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02 April 2016

B Is For Boatyard | Nancy Drew Investigates {A To Z Challenge}


During April, we're participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Every day (except Sundays), we'll be doing an alphabet themed post starting with "A is for Anchor" and ending with "Z is for Zodiac." Each post is an installment of "Nancy Drew Investigates the Case of the Missing Anchor" - so you may want to read the posts from the beginning, in order to follow along with the story (click here for the first post and here for an index of all the posts). At the end of each post, you'll also find some random thoughts on the day's particular topic. So, if Nancy isn't your thing, feel free to skip the story and go straight to the end.

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When we last left you, an anchor had been stolen from The Scarlet Slipper, the sailboat that Nancy Drew and her two friends are going to be racing on during the Grande Isle Regatta.

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Nancy turned to the police officer and asked, “How could something like this happen here? I thought this was a secure marina with locked gates and a security patrol at night.” The police officer tore a form off of his clipboard and said, “Sorry, miss, we don’t know how it happened or who’s responsible yet. But, don’t worry. We’ll be conducting a full investigation.”

He handed the form to Marvin. “Sir, here’s a copy of the police report for your records. I understand you’ll be leaving the marina on Friday?”

Marvin ran his hands through his short cropped gray hair and said, “Yes, that’s right, we’re participating in the Grande Isle Regatta this weekend. It’s a three day event with a race from Pine View Bay to Grande Isle on Saturday. On Sunday, there will be a number of social events on the island including a barbeque that night. Then on Monday, we race back to Pine View Bay with the prize giving that night at the clubhouse.”

Marvin looked over at his boat, The Scarlet Slipper, and frowned. “Somehow, I have to get a hold of a new anchor before the regatta starts.”

“Well, feel free to call the station at any time for an update on the investigation.” The police officer shook Marvin’s hand and walked down the dock to his patrol car.

“Shelley, we better head over to the marine store and see about replacing this anchor,” Marvin said. “Girls, I’m so sorry about this. Why don’t we catch up later this afternoon and we can take you through a safety briefing. You’ll need to be prepared in case anything goes wrong during the regatta.”

“Will you be okay until we get back?” asked Shelley.

“Don’t worry about us. We’ll be fine. I thought we might walk around the boatyard and check things out,” said Nancy. “Come on girls, why don’t we head over that way.”

As Nancy led the way, Bess nudged her cousin George and whispered, “A safety briefing. See, I told you sailing was dangerous! How in the world did I ever let you and Nancy convince me to participate in the regatta?” George shook her head and said, “You’re such a worrywart, Bess. Don’t worry, everything will be fine.”

The three eighteen year old girls walked down a short path which led into the boatyard. Bess looked around in amazement at all of the boats in the yard, resting on their keels and propped up by metal stands. “Gee, what would happen if a strong wind blew through? Wouldn’t they all tumble down?” Bess asked with a worried frown on her face.

When no one answered, Bess looked around and realized that George and Nancy were over talking to a couple of guys wearing white disposable coveralls, goggles and plastic gloves, who were in the process of painting the bottom of a boat nearby. She hurried over to catch up with them.

“Bess, there you are. Wait until you hear this. These guys had their outboard motor stolen last night,” Nancy said. “They also said that some other folks had stuff stolen as well. There’s definitely something mysterious going on at the marina.”

One of the guys pushed his goggles off of his face and Bess noticed that he had attractive green eyes. “Why are you painting your boat?” she asked.

“We put anti-fouling paint on it regularly to keep barnacles, algae and other things from growing on the bottom. It helps us go faster in the water if we don’t have stuff on our bottom,” he said while admiring her long blonde hair and blue eyes. “Are you a sailboat racer too?” Bess looked up at his impossibly green eyes and thought maybe sailing wouldn’t be such a bad thing after all. “I’ll be participating in the Grande Isle Regatta this weekend. Maybe I’ll see you out there.”

George tugged on Bess’ elbow. “We should really let these guys get back to their bottom painting.” As the guys turned back to their boat, Nancy said, “Come on girls. Let’s go see what we can find out.”

The girls walked across the boatyard, stopping to chat with people and watching them work on various boat projects. They could hear the noise of electric tools buzzing across the yard, watched a crane take a mast off of a boat and heard a couple arguing about the best way to install new hatches on their boat.

In talking with people, they discovered that items had been stolen from several boats, including a new galvanized anchor chain, an inflatable dinghy, winch handles and a chart plotter.

As they were walking around the yard, George noticed that a man with a long scraggly beard seemed to be listening in on their conversations. He was wearing tattered khaki shorts, a ripped t-shirt and a red baseball hat which had Xebec written on the front.

George motioned to Nancy and Bess and said, “See that man over there? I think he’s been following us around and eavesdropping on us.” As Nancy and Bess looked over, the man took off and ran across the boatyard, ducking behind a row of boats to their right. Nancy shouted out, “Come on, let’s follow him!”

Bess said, “Are you sure? He could be dangerous.” George grabbed Bess’ arm and pulled her along as they followed Nancy through the boatyard. Just as they made a sharp turn around a row of boats, the man lunged out and pushed Nancy to the ground.

Tune in on Monday for the next installment of Nancy Drew Investigates – C is for Catamaran.

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This is our boat, Tickety Boo, up on the hard in the boatyard at Indiantown Marina last year. Note the rickety ladder? How did I survive getting on and off the boat without breaking something?

I can get where Bess is coming from – I can’t for the life of me figure out how boats stay upright in the boatyard in general, let alone during a storm. See how our boat is propped up with metal stands and balancing on her keel on top of wooden blocks in the picture above? Now, imagine high winds barreling through the boatyard, pushing against the boats perched there. If the winds were strong enough and in the right direction, poof, down your boat goes, toppling others along with it, like a row of dominoes collapsing.

When boats are stored long-term at Indiantown Marina, they make owners secure them with tie-down straps to prevent them from falling over. It's happened before when a hurricane made its way through Indiantown years ago. Who's to say it wouldn't happen again? This is where liability insurance comes into play. Would you want to be responsible for the damage caused if your boat toppled over?

The other thing that strikes me about the boatyard is having to climb up and down ladders to get to your boat. I have a friend who fell off the ladder on their boat last year and ended up in the emergency room. She was one of the lucky ones - nothing broken. Another guy fell off his boat this year and broke his leg. Somehow, despite my clumsiness, I managed to survive our time in the boatyard without breaking anything.

What about you - have you ever broken anything? Did you get everyone to sign your cast? Do kids even do that anymore?

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54 comments:

  1. I'm enjoying the story. You're going to spoil us though and come May we'll need a new story to follow. I actually know the guy you were referring to...they own a Monk also. We first met them in Ottawa years ago. Have a great weekend.

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    1. I was amazed how agile he was even with his leg in a cast. He got on and off of his boat with ease. They're nice folks and they have the most adorable dog.

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  2. Uh-oh, things are taking a dangerous turn!

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    1. The tension is unbearable, isn't it. Will Nancy be okay?!

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    1. He seems suspicious, doesn't he? I sure hope she's okay.

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  4. There definitely is something weird going on at the marina! But if anyone can figure it out it's Nancy Drew. Good luck on the A-Z Challenge! :)

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    1. I have faith in Nancy. I know she'll crack the case :-)

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  5. Intriguing. And educational. Looking forward to Monday's episode ��

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    1. I'm sure everyone is on the edge of their seats waiting for Monday's post :-) Will Nancy be okay? Who was that man? Does Bess flirt with every guy she meets? So many questions...

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  6. Love how you've written a whole story around the A-Z. And yes, I've broken my foot and my A-Z is all about the injury :)
    Suzanne from
    Suzannes Tribe

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    1. I'm off to check out your blog - what an interesting theme you've picked!

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    1. It's getting scary. I'm just waiting for the zombies to attack.

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  8. My Dad and Brother-In-Law are off helping a friend get his boat ready to sail around Britain. He's going to be taking a few months to do it.

    Lots of things are being stolen in the boat yard eh - can Nancy work out what is going on?!

    Sophie
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles | Wittegen Press | FB3X

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    1. Oh, that sounds like a fun trip for your dad and brother-in-law! My husband loves the sailing in Scotland. It would be amazing to go all the way around Great Britian.

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  9. Love the story so far. I'm guessing the old man isn't the thief though. He may know who the thief is.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend Ellen. ☺

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    1. You'll have to wait and see - is he or isn't he? He does sound suspicious though.

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  10. I'm loving this! You'll be providing daily reading for our trip to D.C. Until this summer, I owned the entire ND collection. I sold them at my garage sale and feel kind of sad about it, even though they were sitting unattended in my attic for years. This is a great replacement. Can't wait to discover who that dastardly man with the unkempt beard might be. He should know better than to touch Nancy!

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    1. Oops, I just read this and realized you're going to DC and I left you a FB comment about my bug problem in DC. Probably not what you wanted to hear.

      I still remember my collection of Nancy Drew books vividly. I loved getting a new one for my birthday etc.

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  11. Excellent idea.....intriguing...exciting, too. Hope to be following through with this...Thanks for popping into mine...brought me here. Let's see the 'Cat'.

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    1. Thanks for popping by! Things should get more exciting when we get to C. There may even be a clue discovered :-)

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  12. ...things are heating up... *cue relevant music*
    Writer In Transit

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    1. If only I could find a way to add sound effects :-)

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  13. Interesting you have to climb up and down ladders to get into your boat - that is not the case at our marina on the North coast of California.

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    1. Oh, that's interesting. How do you get onto your boat when it's in the work yard?

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  14. I like the name of your blog and love sailing (once the doctor tells me it's okay to sail again--at the last visit, I asked about getting into a kayak and he said NO! and went on to say, "the same goes for sailboats!") I slipped on the deck of a friend's boat back in early January and my left foot and leg was pinned between a block and the rail and I fell back, snapping my quad tendon... it is a slow recovery! Welcome to the A-Z, maybe I can have Nancy Drew figure out just how my accident occurred.

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    1. Oh no! That sounds awful! Boats are just accidents waiting to happen. I'm surprised I haven't done any serious damage to myself yet. I hope you recovery goes smoothly and you're back out there kayaking and sailing again soon.

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  15. I loved Nancy Drew when I was a girl. This is such fun!

    Blogging the #AtoZchallenge: http://www.kathleenvalentineblog.com/

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    1. They were some of my favorite childhood books too.

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  16. You have me all drawn into the story, Ellen. And, I like the informative part about boatyards. It really shows people who are not used to the scene how it looks like. How to prevent your boat from toppling over? Buy a catamaran! Just kidding, of course, but cats are lower to the ground and have two hulls to rest on. They still strap them down over hurricane and cyclone season, though. Another advantage: shade under the bridge deck during a hard day at work, painting the bottom or doing other boat jobs. We hauled out at least once a year with Irie. It was our least fun time! Once, in Panama, Mark fell off the ladder (which was much shorter than yours in the photo) and broke his thumb. It was a miracle we only had a week's delay in the yard... Mostly because of the rainy weather, because Mark became almost as handy with one hand as he is with two.

    Liesbet @ Roaming About – A Life Less Ordinary

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    1. There were some people in the yard on a Gemini cat and I marveled at how easily they got on and off of their boat.

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  17. Great story! I used to love Nancy Drew when I was a kid.

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    1. Oh, that Bess. She's such a funny girl. Wait until you see what she gets up to later in the story.

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  19. I adored Nancy Drew growing up, great theme! I never broke anything that required a cast since you can't cast rips. My daughter broke her arm and all her friends signed her cast.

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    1. Oh, that's cool that her friends signed her cast. I'm glad they still do that. It was always so much fun to draw on casts in school.

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  20. Broken bones? Let's see. Collarbone, three leg bones, ankle, foot, ribs...ugh.

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    1. Ugh is right! That's a lot of bones to break!

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  21. Fun story so far!

    I broke my leg when I was about 18 months old. Well, technically, my friend broke it; she fell off of a radiator and onto me. I broke her fall and she broke my leg ;D

    Tracy (Black Boots, Long Legs)

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    1. Wow - what a story! I can't imagine a little 18 month old in a cast, as they can't understand what's going on.

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  22. Oh no, what is Nancy going to do?

    My husband was helping a friend paint his boat yesterday :) I've never broken anything accidentally, but I have had all my toes broken and reset when I was a child (congenital defect) - everyone signed my casts back then ::g:: I have no idea if it's still the thing to do.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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    1. So far, I have managed to avoid bottom painting duties :-)

      I remember thinking it was so cool signing other kids casts in school and kind of wishing I had one too, which was a silly thing to wish for.

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  23. I love a good mystery - and I'm learning in the process of reading yours. Can't wait for the next chapter!

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    1. Thanks so much Claire - I'm glad you're liking it so far!

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  24. I hope Nancy is ok! I've damaged some bones but never had a cast. I think I'd be scared of coming off the ladder of the boat too.

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    1. I really was nervous at first, but now it doesn't phase me.

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  25. Lovin' this A-Z theme :)

    Up until January 10th, I had never broken a bone. However, I now have a dandy titanium rod in my left upper arm and three titanium screws in left hip. I have no great story to tell... pure clumsiness :(

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    1. Thanks - I'm glad you like it!

      I figure if I break a bone one of these days, it will be down to pure clumsiness. I'm not the most graceful creature :-)

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  26. What a neat way to spin a tale. I'm looking forward to the next 'chapter' -- though, of course, Nancy will solve the mystery. I know nothing about sailing but love the pictures and sense of adventure throughout the story -- and your ending note.

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    1. That Nancy - there isn't a mystery she's met that she hasn't been able to solve :-)

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  27. I had never broken a bone. (yet) I think signing cast is still present, saw it on someone recently.

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    1. If I ever break a bone and need a cast, I'm going to have everyone sign it. That would kind of make it worth it :-)

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