2009 Surf Retrospective

Following the cue from my buddy John Hintlian, I thought it would be fun to do a month-by-month breakdown of the last year.

Oh yes. Looks like January sucked a little but I did have a couple of good sessions including this one in an all-time favorite place.

February had some slim pickins' as well. The picture from this day perfectly depicts the way the wind seemed to be for a couple of months there. This was the month that the name "bitchwind" was born. This is also the same month that I found a little room in a house near a favorite spot in RI and ended up taking it from March-September.
perfect portrait of bitchwind
new toy

Winter slowly begins to loosen her grasp. I have my room in southern New England which (when I get to go there) is an utter sanctuary of surf and simple living. Surf, eat, sleep... repeat.

Sparse. The way i want to be all of the time. There is nothing in that closet...
beach haus simplicity

Springtime is here in full-force and I have now been regularly going down after work, surfing til dark, then waking at first light for some incredible dawn patrol sessions before making the trip home and straight to my desk. This particular day Spongie showed up and I snapped this one of him as I was leaving. It was hard to get out of the water to drive to work when we had this to ourselves. I still kind of regret not calling in sick that day... Paul 1

One more shot from April. This day was challenging with very strong offshores. I like this shot though.
late saturday afternoon

While I still spent a good amount of time south of the border, northern points had their moments in May for sure. I like this image from a particularly dreamy dawn patrol session at cementland.who is a happy board?

And a couple from the south. Here is a shot of Sabulis shredding:
sabulis money shot

And later that day... clean lines and the warm sunshine! All signs point to a second session.
irresistable goodness

While I spent a lot of June surfing down south, northern points continued to shine. June was a very good month! This image is from my first time at a spot way north. Part of the excitement for me is trying new places. I get such a stoke on scoring waves at a new place. I stopped in for a second session on the way home with Ralph and Lance. This was a stellar day.
new new!

and from that second session...

July had so many good days but I know which magical day I want to highlight. It was on my birthday, July 4th that I encountered some of the most freakishly clean, fun waves that I have ever seen here. I was the second one in the water and my buddy Paul came up to share the stoke. Hard to see the waves but the sunrise was so pretty. What a birthday. What a life I live. Thankful for every wave.
happy birthday me!

It was biggest at dawn but the waves stayed clean (freakishly) all day long.
freakishly clean waves

Wow. Hurricane Bill kinda sums up this one.

Bill's projection for sunday (as of friday)

The picture here was taken by one of my best surf buds, Sal Smarra. Sal is an all-around awesome guy, a great dad, surfer and shaper. He got this one of me enjoying one of Bill's glassy gifts. I treasure this image.
jbird 1

Later that same day I (and many others) literally got trapped at the lighthouse. The hype brought such a spectator crowd that it was impossible to get in or out. Thank god I was in and I had plenty of sunblock, water and some snacks to share. I went back out with Jen and we surfed our asses off until people started leaving. We still sat in traffic for no less than 15 minutes on our way out (to go a 1/4 mile). Had to include this one for the books.
never seen it like this

Jacko brought new life to an old stick just for the occasion with a custom paint job and his signature style.

Just chilling out with a few of my favorite surfers after another spectacular session, compliments of Hurricane Bill.
Karen showing off her cut

September sessions were pretty dreamy. Yes there were some gems. One place was a stand-out though and so this fun-loving image is the one I choose to depict September.
lots of action here

And then, on another balmy September day, at another favorite place, my buddy Carlos got this shot of me. Love it.
photo from Carlos!

In stark contrast to October of 2008, this year's October was warm and dreamy. It was a little bonus extension of summer. I was laid off from my full-time job the week before this was taken. I went to my brothers wedding in Montreal and when I got home went surfing the next day. It was warm and sunny with somewhat mellow waves and I got in at another new spot. Ran into a couple of guys that are southern locals. The only folks from down there that I have ever seen up north. This one is of Mike Buckingham, goofy footer-extraordinaire.
mike buckingham north

October was also the month that Sal unveiled his new stick... we all took it for a turn. Black beauty!
Singlefin Black

Winter continued to ease us in and provided many mild sessions. We had a long lasting swell by the name of tropical storm Ida. I think I got 5 straight days of surf out of her. Chased the storm from the south to the north and enjoyed every little bit of it.
ahhh just perfect

And the mildness continued through the month. I had to include this one of Jacko on an absurdly warm day the weekend before Thanksgiving. On top of that, this place was giving up the goods.
Jacko noseride

One of Dino from that same magical day
Dino 2

And later that month, a couple hundred miles north, a newly discovered spot becomes a new favorite.
thanksgiving treats

Though today is bitterly cold out there, I have to say this December was one to remember. It was difficult to choose an image for this month but I will have to go with the one that shows, yet another, new spot. Yep. Squeezed one more in from north of the border. This was from Christmas day and it was frigging magical!
Festivus Surf 2

For the finale, I will throw this last one in here from our first real winter storm just for a little bit of that "hard-core" factor...
my baby

May 2010 bring you great surf, health, happiness and love!

Staying Local (finally!)

When I say "staying local", it means I actually went to this spot in MA that is about a half hour drive from where I live. I would go there more often but many more times than not, the surf is almost always better elsewhere, which usually involves a solid hour to two hour drive. Today, however, all signs were pointing to this place. I wanted to get at least one more session here before year's end and I am so stoked I did!
bounty 1
bounty 2
The last photo shows some of the amusement area signage. This place is probably best-known for Paragon Park (an amusement park that shut down in 1984) but for me, the surf is the only amusement that matters.

Festivus Surf!

Well, I thought I might have been a little naughty this year but I was wrong because Santa brought many sweet gifts, including a session at a totally new place up in Maine. There was one guy out when I got there but as the session progressed, more and more peeps started coming out. The waves were getting better and cleaner the whole time.

Festivus Surf 2
Festivus Surf 3
When I got out of the water, I met a cool surfer chick who was parked behind me. Her name was Nanci from Aquaholics surf shop. She was super stoked and friendly and when she heard that I came all the way from Cambridge, MA she even invited me to stay at their house anytime. She and her husband, plus their son, were all out for a Christmas day surf. I had been talking to her son out in the water and could not believe she was even old enough to be his mom! Anyways, cool family and just really nice peeps living the dream up in Saco, Maine. I find these encounters to be pretty inspirational.

Happy Hollowdays!

A few shots from yesterday in the late afternoon sunshine.
late afternoon sunshine
holiday lights
water and glass

Winter Soulstice Session 2009

Images from my first official winter session. Complete with snow!
my baby
winter wall 2
snow wave

Off in search of waves...

snow flowers
We got our first winter snow and now there are waves to be had. I am ready to brave the icy temps for a few sliders. This is what surfing does to a person.

Will report back later!

Dreamy Tuesday

small inside. clean.
Well, it was almost a week ago that we had two days of mild December surf. Winter really eased us in this year. Even the first real snowstorm felt manageable. I am sure I will be feeling different come February!

New Blogger Site!

So, I finally got my butt in gear with my blogger site. I wanted something a bit more robust than my Tumblr site. I am keeping the tumblr one as well, of course. We will see how this goes!

Mixed Media Artwork

Mixed Media by Special J. A collection of surf art by me. Many available if you are interested! A few are listed on my Etsy site as well. These small works range in size from 4x4 to 8x8 and depict the point of view of a passionate New England surfer. They are mixed media paintings on wood and canvas. Hope you enjoy!