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12 April 2016

J Is For Jetty | 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, the gang was rushing off to Moonstone Castle Cove to see if they could help out another boat which was almost struck by the suspicious white catamaran. 

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“This is beautiful,” Bess exclaimed as they neared the entrance to Moonstone Castle Cove. A white, sandy beach ran along the cove and, in the distance, Bess could see the ruins of Moonstone Castle surrounded by trees and wildflowers. “It’s hard to believe that anything as peaceful as this island could be the scene of a dinghy theft.”

“Don’t forget that the crew of Double Jinx almost got their boat rammed by that suspicious white catamaran,” said George. “I knew we shouldn’t have let that guy get away after he pushed Nancy down in the boat yard!”

“Oh, it’s okay George. I have a hunch that we’ll crack this case even if he did get away,” said Nancy as she sat down in the cockpit. “Bess, are you excited for your first dinghy ride? After we anchor, we’ll take the dinghy over to that jetty and go talk to the crew of Spider Sapphire.”

The girls watched as their host, Marvin, steered the boat towards the north side of the cove. “Honey, get ready to drop the anchor,” he said to his wife, Shelley, who was up on the bow. Shelley turned back and gave a thumbs up sign. Marvin looked down at the chart plotter and turned the boat slightly to port. “Go ahead and drop her,” he said as he motioned forward with his hand. Shelley pushed down on a button in the anchor locker with her foot, turning on the windlass which lowered the anchor and chain down to the water. They marveled at the hand signals Marvin and Shelley used to communicate while anchoring the boat.

Shelley walked back towards the cockpit. “The anchor looks well set, but let’s wait a while to be sure we don’t drag before we head to shore. Why don’t I get us some iced tea and the rest of those brownies that Hannah sent with Nancy?”

After finishing off the brownies, Marvin lowered the dinghy into the water. “All right girls, everyone climb on in.” Bess looked a bit unsure as she stepped off of the swim platform on the back of the boat into the dinghy, which was bobbing up and down in the water.

“Bess, don’t be such a silly goose. Hop in,” said George as she reached up a hand to help her down. Nancy followed Bess, sitting down next to her and George on the inflatable tube running along one side of the dinghy. Shelley sat down on the other side while Marvin started the outboard engine and pointed them towards the jetty.

As they came alongside the old wooden jetty, Marvin cut off the engine and grabbed the side of the jetty with his hand as the dinghy glided up next to it. “Here’s where we get off. Shelley, why don’t you get out first and tie us off.”

Bess looked at the rope in Shelley’s hand and remembered that George and Nancy had said that it was called a painter. For the life of her she couldn’t figure out why a rope would be named after some sort of artist, especially when it didn’t have anything to do with water colors or oil paints, but she was eager to prove that she had learned something. “Would it be okay if I tied the painter to the dock? I’ve been practicing tying knots as part of my volunteer work with the River Heights Girl Scout troop,” Bess said eagerly as she climbed out of the dinghy.

“Do you know how to tie a clove hitch?” asked Shelley. Bess nodded, took the painter from Shelley and bent down to tie the dinghy to the metal cleat attached to the jetty.

Just then, another dinghy approached the jetty. “Are you from Spider Sapphire?” asked Marvin as he walked over to grab their painter. “We sure are,” said a middle-aged man with brownish red hair. “I’m Don and this is my wife Sandra. Our friends from Double Jinx had their dinghy stolen and we came over to help.”

Marvin nodded. “Yes, we heard about it on the VHF and thought we would come see if there is anything we can do to help as well.”

Sandra, a pleasant looking woman with long brown hair tied back in a ponytail, looked up and said, “That’s so kind of you. Why don’t we all walk down to the beach and find out exactly what happened.”

While everyone was busy with introductions, Bess worked feverishly to tie the dinghy to the jetty. Nancy glanced over. “Bess, are you okay? Do you need a hand?” Bess shook her head and said, “No, I’ve got it. Why don’t you all go on ahead and I’ll join you. I left my cardigan in the dinghy and I want to grab it first.”

Bess watched everyone walk down the dock, looked at the painter in her hand and sighed. “I suppose if I just tie enough knots, it won’t drift away,” she muttered to herself.

“Bess, hurry up!” shouted Nancy from the beach. “The crew of Double Jinx have a description of the man who stole their dinghy."

Tune in on Wednesday for the next installment of Nancy Drew Investigates – K is for Knot.

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A jetty (or possibly a pier?) at Coromandel wharf in New Zealand. The good thing about New Zealand is that if you fall off of a jetty or a pier and into the water, there aren't any alligators lurking about. In Florida, it's a whole different ball game.

I love Wikipedia. Not so much that I donate to it, but I love it all the same. I learn so many useless facts. Things that are only good for crossword puzzles and cocktail parties. Like this little nugget - the word jetty is derived from the French word, jetée, which means thrown. (By the way, it took some effort to add that accent to the word. Just saying.)

Basically, a jetty is a walkway thrown out over water. After reading that on Wikipedia, I immediately started imagining giants (friendly ones, mind you), carrying large tote bags, crammed full of jetties, and tossing them all over the place. Although, I suspect this isn't what Wikipedia meant. That's why I don't donate to them. Their explanations of things can be rather on the dull side. Whereas, my explanations - so much more interesting.

I bet you can't get that image out of your head - giants wearing khaki vests with lots of pockets for their pencils and slingshots, with a tote bag slung around their shoulders, wading in deep water (deep to you and me, but not deep to them) and creating lovely little walkways for us to wander on.

What's the most imaginative explanation for something that you've ever come up with? I'm sure you've told your teachers and parents some very imaginative excuses in your time. I know I have.

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42 comments:

  1. Uh-oh - I hope that knot holds and they can get it undone again. Most imaginative excuse? Um ... I can't think of anything at all :) I love your giants though :D
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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    1. Glad you like the giants too. I can't get them out of my head for some reason.

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  2. Which probably will turn into a lesson why one should never let others do the important things if one isn't absolutely sure the other can do it right.

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    1. I don't know what happened to Nancy. She certainly wasn't on the ball with this one. Letting Bess tie a knot on her own was just plain silly - this probably won't end well.

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  3. LOL Yes, khaki-clad giants do add some color to a Wikipedia explanation! Poor Bess. Those knots will be her undoing (so to speak). I think murdering someone before tourists at an historical re-enactment (seeming to be part of the play) is pretty inventive.

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    1. I agree, that knot will be Bess's undoing - perfect description :-)

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  4. Love the image of the giants. One of my piano students was trying to figure out the way the keys are laid out. We were talking about the note G, how it's in all these octaves. Think of the keyboard like a tower, but lying down. The left is the lower end, the right is high in the sky. The student said, "It's like a rumbling tower of G's." I loved that.
    Mary at Play off the Page

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    1. That is a clever way to think about your keyboard. Kids are so clever!

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  5. I always thought a jetty was a manmade tumble of rocks extending out into the ocean, as opposed to a dock or a pier, with wooden pilings, but I thought a pier was more lightweight than a dock. But then my son the Navy guy said his submarine ties up to a pier, not a dock. So many words, so little time to figure them all out!

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    1. I actually just saw something on Facebook explaining the difference between jetties, wharves, piers and quays, which aligns with what you're saying. Quays and jetties are built on fill and piers and wharves are built on pilings. Wharfs and quays are parallel to shore and piers and jetties extend out from shore. I'd still argue that giants are involved in creating all of them though :-)

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  6. You have such wonderful imagination, Ellen. I'm sure that is one of the reasons you are writing so well and that the Nancy Drew story is flowing so nicely! I fantasize a lot as well, but am having a hard time coming up with an imaginary explanation to something I thought about before...

    Looking forward to finding out whether Bess messed up the dinghy tying and it drifted away, or whether she went for the safe option of "If you don't know a knot, tie a lot!" :-)

    Liesbet @ Roaming About – A Life Less Ordinary

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  7. Oh, I feel sorry for Bess! Why on earth didn't anyone watch her tie the knot and double check it? They're all very optimistic in spite of historical evidence! There's going to be lots of knickers in a twist tomorrow! And then there's L, the loony bin we'll all be in soon! - Lucy

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    1. Crazy isn't it? Who would let Bess do anything boat related given her history!

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  8. I'm loving this mystery and I know it will get solved. Yes indeed.

    Have a fabulous day Ellen. ☺

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    1. I haven't written the final installment yet, so not quite sure if Nancy will putt if off :-)

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  9. Ha! Some of my books grew out of my crazy excuses!!! Good story.

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

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  10. The antithesis of the imaginative speculation: On the Spanish tallship where we are tourguides, my station is often the quarterdeck. From there, you can see the sixth, highest deck, historically for officers only, where you can oversee the activity of the entire ship. It is called the poop deck, and I don't have to describe for you, do I, the bathroom related speculation we get from the six-year-old crowd? The real explanation is so boring; "poop" and the Spanish equivalent "popa" both come from the Latin poppus, which just means ... the deck at the back of the boat.

    Now, OTOH, sounds like someone in your story needs to "learn the ropes" ... or at least, the knots ...

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    1. I'm so disappointed to learn that poop deck has such boring origins.

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  11. Well, it's not really an explanation (or imaginative) but my birthday is one day before my father's and we would celebrate together when I was little but I could never figure out why (if he was only born one day before me) he was so much older. :)

    http://www.svcambria.com/2016/04/j-is-for-jacklines-and-other-safety.html

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  12. I often feel mildly guilty at not donating to Wikipedia, Ellen, but you've made me feel so much better. :)

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  13. Poor Bess, always wanting to be part of the sporty club, always failing miserably. At least she can take comfort in brownies. When I was a kid my dad would always quiz us on what words meant. I suppose he taught us a lot, but whenever he began with 'This comes from the Greek root...' our eyes would glaze over. Still, it sunk in. http://littlecunningplan.com/2016/04/j-is-for-just-breathe/

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    1. Wasn't that like in the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding - everything could be traced back to Greek origins?

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  14. Enjoyed the imagery of the Giants. Hmmm, most imaginative excuse, this is a tough one. Most of my excuses were the typical, my brother ripped up my homework, my brother sat on me all night so I couldn't do my homework.

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    1. That brother of yours sounds like he was up to no good when you were kids :-)

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  15. Not Nancy, but Marvin should be strung up for this one. His boat, he's the captain, HE should be overseeing Bess's knot work! Of course I am making the assumption that Bess won't do it right...

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    1. There's always hope that Bess will pull it off, but...I doubt it.

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  16. One winter afternoon, my brother and I were home "sick" from school. My parents worked, and as I was 6 years older than my brother, I was expected to care for him in our "illnesses". Well, we decided it would be great to take turns throwing snowballs from the front yard into the living room window, where the other would sit, offering their face as target through through the glass. Of course, I threw the snow far too hard and broke the first pane of glass, sending shards(and my brother) scattering.

    Not wanting to get in trouble, I invented a fabulous story. It seems a random hoodlum with long hair and a jean jacket was wandering our neighborhood, throwing snow at houses. I heard the window break, and rushed up stairs just in time to see this long haired vandal scurrying off down the street. My brother backed up my version of events (I may have threatened him).

    My mother believed this tale for close to 15 years. It is still a family joke, one that gets told far too often.

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  17. Now that you mention giants, I remember my wife telling me her parents said that thunder was giants rolling sacks of potatoes across a wooden bridge. Maybe they were throwing them across jetties as well?

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    1. Definitely! They love to roll potatoes across anything that goes over water :-)

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  18. My son, once gave himself a haircut, but instead of owning up to it, he claimed a squirrel had come in through the bathroom window and left its fur behind. LOL He's a good one for amazing tales!

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    1. Very imaginative! Those squirrels, you have to keep an eye on them. They're always causing trouble :-)

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  19. Great job! I know Wikipedia has its factual flaws, but I love that you can get a quick overview of any topic.

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    1. It's my go to source for a quick take on anything. I was remembering back in the day (which dates me) when we had a set of encyclopedias on the bookshelf. Oh, how times have changed.

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  20. Enough with the brownies already. I'm getting a serious craving, lol. Love Google and Wikipedia.

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    1. If you think you're getting cravings, imagine how hard it is for me when I keep writing about them :-)

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  21. Wikipedia is my go-to page for lots of things...but I haven't donated... I've always wondered about the differences between quay, jetty, pier and wharf...
    Writer In Transit

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    1. I wonder how many people (percentage of users) actually donate to Wikipedia?

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