Myrt Tharpe Park
"Once upon a time," starts the story in the March April 2002 Cocoa Village, (as any good story should), "Stone Street (formerly Magnolia Street) came all the way through from U.S.1 to Brevard Avenue in Cocoa Village. There was no tranquil little park, bubbling water fountain, carefully tended plants and flowers or a charming gazebo. In the 1960’s there was a wonderful woman, a city councilperson who loved Cocoa and devoted herself to its improvement. Her name was Myrtice Tharpe (1913-1982). She owned Myrt’s, a popular restaurant (where the Black Tulip is) where city business was conducted over a good meal. After she passed away, the intersection at Brevard and Stone was closed. The Rotary Club built the Myrtice Tharpe Square landmark to honor her memory. Today, the gazebo is used for weddings and celebrations. Story tellers tell their tales and, of course, jazz , blues, country and other musicians perform on Fridays and Saturdays to put us in an upbeat frame of mind. We savor our lunches or sip our evenng coffee, tapping our feet, wrapped in warm breezes and the good company around us."
~ Cocoa, Florida ~
Gateway to touristy Cocoa Beach and busy Merritt Island, Cocoa is located on the mainland, bisected by US Route 1 and accessible to Interstate 95. The city's biggest draw is historic Cocoa Village, a quaint downtown area with a smattering of shops and restaurants.
In addition to exploring Cocoa Village, I have also been to Cocoa for other reasons. Back when my wife and I were dating her dance studio held a recital at the Cocoa campus of Brevard Community College. Later, my wife and I traveled again to Cocoa to meet with our wedding photographer at his studio. From a tourist's perspective, however, the city is really more of a place to pass through than it is a place to visit.
Visit my COCOA BEACH home page.
Visit my FLORIDA page.
First Time to Cocoa
"April 3, 2004 - Arriving in Cocoa"
At 1120, the trawler MANATEE passes us very nicely. I hear him on the radio ahead of us chastising those who pass without manners (like a boat named SUNSEEKER flying a power squadron flag who doesn't slow down at all and another power boat named SANDRA GIRL). He sarcastically asks them to come back so he can take their picture.
A trawler with a big round red thing on the swim platform that covers up their name (they were in Vero Beach last night too) came past. He stirred up the mud and it remained roiled up for some time, setting the depth sounder crazy.
I fixed lunch, cutting up the chicken I had left over from Dinos into chicken salad. By 1218, we've done 32 miles. The wind is variable speed mostly on the nose - from 11 to 20 knots.
When we get up toward a wider part of the river (where anything outside the channel isn't immediately 3 feet or less) we hear HIGHLANDER behind us on the radio sometimes. HUDSON, a 160 foot long USCG construction vessel gave us one whistle and Bob tried to whistle back and the air can whistle wouldn't work. He eventually did get a whistle off, making me deaf temporarily. I heard HIGHLANDER behind us on the radio asking HUDSON what kind of a boat he was, and I listened in, so that's how I know what it was.
All the bridges in this area (the Melbourne bridge, the Eau Gallie bridge and the Pinellas Causeway) have only 64 feet clearance.
HIGHLANDER eventually passes us - he slacks off on the speed but passes way away from us. We cut back the throttle, but he didn't notice, so we discuss proper passing technique. Jim has given us a trawler magazine where Tom Neale has also discussed this also.
We start to see people sailing (especially going south). There is a catamaran without sails up named PARADIGM which appears to be pacing us, but isn't passing. A catamaran should be way faster than we are. Eventually he puts the sails up, but has great difficulty with them and still isn't going any faster than we are. Once he gets his act in gear, it seems like we will meet at the next bridge.
SInce he is overtaking us, even if it is under sail, he is technically the give-way boat and we are the stand on boat and should maintain course and speed. But Bob is afraid (correctly as it turns out) that they are terminally clueless and pulls back the power to let them go under first. They thank us as if we were being especially polite, but really, we were just trying to avoid an accident. Later, they appear to run aground, and are still there when we've motored out of sight.
Another CG boat - this time a tug named VICE with a barge passes going south.
We got to the Whitley Marina at about 1600 and tie up after a trip of 288 nm total, and a trip today of 54.8 sm at an average speed of 6.1 mph. There was a guy with a black and white border collie type dog on an Egg Harbor that helped with the docking.
I went up and paid and got maps and information, and after we put everything away, we walked up into town. The old restored section of town is just across the street from the marina. We went to Norman's Raw Bar and Grill for dinner - service was quick and efficient. I had a steak and Bob had a shrimp basket. (They steamed the shrimp for him instead of frying them.) They had the horse races on the ESPN channels on the TVs.
Afterwards we walked out through town - most of the shops were open still. There was a street player, and a horse and carriage with a lady driver with a Jack Russell giving carriage rides.
Afterwards we came back and reset all the clocks, watches, cameras, GPSs and computers for daylight savings
"April 4, 2004 - Sunday"
When I reset my watch to daylight savings, I accidentally also advanced the date by one day. So when I write in my journal, I'm a day behind where my watch says I am.
Saw SANCTUARY (a CSY 37) at the old docks for this marina. Also got to watch a comedic docking operation by a power boat. He could not get docked stern to the dock even with 3 people on the boat and about 5 or 6 people standing on the docks and finger piers to help pull on lines. He eventually gave up and docked bow in.
We walked up into Cocoa. I wanted to see Porcher House, so we went up to the front door and it was locked. Then we went around to the back door and that was locked too. When we went back around to the front, we saw someone come out, so we went in, but the house was closed and the person we saw really should have locked the door behind her so we left.
The Porcher House was built in 1916 by Edward Postell Porcher and designed by his wife Byrnina M.Peck. Mr. Porcher was a pioneer in the citrus industry and is credited with being the first to wash, grade and inspect fruit. Mrs. Porcher was the first postmistress of Merritt Island. The house is included on the National Register of Historic Places.
Porcher House is open to the community to enjoy as a special place for meetings, weddings, parties, luncheons, afternoon teas and card parties. The second floor of the house is leased as office space to local businesses. The house is open daily, Monday - Friday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
We walked around Cocoa some more and took a ride in the carriage drawn by a Percheron collecting the money for the aid of Therapeutic Riding. When we went by Porcher House the driver pointed out what she said were the card suits worked into the facade (hearts, diamonds, spades and clubs). She said that was because Mrs. Porcher was an avid bridge player.
Also did a bit of shopping and ate a pizza for dinner and then went to another place for ice cream.
"April 5, 2004"
Left relatively early April 5th while the wind was not too strong, and went up to Titusville