Friday, December 31, 2010

Ending 2010 in black & white

From Cape Ann to Rhode Island California to Boston. Using an old toy camera with black & white film. Some time I blow $25 to get a roll of blanks, and sometimes (like now) I'm stoked on just about every frame. I love ending/starting the year on an upper.
The Hansen sisters
Bluff Cove towards Indicators, PV, CA
Dear El Porto
Dear El Porto again
Annisquam Yacht Club, Annisquam, Gloucester, Massachusetts
Chelsea MA, from East Boston
Eastie again
Swell from a few weeks ago.


Friday, December 24, 2010

For being good:

Santa came a day early:
My gift - one of my favorite spots all to my self.
Seriously - all to myself - my karma account must be depleted - I'd best be good for the rest of the weekend.
One very happy camper:
Merry Christmas to all my dear readers!

I never thought it was such a bad little tree

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

2010 retrospective

As 2010 winds down a retrospective af some favorites or "iconic" (I had to use that word) images sum up in a lot of ways what the year was like.

Storm clears out - Hampton NH:
The Pour House:
This sums up the 2010 Summer surf for me - nothing epic - just enjoying the local evening glass off with the local hell raisers:
View from the north light - Thacher Is.:
Rhode Island Rocks:
Beacuse of the waves and the people:
I got into atmosphere this year too:
Lovely County Line:
And that takes us to December - and you've seen those.

There's still a week left, and with a swell running and some time off coming up, stay tuned, dear readers.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

mo' film - yesterday's action

One very Hye Tyde - ttt - through the windshield:
The Wingnose arrived, I went to the freight forwarder to pick it up - ding free - thanks to the guys at Tyler's, and the cargo folks (here and in LA) for actually giving a shit, so rare these days. Revere/Eastie looking towards Boston:
The wind shited to a favorable direction, but the morning sickness didn't pass until after dark:

Shooting film - last week's action

My hat's off - (for just a second, it was too cold) to the folks who got out last week in the 19° (-7°) surf. Factor in the 40 mph wind (65 kph for my int'l dear readers) and that comes up with a wind chill of about -8°.

Enough stats - I busted out the old Nikon FM2 and a 300mm lens for these.
Above - another Klassic Kloseout - they happen all the time.
I used the nifty 50mm for these:

Monday, December 13, 2010

Musclecar Monday - Plymouth Road Runner

The Plymouth Road Runner was a no-frills muscle car built between 1968 and 1980 (but those were lame). In 1968, the first muscle cars were, in the opinion of many, moving away from their roots as relatively cheap, fast cars as they gained options. Although Plymouth already had a performance car in the GTX, designers decided to go back to the drawing board and reincarnate the original muscle car concept. Plymouth wanted a car able to run 14-second times in the quarter mile and sell for less than $3,000. Both goals were met, and the low-cost muscle car hit the street. The success of the Road Runner would far outpace the upscale and lower volume GTX, with which it was often confused.

The standard engine was a 383 CID Roadrunner V8 rated at 335 bhp For an extra $714, Plymouth you could order a 426 CID Hemi rated at 425 bhp. Combined with low weight, the 6-passenger Road Runner could run the 1/4 mile in 13.5 seconds at 105 mph. It would prove to be one of the best engines of the muscle car era, and the Road Runner one of the best platforms to utilize it. Plymouth expected to sell about 2,000 units in 1968; actual sales numbered around 45,000. This placed the Road Runner third in sales among muscle cars with only the Pontiac GTO and Chevy's SS-396 Chevelle outselling it.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Just what's been happening here the past few weeks

For anyone who might be interested. It's been cold as hell the past week, but fun & super clean conditions for most of the time. Too bad I have to work for most of the time, but I'm glad to be busy.
A semi-highlight was a chance random run in with a dude named Mike up in NH. That's a piece of glassed over insulation - you could still see the Pink Panther logo through the resin. Super loose but he ripped. Mike;'s a decent & super mellow sort too, whatever he's on, I want some. Maybe it's life, maybe I need to get busy living -- wow I'm deep.
Very cool light in the mild temps today:

Thursday, December 9, 2010

USS Grouse – Navy Minesweeper wrecked off Rockport in 1963

There are loads of shipwrecks around here. This one happened right off the town I live in, what made it special is that for the longest time you could see part of it.

The Grouse was one of thousands of wooden minesweepers launched for service during World War II in the Pacific, doing minesweeping, convoy escort and shore bombardment duties.

USS Grouse in better times:

While on a training mission, Grouse went aground off Rockport, Massachusetts, on the night of 21 September 1963. The incident occurred near high water. As the tide fell, she was high and dry. Initial attempts to free the vessel with the rising tide proved futile and all but a skeleton crew were removed. But by the next day, 30 mile per hour winds and big seas forced a helicopter evacuation of the remaining 11 crewmen.

Salvage operations from directed from the tug Keywadin, which came up from Boston soon after the incident. As the weather improved, Naval tugs attempted to pull her off the rocks. But time after time the towlines parted or the New England weather again did its thing and interrupted salvage operations. A few days later, the last remaining salvage crewman was removed by helicopter as a big swell thwarted the Navy's effors.

There were no injuries to the crew. Grouse was destroyed by explosives a week later, and her name was struck from the Naval Vessel Register the same day! I guess they were happy to see the old boat go.

For years you could see what folks here called the engine room of the grouse, but since about the 80’s that has been washed away buy nor’easter after nor’easter. I wonder if the diving's any good?

These are the Dry Salvages/Little Salvages (what is the official name anyway?) pretty form a distance today they smell real bad when you get close. Strong currents too:

Just another real useful tidbit.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Almond Surf Shop in Newport Beach

It's been over three weeks since I've been back from California but I have to mention a very positive experience I had while I was there. Dave Allee & his Almond Surfboards & Designs has an extremely cool shop in Newport Beach, CA. For the last year or so, I’ve enjoyed following the blog and have always dug his clean shapes, so I thought I'd stop in & check the shop and boards out in person, glad I did.

His boards are so effing clean – I’ll never forget a windex colored noserider with a sanded glass finish. It was is if a blue haze hovered over the thing. The boards and the shop is a fresh blast for a medium that’s so desperately saturated. I want one, bad.

The shop itself is amazing. Just look at Leroy Grannis pictures of surf shops in the 1960’s. Rick Stoner, Hap Jacobs, and Joe Quigg’s shops had their own “in-house” shapes, some accessories, maybe a wetsuit or vest, and maybe some t shirts.

Fast forward to Newport Beach, 2010: Almond Surf shop you’ll find the same – their own shapes (and fins too!), own brands (no volcom/quickie/blah blah), the mellowest vibe, and a staff that knows its shit. They’ll be getting in some of those amazing made-in-Japan wetsuits as well. Step into ’66, or step into the now. I want one of these boards – bad.

Also during my visit I had the pleasure of meeting one of my dear readers; Erin – (aka worm? Am I remembering right?) – The woman has a super energy and offered the sincerest invitation to join with her and her buds for a warm afternoon surf at Blackies. It was glassy & waist high. And the reason I didn’t join was……no excuse sir, I had a case of the lames. A shame, I’ve never surfed there and it looks fun as hell.

It means so much to me when people read this blog, so when I randomly ran into a dear reader, I was floored. Thanks for reading, Erin, it was nice to meet you, we gotta work on the Yankees fan thing but whatever, and thanks for reading Musclecar Monday – add diversity? I hear you, I’ve been overly Ford-centric – but I do take requests, send them in!

In a world of Ron Jon’s and Jack’s surf warehouse box stores on one extreme, and designer boutiques featuring vintage clothes, treehouses, overrated and overly precious art and attitude on the other; Almond Surf Shop is the coolest surf shop this side of El Segundo and a very welcome break from the norm. Keep turning out the bitchin’ work folks, and if any of you are out here in the frozen waters of RI/Mass/New Hamster/Maine, buy all means gimme a holler, I’ll turn you on to the goods.

Thanks for your time & keep in touch.