Saturday, August 20, 2011

I Dream of Jeannie

We are in Cocoa Beach, Florida. No map link today, in consideration of the privacy of our host. Suffice it to say that we are within walking distance of the beach and perhaps a dozen restaurants, and, in addition to 50 amps of power, we also have access to a pool and hot tub. We've been enjoying our stay very much, and it is very generous of our friend here to provide us with this spot.

We arrived Sunday afternoon, met our host, blog reader Dave, and settled in. Dave runs a business here in town and so we have not seen much of him since that first afternoon, but we have plans for dinner together tomorrow night. After settling in we walked to a nearby Italian place for dinner, and oddly enough we walked to yet a different Italian place on Monday night as well -- I guess we were making up for having to miss the one in St. Augustine. Both restaurants were excellent, and the prices were actually quite reasonable.

We've been swimming in either the pool or the ocean every day. The surf here is bigger than many other parts of the Florida coast, owing I assume to the relatively flat sand here resulting from the impact of Cape Canaveral on the littoral flow. So splashing around in the ocean has been a bit more of a challenge than we've had up till now. It also makes Cocoa Beach the surfing capital of Florida, which is similar to saying that Great Gorge is the skiing capital of New Jersey -- to a California transplant it's, "Eh, big deal." Nevertheless there is an endless string of surf shops along the main drag, including an enormous Ron Jon that is open 24/7 (not, as many assume, the original, which is in Ship Bottom, New Jersey -- really).

We did have dinner one night at Coconuts on the Beach, sort of the quintessential beachfront dining experience here, and one of the few spots near the beach with free motorcycle parking. Cocoa Beach has metered every parking space within two blocks of the beach, at a quarter for ten minutes. They charge to park at the pier, and even the beachfront city park charges $5 for the day. If you want to visit the beach, park instead at the Brevard County park just another couple blocks south, accessed via "I Dream of Jeannie Lane" in homage to the TV series set (but not filmed) here in the 60s.

For the most part, we've been able to walk right in anyplace we've gone, and the town has been relatively empty this week, even now as the weekend is upon us. I can only imagine what it is like here when it's busy. It's been great, because we are not in anyone's way here, and the gawkers have been relatively few. And this is a great time to be here, when the ocean feels refreshing, and the sea breeze makes the evenings pleasant enough to sit outside. We set up the deck and have been enjoying the sunset the last few evenings, and we can see a slice of ocean from here as well.

I've gotten a few things done around the house, and we replaced the speedometer cable on Louise's scooter, which broke a month or two ago -- the replacement just came in the mail package we had sent to us here. But mostly I've been at the keyboard, among catching up on email, trying to line up boat appointments, being a little behind on my technical articles for the magazine, and helping our friends at Technomadia design their new electrical system.

Between driving the bus and driving the computer, my neck and shoulders have gotten progressively stiffer over the last few weeks, notwithstanding the fact that we both had massages at a local massage school when we were in Jacksonville. So today I rode down to one of the massage places here in town to get them worked on. The technician was skilled and the price quite reasonable, and I may go back for another session before we leave.

In the course of lining up boat visits and contacting friends in the area, we managed to land an invitation for an evening cruise out of Fort Pierce on Tuesday evening. This is a night piloting skills development session for the local Power Squadron; the instructors are friends of ours and a couple of the students bailed out at the last minute. They're also doing a shake-down cruise on a different boat Wednesday morning and have invited us along on that as well.

Those invitations more or less set our schedule, and we will leave here Tuesday morning. I've lined up an appointment to look at a boat in Vero Beach on our way down, and we'll land in Fort Pierce shortly before our evening cruise. I'm hoping we'll just be able to spend the night at the marina, but if not, there is a KOA a few blocks away.

I'm also trying to line up appointments to look at two more boats, in Stuart, Wednesday afternoon. It's possible that we'll have to push one or both of those off till Thursday, but that puts them in jeopardy of being preempted by what is now Investigation Area 97L, but will by Wednesday no doubt be Tropical Depression 9, and soon thereafter Tropical Storm Irene. It's too early to tell if the U.S. will be threatened, but at least some of the models as of this morning were showing a projected track right over Florida.

In the meantime we are going to relax and rest up while we can, and enjoy our last three days here in Cocoa Beach.

Photo by spatlan, used under a Creative Commons license.


  1. Ahh, the's been far too long. As soon as I get myself on the road, I think I'll find a quick route to the ocean somewhere.

  2. Pat is jealous. We lived in Cocoa with a lot right on the Indian River next to 520 for about three years. We loved the area, Pat loved the ocean, I hated it that my tools that I had owned for 20 years rusted in my tool box in the closed garage. I heard one day on the radio that Brevard county has the most auto corrosion from the top down in the U.S. with the winds and salt air. The rear a-frame on your bus came from one of the former NASA tour double decker 48's that I bought when we lived there. Enjoy checking the boats out. "Hi" Louise.

    Pat and Russ


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