Cocoa Beach is a city on the East Coast of the United States of America, in Brevard County, Florida. While we lived in Orlando, the beach at Cocoa City was the closest one to our place, about an hour away, so we used to go there quite often. The kids would play for hours in the sand and the water was perfect for their boogie boards. We always loved the coast on this side of Florida, where the ocean is never still. The place, as we learned later, is actually a favorite spot for East Coast surfers and surfing competitions.
The last time when we went to Cocoa Beach was at the end of January, the beginning of February, this year. We didn't expect to do any bathing in the ocean, as the weather is chilly this time of the year, by our standards. It obviously isn't too chilly for other people who vacation here from other parts of the world or for surfers who use their thermal swimsuits.
On our first evening stroll on the beach we were rewarded not just with the breeze and the warmth we were hoping for but with a big surprise. Coming to the beach we were amazed to see many people sitting on the side of the road, next to Banana River waiting with cameras, ready to see something, we didn't know exactly what. The boys had the idea to check the SpaceX schedule, which we did. We were 10 minutes before the launching of a satellite into space from Cape Canaveral which is just north of Cocoa Beach. It didn't take us long to get to the Beach just a few minutes before the launch. It was so exciting!
A lot of people were on the beach ready with cameras and phones to record the event. The boys couldn't contain themselves with excitement. We watched as a fairly big bright light was shot up in the sky; the light moved rapidly upwards until it reached a point where it split into two smaller spots, one heading onwards into the space, the other coming back to the launching pad.
I never imagined watching a rocket launch could be so fun. There was something about the bright light, the speed, the advancing, the splitting, the return of the rocket and the departing of the satelite that made the experience deeply satisfying. Although we lived in Florida for some time and while there we thought of watching a launch into space we could never bring ourselves to actually plan for one. Launching times, weather, watching places had to be considered, to make a long story short: it always felt like a hassle. Being in the right place, at the right time, in the right weather without any previous planning felt like a treat.
Cocoa Beach is one of the best beaches to visit if you live in Orlando, Florida. Some nice things that we did there were:
Went swimming in the ocean. If you go to a beach, this is obviously one of the best things to do there. At Cocoa Beach, there is usually less seaweed laying about than at other beaches we visited. This is a good thing because you can go swimming without random seaweed slowing you down.
We had barbecue. Once, when we went to Cocoa Beach, our friends made Brazilian steak called picanha. It was very tasty and we ate a lot. There, you can often find grills that you can make food on.
We watched a rocket take off. On January 31, we went to Cocoa Beach with the intention of taking a walk on the beach when we saw lots of people with cameras, parked on the side of the road. We thought that a spaceship was taking off, and when we checked the SpaceX launch schedule, we saw that one was due to take off at 6:11 PM. We managed to get to the beach in time, and watched the spaceship take off. This was probably the coolest thing I have ever witnessed.
Cocoa Beach is:
The tall palm trees waving in the wind;
The roar of the rocket engines propelling the spaceship into the sky;
The gritty sand under my feet;
The scrumptious picanha made by our friend, Carlos;
The cold water in the ocean.
I would go again to see another spaceship take off.
A few days ago we went to Cocoa Beach. This beach has many entrances, but perhaps the one that we use the most is Laurie Wilson Park (it is free of charge).
I remember that when we were swimming in the sea with our friend Davi, we felt a sudden pull. Something was pulling us towards the open ocean. Luckily we had a small floaty in the shape of a donut. We remembered a warning on the side of the beach about rip currents that draw you into the ocean.
That same day, after surviving the rip current, we went to a small gazebo where our friend's father was making picanha and contra file.It is very tasty, was probably one of the best barbecues of my life.
The most recent of our visits to Cocoa Beach was last week. We had originally planned to go to the beach for a walk. When we arrived there, we realised that many people were lining up on the beach. When we checked the SpaceX launch schedule we noticed that they were launching a spaceship in 5 minutes! Happily we arrived just in time to see it take off; it was the coolest thing I have ever seen in my life.
I would go to Cocoa Beach again so that I could eat more contra file.
Cocoa Beach is for me:
The roaring of the SpaceX engines,
The meaty juiciness of the picanha,
The large cloud of smoke billowing out behind the SpaceX,
The contra file roasting over a fire;
The rushing of water dragging me, Mihai, and Davi into the rip current.