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Space Coast - December 8-12, 2005
"My Return to the Space Coast"



When:
Where:
Weather:
Surf:
Tides:

Who:
Thursday, December 8, 2005
Enroute to and on the Space Coast
Victory At-Sea and On-Land, but it is warm!
Head-high plus VAS
Not sure
Paul Martin and myself; one other person episodically

4:15am: Alarm radio speakers start blasting. Who scheduled this $*#&#^ early flight???

5:15am. On the road to the airport. No espresso yet.

6:30am: Cleared check-in and security like a charm. "Yes 'em mamm, it is a bodyboard." Order espresso. Board plane. Only 32 people on this flight means we can stretch out and sleep :) I snooze until the landing announcement.

9:30am: We haggle over a car, finally score a minivan and hit the road. It's windy and raining. Welcome to the "Sunshine State."


11:30am: Rendevouz with our host, Brett. Shakas all around! Check the latest weather report, a few surf breaks. VAS.
Time to go shopping! Paul is in the market for an epoxy quad fish similar to the one Brett has been raving about, a Davo. We visit about one hundred surf shops and end up back at the first one, the one with the 6''0" quad Davo. Paul trades in an old thruster and is now itching to hit the surf... LOL, gotta wait until tomorrow!

Then the REAL surf shop shopping begins.... Ron Jon's and the new alter ego, Cocoa Beach Surf Company.
(Note: Click on pics for larger views.)
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On the road to Satellite Beach

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Building surf on Thursday

My Visit to Ron Jon's Surf Shop, Cocoa Beach, 25 Years Later...
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The rebuilt Ron Jon's covers a city block. From the outside it looks like a parrot head bad dream. That is only the beginning. It gets worse.

I am here to see if the Ron Jon experience is as bad as has been reported. It is. It was. Maybe even worse. 'Twas an ok shop 25 years ago.
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Left: Look 'ma - buy me some Ron Jon's spring water!!!


Right: You can actually see some surfboards in the distance... if you look hard enough. Ron Jon's rates 5-Stars on the tourist trap gift shopping stops.

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Left: Typical display of merchandise.


Right: Brett and Paul checking out the red tag sale. Looked for some Turbo Tunnel side bites for my paipo - no luck. But, a salesman did turn me on to the Right Coast Rainbow Fins distributor. I placed an order for three sets of 2.25" fiberglass foils.
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Left: This just about covers 80 percent of the bodyboarding equipment. Two types of fins and a couple different bodyboards. I am underwhelmed. This is the best they can do for 2-story building sitting on an entire city block???


Right: Paul is also captured by the darkside. This board might have been good for Monday.
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When:
Where:
Weather:
Surf:
Tides:

Who:
Friday, December 9, 2005, morning and afternoon sessions
Patrick AFB area break, Officers and later one of the Satellite Reefs near Perkins
Partly sunny, partly cloudy, air/water in the upper 60s
Offshore and semi-glassy, 4-7' (one guy said 10-15', lol)
Low in the morning
Paul, Brett and myself - many others spread out

Pictures are Compliments of the 2nd Light Forum's Posters
2005-1209-00-cfl.JPG The waves were slopey and hard to catch early on before the tide changed. Some fun warm juice! I trunked it in the morning and wore a spring suit in the afternoon after the wind picked up. We surfed for over 3 hours in the morning and about 2 hours in the afternoon.

Dined at a Mexican food joint in Satellite Beach. Not one of the best, but we were hungry.
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When:
Where:
Weather:
Surf:
Tides:

Who:
Saturday, December 10, 2005, morning session
Another Patrick AFB area break, Picnic Tables
Partly sunny, partly cloudy, cold overnight - morning air in the 50s, water in the upper 60s
Offshore and semi-glassy, 3-5'
Low in the morning
Paul, Brett and myself, plus a local paipo rider, Tumak. Many others spread out.

We pulled on the warm and dry 3/2 suits this morning. Swell had declined by almost one-half, but still plenty of peaks and faces to ride. The waves were actually a bit more punchy feeling today. Guess we spent a good 3+ hours out in the surf. Bonus points in meeting fellow paipo-rider, Tumak, in the line-up. In my haste to suit up I neglected to call him, but being the good local he figured out where we would probably be riding. Tumak scored a super fine tube ride right. We split the peak and as he angled right you could see the entire lip pitch over and envelope him in all of the sea's glory. He was one stoked fella!
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The late afternoon and evening hours were filled with surfing/social events. At 4p.m., we attended the Winter Groms to Grandmasters Surf Party, sponsored by the Sebastian Inlet/Satellite Beach Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. The party was at held a perfect venue, the indoor/outdoor Dakine Diegos, in Satellite Beach. Diegos features a bunch of sit-down tables and a large lawn for setting up displays and a large outdoor projection screen. Great burritos and plenty of beer. Festivities started with the New School Dropouts banging out their funky rock/reggae/hip-hop/surf music jams until sunset. After a break of about 45 minutes we were feted with the Florida release of ESM's Always Right, a tribute to east coast surfing. Ton's of people and everyone of surfing stature in the area seemed to be in attendance... especially three paipo riders, Tumak and his wife and myself. Nielson, a local board builder, was also there and I vaguely recall Skip Savage wishing those from Balmar best of health. Also learned of some breaking ESM news in the Blahs section, "Former Marylander Dr. Bruce "Snake" Gabrielson urges everyone to take a look at the new website for the National Surf Schools and Instructors Association (NSSIA) at www.nssia.org." Former?

Another special attendee was alt.surfing's infamous Jane Moody. At last we meet! Our encounter was nothing like _Flek's a few years back. Nonetheless, it was a very special meeting. Regret not being able to spend some time "around the campfire" talking story and getting to know her husband, Peter.

Later in the evening, the boys and I headed over to a party at the Tigress' Cage, the home of the controller where Brett works. It was lot's of fun and there was ton's of good nibbling foods and socializing with Brett's collection of accountants and auditors. But I have a question, Brett: "Why were they mostly chicks? What's going on here? Who does all the hiring???" After a couple hours of schmoozing, Brett broke us away and hauled us to a honky tonk bar with a band doing covers of various blues rock artists.

When:
Where:
Weather:
Surf:
Tides:

Who:
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Patrick AFB area break, 2nd Light
Partly sunny, partly cloudy, very cold overnight - morning air in the low 50s, water in the upper 60s
Weak and crumbling, 1-3'
Lower in the morning
Paul and Brett, Tumak, Jane and Peter. Many others spread out.

There wasn't much surf this morning so I wrapped up in some warm clothes and hauled the camera down to the beach to try snapping a few of Paul and Brett in all their glory ;) The sky actually looks blue in a few of the pics.

PC110028.JPG One of the Tumak fishies. PC110027.JPG
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Paul or Brett Making Backside Magic
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Cocoa Beach and Canaveral Skyline 
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Paul or Brett Making Frontside Magic
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Paul Challenges a Ferocious Peak
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Paul Shows His Power Moves
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Is This Brett?
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Sunday night we ate at a Cuban restaurant in Cocoa Beach. The lechón and maduros were great; the yellow rice and black beans hit the spot; the flan was ordinary. I'll stop in there again and at the DaKine Diegos on my next trip.

Cocoa Beach looks much the same as it did some 25 years ago... with the exception of those surf store monstrocities. There is so much potential in a store that large, but alas, they are nothing but the Wal Marts of the surf business that drive the mom and pop surf shops and boutiques out of business and deliver a lower class product at a lower cost. The Longboard Surf Shop always charged a premium, be it wax or some other commodity, but for the most part their product lines didn't seem to overlap much. For one, almost every item in Ron Jon's was labeled as such... such schlep. Back to the Cocoa Beach coastline. Housing stock looks much the same, just older and in need of repair. More condos/hotels as one goes south. Patrick AFB coastal area looks much the same. We never made it south of Indian Harbor Beach along the ocean... maybe Indiatlantic.

The crowds were relatively mellow... I will have to check out RC's and Perkins next time ;)

Paul and I headed home Monday, a day early, due a family illness and a furnace that went on the blink during an overnight of 15F. The surf was flat now but we still wanted to visit Balsa Bills and a couple of other sights. Next trip. Many mahalos to Brett for being a fine host!


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Last updated on 02/04/06