Zoe celebrated her 4th birthday with baby sister, cousins, friends and lots of fun.  The kids enjoyed a super bounce slide and a magician who really pulled a bunny and baby chick out of his hat.


Carly and Logan


Super slide

Alexander, Carly, Jennifer, Natasha and Logan


Watching the magician


The magician’s bunny


Zoe and Maggie

With only three weeks to go before baby sunshine is born and Logan’s official birthday we braved a fun birthday party for Logan.  Since he can’t remember his 1st birthday fiesta he helped plan and decorate his 3rd birthday party.  He wanted “race car” everything and Lightning Mcqueen we did!  Grandparents, family and lots of friends took turn after turn at the Mcqueen pinata.  When the candy poured the kids raced to pack it into their bags.  Fire Station 69 closed the party with lifts into the firetruck cab, and hugs from Smokey, the station’s dog.  It was a wonderful party and lots of fun for everyone.  Thank you Palisades Lutheran Preschool for the lovely playground.


Logan at the Lightning Mcqueen Pinata


It’s raining candy!


Baggin’ it up


My brother Damien and my sister Megan


Logan in the firetruck cab


Mason in gear


Melissa, Megan, Me and Diana
Photo by Melissa Webster

This morning KTLA and Ralph Collier from the Shark Research Committee interviewed Alden about his recent encounters with Great Whites.

Watch the interview here >  (Windows Media Player required)




Logan searched and searched for sharks at Sunset Beach.


But these were the only sharks we spotted today.


I went down for a swim around 9am but didn’t get in.  It was foggy, murky and there was no one in sight.  I walked down along the beach towards Temescal Canyon near to where a man was fishing.  Just as I got near to him something large shot across the surface of the water for about thirty feet parallel to the shore, ten yards out.  I could see that the fisherman had something big on his line and I asked what he thought he had.  He said casually, “shark”.  I knew right then and there it was one of the Whites we had been seeing this past week.  So I waited and watched.  The shark took the line out about fifty yards off shore and then it breached, twisting and turning completely out of the water flashing it’s white belly.  The fisherman thought he had lost him at this point but the line went taught again and the fight resumed.

After twenty minutes the fisherman brought the shark to the shore break.  I told him that if it was a White he would have to release it.  He gaffed it in it’s side (which I wished he wouldn’t have done) and hauled him onto the beach.  A lifeguard, who was watching from his car, came down to get a closer look and we agreed that it was, unmistakeably, a juvenile Great White Shark about 5 – 6 ft in length.  It had the signature snout and chin-like bottom jaw, a white belly and a ridge on either side of the tail behind the dorsal.  Also, the gills were long.  I felt as though I were in the presence of royalty, a prince, and that I should bow and be humble lest he decide to hold a grudge.

The lifeguard called in to report the catch and also called several people trying to find someone with a camera.  I couldn’t believe there wasn’t a single camera or camera phone within a mile!  Not even a couple of tourists strolling by had one.  No wonder these sharks seem so illusive.

Another lifeguard came by and we agreed that the shark needed to be released back into the water because, we believed, it was on the endangered species list.  The gaff wound didn’t seem to be too bad.  There wasn’t any blood coming from it.  So the fisherman cut the line and pushed the shark back into the surf.  The shark flipped it’s tail and was gone.  I hope it survives.

I couldn’t help but feel that even though the shark’s eyes were vacant and black and that it showed us it’s gaping jaws several times, it still had a juvenile, neotenous look to it and it seemed kind of scared, helpless and cute of all things.  I felt sorry for the little guy.  I just hope it shares the same sentiment towards me should we ever meet again.


Logan, Tristan and their Dad at the Getty Villa.  Tristan was visiting from Maryland where he goes to school.




Click each photo to visit Heather Haggenmiller’s Umami Photography
Heather Haggenmiller
Amy Barranco PaliTutor Pacific Palisades Tutor


A juvenile Great White Shark similar to those Alden has seen this week.


Click here to all three reports on Temescal Canyon, Pacific Palisades and Keith Turner’s account at Sunset Point.


Also mentioned in the LA Times.  Click link above.


And at SunsetSurf.com

The day after swimming in the ocean and noticing two 7′ foot sharks less than a 100′ from the shoreline, Alden returned to the water for a swim.  Logan and I watched from the shore just to make sure these greats didn’t come after him.


“Me Dada”


Not shark bait
Alden Harris Pacific Palisades Shark
Amy Barranco PaliTutor Pacific Palisades Tutor