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11 April 2016

I Is For Island | 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, a distress call came over the VHF radio alerting Nancy and her friends that a suspicious catamaran had been up to some dodgy tricks again.

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Marvin switched the VHF back to channel 16 and sat back down at the table. “Steal someone’s dinghy and leave them stranded. Who would do such a thing?”

George turned to Nancy and said, “That sounds just like the catamaran we saw at the boatyard, Party Time. Do you think it could be the same one?”

“It sounds like something we should look into,” said Nancy eagerly. “Where exactly is Moonstone Castle Cove?”

“Oh, it’s not far from here. It’s a lovely anchorage off the north side of Lilac Inn Island” said Shelley as she passed around the plate of brownies. “Marvin, why don’t we head over there next and see if there’s anything we can do to help the crew of the Spider Sapphire.”

While Bess grabbed a second brownie off the plate, Nancy got up to clear the plates from the table. “That sounds perfect. Then we can ask them if they got a closer look at that mysterious white catamaran. Something seems fishy to me.”

“Let me go check and see what the depth of the water is and if we’ve floated off the bottom yet,” said Marvin to Shelley as he headed up on deck. “All right dear, the girls and I will tidy things up down here and be ready to get underway shortly.”

Bess passed the rest of the serving dishes to Nancy. “Lilac Inn Island sounds so romantic. This is exactly what I was hoping sailing was all about. Anchoring off of scenic islands and sunbathing on the beach. It sounds divine.” Bess looked dreamily off through the port light over the settee.

“You’ll love it Bess. I went to Lilac Inn Island last year with Ned on a hiking trip,” said Nancy. “Hannah packed us the most divine picnic lunch. It was such a swell trip.”

The girls finished drying the dishes and putting them away in the cleverly designed cubbyholes which would protect them from breaking while the boat was underway. “Thanks again for such a delicious meal,” said Nancy to Shelley. “My pleasure, dear. Now, why don’t we all give Marvin a hand and get underway.”

Just then the VHF started crackling again. “This is sailing vessel Double Jinx calling all parties. This is sailing vessel Double Jinx calling all parties. Over. Be advised that Party Time, a white catamaran, almost struck us as they came out of Moonstone Castle Cove. They didn’t give way as they should have and we barely got out of the way in time. Over.”

Marvin yelled down, “Hurry up! Let’s get over there and see what’s going on.”

Tune in on Tuesday for the next installment of Nancy Drew Investigates – J is for Jetty.

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View from Urupukapuka Island out to some of the other islands in New Zealand's beautiful Bay of Islands. Truly spectacular cruising grounds.

There's something romantic about islands. Surrounded on all sides by water, they stand apart from the mainland. A place to escape to, a place to hide away from the real world and recharge. At least that's what I think of when I picture an island in my head. Sometimes, it's a tropical island with a long, white sandy beach nestled among palm tress. Other times, it's a rugged, mountainous island, with sheer cliffs and dense forest. Either one works for me, as long as they provide solitude.

But not all islands are like the ones in my imagination. Just think about the hustle and bustle of Manhattan - that's an island. Or the North Island of New Zealand - a few million people live there. Even Singapore - an entire nation, with all of its cultural diversity, centered on one island.

Islands are like people - so much variety. Some you'll love, some you'd prefer not to visit again. Some are vibrant and loud, some are quiet and serene. There's something for everyone. But, they all need each other, after all, as someone famous once said - "no man is an island" - and as the astronaut, Chris Hadfield, observed - everything fits together if you take a large enough view:

"When you're on one of the Caribbean islands, sometimes it's hard to picture how they all fit in with the rest, but when you see them all joined together like a necklace from space, you see the natural geographic connectedness of them all."

What's your favorite island? What makes it special to you?

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44 comments:

  1. I'm not a sailor person myself, but my wife and I fell in love with Monhegan Island off the coast of Maine, when we visited there several years ago. A return trip is something we often talk about. You could really see the power of the ocean from that rocky shore. I just hope we don't see a white catamaran the next time we're there!

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    1. Oh, that sounds beautiful! I would definitely be wary of any white catamarans named Party Time. The rest are okay :-)

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  2. I live in Singapore so it is my favorite. But I am also a fan of Indonesia's islands.

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    1. Indonesia is another place I'd like to get to. So many places, so little time :-)

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  3. My favourite island is Great Britain, since I live on it :), but I do like Vancouver Island in Canada to visit - we went there on our honeymoon and on our 10 year anniversary and we plan to go back next year for our 20th anniversary too :)
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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    1. Vancouver Island is lovely! How wonderful that you went there on your honeymoon and your 10th anniversary and have your 20th planned there. That's so cool!

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  4. Technically Japan is a series of islands and that is certainly the definition of hustle and bustle.

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    1. Japan is someplace I'd like to get to one day. I actually like hustle and bustle of large cities, but definitely need to recharge my batteries in more deserted places, like remote islands.

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  5. I loved spending a week on Kauai, the garden island of Hawaii. I'm posting some pictures and stories from that trip during the challenge, for a few of the letters, H and K, for sure, and maybe a couple more. It was a wonderful trip.
    Mary at Play off the Page

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    1. I'll have to check out your Hawaii installments. I went there a few years ago and loved it.

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  6. Bess is getting another break today! Is she working up to a huge meltdown?
    We love the Ft Myers area islands - Gasparilla Island, Cayo Costa and Ft Myers Beach. - Lucy

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    1. Not to fear, Bess is going to be back with a bang on the J and K installments.

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  7. I'm more of an inland person. I love the coast, but the water scares me. :)
    Thanks for your visit today.
    Happy Monday!

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    1. That's a shame about the water scaring you, but at least you can still go for lovely walks along the beach.

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  8. Oddly enough, I think the only island I've been to is Britain. :-)

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    1. Great Britain is a pretty wonderful island, so I think you chose well there :-)

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  9. I live on Gloucester Island so this would be my favorite. It is surrounded by the smell of salt water and filled with the calls of gulls all year round.

    Meet My Imaginary Friends
    #AtoZchallenge http://www.kathleenvalentineblog.com/

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    1. I do love the smell of the ocean and listening to the birds. It's such a wonderful thing to wake up to.

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  10. Oh this story is getting more interesting each day.

    I love the Caribbean. Those islands are most wonderful.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. I can't wait to get to the Caribbean islands next year on our boat!

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  11. Loving how you are working in words from the titles of the Nancy Drew mysteries! Lilac Inn was one of my favorites. The plot thickens! Is Party Time a drug boat? Or Will George do something daring and athletic? Did Bess stash some of those brownies in her pocket for later? I am staying tuned! Go Nancy!

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    1. I wondered if anyone would notice that! You're definitely a hard core Nancy Drew fan. I've worked in some other book titles into the A to Z series as well.

      Stay tuned...George will save the day doing judo in the near future. And, Bess always has a stash of chocolate handy. She tend to squirrel M&Ms into her pockets as they're small and the candy coating keeps them from melting on her nice clothes.

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  12. We got kicked out of Urupukapuka Island by DOC one year. I got caught bringing Sally to shore (I really did think anything below the high tide line was fair game)and was threatened with a $200, so it's not one of my favourite island. We did really like Waewaetorea Island though. It was still under DOC protection but had lovely view of the bay and out to Cape Brett.

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    1. I would have thought below the high tide line was fair game as well. Isn't that what they use for other access issues?

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  13. Great blog!
    Http://cazgreenham.blogspot.com

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  14. I live on a peninsula...one side short of an island! But I haven't been to too many islands in my life. There's one near Charleston that's beautiful and not really well know. Most of the other islands are too touristy.

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    1. I would ask you to spill the beans on the island near Charleston that isn't well known, but then everyone would visit it and it would get too touristy.

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  15. I remember Nancy Drew stories like I read them yesterday. I have to say Bermuda and the Dominican Republic are my favorite. Fond memories made at both!

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    1. Two islands I really want to get to one day. If we do decide to cross the Atlantic on our boat, it would be fun to break our passage in Bermuda for a while.

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  16. Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron. Quite, unspoiled, beautiful. Accessible by ferry. A great place to relax.

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  17. Your picture of that New Zealand island makes me want to jump on a sailing boat and explore. Lovely post re the mystery of islands -- and that Nancy Drew mystery as well. We're far from islands now, but I remember growing up on Bainbridge Island just across from Seattle and building hideaways from driftwood.

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    1. I love your memory of building hideways from driftwood. That sounds like our equivalent of building forts out of snow growing up in Midwest.

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  18. The Galapagos Islands (I know, cheating since it's more than one! :)) were my favourite. The wildlife was just so interesting and unique.

    Tracy (Black Boots, Long Legs)

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    1. Now, that would be a trip of a lifetime! Definitely on my bucket list!

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  19. I really want to go to the Galapagos Islands and will someday.
    I love the Hawaiian Islands and the San Juans.

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    1. Another vote for the Galapagos :-) Do you mean the San Juans in the Pacific Northwest? If so, I would love to explore them one day from a sailboat.

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  20. Great chapter, as always.

    My favourite island so far is Santorini. The architecture, the food, the sunsets...but not the crush of people. That I can do without.

    Curacao is pretty awesome too.

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    1. We've been to Greece before, but never to Santorini. Would love to get back there one day and explore more of the islands.

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  21. I think one of the reasons islands are so special for sailors is because it's a sort of privilege that we can get to them for free without having to pay for a ferry, adhere to a ferry schedule with the crowds of other people, stay in an expensive hotel, etc.

    Between your Nancy series and Little Cunning Plan's Anxiety series, I see some interesting parallels between Nancy / Bess and Fran / Amy ! Too funny !

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    1. That's so true - Bess is Amy in disguise and Nancy is such a calm, cool and collected Fran.

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  22. There are so many islands to choose from as a favorite. Being cruisers, we are all very spoiled and what is called a pretty beach by other tourists or Lonely Planet might be a disappointment to sailors once they arrive. I still prefer the quintessential tropical islands, instead of the woodsy ones. Ones with soft white sand beaches, a palm tree for shade, turquoise blue water and healthy coral for snorkeling. I think I'll pick South Fakarava in the South Pacific as a favorite. :-)

    Liesbet @ Roaming About – A Life Less Ordinary

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    1. South Fakarava sounds divine! I like islands with sandy beaches, but they have to have enough shade otherwise I get way too hot.

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