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04 April 2016

C Is For Catamaran | 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, in order to follow along with the story, you may want to read the posts from the beginning (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. 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, Nancy and her friends had discovered that several other boats had items stolen from them. As they were chasing a suspicious looking man through the boatyard, he suddenly pushed Nancy down to the ground.

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“Nancy, are you okay?” asked George as she helped her up from the ground. Nancy brushed dirt off of her navy blue cotton cardigan, adjusted her pearls and said, “I’m fine. Did you see where he went?”

“There he is!” shouted Bess as she pointed to the man climbing up a ladder onto a white catamaran with a blue dolphin painted on the side underneath the name Party Time.

Bess noticed that the catamaran looked different from the other boats she had seen in the boatyard. It had two hulls, instead of one and was much wider than the others. She remembered that her cousin, George, had told her that catamarans didn’t heel over like monohull boats did. Looking up at Party Time, she wished that the boat they would be sailing on in the Grande Isle Regatta this weekend was a catamaran instead of a monohull. Bess wasn’t looking forward to being on a boat that tipped over from side to side.

Nancy marched up to the catamaran, knocked on the hull to get his attention and called out, “Hey, we want to talk to you!” When he didn’t respond, she knocked louder and then started to climb up the ladder.

As she got partway up, the man came out onto the deck and glared down at her. “Get off my boat, missy,” he hissed. “This here’s private property. You should know better than to board someone’s boat without being given permission.”

“You’ve been following us around the boatyard and eavesdropping on our conversations. Then, you pushed me to the ground. Do you want me to call the police and tell them that?”

The man scratched his scraggly beard and looked nervously about. “There’s no reason to get the police involved.”

“Good. Then, why don’t you come down here and talk to us.”

He adjusted his baseball hat, shrugged his shoulders and then climbed down the ladder. “Okay, what do you want?”

“We want to know why you’ve been following us,” said Nancy. George stepped in front of him, crossed her arms and stared at him. “And we want to know why you pushed my friend Nancy. She could have been seriously hurt.”

“Look, I didn’t mean any harm. It was just an accident,” he huffed. “I haven’t been following you about either. This is a public boatyard and I’ve got every right to walk around here.”

“I don’t think it was an accident, but we’ll let that go,” said Nancy. “Why don’t you start by telling us your name and what you were doing last night. There was a string of robberies at the marina. Did you have anything stolen?”

The man walked forward until he was looking down at Nancy with his beady eyes and said, “I don’t need to tell you my name and what I got up to last night is none of your business.” He brushed her aside, got into a blue pick-up truck parked next to the catamaran and drove off in a hurry through the boatyard.

Bess stared after the truck and said nervously, “Maybe we should just drop it and let the police investigate things. That guy looks like real trouble.”

“Nonsense,” Nancy said. “The police are so busy with everything else that I’m sure they would welcome our assistance. Remember, we’ve helped out solving cases before like The Secret of the Old Clock. After all, look what we’ve found out already. Did you see that truck as it drove away? The tarp on the back flew up and I'm sure I saw a Rocna anchor, an inflatable dinghy and other marine equipment. Maybe he was involved in the robberies.”

Nancy walked over to the side of the catamaran, looked down on the ground and exclaimed, “Girls, look what I found! It’s a business card that says Xebec Charters and on the back there’s the name Pete written down, along with a phone number. I wonder what that’s all about.”

Tune in on Tuesday for the next installment of Nancy Drew Investigates – D is for Ditch Bag.

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One of several Gemini catamarans stored at Indiantown Marina. Note the yellow tie-down straps, just in case a hurricane or severe storm blows through.

If you ever find yourself at a marina potluck and feel like the conversation is starting to be a bit dull, here’s a sure fire way to liven things up. Just throw this out there – “So, what do you think is better, a catamaran or a monohull?” – and watch the fireworks start. Monohulls are just that – sailboats with one hull. Catamarans have two hulls. There are pros and cons of the two types of sailboats, although fervent supporters of monohulls would tell you that catamarans are for sissies who can’t stand it when a boat heels over, while rabid fans of catamarans would brag about the fact that they can leave a bottle of wine on the galley counter while they’re sailing with no worries about it tumbling down and breaking.

We vaguely toyed around with the idea of getting a catamaran once upon a time. If truth be known, I don’t like it when the boat gets all tippy. Intellectually I know it isn’t going to tip all the way over, but in reality, it’s something I worry about. Scott tries to reassure me by saying things like, “If the boat happens to get knocked all the way over, it will roll right back up all the way around.” For some reason, I don’t find this reassuring. What happens if the boat does go under water – how long can I really hold my breath? (Check this post out for some strange ramblings from me on the topic.) So, I thought a catamaran might be the perfect solution to the tippiness issue. However, logically, a monohull was a better fit for us. Darn logic.

If we had gone down the catamaran route, I would have been interested in checking out a Gemini. They’re small catamarans, tiny enough to fit in a standard size marina slip, and they seem to have a nice layout. They’re quite popular coastal cruisers and can often be had for a decent price. There are a number of Geminis at Indiantown Marina, like the one pictured above which is in the storage yard. I think it misses its owner and wishes they would come back and take her to the Florida Keys or the Bahamas. (If you want to know more about the catamaran vs. monohull debate, check out this post I wrote a couple of years ago.)

What's your preferred mode of travel - boat, RV, train, plane, camel or something else?

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52 comments:

  1. Ooh, a new clue :)
    I have to admit my preferred means of travel is car, simply because it's easy and for me walking is hard. I, however, don't really like driving :) I much prefer to be a passenger and watch the world go by.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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    1. I like being a passenger too. Driving takes way too much concentration.

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  2. Ellen,

    troll-baiting isn't really an endearing trait, even if it's to fix a dull party. Nothing good ever came from a discussions about monohulls vs. catamarans, long-keel vs fin-keels, skeg vs. spade rudders, in-mast-furling vs lazyjacks, rear vs. center cockpit or glass fibre vs. metal boats. Those topics only bring out the darkness lurking inside us.

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    1. Can you imagine if you threw all of those into one conversation? The sparks would fly!

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  3. Preferred method of travel?
    By necessity, a car.
    If I had my way, and we're talking long distances, then by plane!
    Catamaran versus monohull? I have no idea what's the difference. I'll have to google it and look at pics.
    Writer In Transit

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    1. If I'm going to go my plane, I'd like it to be in first class, especially for a long-haul flight. Unfortunately, it never works out that way :-)

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  4. Perhaps we know what the "X" post will be?

    My favorite mode of transportation is plane. I want to get to there as fast as possible and begin my adventure. Having said that, I think I'd like to try RV-ing across the country - leisurely enjoying the journey rather than focusing so much on the destination.

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    1. Oh, you're a clever one. Yes, X might be for xebec :-)

      We traveled across the States in our travel trailer. It was a great way to see the country.

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  5. Guy sure looks guilty to me!

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    1. That's the thing with Nancy Drew mysteries. You know right off the bat who did it, but it seems to take a lot of pages before Nancy nabs the culprit.

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  6. I like train and car travel, but at the moment I have to travel anywhere by plane since I live on an island. I think about trying RV travel in the future, when we move back to The States. However, I feel driving such a large vehicle would take a lot of getting used to as I've always driven small cars. We both love to be passengers on boats, but the thought of driving a boat is too intimidating to me.

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    1. I like traveling with our travel trailer, but I like it even more when my hubby drives. It's just too long for me to feel comfortable with. And when it comes to driving boats, I'm a nervous nelly. These things don't have brakes - yikes!

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  7. Several years ago (it was 6 -- gulp!), David and I were driving through Siskiyou Pass in December at night. It was snowing and the road was wet and slick. David was behind the wheel and I turned to him and said, "when was it that I became more comfortable on a night passage than driving in a car?". I'm still not really sure when it happened, but my preferred mode of transportation is definitely by boat -- I simply love seeing the world pass by at a leisurely 7 knots. As far as the great catamaran versus monohull debate goes . . . monohulls all the way!!!!

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    1. Oh that is funny - a night passage over a car ride! Not, sure I'm quite at that level yet.

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  8. How fun, but now I'm really wondering what this old man is up to.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  9. Love the ending - I'll be back tomorrow. Maybe we'll learn more about this nasty catamaran owner.
    We had a small catamaran when I was a girl - lots of fun!

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    1. Having a cat must have been fun when you were a girl! I didn't get into sailing until much later in life.

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  10. Yay, she found a clue! I've never ridden on a camel before so I wouldn't mind riding on one for a very short distance.

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    1. We rode camels in Tunisia and it was so much fun. I would love to do that again one day.

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  11. Haha! Timely question, Ellen. Preferred mode of travel? A small RV (which was my "C is for Camper" post today, as you noticed. :-) As for the catamaran vs monohull debate: catamaran, no doubt! For many reasons, and ... once you go cat, there is no way back. I wrote an article about the subject for a Caribbean boating magazine a few years ago as well. As for Gemini cats, they are probably OK for coastal cruising and maybe to sail over to the Bahamas, but to go further afield, their quality is not great. Looking forward to tomorrow's installment!


    Liesbet @ Roaming About – A Life Less Ordinary

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    1. The Gemini thing was just a fleeting fancy, although there are a lot of people who love them for sailing in the Bahamas and Caribbean. We knew we wanted a blue water cruiser and catamarans were way out of our price range (plus Scott is more of a monohull guy). I think we did well with our Moody 346.

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  12. My preferred mode of travel changes. I live in Utah, so when I want to go to NYC or someplace on the east coast, I fly, mostly because I want to get there. When I travel to places nearer home, I love to drive. Fifteen hours in any direction is my limit for a day, but I love the feel of the road and watching the landscapes alter as I pass through. I've never traveled by train, but want to.

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    1. Train travel can be really relaxing. We did a bit of that when we lived in Scotland and would travel in Europe.

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  13. Oh, she's determined!

    Transport: if I can walk, I will. I need the exercise!

    The Glasgow Gallivanter

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  14. What a wonderful way to complete the A to Z Challenge! I loved Nancy Drew as a child so I am definitely going to return for the next instalment. You have me intrigued! htttp://www.50shadesofage.com

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    1. Thanks Kathy - glad you'll be back for more!

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  15. That makes sense that with two hulls, they would be more stable.
    I think in the crowd I hang out with, if I threw that out there they would all stare at me like deer caught in a headlight.
    I'd prefer teleportation to travel. Sadly, it hasn't been invented yet...

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    1. If there was an award for the best answer, you would win it! Teleportation would be my ideal form of travel too.

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  16. Another great installment!
    I think I need to try travel by camel, although it seems like it would be very trying.- Lucy

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    1. When we did it, it was for only a short time and my bum was a bit sore afterwards. The movement is really weird when you're on a camel too. Quite disorienting, but fun.

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  17. Being Swedish, I never read Nancy Drew as a kid, so this was fun for me. I'm a sailor all the way, definitely my preferred way to travel.

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    1. Nancy Drew is such an American thing, although non-Americans know her a bit through TV shows/movie. Nice to meet another "sailor" - thanks for popping by!

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  18. This makes me want to dig out some old Nancy Drew books and re-read them all! Very well written :)
    Debbie

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    1. I wish I had my old Nancy Drew books and could reread some of the stories.

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  19. What fun to continue the story as the plot thickens! You're leaving us with a cliff-hanger every day. So, as a writer, I'm wondering: Did you write the story before the AtoZ Blogging Challenge started? Or are you pantsing? Neat distinction between catamarans and monohulls. I've only been on a monohull once, and I felt a bit nervous when she keeled over a bit. Thanks, as always, for visiting my historical fiction oriented post!

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    1. I did write the whole story before the challenge, except for Z. I still have to write that one.

      I'm not a big fan of when our boat keels over too much, but it's something I'll have to get used to.

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  20. I assume by RV you mean one with a motor. :) We have a small travel trailer, but it is pulled by our mini van. If that counts, then that is my favourite. If it doesn't count, then of the travel methods that I have tried, plane would be my favourite. Of the methods that I haven't tried, train would be my choice. I've taken commuter trains for short trips of half an hour or so, but that's not really "traveling." I would love to take a train to another city. We almost did a few years ago on a whim, but there was a crazy layover because we were booking last minute, so we didn't end up doing it.

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    1. I know some people don't classify travel trailers as RVs, but I do. We also have a small travel trailer (13' Scamp). It's a great way to travel. A lot like a boat - you bring your home with you everywhere you go.

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  21. Your posts are so informative, and I love the Nancy Drew story. Ditch Bag? Don't know it--yet. Such a great A-Z challenge! Life on the sea. . . Ahh!

    Sharon Arthur Moore @good2tweat
    Parsley, Sage, and Rosemary Time

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    1. Thanks Sharon! Tune in today and you can learn all about ditch bags :-)

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  22. Car, I think. I prefer to be in control of my destiny. I don't like planes and cruise ships because someone else is steering. Even if it's my husband driving on vacation, it's better than a stranger. I am thinking about taking a plane when we go to D.C. this summer...it'll be my first time on a plane since we went to L.A.

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    1. For some reason, I feel comfortable on planes, trains, big ships etc. because I know someone else is driving and they're a "professional." Although, after the recent Amtrak accident, I should probably rethink that.

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  23. When it's practical, I like to travel by foot. You see so much that way. But by boat is lovely in an entirely different way. I guess I like it slow.

    @mirymom1 from
    Balancing Act

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    1. Walking is one of my preferred ways to travel, especially when exploring cities.

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  24. I like travelling by foot, train or boat... I done some very long hikes, have taken trains around the world and love sailing... but I'd stick to a mono hull. I've never sailed a large catamaran, but I have enjoyed sailing hobes.

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    1. I've never been on a Hobie, but they look like fun.

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  25. Oh, and they ruined the American Cup when they allowed boats other than monohulls to compete... just my two cents worth.

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    1. We were living in New Zealand when they were testing out the new boats. It was so neat to be on the water on our boat and watch those cats whizz by so quickly.

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  26. I loved trains for years because my father worked as a train dispatcher and I've often spent time with him at work as a child and we traveled as a family by train every summer. I still do, I visit every train museum I can but rather travel by my car (or husband's semi-truck ;) )

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    1. That would have been cool to see your father at work! Trains are a fun way to see the country while traveling.

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