We are anchored in a familiar spot, South Lake, in Hollywood, Florida (map). I described this spot the last time we stayed here, wherein we took the tender to two of the several restaurants lining the ICW for dinner. Today I spotted a place where I think we can get away with tying the tender up for a stroll along the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk with Martin and Steph for dinner.
Blossom anchored just east of us in South Lake. They arrived this afternoon, a few hours behind us.
I noticed that spot while we were tied up last night at the dock of Billy's Stone Crab restaurant (map), just a stone's throw from here. Our visit there was occasioned by a fuel stop -- the Anchor Petroleum truck met us there this morning and we took on 460 gallons, giving us what we consider a full load of fuel, which will take us to Key West and a long way beyond.
We've used Anchor's fueling service before. They deliver by truck, but the boat needs to be at a dock which allows that. Most docks have a charge for the privilege; the last time we did this we used the Fort Lauderdale city docks on the New River, which allows it if you are staying there, or charges a one-night stay if not. We enjoyed our night there, but this time around it would have been a challenge, due to tomorrow's holiday boat parade staging at their docks. Plus, a one-night stay there runs about $80 for Vector, on top of an extra five mile back-and-forth run from the ICW.
When I asked Anchor what options they had closer to the ICW, they mentioned they could fuel us at Billy's Stone Crab, which allows them to fuel there before noon, when the restaurant opens. They charge a $0.10 per gallon surcharge to use this dock, with a $50 minimum. That still made it the best price in south Florida, so we scheduled the delivery for 10am this morning.
On our way south down the ICW yesterday, I called the restaurant after they opened and asked them if we could just spend the night on their dock if we also had dinner there, and they agreed. We tied up a little before 5, and went in for dinner around 6:30. I had the stone crab claws, which were delicious if a bit of work, and Louise had ceviche and crab salad. Dinner was nice, if a bit pricey for what it was, although the place is definitely white-tablecloth, with tuxedoed waiters.
Soon to dominate the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk: the Margaritaville Beach Resort.
That gave us all morning until the truck came to get some things done; Louise took one of the bicycles downtown to mail off some holiday gifts, and I walked over to the Broadwalk to get rid of a month's worth of recycling at the closest bin I could find. It was a great stop, and at 460 gallons probably the cheapest way to get fueled. If we needed over 800 gallons, we'd be better off at the city dock. We ended up paying less than $2.91 per gallon inclusive of tax and surcharge, whereas we could see the sign right across the ICW at the city marina advertising diesel for $4.41 a gallon.
I'm guessing they don't sell much diesel at $4.41 -- the going rate here is more like $3.50-$3.60 right now.
Yesterday's cruise down the ICW from Delray was a bit of a chore. The weather was pleasant enough, and the spectacular homes along the waterfront make for quite the backdrop, but there are a dozen or so bridge openings, scheduled in such a way that one inevitably has to either race along at a high cruise rpm, risking violating numerous no-wake zones along the way, or putt along at idle speed and still end up station-keeping for several minutes at each bridge. I'm glad this bridge-intensive section is now behind us.
Tomorrow we have a short 18-mile day to Miami and an anchorage not far from the ship channel, where we will be poised for the outside run to Key Largo. We're hoping for a three-day stretch of good weather to make the full run to Key West with a minimum of drama.