this out today doing some research on Moira, as I was writing on my weekly blog. I feel terrible that I did not know of her passing. Peg was a NAVY vet having served in WWII. Her late husband Joe was a Marine who served on Guadalcanal. I would of attended her service. She is at peace now with Moira and her husband Joe. Say hi to Moira for me Peg, and tell Joe I said Semper Fi.

Today was the beginning of my last 100 days...

That's 265, only 100 more to go. I'll be back tomorrow.

Surfing Heals All Wounds...


April 15th, 2011 -July 26, 2011
Day 264
At Least One Wave, Every Day, For 365 Consecutive Days...

I thought there would be some decent leftovers today. But the swell had left overnight. There was still plenty for me to catch my daily wave, but nothing for my friends. Oh well. Today felt cold. That onshore wind can get to you. I was still cold from the day before. The waves last night were really something. I shot this at 10th Street. Ed and I were shooting the action in the cold North/northwest wind.

As you can see here, those things had teeth. Don't know why the surf went up and down like that throughout the day, but it did. Weird.

Speaking of weird. As I was driving home after catching my wave this afternoon, I saw something that really turned my head and my stomach. A group of women with dated mullets and clothes to match, were all smoking cigarettes on a park bench.

One of them was having trouble lighting her cigarette in the wind. She was holding something in her arm, and she was using it to try and block the wind, so she could fire up her butt. As I got closer, I could see clearly what it was she was holding.

It was newborn baby! The baby was swaddled up in a blanket with a stocking hat.

I wanted to stop and take a photo, But I didn't want her to toss the baby at me.
I've said it many times over the months, weeks, and days. Everyday I see something new. But this? I wish I'd miss this scene completely. Ridiculous.

I need to clear my head of such images. Tomorrow is my 265th day. That means only 100 days left. The last 100 days starts tomorrow. It's safe to say, I am on the home stretch now. I do not see the light at the end of the tunnel quite yet, but it's getting closer.

That's 264, only 101 more to go. I'll be back tomorrow.

Surfing Heals All Wounds...


April 14th, 2011 -July 26, 2011
Day 263
At Least One Wave, Every Day, For 365 Consecutive Days...

I woke up this morning with all my batteries fully charged. That's both my camera batteries and my inner battery. Remember the surf yesterday afternoon was big
and wild. I would of bet anything that the surf this morning would of been overhead. But it wasn't. It's not that it was bad, it's just that, it should of been bigger. Don't get me wrong. The surf was clean and hollow. Just not very big. Oh well. So I shot first thing and then I went surfing.

These are the new parking meters on the beach. Don't know what to make of these things yet. But I'm sure I'll be talking about them this Summer. Right after Ed took this photo I paddled out and the wind switched on me. Onshore. For all you non-surfers, that's when the wind blows in off the ocean. It ruins the wave face. Damn.

I caught a few and a few caught me. Photos by Ed O'Connell

I saluted a few and then came in. Later the wind went offshore again and the swell even bumped up. It's all about timing guys...and my timing was good for shooting but bad for surfing. But I'm not complaining...I'm just saying. Besides, it's not as if I have not been surfing much. Ha...

That's 263, only 102 more to go. I'll be back tomorrow.

Surfing Heals All Wounds...


April 13th, 2011 -July 26, 2011
Day 262
At Least One Wave, Every Day, For 365 Consecutive Days...

I surfed with three other living earth's creatures today. In the whipping rain and big overhead sets. It was just me and three others. Who were they? Well, they never did give me their names. You see, they were Sea ducks. And they kept taking off and landing in the line-up. At one point, one of them had to divert his flight plan in order to avoid colliding with me. I swear to God. This one particular duck, at the last second, veered from his course that would of put him in my face.

Not exactly what I had in mind for today. A duck in the face.

Those waves are bigger than they look. Trust me they are. It was semi clean, but I should of headed south and surfed an old haunt of mine today that would of been really good. But I had to pick my daughter up from school. And well, I'm a responsible (somewhat) parent. And that's all there is to that. My kids
come first before some surf session. Besides, it's not like I have not
been out surfing in a while...Ha!

That's 262, only 103 more to go. I'll be back tomorrow.

Surfing Heals All Wounds...


April 12th, 2011 -July 26, 2011
Day 261
At Least One Wave, Every Day, For 365 Consecutive Days...

The ocean and the weather in new England are something else. Wouldn't you all agree? I mean come on people. New England's weather is just wacky. Case in point. Where on earth did those waves come from this morning? And the air temps are bouncing all over the place today. Same with the water temps. But I'm cool with that. I can handle it. Except, I'm in the 4/3 now and well, it felt a little chilly. I even went out and took some water photos.

The thing about water photography is this. You get cold quick. As in very quick. But the act of taking photos in the water is so freaking cool. I love it.

I got to surf with so many
friends today. From my Marine buddy John Wheatley, to my longboard buds Tim and Dale, and then running into Team Sander and his motley crew. I'm kidding. I enjoy the antics of Stanek, Schnell, and Parke. Those guys are passionate about the whole lifestyle. I even saw Hannah Vokey in her 4/3 *Hannah don't listen to me about what is warm and what is not. I surfed all winter.

Any ways, there's waves again. And today, on the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, I caught a handful and saluted Molly, and then I saluted the lost souls who died in that awful conflict. 150 years ago today.

261, only 104 more to go. I'll be back tomorrow.

Surfing Heals All Wounds...


April 11th, 2011 -July 26, 2011
Day 260
At Least One Wave, Every Day, For 365 Consecutive Days...

"That's right honey...he's a Surfboarder!" The old grandfather said to his young granddaughter on the beach this afternoon as I walked by them at 18th Street.
"Actually, I'm a surfer." I answered. "And this is my surfboard." I said showing them my board "See he is a Surfboarder." Grampy repeated . I just smiled and shook my head. "Have fun out there surfboarder!" The little girl yelled. "Thank you I will."

And just like that, I was called something I've never been called before in the 47 years I've been surfing. In fact, I was called this new name, three consecutive
times in a row. I guess I really am a "Surfboarder ."

Hey at least they didn't call me a "SUP'R. " Ouch, I know that's bad.

Check it out. I'm in the 4/3 wetsuit again...first time since the beginning of December. Took me 3 tries to catch my wave. Was it because I was not used to the flexibility? Nah...I was misjudging the waves. Besides, that 5/4/3 Winter suit was plenty flexible enough. Felt good being in less rubber.

My wet glove mark on Molly's name. I honestly hope that wax never fades.
I love seeing her name there. It's so comforting.

260, only 105 more to go. I'll be back tomorrow.

Surfing Heals All Wounds...


April 10th, 2011 -July 26, 2011
Day 259
At Least One Wave, Every Day, For 365 Consecutive Days...

It's official. Today was the last day I wore my winter wetsuit. It's hanging up drying as I write this. The Rip Curl 5/4/3 served me well and I must thank PIONEERS and Marc Angellilo for the suit. I wore that thing from mid December to Mid April. It kept me warm throughout the coldest of cold days, and the snowiest days too. Thank you so much guys. I could not have done it without you.

Take a picture it will last longer. I shot this at 18th Street this morning. That was
one hell of a suit boys. Man, I don't look very happy, but trust me I am. I think I
may have been in a slight state of shock. The last day wearing my winter suit.

Next up is my 4/3 with the attached hood. Man it feels like I'm getting close.

After taking my self portrait pic I looked over the wall and saw this. A SUP rider at my little getaway spot! Say what??? Oh No...they found me here. But upon my entry into the water, the SUP was my good friend Jimmy Dunn. Jimmy's No SUP rider. Jimmy does it all. He's a true waterman. Surfer, Kayaker, and now...(gulp) SUP'r. That's cool though. Jimmy knows surf etiquette as well as anyone.

We shared a few laughs. (How can you not hanging with Jimmy?) Then I left.

Walking back up to the Wall I noticed a family freaking out at some local Gulls as the Gulls attacked their unattended food. "Those birds know a free meal when they see one." No sooner did I say that, when one of the kids picked up a rock and threw it at one of the Gulls sitting on top of the wall.

The Gull ducked, but the parked car on the other side of the Wall did not. The sound of the rock hitting the vehicle caused the mother to yell at her son. I looked at them shaking my head as I walked back to my vehicle.

I was reminded of the conversation I had with my friend Ed just a few minutes before I headed down to the beach earlier. "You're bound to run into some real characters on the beach, once the weather gets warmer. " He said.

Ain' t that the truth Ed.

That's 259, only 106 more to go. I'll be back tomorrow.

Surfing Heals All Wounds...


April 9th, 2011 -July 26, 2011
Day 258
At Least One Wave, Every Day, For 365 Consecutive Days...

I took this self portrait of myself before heading down and catching my wave. I was there at 18th Street chatting with my good friend Bill Morrissey. He is such a funny guy. Bill's taking guitar lessons. Keep plucking away Bill you'll get it.

I grabbed Big Black and headed down the stairs, and out towards the ocean. I recognized another friend and called out to say hello. "Good morning!" I yelled.

"I can't believe you're here again. Why wouldn't you just say that you surfed today. Who would know the difference?" And with those words, I stopped walking towards the water, and redirected myself towards this source of an unbelievable poor selection of words. I pulled my hood away from my ear to be able to hear it again, just in case I didn't hear it right the first time. The person saying these words knows me. But I thought she really knew me. I walked up and showed her my board.

I asked her if she could see the Marine Corps Sticker . Then I asked her if she knew what that motto stood for. "Semper Fi". She said yes. "Always loyal." I looked at her shaking my head and said "It's Always Faithful. I live by that motto. That's who I am. If I didn't go surfing today, and said that I did, that would be cheating." She realized what she had said, and then changed the subject.

But I could not let it go. Those words, as innocent as they may have been, hurt me.

I know this woman well enough to know that she meant no disrespect to me. But hearing those words for the first time, shook me. Besides, if I were going to cheat, wouldn't I have cheated during the real bad days? Look, I'm not trying to stand on some pulpit here, and proclaim myself to be some "holier than thou heroic figure."
Because I am not. I'm no hero. I'm nothing special. I'm just a man you can trust and who's word is good. I am merely saying this to anyone out there who might think like that woman on the beach this morning.

Please do not question my integrity, or my word. Semper Fidelis. Always Faithful.

A Man is only as good as his word. I have surfed at least one wave, everyday, for the last 258 days...and I will continue for the next 107 days. So help me God.

That's 258, only 107 more to go. I'll be back tomorrow.

Surfing Heals All Wounds...


April 8th, 2011 -July 26, 2011
Day 257
At Least One Wave, Every Day, For 365 Consecutive Days...

I have written in my daily and weekly blog many times about surfing alone. I have surfed alone for years. And while I do genuinely enjoy surfing alone, I also truly love surfing with friends. And for that matter, with total strangers. Though, I do prefer surfing with friends over strangers. Today I surfed with a friend. Tony and I shared some small, semi glassy, waves at 18th Street this morning, and we both had fun.

My friend Patty McKenzie was walking by the Wall, when I asked her if she would snap a photo of Tony and I before we headed out. She obliged. It is truly warming up kids. Spring is REALLY here.

I know it's kind of hard to tell, but every now and then, a solid two foot wave would pop up on the outside sandbar. The person walking by is about 6 foot tall. Those waves are at least 2 feet. I love this spot. Though it's usually smaller than anywhere else on North Beach. We both caught our share of waves and laughs. It felt like Spring today. The water temps are now in the low 40's...yea!

I'll be in my 4/3 by next week. That was fun Tony...thanks.

That's 257, only 108 more to go. I'll be back tomorrow.

Surfing Heals All Wounds...


April 7th, 2011 -July 26, 2011
Day 256
At Least One Wave, Every Day, For 365 Consecutive Days...

I'm sure there are many of you out there, who more than likely think that what I'm doing everyday, might become routine for me. And while it most certainly does fit that category on most days, there are other times, when it is anything but.

Today was one of those days.

For starters, I halfway expected the surf to be long gone. Pulling up at 18th Street this morning I ran into Erica Nardone and her 14yr old Puppy. We were both surprised to see waist high waves peeling in off the outside rock cropping.

This is a photo taken by Amy Dube as I went streaking across the early morning
sun. I only caught three waves, but each one was worth every second. I was stoked to be out there this morning. Now you would think, that if this had become routine, that I would be bored to death by small waves. That is not the case with me. I am not bored, or put off by small waves. Or rather, small rideable waves.

I am a Surfer, and I am stoked to be able to paddle out on a beautiful sunny day like today, and catch a wave, and to also have this daily wave riding campaign mean more than just the simple act of surfing. I'm proud to be a "Surfer". And I'm humbled to be able to use "Surfing", as the vehicle to carry this message about cancer to the masses.

I left the water after my final wave and salute to Molly, and met Amy up on the
Wall. We chatted for a while. It was such a beautiful morning. And as I was getting ready to drive off, I found this on my windshield.

Thank you to whoever left this sweet note.

That's 256, only 109 more to go. I'll be back tomorrow.

Surfing Heals All Wounds...


April 6th, 2011 -July 26, 2011
Day 255
At Least One Wave, Every Day, For 365 Consecutive Days...

What a difference a day makes. Yesterday I got hit in the chest with my board. And today I caught some little tubes. It's all good. Though I am still a little sore. But I'll survive. My first wave today was so long that I ended up saluting twice. One for Molly, and one for a friend of mine who died in 1971, but visited me in my dreams this early morning. He asked me how my surfing everyday was going. Bruce Doherty was killed in a motorcycle crash in 1971.

That dream was so vivid.

Just like these little dream waves...vivid. Photo by Ralph

Hannah Vokey shot this pic of me before I paddled out.

Cute little tubes...perfect for the board of length. Photo by Ralph.

Up and down the beach
. Photo by Ralph.

That's 255, only 110 more to go. I'll be back tomorrow.

Surfing Heals All Wounds...


April 5th, 2011 -July 26, 2011
Day 254
At Least One Wave, Every Day, For 365 Consecutive Days...

I was having so much fun surfing with my friend Lenny and his son Kai at the Wall this afternoon. It was great. Ed shooting on the beach, plenty of waves to go around. It was a great session. Ed even caught me doing another "Soul Turn".
Like I said, it was fun surfing chest high waves with a handful of friends.

Soul arches and soul salutes. It was all good.

Then the conversation drifted into the possibility of getting hurt in waves that are not that big. Oh you all know what's coming...oh hell yea...because less than 20 minutes later, I caught my board dead center in my chest. I mean it hit me hard. Hours later and I'm still hurting.

It may not look bad here. But trust me. After this photo was taken, my board came back and hit me square in my chest. Then I went over the falls and was hit by that wave behind this one. I was dizzy and sick to my stomach for a solid 20 minutes later. I almost came in. I said almost. I stayed out and caught a few more. But I'm OK. More embarrassed than anything else.

The truth is, you can get hurt surfing in any size wave. Big or small. Be careful.

That's 254, only 111 more to go. I'll be back tomorrow.

Surfing Heals All Wounds...


April 4th, 2011 -July 26, 2011
Day 253
At Least One Wave, Every Day, For 365 Consecutive Days...

I pulled up at 18th Street expecting to find something to ride, but I was about a half hour too late. The tide had moved in enough to shut that down. It was overcast and starting to rain. I looked back at 14th Street and saw my window of opportunity. There off the jetty, was a mushy section, of crumbly waves for me to ride. It was small. Only about a foot or a foot and half. But plenty big enough for me to ride. Especially in light of last week, when I had to deal with 3 to 5 inches.

As I was getting ready to hop back into my vehicle to drive down to 14th Street, I heard the sound of brakes being applied and looked up to see a van pulling over. The driver got out and was all excited running towards me. It was a friend who I had not seen in sometime. Jason, a surfing police officer in Massachusetts. We said hello and caught up quickly. I say quickly, because I was trying to beat the tide.

I'm not sure Jason understood what I was up against. But if you're reading this Jason, it was great seeing you again. Sorry I couldn't chat longer with you. But my mission overrides all other social activities. I am at the mercy of the ocean, tides, and weather. Keep surfing Jason, it's good for you soul.

I caught two waves. The first one was not good enough. The second wave, I rode for 20 feet. More than enough. I saluted Molly, stepped off, and headed home.

That's 253, only 112 more to go. I'll be back tomorrow.

Surfing Heals All Wounds...


April 3rd, 2011 -July 26, 2011
Day 252
At Least One Wave, Every Day, For 365 Consecutive Days...

I caught the last dying gasps of the April Fools Day Swell this morning. I mean, the swell was dying and the tide was rising at 14th Street as I caught my wave for the day. I ran into a few friends as well. There was Mr and Mrs Bob Consentino out for a Sunday stroll. It's funny, they have been out of touch with what's been going on with me and the whole Molly Fundraiser. They were pretty surprised to hear that I was surfing everyday for a year.

I thought it was odd when Bob asked me if I surfed the day before. Hello?

I caught my wave in record breaking time. A clear One and Done for Ralphie today. I had to get back to my studio and finish my weekly blog. This blogging stuff takes up a lot of my time. And posting all those photos and videos? Man it's a lot of work. But it's all worthwhile when it's up and posted.

I just hope there's something to ride on Monday...

That's 252, only 113 more to go. I'll be back tomorrow.

Surfing Heals All Wounds...


April 2nd, 2011 -July 26, 2011
Day 251
At Least One Wave, Every Day, For 365 Consecutive Days...

It was nice waking up to the bright shining sun. The sound of snow melting, and the distant thumping of the surf. Today was going to be fun. I called Ed to see if he had seen the surf. He'd only seen the cams and said it was waist to chest high. We decided the Wall was the call. And it was. All those black bobbing wetsuits, sitting out there, with that well groomed, chest high swell, was a sight to see.

I caught a handful. And a handful caught me. It was a fair trade-off.

Always seeking the sweet nectar of the barrel. But alas my friends, she eluded me again. Still, I had fun riding my shorter board and making the most of it.
Photo by Ed O'Connell.

This might be another first. The Soul saw it here first kids.
Photo by Ed O'Connell.

On a more serious note. Our good friends and fellow surf family, the Valhoulis, lost their beloved Yia-Yia this week. From all of us here at our family, and the extended surf families, we want to offer our most sincere condolences.

That's 251, only 114 more to go. I'll be back tomorrow.

Surfing Heals All Wounds...


April 1st, 2011 -July 26, 2011
Day 250
At Least One Wave, Every Day, For 365 Consecutive Days...

Expert text pert, choking smoker, don't you think the joker laughs at you...Ho ho ho
ha ha ha hee hee hee...see how they smile like pigs in a sty I'm crying.
"I am The Walrus" by John lennon

I don't know why those lyrics came to me today. The Beatles -I am The Walrus. I guess the laughing line made me smile. Oh come's April Fools Day. The day broke with a freaking snow storm and big waves. It was funny. Sort of...

I did not shovel, or snow blow the driveway. Why bother? I know it's going to melt.
I'm not going to break my back shoveling slush when we all know it's not going to stick around. Of course now that I've said that, it will freeze tonight. DOH!

This was the surf today. Little different than the last 4 days huh? I surfed this spot alone for about an hour. It was head high and overhead on the sets. And that's no April Fools joke kids. That's the truth. My youngest daughter Noelle went with me and video taped the session. Both my daughters have shot video during this year long fundraiser. My son has as well. Though I'm not sure what he was shooting.
Hard to tell with him...but I'm hoping between the three of them, we have
something for the documentary.

I shot this after my session. Those tracks in the snow are mine. I actually look satisfied. Like I said before, give me a snow storm any day of the week. At least I know there's going to be waves. And there were more waves today than I have seen in a week. I think I saluted Molly on my second wave. And then I went surfing. Happy All Fools Day.

That's 250, only 115 more to go. I'll be back tomorrow.

Surfing Heals All Wounds...



June 2011

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APRIL 2011

March 2011

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