Monthly Archives: July 2015

Great White Sharks


I personally do not know of anyone that has encountered a Great White Shark at Aliso Beach nor have I heard anything about Aliso Beach Great White Sharks.  I am not suggesting that Aliso Beach currently has a problem but the recent attack on professional surfer Mick Fanning on a contest  live feed from South Africa’s Jeffrey’s Bay reminds us that as ocean enthusiasts and wave riders, we play in waters that are home to Great White Sharks. Hitting closer to home, a friend reported on Facebook that he was chased by a juvenile Great White Shark out of the water yesterday in the Seal Beach area. This combined with fairly common reports of Great Whites off of San Onofre Beach in San Clemente, recent lifeguard confirmed sightings from the San Clemente pier area, a pack of Great Whites caught on video by a lifeguard drone in the Surfside Beach area of  Huntington Beach and daily logs of sighting on the website Pacific Shark News which researches and covers movement and predation of Great White Sharks from Southern California to Washington, makes you wonder if we have a problem.  Click on the link in the previous sentence for Pacific Shark News and scroll down to a July 10th entry from Laguna Beach where a body boarder encountered what he believes was a Great White Shark. Having paid attention to Great White Shark activity along the California Coastline for about a decade and reading the logs at Pacific Shark Committee news, the description that Ryan Vaughn offers for the approach of the shark sounds very much like that of a juvenile Great White.

Thousand Steps Beach I would guess is less than 2 miles from Aliso Beach in Laguna.  When I ask the question as to whether or not there are Aliso Beach Great White Sharks, I can with relative certainty say they are there and have always been there.  These waters are home to Great White Sharks and we know it.  The entire Laguna Beach coastline features inter-coastal reefs, headlands and kelp beds that support a diversity of sea life including seals which are a part of the menu for White Sharks. Strangely enough, Laguna Beach encounters are few and far between as I have found from watching Pacific Shark News but I have to believe they are at Aliso Beach and all over Laguna.

Why do I believe this? First and foremost, the ocean is their home.  Years ago seals and Great White Sharks were federally protected. Protection for seals has led to an expansion of the primary food source for adult Great White Sharks. As the food goes, so does the population of White Sharks with significant increases in numbers in recent years.  This by no means insinuates that Great White Sharks are out of danger in our Pacific waters but does speak to their come back with their own protection in addition to the protection of seals. We also know that juvenile White Sharks like to eat sting rays.  Laguna Beach waters have rays.  I have read that Grey Whales head back to the Arctic from Baja with their young while hugging the Southern California coast to fend off attacks from Great White Sharks.  They seem to like the waters off Laguna Beach and I have read that the shallower areas of the coastline are favored by mothers protecting their calves. knowing what I know about Great White Sharks, the shallower waters would decrease opportunities for surprise ambushes on the Grey Whale calves as being escorted to the feeding grounds to the north by their protective mothers.

Scaring people with this is not the point.  This serves as a reminder to people that when we are in the water at Aliso Beach or any California beach along the Pacific Ocean for that matter, we are entering the home of the Great White Shark. There are no reports that I have seen of Aliso Beach Great White Sharks but I am certain they are around. While the horrifying footage of the shark attack on Mick Fanning went viral and became the talk of people thousands of miles from the nearest ocean, we shouldn’t be surprised that this happens every so often and all we can do is hope and pray that when it does, that whomever was attacked walks away just like Mick did.  For an ichthyologist’s perspective on the Mick Fanning Shark attack, click the link!


Posted in Aliso Beach, Aliso Beach Park, Aliso Beach Stories Tagged , , , , , |

Lightning Strikes


Lightning strikes twice in South Orange County today.  I started at Salt Creek after my morning juice run.  It was overcast, warm and muggy with threatening skies but the surf looked okay.  The parking lot was full and the surf looked good enough to paddle out.I decided to throw the wetsuit on and run down the hill at Salt Creek to get a few waves while anticipating building surf from Hurricane Delores.  It started to rain as I got ready in the parking lot.  I stopped to help a tourist from Holland locate the address for her whale and dolphin adventure with Captain Dave in the harbor.  It was interesting she said that my being nice and helping her was how friends in Holland said we would be if she needed help.  It does feel pretty to hear that people in other countries think favorably and I have to say that with our position in world affairs, I was rather taken aback.  As she walked away and I got closer to locking the car up, the tropical rain started coming down.  Moments later, those in the parking lot saw the first crack of lightning and booming thunder of the approaching storm. I realized that despite my helping the lady from Holland out that although my gesture was kind and helpful that there was a likelihood that they would take people out on the water in the deteriorating conditions.

lightning strikes. lightning shelter, aliso beach

Aliso Beach Lightning Shelter

As I got down the stairs and headed under the bridge towards the beach, I noticed masses of people were coming up hurriedly to avoid the rain.  When I got to the bottom, there was nobody on the beach except for a few surfers that were defying the orders of lifeguards to clear the water and sand.  At least I got the exercise of coming back up the hill.  I watched the waves for a little bit up by the snack bar watching a squall unleash rain over the ocean towards Catalina Island.  I gave up pretty quickly as it became apparent that there was more weather to come.  I walked back to my car.

Since I cover Aliso Beach, I decided to change and drive north to see what was going on under storm watch at my favorite beach.  When I pulled into the parking lot on the coastal side from the north bound lane of South Pacific Coast Highway, I realized that the gate to the beach had been shut and locked.  I was struck by how empty the parking lot was so lifeguards I assumed and later confirmed that they gave an order to clear the beach.  I parked up on on the hill along the south bound lane of the highway and walked down a soggy trail down to the parking lot.  There was nobody on the beach and on one in the water.  Not even a local skim boarder was doing his or her thing in the corner down at Aliso and yes that is a rarity.

There were two lifeguards sitting in a compact car.  They confirmed that an order to get off the beach was given and indicated that they were instructed to be in the car and keep watch.  A group of beach goers had left all of their beach gear on the sidewalk as if they were chased by the lightning strikes and were huddled under the awning of the Sands Cafe out of the rain and reasonably safe.  I stood and watched for awhile looking for increasing surf just along enough to be soaked.  I was over it and decided to go home. It continued to rain well into the afternoon with partial clearing up off the beach a couple of miles but I never went back.  It is nice to get rain like this considering  the drought and how dry everything has become under water restrictions.  I will start over tomorrow in hopes of getting waves from Hurricane Delores minus the lightning that accompanies this tropical weather.  Be safe out there.



Posted in Aliso Beach, Aliso Beach News, Aliso Beach Park, Aliso Beach Safety, Aliso Beach Stories, Aliso Creek, Aliso Creek Beach, Laguna Beach, Laguna News, Salt Creek, South Laguna Beach, South Laguna Beach News Tagged , , , , , |

Aliso Beach Tropical Rains


For surf, wave riders that frequent Aliso Beach and Laguna coves north and south of it,  we have been stuck in this doldrums of small waves over the last month and a half which I would characterize as a slap in the face by El Nino. Truth be told, El Nino can strike out and we are off to a very slow start.  With a  stingy high pressure system in the South Pacific, swell generating storms are not making it into the Aliso Beach and Southern California Window so we have all placed a lot of hope on our dear friend Hurricane Delores.

We have heard all week that Hurricane Delores was going to deliver and it looks like as of today, that she will deliver on one of those promises.  All of the talking heads on channels 2,4,5, 7 and 9 have been yapping about how we would get rain from the hurricane.  I can attest that we are experiencing Aliso Beach tropical rains and yes we are talking about measurable precipitation.  The ground is wet and given our extended drought, I would love to see more of this. Rain was given a 50% chance of happening today and 30% tomorrow so let’s hope that we get enough water to rejuvenate some of the plant life and landscapes that have become rather crispy during this drought and Southern California water regulations.  As I type this the rain has begun to fall more aggressively and I am enjoying the cool and refreshing air.

Since we are talking about a decent shot of rain here, I would like to remind everyone of the dangers of Aliso Creek.  Runoff that is seeping into Aliso Creek will bring with it motor oils, brake dust, pesticides and various pollutants from our streets.  Experts warn swimmers and recreational ocean water enthusiasts to avoid contact with ocean water for 72 hours after a rain event.  Aliso Beach tropical rains are welcomed with open arms but may dampen any surf we get from Hurricane Delores.   I read that the Brooks Street Surf Contest in Laguna was cancelled due to small surf and the potential for lightning.  I know some of you will ignore warnings and be out there anyways so be careful.  There is a possibility I will be out there so I am not passing judgment!

While the storm did bring rain as promised, the surf appears to be lagging behind.  All week I have been staring at the Aliso Beach Surf Reports hoping for some sort of magic to finally arrive. Predictions ranged from 3-5 foot to 6-8 foot for waves for Saturday, Sunday and into Monday.  The waves are small today.  Needless to say there is a lot of disappointment in the weakening of the storm that has caused it to under-perform in the wave generation department.  As for the storm, it delivered Aliso Beach tropical rains and it appears it will give us a quick shot of tropical surf for Sunday and quickly leave us as if it were never real.  After the departure of tropical surf we are then  back to a pattern of marginal surf for a spell.  Thank you for the rain Delores, perhaps your path will inspire larger storms with better wave making talents!

Posted in Aliso Beach, Aliso Beach News, Aliso Beach Park, Aliso Beach Surf, Aliso Beach Waves, Aliso Creek, Aliso Creek Beach, Aliso River, Laguna, Laguna Beach, Laguna News, South Laguna Beach, South Laguna Beach News Tagged , , , , , , |

Aliso Beach Surf


So it appears that we may get enough energy from Hurricane Delores to wake up Aliso Beach surf.  The much anticipated storm finally got into Southern California’s swell window as a Category 3 hurricane with sustained wind speeds above 100 miles per hour.  The storm has taken it’s time moving out from the shadow of the tip of Baja and hugging the peninsula as it slowly moves northwest and comes apart in cooler offshore waters and increased vertical wind shear.

Since spring and early summer, Aliso Beach surf has been nothing to high five over.  While I am sure there have been plenty of playful days for the local skim board crew, the surfing and body boarding community would prefer to see Aliso Beach surf off the sand and shore. A few days ago,  I listened to a local body boarder complain about the aggressive nature of Aliso Beach skim boarders and it struck me as funny! I am all for surfing etiquette and making sure that the unspoken rules of  wave priority are followed in some utopian system of fairness, but the complaining party, lost in his own negativity, fails to understand a few things.  Aliso Beach is for the most part a skim board beach. We would all like to get more Aliso Beach surf but the waves aren’t tailor made for body boarding or surfing and without that pier, the days of waves suitable for body boarding and surfing are far and few between.  Sure enough, this particular body boarder was in the south corner of Aliso Beach where refraction of water and side waves make for the best skimming conditions around. To me, Aliso Beach has historically and is presently a skim board beach. There is a saying in urban sports that says don’t hate the players hate the game.  What I am getting at is don’t hate the skim boarders because nature makes the beach more conducive to skim boarding.  That is nothing that body boarders or skim boarders control and it is what it is.  Honestly, I love watching those guys skim and I just tip my hat to them because they are extremely talented down at Aliso Beach.

So we will see what the weekend bares.  There will either be Aliso Beach surf that works for different types of wave riders or there won’t.  I know there will be a lot of people checking it out hoping that conditions are fun.  They may or may not be.  Aliso Beach surf is predicted to be in the 4-6 foot range Sunday and Monday, and I, like everyone else, would love it if Aliso Beach was good enough to paddle out in good sized waves.  We will see!

You may check the Aliso Beach Surf Report at and you can view current conditions on the Aliso Beach Web Cam.  Enjoy the weekend of waves and be safe out there!

Posted in Aliso Beach, Aliso Beach Surf, Aliso Beach Waves, Aliso Creek, Aliso Creek Beach, South Laguna Beach Tagged , , , , , |

Aliso Beach Bees


In anticipation of high surf from Hurricane Delores down off Cabo San Lucas, I spent a few hours watching the waves at Aliso Beach.  It was a typical day there.  The coastal side parking lot was full and cars lined the south bound lane of PCH on the incline headed towards Dana Point. Umbrellas added color to the beach, children frolicked in the playground, young girls in bikinis cooled off at the water’s edge, families reserved the fire pits for evening festivities and lifeguards watched the every move of beach visitors taking on the pounding shore break.  The waves weren’t big today, but even a 3 footer hitting the shore at Aliso Beach is cause for alarm when it comes to lifeguards keeping everyone safe.  It was business as usual.

I sat on the benches overlooking the sand and ocean and as I watched people and the waves, I became aware of the bees swarming the trash cans looking for sweet foods and drinks. Have you ever had a bee try and squeeze itself into a soda can while you were drinking it? If you are like me, you have taken a drink and had to spit out an aggressive bee that could not keep its mouth out of my sugary drink.  A sting on the inside of the mouth or a swollen tongue doesn’t sound like a great day at the beach to me.  While I have been disappointed by Yelp Reviews on Aliso Beach that degrade my favorite Laguna Beach due to the bee and trash can problem, I do understand that some are allergic to bee stings, no one wants to be stung by a bee while at the beach, and there is nothing good about a child or anyone getting stung at the beach whether they are allergic or not.  Aliso Beach bees buzzing around the trash cans are hardly a new problem. They have always been around during the summer and on warm days.

I watched a heavy set elderly women struggling up the narrow sidewalk with her walker and a small dog passing by where I was sitting on the bench. I thought to myself, “Oh God.  Don’t let her get stung”.  She didn’t seem to be aware of the bees and nor did they seem to bother her much. The bees seemed to be more interested in getting at whatever goodness they were after in the receptacles as she walked past me and I would say that was a good thing.  While the bees hardly noticed the lady as he lumbered by, they seemed to get in my face every so often and I wanted no part of it.  I must admit though, the Aliso Beach bees situation did encourage me to leave the beach before I got more sunburned than I did.  20 minutes of one eye on the waves and the other on the bees getting after the trash can left me with a slight burn.  Sunscreen my friends is never a bad thing and the less toxic kind the better, or so I am told.

Organize Chaos online has a nice piece on how to avoid bees and the problem is that the best solution would require the county to move the trash cans away from the beach. The trash cans line the sidewalk inches from the sand.  On the north end of the beach especially and extending through the snack bar area, beach visitors walk right past these trash cans on the way to the sand and water.  I will assume that the trash cans won’t be moved because there really isn’t any extra beach real estate to relocate them.  For that reason and the attraction of the bees to the trash cans, I stand by my advice to steer clear of them and take your trash back to your cars from the beach if you feel it is unsafe to stir up the bees looking for a free meal and drink.

If I were you and visiting the beach I would do the following to avoid Aliso Beach bees:

1) I would bag up all trash from food, snacks and drinks, seal them and take them home with you.

2)  Walk around the trash cans to and from the beach at a safe distance

3)  Watch children closely.  Their youthful exuberance and ignorance might not allow them to be aware of the bees.  There is nothing good about a bee sting at Aliso Beach for a child or parents.

Aliso Beach bees aren’t trying to be a pain in the you know what, but you do have to be aware of them.  As the founder of the Aliso Beach website, I hope you and family enjoy the beach this summer!  Be safe!

Posted in Aliso Beach, Aliso Beach Park, Aliso Beach Safety Tagged , , , , , |

Aliso Beach Surf Report


There are many more terms for Aliso Beach in South Laguna than I could have ever imagined.  Aliso, Aliso Beach, Aliso Beach Laguna, Aliso Beach South Laguna, Aliso Creek, Aliso Beach Park, Aliso Creek Beach, Aliso Creek Beach South Laguna and others are used to identify the same place.  My preference is Aliso Beach but these are the ways surf reports and beach goers talk about this amazing South Laguna Beach.  This one beach with many names has experienced a drought for waves and after this week per Solspot, we could go into an extended funk and lack of waves if something doesn’t rescue us in the tropical Northern Hemisphere spots that express deliver waves with hurricanes.

It seems as though there hasn’t been enough swell to awaken Aliso Beach in over a month.  Unlike Salt Creek, Aliso is not as receptive to smaller swells and waves driven by localized winds over the outer waters.  Realistically, Aliso Beach needs to be a solid 4 foot plus or greater to really do much of anything at all and it takes much lower tides to deliver any sort of wave quality.  Often times when Aliso Creek is let out by local youth, less than desirable conditions get a boost from newly formed sand bars.  The problem is that while we have had lots of smaller swells, Aliso Beach hasn’t been particularly responsive to the energy.

Aliso Beach, Aliso Creek Beach, Aliso Creek Beach South Laguna

Below Sea Level Photo Credit: Scotty Carter

This week we have influx of swells out of the south, southwest with wind swell mixing in.  It doesn’t seem to be enough to awake Aliso Beach from its summer slumber but who knows.  I will be giving it a look.  To make matters worse, the coast is under drizzling and misting weather that is putting a little unwanted texture on the water and waves with winds out of the southwest.  This will coincide with predicted wave heights 3-4 occasional 5 foot waves throughout the week with a boost Wednesday and Friday with an effect that is to be determined.  After the weekend it appears the Southern Hemisphere and tropics will care even less and go back to napping so whatever Aliso Beach gets this week may be it for a couple of weeks short of some small, dribbling waves out of the south as storms continue to buckle under the might of high pressure and blocked by the swell muffling tendencies of South Pacific Islands.

What we do know is that summer is far from over and that Aliso Beach will have its days.  Until nature assists though, Aliso Beach will have surf that is small and uninspiring.  It seems rather strange with the early hurricanes last week of May and into June and an El Nino condition confirmed by most scientists and meteorological talking heads as forming in 2015.  Of course, no one can perfectly predict the effects of this warm water event and counter to the expected warm water along our coast, local ocean temperatures have not reached bath water just yet.  We will get waves and Aliso Beach will benefit from those swells.  How long it will take is anyone’s guess but my expectation is that before long, El Nino will have its say in the quality and strength of swells hitting Aliso Beach through the end of summer and into fall.  For now, here is your surf report and forecast from Solspot for Aliso Creek Beach South Laguna!


Posted in Aliso Beach, Aliso Beach Park, Aliso Beach Surf, Aliso Beach Waves, Aliso Creek, Aliso Creek Beach Tagged , , , |

Parking Problems


What a nightmare!  Yesterday I wrote an article about how I was shut out of both the Aliso Beach Park and Salt Creek Beach Park lots at around lunch time.  Unlike people who come great distances to enjoy the beach with family and children, I refuse to circle the parking lot crawling over other people in their cars to luck out on the next available spot.  The funny thing is that I feel like on the 4th of July Holiday, or any warm summer, weekend day, people should know better and get there as early as they can.  Those lots are full by a little after 10:oo am and if you don’t get there before then, you are bound to have parking problems.  I know better but live in the area so if I get parked out of the lot, then so be it.  I put my tail between my legs, put my head down, and leave the beach, knowing full well it is my own darn fault.  But these people that subject their families to the stress of making sure they get to the beach on a holiday and coming down after 10:00 am are asking for parking problems and unneeded stress.  Their policy should be with family that they will get to the beach by 9:00 am so anyone not ready at a time sufficient to allow arriving at the beach at that time will be left behind.  It sounds mean but let me tell you, I would not want to be the driver dumping all of my family at the beach and then being left to fend for myself in a parking lot full of stressed out and aggressive drivers all vying for the next available spot.  They only open up one at a time so you should be able to do the equation with 30 cars circling a lot and one opening up, chances are you aren’t the one getting the spot.

So I left Salt Creek today after an enjoyable morning in the water.  I saw a few old friends out there and that is always fun.  When a buddy and I got up the last steps into the northern end of the parking lot, a family had exited two large mini vans and were virtually blocking the entrance to the parking lot with barbecue gear, umbrellas, beach toys, bags, coolers and boogie boards.  No offense folks, but some of us are trying to get the heck out of the holiday mess and parking problems without tripping over your stuff.  Both my friend Patrick and I were parked at the back of the lot because we were fortunate enough to snag 2 of the last 20 parking spots or so and that was around 10:00 am.  As we walked towards our cars we were pelted by “are you leaving” from cars with stressed out people in them in a 36o degree circle around us.  Cars would zig and zag in attempts to outmaneuver others who had been sitting there awhile waiting patiently and watching our every move.  We were so put off by being attacked by aggressive would be parkers that we chose not to answer the questions.  Let’s face it, how would we tell the folks that were patiently waiting for a  spot not knowing we were leaving but next to our cars that some family that followed me from the entrance of the lot to the back where I parked is getting the spot.  I understand why people are trying to arrange their parking spot by going after people who are entering the lot from the stairs.  It is highly logical and yet terribly impractical.

Before we got to Patick’s car we had ignored 10 people asking if we were leaving.  It was irritating to hear it with that projection of stress on to us that we worked so hard shedding in the warm salt water and waves.  Being ignored made a particular dude very angry so he yelled at us from across the parking lot from 40 yards and I nearly came unglued.  I scolded him telling him that there was a parking lot full of people wanting spots with few available and that what he was doing was rude.  That was the end of that.  As Patrick got to the car, one particular gal had followed us from one end of the parking lot wedging herself in front of cars that had been waiting along his row for a longer period of time.  Patrick decided he would take his sweet time as this gal got out of her car and proceeded to tell everyone why it was her spot.  Honestly, she was rude too and had I been in the car that was sitting there prior to her getting there, I would be livid.  There has to be some standard of fairness.  Everyone kind  of needs to hold down a row area and hope that someone leaves. Chasing people walking to their cars is ridiculous but is an element of the parking problems that occur on summer holidays and warm beach days down at Aliso Beach and Salt Creek.

As for Patrick and I, we were happy to get out of there in one piece.  I opted to stay away from Aliso Beach Park today knowing that the precious few parking spots at Salt Creek Beach Park were dwindling in supply.  I made a good choice and the only reason I got to enjoy some waves was the decision to skip checking the waves at Aliso.  With 2-3 foot surf and a high tide, skipping Aliso Beach was the only decision I could make and it still barely gave me enough time to snatch up a spot and avoid parking problems.  Out of the aggressive car soup in that lot, I am relaxed and having a beer.  If you remember one thing about the Aliso Beach website, remember that it gives you advice on how to avoid parking problems.  It talks about the time you need to get there to avoid being in a parking lot of frustration in a sea of agitated beach goers who all want a limited supply of freed up spaces that come available one at a time.  Simple math tells us 50 cars cannot all enjoy one spot!  My best advice to you on all warm summer beach days, weekends and holidays is get to the beach at 9:00 am or tell your family it is your fault that a wonderful day at the beach was tainted by the stress of finding parking.  If you don’t like dealing with that, I would think you would adjust your scheduling and arrival times.  Part of me believes that people like to come fight for parking spots.  I was glad to get the heck out of there.  They stressed me out.


Happy 4th Of July everyone!

Posted in Aliso Beach, Aliso Beach Park, Salt Creek Tagged , , , , |

Jinx Law


I spent my Thursday afternoon and evening promoting the work of Aliso Beach Artist Scotty Carter at The Deck On Laguna Beach in a program developed by Jinx Law.  I had just come off a show with Scotty’s work at Noll Surfboards when I became aware of Jinx as a result of someone who referred a photographer I work with that was in the exhibition at Noll’s  to her and her art program.  I arranged a meeting with Jinx down at Noll Surfboards with art being hung for 30 days past the exhibition to show her that the artists I work with are no joke and that I do have some skill in the arena of art curation.  Since she is passionate about art and that is her life’s work, I have to represent value to her or from her standpoint she would have no use for me or any of the artists I promote.

First and foremost I would like to tell everyone that The Deck on Laguna Beach is a fabulous location overlooking the pristine waters of Laguna Beach.  It is exquisite and to eat at the restaurant or enjoy a couple of beers, glasses of wine or cocktails at this location is magic and special. The staff is respectful, warm and inviting and with a restaurant supply sales background, I have a real appreciation for the way the young ladies at the front of the house begin the experience of customers in the restaurant.  These gals are valuable to no end! The smell of warm ocean air permeates the outdoor deck and it simply feels good to be there. It was really amazing to be able to talk art with patrons and interact with staff.  The business of art is nothing short of difficult but it is refreshing to be able to talk with people at a high end establishment that are receptive to hearing about art they have never been exposed to.

Jinx is an interesting character.  At heart, I think she is a sales woman extraordinaire.  She is high energy and extremely enthusiastic about art. She is an unwavering believer in the power of art to transform rooms and its therapeutic benefits.  I have always believed in the therapy aspect of art and so when I hear someone like Jinx pitch me on being a part of an event she is managing, I become a part of it because we have a shared and powerful vision of the role of art in people’s lives.  People were friendly and engaging while proving to be a part of a good venue for art.

Did we sell anything?  No. Did we have some great conversations that stirred possibilities for sales?  Yes. This is a good venue for Scotty Carter Art Instagram. As his representative, I had 8-10 conversations that I know brought awareness to his work with half of them holding real sales potential.  It wasn’t a landslide of opportunity but I know a thing or two about sales.  I understand that sales are cultivated.  I also know that patrons did not necessarily expect to come to the Deck for art.  That is okay.  In sales, we are taught to plant seeds and let them grow.  We are taught to be active, engaging and involved in the business and lives of our potential customers.  No, sales aren’t made overnight, but yes, they are grown over time.  My honest assessment of Jinx’s program, which includes several Laguna Beach venues for art which all run simultaneously, is that it holds potential and that she is all in on making it happen.

Her program benefits local businesses that appreciate the benefit of having art exhibits while simultaneously proving artists a stage for introducing people to art that have never seen it before. That is a great thing!  I also watched her walk around and coach artists on how to attend the art and how to engage people. Since I do some of my own coaching and mentoring of artists, I am able to tell you that I think that is a huge benefit to working with her.  The program does take a financial investment from the artist but so does any advertising or marketing endeavor.  The venue part is figured out for the artist and the start up costs are a small fraction of what it takes to truly put on a quality art show.  I approached the show with an open mind. Nothing Jinx or anyone else could tell me was to decide whether or not I gave it a try at this location.  It passed the test.  I started with about 50 flyers and I had to go back and get more. From experience, I can say that the flyers are effective at generating interest so I am encouraged by the level of interest and the willingness of people to take the pamphlets illustrating Scotty’s work.

I don’t know what the future holds with this relationship other than I can say that somehow and someway with Jinx Law, there will be a big sale that goes down.  I have this feeling about it.  She is very knowledgeable and she is smart and capable of management, coaching, marketing art, and selling art.  I have seen with my own two eyes.  You would be smart to give her a try.











Posted in Aliso Beach, Laguna, Laguna Beach Tagged , , , , |

Fourth Of July


Fourth of July is a wonderful holiday and it is  a great excuse to take family and meet friends down at Aliso Beach. This year, 2015, promises warm beach weather, warm ocean water and relatively safe ocean conditions, making it a great Independence Day to be at the beach.  Today is the Friday before the holiday, the beginning of a weekend celebration that many people take off of work.  I have already been nearly taken out by someone running a red light on my left turn, seen a cyclist clipped by a car, had someone honk at me on a signaling right turn and been shut out of a parking spot at Aliso Beach.  The truth is that for us coastal people that love local beaches like Aliso, we often get shut out because the demand for use of the beach exceeds the number of parking spots.  I circled the parking lots at Aliso Beach Park and Salt Creek Beach Park for 20 minutes before realizing my chances of enjoying a slice of the beach pie were slim because I got there around midday.  Trust me when I tell you that I knew that parking would be an issue.  Everyone wants to escape the heat and be by the ocean and Aliso Beach is the only place that has a metered parking lot on the coastal side in Laguna Beach.  The odds were pretty good that I wouldn’t ever park my car and its my own fault.  I know what happens on warm days and holidays as well as anyone!

I suppose that reading the above you would get the idea that I am sour.  I am not really, but I would be lying to you if I said that being caught up in a mad dash to fill every last parking spot to enjoy Aliso and neighboring Laguna beaches wasn’t stressful and worth completely avoiding.   I know how to avoid this situation and so I think it is worth giving you  a few tips to enjoy Aliso Beach on 4th of July.  These tips are crucial to your being able to secure a spot on the beach.

Aliso Beach Tip 1: Parking

Get their early.  I can’t be the only one based on experience that knows this is the case.  Aliso Beach Park opens at 6:00 am and closes at 10:00 pm.  4th of July falls on a Saturday this year so you can expect to see more people competing for the beach than if it were on a weekday.  Normally I would tell you to get parked in the lot on Fourth of July before 11:00 am.  Seeing what I saw today, I am revising that recommendation for you to get parked in that light before 9:00 am.  If you and family have your hearts set on Aliso Beach fire pits then my recommendation changes significantly.  Please see Aliso Beach Tip 2.

Aliso Beach Tip 2: Fire Pits

This is the number one question the website gets on Aliso Beach.  Just yesterday I was asked how someone could reserve a fire pit for 4th of July.  I would be shocked if I didn’t get that question as it relates to 4th of July but I am surprised that it is one inquiry that I have received.  It does not get any more competitive for a fire pit than on the fourth of July at Aliso Beach.  Per County of Orange Guidelines, the fire pits are first come first serve. You can’t call anyone or reserve online which is a good thing because a policy like that would give most people little to no chance of getting a fire pit.  Again, the park opens at 6:oo am.  If it were me and I had to reserve a fire pit for my family on fourth of July, I would be down there at 5:00 am before the lot opens and park on the coastal side hill of South Coast Highway, lug my gear down to the beach and attend the fire pit so it remains yours.  It is important to note that County of Orange rules do no allow unattended fire pits to be reserved.  The rule speaks to fairness. If there wasn’t this rule, people would be putting their stuff out there the night before with the expectation of having their spot when they arrive.  In an inquiry yesterday I was asked if you could put your stuff out there the night before.  Per the rules, the answer to that is NO.  How that would play out in real life, I have no clue.  I am pretty sure that someone will do this.  The reality is that it is extremely competitive for Aliso Beach fire pits and while I don’t condone this behavior, part of me understands why someone would do it.

Aliso Beach Tip 3:  Protect Yourself From The Sun

Aliso Beach weather this week has reflected a warm week down at the coast  and the sun this time of year is directly overhead.  That means that the intensity of the sun is as high as it can be in Southern California.  I have been in the water several times over the last two weeks for 3 hours at a time and despite the use of sunscreen still got a little tore up from the sun.  My lower lip took the brunt of it and I am paying for it a little.  Carmex is currently my best friend although I do not recommend putting yourself, your kids or family members in position of being sun burned.  It ruins a good time!  So here are my tips.

  1. Bring a canopy so that you, family and children can get out of the water and return to the shade.  It will be plenty warn under the canopy, trust me.
  2. Bring sunscreen with a high SPF and do not be afraid to reapply especially if you or kids are going to the water and returning multiple times.
  3. Do not forget that lips and ears sunburn so apply sunscreen accordingly.
  4. If your hair is thinning be aware that a scalp skin sunburn is possible and it hurts.
  5. Bring hats and sunglasses that shield from the sun.
  6. Where long sleeve rash guard shirts in the  water.
  7. When in the water, make sure to put sunscreen on the lower legs and calves…they burn too!
  8. If you buy into the chemical issues with sunscreens, consider using mineral based zinc oxide as sunscreen and consider wearing a long sleeve surf shirt or rash guard.

Aliso Beach Tip 4:  Water Safety

Check with the lifeguard tower and attending lifeguards to understand what the wave conditions will be like.  Remember the colored flag designations and the messages they provide us based on color.  Green is safe.  Yellow signals caution.  Red means 99.9% of people at the beach should not be in the water and perhaps especially at Aliso Beach.  The report for surf over the weekend though is that it will be small at Aliso Beach.  Keep in mind that there is a little punch of waves hitting beaches that face south like Aliso and that with change in tides and the arrival of new swells, this shore break still presents dangers. If you are reading this post and would like to know what the waves will be like for Fourth of July, please take a look at the Aliso Beach Surf Report courtesy of our friends at Solspot.

Aliso Beach Tip 5: Alcohol

Alcohol is not permitted at Aliso Beach.  I assure you that there will be representative of the Laguna Beach Police Department working the holiday to make sure that alcohol is not being consumed at Aliso Beach.  Don’t get me wrong, Aliso Beach strikes me as a wonderful place to crack a beer and watch the ocean and people, but if you get a hefty fine and ticket because you violated this law, please don’t say that I didn’t tell you so. Plain clothes officers and  uniformed police offers will be prowling the beach for violations so don’t ruin your holiday weekend. Leave the alcohol at home.  Besides, you can’t fully enjoy the scenery of Aliso Beach buzzed!


This is as far as I will take this.  Get there early to get a parking spot,  Get there way earlier to reserve a first come first serve fire pit.  There are only 7 and when they are attended, there are no more.  Make sure you bring protection for the sun which may include sunscreen and a canopy to lounge under on the beach.  Check with lifeguards for current ocean conditions for safety and skip bringing alcohol to the beach.  Happy Fourth of July everyone from!







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