Category Archives: Laguna News

Great White Shark Activity


great white shark, art, great white shark painting, Whitney L. Anderson

Whitney L Anderson with Great White Shark Painting

From the near fatal Great White Shark Attack at San Onofre weeks ago and the OC Sheriffs Helicopter warning a paddle boarder of being in the middle of a pack of 15 sharks to personally seeing sharks thrash around the water 10 feet or less from the sand and the OC Register report of a shark at Thousand Steps Beach, the danger has become very real to this South Orange County Body Boarder and ocean enthusiast. A friend in Laguna Beach had suggested that there was a sighting at Aliso Beach several weeks back and I immediately drove up to Aliso to speak with a lifeguard supervisor who was unaware of any sighting.  That day curiosity got the best of me and I headed to Capo Beach where there has been many daily sightings over the last several weeks.  Sure enough, I got to see them in the surf zone at a spot I have paddled out at in years past.  I was moved by the fear of a friend of mine who has been in the San Clemente to Laguna community as a former professional body boarder for the bulk of his life.  I would like to acknowledge Joe Grodzen and I wanted to relay the sentiment of what he said on Facebook.  He spoke of his deep ties to the ocean and those of his wife Keila whom is also a former professional body boarder.  Raising a young boy and giving him the gift of beach and surfing culture, it is not lost on Joe how concerning the rash of shark sightings from San Onofre to Long Beach, California is.  Joe for the most part is a very unflappable, competitive and in the moment kind of personality.  What he said was very raw and very real.  Reading his thoughts, I was affected by the fear he had related to the presence of these sharks in what perhaps is a new normal along our coastline with regular visits.  He echoed the sentiment that he may have to give a second thought to being in the water to keep he and his family safe.  Joe has been at this far longer than I have, and to hear a man that has spent nearly every day of his life since he has been old enough to walk in local ocean waters express a genuine concern for his safety, it definitely caught my attention.

Still trying to process the swarm of so many sharks in the area, I did return a second time to Capo Beach noticing the shark warning signs, and eventually seeing one splash around 10 feet or less from shore.  It is probably not a good idea to be in the water at all at Capo.  Rumor has it that boats and perhaps kayakers are chumming the waters to attract the sharks.  Some of these boats are alleged to be whale boats capitalizing on the presence of these toothy new inhabitants of Capo Waters.  Any reasonable human being should not approve of throwing blood and guts into the water near shore for commercial gain, capturing footage or taking photographs.  This is a really bad idea that may contribute to a fatality and should be stopped immediately.  My hope is the lifeguards and authorities can identify those perpetrators and force them to stop.  As far as I can see that is harassment of a federally protected shark but what do I know.  If this is being done please stop this very reckless behavior.

Since I spend more time at Salt Creek and the coves of Laguna Beach, I felt like I was relatively safe in the zones I like to play in.  Given the explosion of shark numbers close to shore in San Clemente and Capo Beach, the idea that there are no great whites near shore at Salt Creek and Laguna Beaches rests on quicksand.  It simply doesn’t hold.  A Laylan Connelly, Orange County Register Article, shattered my idealized safe zones with a shark spotting at South Laguna’s Thousand Steps Beach and the mention of a shark advisory at Salt Creek.  Say it isn’t so!  I don’t know what I am going to do personally and I am feeling like I may put myself on a self-imposed time out, and as Joe Grodzen so eloquently said, what are we going to do? Ocean enthusiasts have built their lives around washing away all that ails them in the ocean and doing something athletically that keeps them happy.  I don’t know the answer to this question, and I suppose time will tell.  Having paddled way out at Salt Creek and sitting in the kelp paddies, I admit that I have thought about the unseen below that perhaps I don’t want to know is there. The ocean and local waters are home to the Great White Shark, but I cannot say that in over the 30 years I have spent time in these waters, that this is normal in any way shape or form.   How I feel about this situation will in no way dictate the behavior of sharks and where they choose to set up shop.  While I pray that their presence will come to pass and they head out to deeper waters, their continued presence could put a damper on what little ocean time I have as it is.  Having had a fin pop up on me in Baja while body boarding alone at a northern stretch of La Fonda, I really don’t want to find myself in that situation again.  Fortunately, a well-timed set arrival got me out of there before I could stare into the intentions of presumably a Great White Shark…and I prefer that to be the last time I find myself in the water with one.

I would like to take a moment to thank my friend and artist Whitney L. Anderson, a brilliant painter and collage artist residing in Seattle, Washington.




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Dianas Lesson


Sometime in the Fall of 2015, I introduced myself to a couple of young girls in the parking lot of Aliso Beach. One of them turned out to be Diana Rosa Cordova, the only Mexican, Female, Professional Skim Boarder on the planet.  Little did I know, a month later or so, she would sit with me for several hours and take a barrage of questions, and pass along what I now call Diana’s Lesson.  As manager of the Aliso Beach

diana rosa, diana rosa cordova, pro skim boarder, professional skim boarder, mexican professional skim boarder

Diana Rosa enters friend Samantha’s hoverboard picture for Aliso Beach website

website, I am constantly looking for cool stuff to include in the blog.  Her friend Samantha was riding one of those hover boards that are getting a lot of press for spontaneously bursting into flames, and I asked her if I could take a picture of her riding.  She was hesitant, and I get it.  It’s like, who is the creepy older guy that I don’t know requesting to take pictures?  Samantha was joined by a wide-eyed, vibrant personality that you couldn’t help gravitate towards.  After talking to them about the website and how I envisioned it playing a role in the community, I told Diana that I would like to do a write up about her for the site.  I have talked with several people in the community about doing stuff on the website, and because her enthusiasm for the website was so great, I knew that doing a nice piece for her was meant to be.  Diana joined the picture with Samantha on the hover board with a flare that is typical for someone with the love of life and people that I have discovered she has.

We met up last weekend, and although I knew it would be fun to talk with her, I had no idea that when we parted ways that I would have so many great angles for stories that shined brightly on this young and rising skim board star.  Initially, I thought the pieces would focus on skim boarding, but during our conversations, it became clear that this enterprising and personality full, young lady was a collection of really neat stories that I feel blessed to pass along.

Diana indicated that she didn’t grow up with a whole lot of money.  Her parents divorced when she and her brother were young, and so her mom had to make a go of it as a single parent.  The feeling I get is that it made her mom tough, resilient, driven and willing to work hard for everything she gave her children.  I am happy to say that despite her friendly demeanor and kindness, Diana Rosa exhibits many of the same qualities she described in her mom.  Her mom has to be proud of the woman she has become and the woman she has the opportunity to be.

Diana Rosa Cordova_measuring_incoming waves.jpgDiana Rosa Cordova_professional skim boarder_Mexico.jpgDiana Rosa_Skim Boarder_Aliso Beach_South Laguna-c8.jpgDiana Rosa_Skim Boarder_Aliso Beach_South Laguna.jpgDiana Rosa_skim boarding_wearing wetsuit_from sponsor_ Glide Soul.jpgDiana Rosa_skim boarding.jpgskim diana ss (1).jpg

Education was a topic I was really curious about when we spoke.  I was impressed by her college education in aerospace part manufacturing.  I can count on one hand the number of people that I have rubbed elbows with that are in that field, and there is no question you have to be smart to enter into the field at the college level.  This gives her an opportunity to work in a field beyond skim boarding if she chooses, and she indicated that her experience in the manufacture of aerospace parts has her thinking and believing she will become involved in her own projects. Diana is strong in her belief in what she can do and about the amazing opportunities that are out there for her.  Look out world!  I sincerely believe that she will do great things.  While learning of this part of her education was fascinating, it was what her mom did with respect to her desire for her children to get a quality education that paved the way for Diana’s lesson.

Diana comes from humble beginnings.  Her mother could not afford the kind of education she wanted to give her kids when they were young.  It didn’t stop her from making a quality education happen for her children.  As Diana tells it, her mother walked into a Montessori School and told the administration that despite not being able to afford it, she absolutely believed her kids should be there.  The school took them in and Diana tells me that it changed her life.  It was there and at a young age that she learned English.  They were her formative years, and this education left an undeniable, positive impact on this child who now as a young woman has the world in the palm of her hands.  What her mom did was so valuable proving that if you want something bad enough, go after it.  It changed the course of history for Diana.

So there it was, August of 2015, and Diana was entered in the most prestigious skim boarding contest called the VIC as an amateur.  Some of the men’s professional skim boarders from South Laguna that come down for contests at her local skim breaks in Mexico, encouraged her to jump to the pro event.  She made the leap and placed 8 with no sponsors, no competitive track record in the US, and absolutely nothing to lose.  She was not intimidated and she gave her best effort.  It is hard to be anything but excited for someone that just goes for it.

Diana has a lot of friends in the skim board community, and they have helped her remain in South Laguna to continue practicing and getting better.  Aliso Beach is a pretty good beach among the other South Laguna skim spots to hone her skills.  Fortunately, the water stayed warm until the middle of December, so she was able to get by without a wet suit.  Just half way past the middle of the last month of the year, the cold water in Southern California started to bite a little harder.  Not to be deterred, Diana successfully negotiated a wet suit sponsor that is dedicated to the women’s market.  She understands that opportunities come with effort and believing in herself.  Diana’s lesson is that if you want help or you want something, ask for it!  This type of success and application of lessons taught to her by an amazingly driven mother are the way a parent hopes their children respond when it is their turn to take on the world without them.

I am proud to know Diana Rosa!  I am proud to call her a friend.  I happily root for her in everything that she does and everything she hopes to achieve.  The sky is the limit for her.  She can do whatever she wants to do and she will continue to amaze on her journey through life touching and inspiring people wherever she goes.  If you can’t smile in the presence of this beaming and blissful young lady, I would not know what to say to you.  She is everything that is good about people.  Diana is kind, thoughtful, respectful, genuine, empathetic, articulate, smart, funny, light-hearted and so much more.  You might call me one of her biggest fans, but I do know the kind of impact that kind of personality can have on all sorts of people.  It is not surprising at all that she has been embraced in the Laguna Beach skim community.

Thank you Diana for spending time with someone that you barely even knew. I appreciate your being open about all of the personal things that you really didn’t have to talk about.  That was a conversation I will probably remember forever and I enjoyed it.  Whether you stay here in the United States, travel the world or settle back down in Mexico, you can count me as a friend.  While this story is one of many that I will write about you related to our conversation, this certainly is not the end.  I wish you the best and will root for you in whatever you do!

Diana Rosa Facebook

Diana Rosa Victoria Skim Boards Profile

Victoria Skim Boards Instagram @victoriaskimboards

Diana Rosa Instagram @diana_cord

Diana Rosa Tattoo Sponsor Pure Tatts

Diana Rosa Wet Suit Sponsor GlideSoul



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Music and Art


Music and art go so nicely together, but how do you bring the two perfectly together? Photographer and artist Scotty Carter, has lent his amazing water sculptures to the idea of bringing art and music together and the result is mind blowing.  Utilizing space down at his showroom at the new Laguna Foundation for the Arts Gallery, a 60 x 40 inch water sculpture displayed on canvas and mounted with speakers found the wall for the very first time. When the product was delivered, foundation partner Tony Cox, was playing his music on the speaker as it sat propped up against a wall and on a drop cloth.  I had no idea that it would sound that good and that the speaker art would become a viable product.  The art work plays at the command of a smart phone utilizing downloaded music from Itunes and Pandora and the sound is crisp and clean.  The unit comes with a charger to re-energize the speakers after several months of battery power are depleted.  Needless to say, the placement on the wall of this music and art canvas and the sound living up to the manufacturer’s praises were a part of a very exciting new day in the art world.

After the speaker manufacturer printed and delivered the unit to the gallery, it was clear that we had something, and the sound company that produces them wholeheartedly agreed.  So intrigued by the opportunity to have their speaker units on true art gallery walls, the sound company sent a television crew down to interview Scotty and our printer Sean Mac.  Tony also recognized the potential for cross-promotion and marketing with the unveiling of this new product and had a skilled construction guy there to finish a gallery wall specifically for the shoot.  The construction guy happens also to be a prestigious and well-known sculptor who has been commissioned by presidents for work.  Nick Hernandez Sr., a long time Laguna Beach local, is truly amazing.  He finished the wall and hung Scotty’s work.  I have never seen anyone hang a showroom or museum of art more precisely than this man.  It was an absolute pleasure to watch and we learned a thing or two from him.  We are incredibly grateful for your help Nick!  By the time he was done with his work, that part of the gallery was world class.  It was hung perfectly!

Scotty and our printer Sean MacDonald of Marco Fine Arts were interviewed in a piece that is headed for television.  I am told there is about a week of editing time on the spot but everything went tremendously.  I don’t think I have ever seen Scotty happier about the printing and display of his work.  He is very particular about that, and the way it was displayed in the gallery with Nick leading the effort, was incredible.  The speaker is a cool and modern way to offer Scotty’s work.  Tony, who has a long and notable career in music promotion, also sees huge, huge opportunities that we have agreed to explore together. What a tremendous gift it is to be a part of the Laguna Foundation For the Arts Gallery with a dedicated showroom displaying Scotty’s work. This new offering that allows music and art to display and play together is really magical and we are so excited to be a part of it.

When the commercial is out, I will provide more details.  If you get the itch to go down and see it, the address of the gallery is 1963 South Coast Highway in Laguna, California.  You will be surprised by the sound quality and appreciate this new way of combining music and art.  The applications for this in residential and commercial situations are really limitless.  Exciting times indeed!


Also posted in Art Events, Laguna, Laguna Beach, South Laguna Beach, South Laguna Beach News Tagged , , , , , , |

No Doubt


red pelagic crab, red tuna crab, laguna beach

Red Pelagic Crab Laguna Beach

There is no doubt as it relates to the presence of an El Nino affecting Southern California ocean waters.  Two years of ocean temperatures warm enough to wear trunks and a rash guard into December, two venomous yellow bellied sea snakes washed up on Southern California Beaches, increased shark activity along the shore including incidents with Hammerhead and Great White Sharks, incredible fishing, rare whale sightings and the the second coming of red pelagic crabs in Laguna Beach are all evidence of warm waters driven by El Nino.

We have had a lot of weather so far this year.  According to Irvine rain totals as of 2:00 pm 2015 rainfall totals measured in Irvine, California are at 6.49 inches and climbing as a slow and steady storm blankets Southern California with rain.  We have already surpassed rain totals from 2014 in Irvine, and with 4.79 inches of rain falling in 2015 for Laguna there is no doubt that we have blown by last year’s totals on what should be a wetter than normal year.  While we can expect Laguna Beach to have more rain than last year, El Nino’s wettest months tend to be January and February.  This means that while we will surpass 2014’s rainfall totals but won’t power past the 14.39 inch average annual rainfall for Laguna Beach in the calendar year.  Expect 2016 rainfall totals to be a higher than average rain year and to reflect the El Nino everyone now seems to agree is happening.

Powerful storms have also slammed the coast with dangerous waves and tidal surges causing flooding events.  The Ventura pier took a beating with 20 foot waves that took several bites out of it and causing it’s closure.  Some of the images that have come from that wave event show large waves swallowing a decent portion of the pier.  They will keep the pier closed at least through winter to assess the damage and make plans for putting it back together.  I have been predicting that this would be a year that piers would come down with the projected El Nino and the waves that typically come with the storms associated with this weather condition.  Let’s all hope that Huntington Beach, San Clemente and the piers of San Diego don’t endure a similar fate.  If this early season is any indication of what to come, they could be in trouble.  OC Beach Park maintenance workers have momentarily won the battle with tides and waves pushing sand into the parking lot.  This could be a year where waves are consistently in the parking lot which does put accessibility for beach visitors in question as Aliso Beach suffers from the determination of Mother Ocean when she is stirred up by El Nino driven storms.

My Laguna friend Gracie Wellsfry sent me a photo of a Red Pelagic Tuna Crab which normally lives at sea and calls tropical waters south of us home.  You may recall that shores along Balboa in Newport Beach were covered in a half foot of crabs earlier this year in a rare event along the Southern California Coast.  As far as I can remember, this is only the second red pelagic crab event that I have seen with the last one occurring in the 1990’s while body boarding at Manhattan Beach.  2 incidents in one calendar year is both unexpected and something I can’t recall ever happening.  You will enjoy the picture Gracie took from Laguna Beach and a red pelagic crab comfortably resting in a muscle shell.


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Water Sculptures At LFFTA


Water sculptures, by artist Scotty Carter, are a creative interpretation of waves.  Relying on years of riding, filming, and photographing waves, this creative soul portrays then in a manner that is strikingly colorful, intricately designed and completely spell binding. For the next year or more, Scotty’s work will be on display at the new Laguna Foundation For the Arts Gallery in South Laguna. It is an exciting project with enough enthusiasm to be wonderfully infectious.  Scotty’s work will be featured at the entrance as you enter on the left and will have half the second room.  We are confident that this location, and future opportunities developed by LFFTA, will create the visibility and sales that we are looking for in Laguna Beach.

water sculpture art

Water Sculpture Transcendence by Scotty Carter

This month’s Laguna Art Walk event is this Thursday December 3rd, 2015.  By that date, Scotty’s exhibit in the second room will be complete and open to the public.   Come pay a visit to the gallery.  Tony and Stan, the visionaries for this incredible project, are working their tails off to do something really special with this location. The project seems to have created local buzz, intrigue and appreciation to a heart warming degree that has given them wings.  A typical event will have amazing art and artists, wine, and music.  Stan, among his many talents, is a guy who builds trains.  As you drive by at night north or south along South Coast Highway you may see a train circling the track above the car port in the drive way.  I saw that assembled and chugging around the track for the first time today. Having visited the mini trains in Griffith Park in Los Angeles as a kid, I can’t ever remember a moment when trains weren’t mesmerizing.

The initial response to the work has been encouragingly positive.  We expect to rotate pieces in and out to keep things fresh and interesting.  Initially, Scotty will  feature and river sculptures in the gallery.  River sculptures were the waves photographed at South Laguna’s Aliso Beach that commanded enough attention in the art world to get him published.  Water Sculptures are an artistic portrayal of waves that comes from an open mind, creative experimentation, understanding waves and loving art. Work featuring near by South Laguna Beaches are also being considered for exhibition which will mark the first time that Scotty has shown ocean, river and water sculptures all at the same time.  Some of you know that he has the ability paint as well.  With a little encouragement, it won’t be long before his paintings join his liquid sculpture art at LFFTA.  I think that would be awesome.

I will be down at the gallery Thursday evening and hope to see you there.


Also posted in Laguna, Laguna Beach, South Laguna Beach, South Laguna Beach News

Art Purchase Tax Write Off


An art purchase tax write off could be the perfect way to acquire art for the home or office while reducing tax liability before the end of 2015. How does this work?  Recently a South Laguna Beach gallery was opened up by the Laguna Foundation For the Arts, a 5013C non-profit company with a mandate to support the arts, education and artists.  Their love of and belief in the importance of arts has transformed itself into a charity that provides a platform for artists to show their work, grants to artists who endure financial hardships that limit their abilities to pursue their talents,and contributions through outreach programs to keep art education and classes offered to students and the community.

Because Laguna Foundation For the Arts is a non-profit, an art purchase at or through the gallery will result in a tax deduction.  The split between Laguna Foundation of the Arts and the artist is 70% artist and 30% to the foundation.  For those interested in purchasing art and getting an art purchase tax write off, the portion of the sale that goes to the foundation is treated like a donation to a non-profit. Buyers get contribution papers reflecting the 30% of the gross sale as a donation to Laguna Foundation For the Arts.  The saying is so overdone, but I have to say this is a win-wn and probably even more important it is a win-win-win.  Artists sales. Buyers get amazing art with a tax deductible contribution to the foundation.  The foundation gets to continue to do its great work supporting artists and art while looking for new projects to take on that benefits everyone involved.

I market for Scotty Carter so I am biased towards his art called Water Sculptures. Yes, I would love to see you buy one of his framed canvases and metals or acrylic display prints, but the truth is that I would be happy if people bought any art at the Laguna Foundation For the Arts Gallery because I believe in the work they do and want to see them expand and grow.



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Blue Blur


blue blur, rocket launch, mysterious object in the sky

Strange blue blur in Southern California sky.  Photo Credit: Matthew Spector

A blue blur and strange lights have lit social media up with speculation that what was seen in Southern California was a UFO, meteor shower or secret missile launch.  When I first heard about it my friend Matthew Spector  from the Laguna Beach area tagged me in a picture on instagram and asked me if I had seen it.  I was clueless and had not seen the frenzy and interest on social media. In his thread, he indicated that it was on ABC Eyewitness News and other well known television media outlets. At that time, Matthew was of the belief it was a meteorite or meteor shower based on what he had seen.  I texted a professional photographer friend and sarcastically asked him why he wasn’t in the know on this event.  It’s like really dude, you are one of the best photographers I know and you don’t know about this. He made a point that is not lost on me.  Whatever it was, he felt like the government would not give us the truth.  I can assure him that he is not alone in that thought with mistrust of the leadership of the country.

Matthew described the event as a yellow light streaking across the sky and then exploding into the blue that you see in his photograph somewhere near South Laguna Beach, California. An Above Top Secret piece has some amazing images showing a lead point on the rocket all lit up with the blue trailing it. At some point the front of this craft disappeared but left behind the blue emission that lingered for 10 minutes before disappearing into the good night.  It was said to be flying from east to southeast and thousands of people saw it and flooded the Griffith Park Observatory with concerned calls. According to a naval commander quoted in a Buzz Feed online report on the mysterious object in the sky, that it was a test fire of a missile off the California coast.  It was also confirmed via Orange County Sherriffs with a John Wayne Airport tower that the strange and colorful thing in the sky was a missile launch off the California Coast.  People reporting seeing the light stretch from San Francisco to San Diego with the light visible from Nevada and Arizona.  Despite speculation that it was a Trident missile fired from a naval installation at San Nicholas Island, Channel 2 News indicates it was fired from a submarine Point Magu.  Who knows what the true story really is?  Apparently it was classified so the Navy was not obligated to advise of the launch causing thousands of people to freak out.  Can you say Only In America?  You don’t need to…I just did.  All is well that ends well on a Saturday Night in the Fall.  Good Night!

You may also enjoy an exclusive video explanation of the blue blur, uh, er, I mean naval test rocket by Southern California Weatherforce.

Special Thanks to Matthew Spector for contributing this strangely beautiful photo to the blue blur story!

Also posted in Aliso Beach, Aliso Beach News, Laguna Beach, South Laguna Beach, South Laguna Beach News Tagged , , , , |

Laguna Foundation For The Arts Gallery


Aliso Beach inspired artist Scotty Carter is exhibiting at the new Laguna Beach Foundation For The Arts Gallery tonight at 6:00 pm as a part of the Laguna Beach Art Walk.  This exciting new location and project demonstrates the foundation’s continued love and support of the arts.  The gallery location is 1963 S. Coast Highway with ocean views.  Join participating artists tonight for live music, a spectacular sunset over the water, unique art and good vibes in Laguna.

Laguna Foundation For The Arts, Laguna Foundation For The Arts Gallery, Laguna Art Walk, Scotty Carter

November Art Walk Flyer For LFFTA

Each artist is able to display two pieces for a monthly fee that pales in comparison to what a gallery monthly rent would look like in the city of Laguna Beach.  This is an exceptional opportunity for artists that want to dip a toe in the waters of galleries and see if marketing and selling their art in this manner is for them.  Because Laguna Beach is a popular, coastal, art town with visitors and residents all appreciating the arts, this opportunity is ideal for artist exposure.

This will be a great event.  It is coordinated by my friend Jinx Law, who also offers through Laguna Foundation For the Arts, strategic locations at high end restaurants in Laguna Beach for artists to display their work and gain valuable exposure.  As someone working in the field of art, I really appreciate how hard she works and how involved she is in helping artists introduce their work and processes to people that have never seen them.

Hope to see you all down there.  If you are unable to make tonight’s event, keep an eye out for a monthly flyer advertising Laguna Foundation For The Arts Gallery and Laguna Beach Art Walk Events.

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Dodged A Bullet


It looks like we dodged a bullet on this storm.  Despite having a temperature drop of nearly 20 degrees from Sunday, periods of heavy rain into the evening through the morning hours, and cool winds out of the northwest as the front passed through South Orange County.  I put a little feeler out into a friends of Laguna Beach Facebook community to see if anyone dared stick a toe in the water.  I was told that Dennis of the Stu News was saying that ocean temperatures were likely to or had dropped.  With the goal of wearing trunks and a rash guard until the end of the year, this wet weather event and the many El Nino driven rain chances to come, very well could put and end to that program.  His article suggested that with the rain, snow and winds that upwelling could have just changed the bath tub conditions we have had since spring of 2015 in Laguna Beach waters and all of Southern California.  Say it isn’t so!

If you look at the Victoria Skim Boards report and cam for Aliso Beach, the ocean temperature today in the area is said to be 70 degrees.  You can probably here the sigh and relief.  Who wants to go wet suit shopping anyways.  Having body boarded the waters in and surrounding Laguna Beach for decades, I am no stranger to our old friend upwelling.  Upwelling with wind and currents tends to mix the cool water layers below with surface temperatures cooling them significantly.  It happens that fast just as Dennis McTighe of Stu News in his Dennis’ Tidbits section of the publication suggests.

So one of two scenarios is reality at this point.  1) The Aliso Beach Cam is on top of it with a real time and up to date temperature reading from the beach. In this case what Dennis says of waters in Laguna Beach dropping from the 70’s to the mid 60’s overnight is purely speculative.  He has been in Laguna for a good amount of time and he is right in that an event like yesterday could indeed change the water temperatures.  2) The Aliso Beach web can has not been updated properly and Dennis has it right.  I have no need to be right here, but I am hoping we dodged a bullet with this storm and that local ocean water temperatures in Laguna Beach are still in the 70 degree range.


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Left Coast Brewery Reef Check Event


At the Left Coast Brewery Reef Check Event, I got to learn something about an incredible charity and meet Professional Surfer Courtney Conologue.  She was helping sister Charleen Conologue promote this amazing marine protection group at the tasting room with a $1.00 donation for every pint of Trestles IPA, South Coast IPA, Hop Juice, Wedge, Ale Epesteios, Voodo, Pink Bikini, Assylum, Almond Cream, Del Mar Street Lager and well you get the idea. The house was packed for a Monday Night so I will assume that a nice chunk of money went to the charity.

When young people do these charitable events, it is not uncommon to find them timid, shy and uncertain.  It does not make them any less supportive of the charity.  It just means they are still trying to find their voice and how to become comfortable using it.  I found Charlene to be engaging and intelligent.  She did a great job at the booth and having conversations with Left Coast patrons.  It was a nice touch to bring in her sister Courtney who is atop the Womens Professional World Tour and in town for the Hurley Pro. She was gracious with her time there taking pictures with fans and signing posters she brought in for the event.  I was a fan before but seeing her support a charity that protects marine ecosystems and having the opportunity to chat with her makes it personal.  I hope she wins the thing!

There are so many amazing charities out there doing great work and service to our communities.  I lean toward  those that support and have ties to wave riding, beach cleanups and marine protection because of my deep connection to the ocean.  Think about this.  Our home is 70% water and 98.5% of that volume is salt water.  The oceans brew up storms that deliver the 1.5% of the earth’s fresh water.  Our oceans are a valuable food source for people all over the world. Marine plants and organisms are being used in health supplements and medicines. Why again are we allowing urban runoff, plastics, cigarette butts, intentional toxic dumping and sewage spills to enter the ocean and damage marine ecosystems?  I believe human existence or the quality of human existence on this planet follows the health of our oceans and marine life.  Reef Check is a non-profit organization with offices globally that embraces the need for us to protect these marine environments and empowers volunteers all over the world to monitor and report on the state of reefs.

A distinguished gentleman by the name of DR. Gregor Hodgson founded the non-profit in 1996.  They have two mandates for their work. One is to protect the rocky reefs of California and the other is to protect tropical coral reefs.  The Aliso Beach and Laguna Coastline fit right  into this incredible effort to protect reef systems and marine life  and I know this area needs help too. This is important stuff and I commend Left Coast for aligning themselves with Reef Check.  The charity works with government agencies, corporations, universities and other charities to network that grow partnerships, sponsorship, awareness and education that help support the goals of conserving pristine reefs and rehabilitating reefs that have been damaged with environmentally sustainable solutions.

They have volunteer teams in 90 countries and territories which tells me we have enthusiastic volunteers across the planet who all believe in the need to protect our marine environments.  For that I humbly thank all of them.  I do not envision myself becoming a diver because I just don’t like not being able to breathe through my nose, and truth be told, it panics me.  I wish it were different but what I can do is support Reef Check by promoting their events and working to incorporate my work in the art field with events donating a portion of proceeds to the charity.   When they talk about creating awareness, networking and growing supporters, this is exactly how it works.  People will get involved if they know about the problem with solutions to overcome them.  These are all things Reef Check delivers well which tells us the army of people helping them achieve reef and marine protection is growing.

Education is a huge part of what they do with the goal of helping people become aware of the value of reef ecosystems and of the health challenges they currently face.  If not living on a coastline, it is easy to be removed from the importance of saving our reefs and oceans which makes the education component of their work so vital.  People will help if they understand what the issue is and there are organizations with solutions that they may be a part of. Another part of the education that is fantastic is the certification program for divers and the training in the Reef Check scientific methods which play an integral role in regular monitoring and reporting by volunteers globally. As a natural byproduct of the huge efforts they make to organize and grow a worldwide force of reef eco-warriors, they are winning support and inspiring local community involvement and action.  Our reefs and oceans benefit from this and as a wave rider and advocate for Aliso Beach, I cannot overestimate the importance of preserving and restoring these marine ecosystems.

Thank you Left Coast Brewery, Reef Check, Charlene Conologue and Courtney Conologue for your efforts to promote the preservation of the marine environment I love. I am a huge, huge fan of what you do and will do my part to help you with exposure for they great work that is being done and will need to continue to be done.

For those of you like me who won’t become divers in support of the Reef Check efforts, there is still so much you can do.

Like and share their galleries, pages and blogs on the website and all social media.  Here are some of them.

Reef Check Instagram  or @reefcheck

Reef Check Facebook Fan Page

Reef Check Twitter  @reefcheck

There was a line in a movie called Under The Rainbow years ago.  It went something like this:  “No dream to big and no dreamer to small”! In the context of that I would like to say that every day people can get involved and make a difference.

You may also donate to Reef Check online.

You can become a member of Reef Check.


You can attend charitable events that benefit Reef Check like the one yesterday night at Left Coast and Reef Check Events like the upcoming Save The Reefs Save The Oceans Gala October 1st honoring volunteers and supporters.

Get Involved!  Stay Involved!

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