Thankful for the fun surf this morning! We should continue to see swell through out the day and possibly in the morning. However, forecasts are calling for it to be flat over the weekend, so be sure and paddle out today if you can.


The winds are currently out of the NE at 20mph. The first three photos are from the crack of dawn in North Broward. There was barely any light and only 10minutes before the wind hit it hard. The rest of the photos are from South PBC. The winds are going to stay NE tonight, then switch to ENE at 18mph tomorrow. Thursday is looking good for off shore winds…stay tuned.

Tonight, gather at the table!

IMG_2030It was Tuesday night and Chris Beeman and I decided it was time to catch up on life. “There is a restaurant that I have to take you to” Chris told me. “It’s right in Pompano. I just know you will love it!”

He was right!…

The experience I had that evening at The Rusty Hook Tavern with Chris was exactly what I needed. I left that evening with a little more joy, a little more love, and a feeling that this place is unique from anywhere else I’ve been.

I knew I would be back for a second visit. Next time, I would be prepared to explore the menu some more, add a couple more friends, and bring a camera.

…I arrived at 7:45pm and was promptly greeted by the staff and joined immediately by my good friends Sarah and Mandy. We decided it might be a good idea to sit at the bar while our table was getting ready. The three of us soaked in the atmosphere and began to look over the drink menu. We chatted briefly, said our hellos, and quickly glanced at the specialty drinks. We were told our table was ready and gladly moved our excitement into the dinning room.

We commented on the decor, lighting, and view of the intracoastal. Although the restaurant is nautical/ocean themed, there is also a clean modern feel. I love how the atmosphere is relaxed and still refined. I feel completely comfortable coming to eat dinner here in jeans and a casual shirt after a long day surfing, as well as dressing up to meet someone special for dinner.

I found the view of the water calming and quiet and began to fully appreciate The Rusty Hook Tavern sitting just far enough back from any road having heavy traffic. I sat outside during my first visit with Chris and was enjoying the different perspective tonight at a cozy window seat. We were greeted by our waitress and gave her our drink orders. We decided it would be best to sample off the specialty drink list. We would enjoy or cocktails while sharing a few items that immediately sparked our attention.

Looking back, I chuckle over the thought of what it might have been like to see us receiving our martinis. We practically squealed when we saw the dIMG_1971rinks coming toward us in three distinctly exquisite colors. We not only ordered the 3 most popular drinks on the list, but in my opinion the most visually appealing as well.

I’m a sucker for cucumber martini’s and this one hit the spot. It was flavored to perfection. Mandy enjoyed the Thai Basil Martini that was slightly sweeter than mine, due to the grapefruit juice and Svedka Clementine Vodka. Sarah dove right into The Guilty Plea which was divinely spicy and satisfying. (I will be ordering this one my next visit)


The Crispy Chicken Schnitzel was the first item we ordered off the main menu. This salad was bright and fresh with just the right amount of chicken, mozzarella, salami, and gigante beans. This was exactly what we needed to kick start the evening and lead us right into the goodness of our meal and conversation.

We were equally impressed with the soup of the day, a tasty cheesy potato soup, and the Graham Cracker Calamari.

To be honest, the soup blew my mind. I am not generally one to order soup , but I am glad I stepped out of my box for the occasion. …I think I may have sneaked a few more bites than my friends.

I thoroughly enjoyed the nice kick the piquillo peppers and the spicy aioli added to the Graham Cracker Calamari. However, to my surprise, after squeezing lemon juice onto these delicious creatures is when the distinct flavor of graham cracker took ownership and made this dish unique and enjoyable.

Next round, bottle of wine and entree! We chose a Malbec to accompany the Surf & Turf which took our dinning experience to the next level. What can I say…I am still talking about this dish!IMG_2008

The surf, a porcini crusted seared tuna. The turf, braised oxtail. Thoughtfully paired with whipped potatoes and tempera onion, each bite celebrated the pure taste of the tuna and the epiphany of braised oxtail. I will remember this dish, conversation, and the company for years to come and I will re-order this dish over and over again…so long as it is on the menu.

We still had wine left in our bottle, so, their was no alternative left but to carry our dinning experience into desert. We ordered the White Russian Cake, and like everything else, melded right into our conversation and our dining experience. The Malbec couldn’t have joined the chocolate in this dessert more divinely. Even after we had finished eating and continued to linger at the table, enjoying our last sips of wine, our dinning experience left us satisfied with a feeling of indulgence. IMG_2051

We were welcome here. We left with a little more than we came with. We all knew we would be back, together or with more loved ones, and it would be soon.

The Rusty Hook Tavern is local, relaxed, and delicious. I intend to go back again and again, knowing that I will not be disappointed. Thank you Rusty Hook Tavern for coming to Pompano beach and being my favorite “local place to gather at the table”! Cheers!


Shaping Experience

It was time for a new surfboard. I had felt like my surfing had plateaued and I was ready to expand my ideas and abilities of longboarding.
After reconnecting with Mike Pechonis from Bird Surfboards in the water after a morning surf session (I first met Mike back in 1996), along with trying out a couple of his shapes that he was making for Chris Beeman…I knew I wanted a version of the “stout.”
The stout is a template based on Donald Takayama’s “In the Pink”. By taking out some of the nose rocker and adding a tail rocker with more V, we were able to enhance performance. The nose rocker was relaxed for better nose riding as well as easier wave entry when paddling. The board works great in sizes from 8’6″ to 9’6″ and fun in waves from 1ft to 8ft. From beach breaks to point breaks, this is a “go to” board!
To start, it was easy. I told Mike I wanted a board, a “Stout”, and that I wanted to paint some artwork on the bottom. He said, “Sure” and we went to work. He was excited about the board as I believe he is with all his clients. He asked me if I wanted to be there for the shaping and of course I replied, “YES”! After the board had been cut, we set up a day for shaping. I was able to bring my two girls with me to watch. …That is exactly what I expected to do, watch. To my surprise, Mike allowed us to put our hands on the board.All three of us got to touch and feel the process along with watching this art form take its shape.

Once the board was shaped, it was time for the art room. Joe Sessa (Dec Surfboards) was going to be doing the glass work on the board and I asked him if he could airbrush a background for me to paint on. After explaining my vision, Joe was able to get the colors I needed on the board.IMG_458320131118-IMG_5160

Now, it was my turn to get the paint on the foam and get the board back to Joe so he can finish the process.Painting the board took longer than I had expected. I had never painted a 9ft piece of foam before,so I really didn’t know how long it would take. Plus, like any art project, I translated the design different than I had originally planned. All in all, when I was finished, I was happy.



Joe had the board for the rest of the process. He glassed the board, airbrushed a pin strip around my artwork, and buffered the board to perfection.

After the board was cured, I couldn’t wait to get it in the water. I have surfed the board a few times now and couldn’t be more satisfied. Each time out I am able to learn a little more about the board and myself.


Thanks Mike Pechonis and Joe Sessa for your hard work and making the process so rewarding.

See you in the water!

Start your Shaping Experience today at Bird Surfboards.

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