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16 April 2016

N Is For Nautical Miles | 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 girls overheard a suspicious conversation and the man from Party Palace is angry that he hasn't gotten his cut from Captain Gus. Captain Gus assured him that he had a record of what had been stolen and what they sold it for and that he was going to get the money from his nephew Pete soon.

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“Girls, over here,” said Shelley, motioning to the empty bench near the fire pit. “You remember Don and Judy from Double Jinx, don’t you? They were just telling us about cruising in the Bahamas last year.”

“You went to the Bahamas?” Bess gushed. “Oh, I would love to go there one day. All of those tropical beaches and crystal clear water. What was it like?”

“Oh it was wonderful,” said Judy. “We have another sailboat, which we store in a marina in southern Florida. Each winter, we take her over to the Bahamas and get a break from all of the snow and cold weather up here. Are you a keen sailor?” she asked, looking at Bess.

“Me? No, I don’t know the first thing about sailing,” Bess replied.

“Or tying knots,” George mumbled under her breath.

Bess ignored George and continued, “This is my first time out on a sailboat. I’ve only been on it for a couple of days. I can’t imagine sailing to some place like the Bahamas. How far away is it?”

“Well, from Lake Worth, where we stage ourselves for the crossing, it’s about 78 nautical to Mangrove Cay in the Abacos.”

“How long did the crossing take you?” George interjected. “I’m hoping to sail over to the Bahamas next year with my aunt and uncle.”

“I can’t remember? How many hours was it, honey?” Judy asked turning to her husband.

“Hmm…I think it took us around 21 hours that time. It was one of our longer crossings. The current in the Gulf Stream was pretty strong and we ended up having to motor most of the way.”

“21 hours? But wouldn’t that mean that you would have had to sail in the dark?” asked Bess with a perplexed look on her face. “What if you ran into something? Didn’t you get tired? I bet you needed a lot of snacks to stay awake that whole time.”

Don chuckled and said, “Yes, we had to sail in the dark, but that’s why one person is always on watch to keep a lookout for other boats. The other person gets to nap while they’re not on watch.”

Judy added, “I made plenty of snickerdoodle cookies so that whoever was on watch had something to snack on. Well, anyway, we better get going. We’ll see you all tomorrow at the barbeque and we can tell you more about the Bahamas then.”

As Don and Judy waved goodbye and headed off to their dinghy, Nancy told Marvin and Shelley about the conversation they had overheard between the man from Party Palace and Captain Gus from Xebec Charters.

“This is starting to sounds dangerous, Nancy,” said Shelley with a worried look on her face.

“Oh, don’t worry about us. When one of the guys tried to grab Nancy, you should have seen the judo move that George used on him!” Bess looked proudly at her cousin. “No one messes with George.”

“Investigating this case still sounds risky to me. Marvin, why don’t we go over and let the Commodore of the yacht club know what’s been going on so that they can keep an eye out for any criminal activity.” Shelley turned to the girls. “Let’s meet back at the dinghy in twenty minutes and head back to the boat for the night.”

As Marvin and Shelley walked away, Nancy thought to herself that it was a good thing that she hadn’t told anyone about the threatening note that had been left on her car back at the marina. What would they think if they knew someone had threatened her with a watery grave?

Tune in on Monday for the next installment of Nancy Drew Investigates – O is for Old Salt.

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Chart showing our some of our sailing adventures in the Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand. On these particular three days, we did 95 nautical miles. The toilet seat also broke and slid out from underneath me while I was using it. True story.

Just to complicate things, there are miles and then there are nautical miles. If you want all of the backstory and complicated diagrams, head on over to Wikipedia. If not, here's what you need to know - nautical miles are bigger than regular miles. Actually, you probably don't need to know that. It's not like it's something they ask you when you're in Starbucks getting a latte.

We like to keep track of our nautical miles. Scott has over 11,000 under his belt and I have somewhere around 2,500. This is small potatoes compared to most avid sailors, especially for me. We keep track of them because: (1) I like spreadsheets and data entry (sad but true); (2) we're nerds; and (3) if you want to get certain sailing qualifications or endorsements (like RYA Yachtmaster), then you need to have ticked off a certain number of miles.

We keep a logbook and record how many nautical miles we've done each day, along with other fascinating tidbits like what we had for breakfast, where we sailed to/from, how many dolphins we saw, the weather, who won at gin rummy, whose turn it is to do the washing up etc. Okay, we don't really put all of that in there. A log book could be used as an official document of sorts, so we try to keep ours kind of serious. Although, I have been known to draw octopus doodles in it from time to time.

{For those of you who read the caption on the image above and want to know more about the broken toilet seat, click here.}

Is there anything you keep a record of (like nautical miles sailed or number of Girl Scout cookies eaten in one sitting)?

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32 comments:

  1. I learned about nautical miles when I was learning to fly, so it's used on the sea and in the air. Another thing I learned about is snickerdoodles. Love 'em!

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    1. Oh that's interesting - I had no idea you used nautical miles in the air too. Snickerdoodles are one of my favorite cookies.

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  2. I had no idea nautical miles were bigger than regular miles. Thanks for the info and the entertaining story!

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  3. Great idea to log hours and miles so you don't have to scramble to verify hours later! We keep a log on our current boat, but did not for previous boats. We do about 30,000 miles of commuting by car a year; I can't wait to reduce that to 0! - Lucy

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  4. Yes, I know about Nautical miles. My late partner was a commercial fisherman all his life so I know more about things nautical than I am even aware of sometimes.

    #AtoZchallenge
    Meet My Imaginary Friends

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    1. It's funny how things kind of seep into your unconsciousness without even being aware of it.

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  5. Yes, this is getting very dangerous, but George is there to protect everyone. I'm sure it will work out just fine and the bad guys will pay.

    We too have log books and they come in very handy. Boat maintenance is one of the very best things. Also where you went and when. How long the trip took. We do all this too.

    Have a fabulous weekend Ellen. ☺

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    1. Thanks goodness George was there to save the day :-)

      Boat maintenance is a good thing to make a note of too. Otherwise, you forget when you last changed the fuel filter etc.

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  6. Mike keeps track of nautical miles, but I'm pretty boring. I only keep track of my weight. Ugh. I would love to not have to do that, but there it is. At least I'm a nerd about one thing. Oh, I used to keep track of plants. I had a program with literally thousands of plants, and for several years I started dozens of varieties of seeds in the greenhouse every year. I tried my hand at a spreadsheet for those, but it's just not how my brain works. I've never seen a spreadsheet that I really got along with. So many boxes. Just loving your Nancy story! And Mike reads it every day as well. I get a text from him every day asking what I think will be happening next!

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    1. The good thing about living aboard a boat is that you don't have room for a scale. So, I never know how much I weigh!

      I can't believe Mike reads it as well and texts you about it. That's a huge compliment - tell him thanks!

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  7. David logs all of the boat activities (miles and maintenance), which is good because I'm easily distracted and would probably forget to post things up most days . . . or end up with a heck of a lot of octopus doodles on the page!

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    1. Well, the octopus doodles are far more interesting, but probably not as practical as what David logs. There have been days when I've forgotten to log things and I have to go back and try to remember what happened.

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  8. We kept a logbook when sailing from place to place, but I don't quite remember how much nautical miles we covered in those eight years of slow cruising, Somewhere around 20,000, I believe. We keep track of our expenses and I have kept a daily diary for over 25 years. Not much other data entry is going on in our lives... :-)

    Liesbet @ Roaming About – A Life Less Ordinary

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    1. Wow, you've been keeping a diary for that long! Very impressive. I dabbled with diaries when I was a kid, but never really stuck with it.

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  9. I didn't realize people kept up with their nautical miles. Very interesting!

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    1. Not everyone does, but we do. One of these days, maybe I'll catch up to how many Scott has.

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  10. My wife keeps record of all the books she reads. She writes down the number of pages and a few quotes for each book. It is amazing to read.

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    1. Wow - that would be such an amazing record to have. Right now, I'm tracking the books I'm reading for the "Around the World in 80 Books" challenge, but I don't track all of the other books I read. It would be interesting to see how many I actually get through in a year and what genres I read the most of.

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  11. I like to keep track of how many words I've written (for weeks when I feel as though I have accomplished nothing). And I wish I had kept track of all the books I read over the years... a literary history would be nice to review.

    I completely understand the need to keep track of nautical miles for certification though. It is like when my kids had to keep track of the hours they drove while on restricted license.

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    1. I didn't realize that kids had to track how many hours they drive on a restricted license. I wonder if that's a requirement in just some countries/states/provinces etc.

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  12. I really liked how that last line tightened the tension of the story. Re charting and record keeping, about the only consistent jotting down I do is of the number of words written day by day. I do keep a Daily Work Log, though it definitely veers off topic to include research, plotting ideas, how much quilting and/or exercise I'm getting done. Those maps look daunting. Sail on!

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    1. I should log how much exercise I do each day, but then there would be an awful lot of empty pages :-)

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  13. Nancy is great. I check out your post first thing in the morning. You have edged out the NYTimes!

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    1. Wow - really? I've edged out the NY Times? That's a huge compliment, especially coming from a book person like you!

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  14. What I love about the A-Z challenge is the opportunity to find interesting blogs such as yours. I must confess to never having read Nancy Drew and i wouldn't have the confidence to follow your life choices (especially as a very poor swimmer!) but it's been great dipping into your blog.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by Wendy. I'd have to agree - the A to Z Challenge is wonderful for finding new and interesting blogs to explore.

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  15. Your last sentences of your Nancy Drew story always make me want to show upto read the next chapter.Can't wait to find out about the Old Salt.

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    1. Thanks Claire - I'm glad my little "teasers" are working :-)

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  16. I do hope the girls are careful - it's getting dicey!
    Everyone using the same measurement for miles would be simply too easy, wouldn't it :). I don't think there's anything I keep a note of like miles sailed - unless number of words written counts :)
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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    1. I think number of words definitely counts :-)

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