Saturday, September 12, 2015

Cocoa Beach

As we leave the area, I wanted to document some of the things we love about Cocoa Beach.  We stayed at the Patrick AFB Famcamp, which is on the barrier island, with the Atlantic on one side and the Banana River on the other.

Located on what is called the Space Coast of Florida, it reminded me, in some ways, of Venice Beach in California - laid back and hippy-ish.  Not as developed with high rises and hotels as other beach towns, it was a place where people seemed to come to really enjoy the beach, not just to be seen.  Not a huge amount of hard-bodies, so my 62 year old lumps and bumps were not afraid to be seen!

Sunrise over the Atlantic
Seen from my front door

Sunset over the Banana River

Visiting the iconic Ron Jon's Surf Shop

Ron Jon's Surf Shop
You can find ANYTHING you might need for the beach here!

Cocoa Beach Pier
I think this might be the original Ron Jon's Surf Shop building.

Beach House Beach
This beach, in addition to about 4 others, is owned by Patrick Air Force Base.  They are not, however, restricted to military personnel; anyone can use them.  But, for some reason, there were usually very few people on the beaches.  Very deep beaches, even during high tide.  This picture shows low tide.

The view from my beach chair.  

Ghost crabs were everywhere.
I spent many hours in my chair just watching these little guys digging holes and visiting from one hole to another.

Being close to the air base, we watched many different types of aircraft fly overhead.  This is a Huey helicopter.

Horseshoe crab shells washed up all over the shores of the river.

Sid found this HUGE crab shell.  Most of them were considerably smaller.

Jellyfish washed up on the beach
I walked many miles along the beach and looked forward each day to what might have washed up the night before!

A paddler boarder
Looks like fun!

Watching the surfers
Although I've never surfed, it was a hoot to watch the surfers, some good, some not so good, try to catch the perfect wave.

Wipe out!

Sid spent a lot of evening fishing in the Banana River.  He caught Jack Craevalle, speckled trout, catfish and stingrays.

Watching Nipper finally lose his fear of water
He would swim in the river, but he still has fear of the ocean.

And, of course, SHORE BIRDS!  You know I love me some shore birds!  I even bought a guide to try to identify them, but I'm afraid I need a lot more practice.  Guess I'll just have to spend more time at the beach - darn! 

I think this is a small plover


Another type of plover, I think.

These guys were constantly flying over the ocean, diving to catch fish and usually traveling in groups, but they would never land!  I finally saw them floating in a harbor in order to get a picture.

These were along a highway, but I think they still qualify as a shore bird.

Some kind of egret, maybe?

Love, love, love this stop on our trip and would gladly return for another visit.  The air base has rental houses and lodging, so a return visit may just happen some day!

Until next time...

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