And all across the waterfront
The music was blaring
We couldn’t stand any more of it!
The east wind helped her fair share
And if a marina had space
Well, you’ll be finding us there!
Less than two miles south of us sat Loggerhead Marina Hollywood, one of a dozen Loggerhead Club & Marinas between Daytona Beach and Miami.
To dream, perchance the reality of a slip? I called Sunday afternoon and ouch the daily rate calculated to a steep weekly rate and we’d need at least two, but Yippee they had a slip we’d fit into. Further reading of an ActiveCaptain review revealed a comment regarding a favorable monthly rate. And don’t projects always take longer than originally estimated?
By 9:30 Monday Twins was tied in the very wide slip at the bulkhead (land) end of pier 5, blessed air conditioning blasting but not the music! As many of you can attest to, the temps have been just a tad above normal which put us in the low to mid 80s here and plenty humid. Tackling the solar project without heat relief was simply out of the question and I am very certain Russ agreed with me within a couple of days. 🙂
Checking in was an experience because you aren’t simply checking in, you are leasing a slip, blah, blah, blah. We read pages, we signed, we paid a refundable deposit, we questioned our decision, we smiled at the excellent rate; we got through it.
This is how our location is described in the LC&M brochure with my comments in bold:
Situated in a blissful alcove (at one end of a huge gated community ) of luxury homes, towering palms, tropical flowers, relaxing fountains, and warm southern breezes, this location offers 190 slips for vessels up to 120 ft. Whether you decide to relax by the pool (located more than a mile away so you need to relax by the time you arrive), stroll by the canals, or revive at the health club (because it’s near the pool and just walking there is a workout); luxury (new washers and dryers in a locked room- better have your key), comfort (lounge with coffee, TV), security (guard at the security gate one mile away has your info, show your license if you leave and return, and he will call if anyone visits or comes to get you), and upscale amenities (pump out at every slip, occasional complimentary brunch) are all within reach in the heart of coastal, trendy town of Hollywood. (within reach assumes a car- nothing is within walking distance)
Let me backtrack to the Friday before and regale you with “a tale of vehicles, near death, and solar project materials”. Actually with a handful of photos you will get the idea. And now that you know we only remained anchored out over the weekend, your compassion level may not soar very high, but what we did we did for the blog.
We needed a van since Enterprise didn’t have a vehicle big enough; the panels are Kyocera 260 watt and are 65″x39″. We locked our dinghy at the launching ramp floating docks and took an uber ride to the Uhaul place which was part of a smaller, older True Value in a strip mall in Dania Beach, about 8 miles north. Paul was our driver and he happily answered our newbie questions. His car was immaculate and he knew the area. Sorry grumpy, attitude-y taxis, über is way better. Faster, less expensive and much easier to contact. Once you have the app you are golden. Track your driver’s progress, communicate if necessary and no cash changes hands. Our trip cost $7. Can you tell we are sold?
On the way to I95 North we came within inches of crashing into a truck who had turned across traffic in front of us, putting the van’s brakes to a real life test. Everyone is in such a mad rush here; makes Connecticut drivers look good.
After a fair amount of time at eMarine (they weren’t quite finished with our order) and a grocery stop we arrived back without incident to the launching ramp’s parking lot. You have to pay to park using one of those aptly named meters that take coins, paper and credit, but generally not without fuss.
The day before we dinghied over to the municipal marina to check with Dockmaster Matt with whom Russ had spoken several times in our effort to find dockage. Alas no room at this inn (never was going to be we finally figured out) but when we came in for fuel we could take a few extra minutes to load on our solar materials. The other option was to ferry the stuff by dinghy but even our desire for an interesting blog post has a limit!
We took the sensible route and went to the fuel dock; didn’t need fuel but got some anyway and a much-needed pump out and water tank fill. Then Russ carried on the project materials which by now are getting heavier and more cumbersome as the day wears on and the temp rises.
We re-anchored, dinghied in again to return the van. At the end of the strip mall is Jaxson’s ice cream; a long-standing old-fashioned ice cream place, so why not treat ourselves while waiting for our über ride back to the marina.
I’ll skip the gory, involved details for now (one of us might do a page about the entire project later) but suffice to say the process involved many steps, maneuvering around the stuff, and our limited deck space demanded careful moving about. Our goal was to get one panel on and tested by Saturday afternoon.
After we attached the aluminum frame to the underside of a panel, the panel was ready to be placed on the new SS rails. This was the most difficult part- working in a cramped space, the boat gently (thankfully) bobbing in the water while we hoist ‘er up from the flybridge over the bare-naked T-top. The new rails are laying down for this.
Now to get the new rails upright. Good thing Russ had this all figured out; vast experience I suppose. The safety line remained attached to the panel until the mounting clamshells were secure. Then we tied another line to the forward of the two new rails. I stood on the flybridge facing the stern holding the new line. Russ pushed up on the panel while I slowly pulled the line toward me to bring the rail upright. Tighten the eye thingys, push the second rail up, panel tightened on and breathe another sigh of relief. Ah.
Russ attached the wires temporarily to the batteries without a fuse to see if the panel worked. Of course it did! The sun was shining and within 20 minutes the batteries went from 12.6 to 12.7; very acceptable with only one panel.
Sunday was too windy to hoist the second panel; we aren’t that crazy, sorry; but we attached the aluminum frame so it was ready to go… once we got to the marina 🙂