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25 April 2016

U Is For Underway | 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.  


APOLOGIES - MY COMPUTER HAS STOPPED WORKING, so responding to comments here and leaving comments on all of your wonderful A to Z blogs is proving challenging, to say the least. And I haven't written my Z post yet - yikes! - so I'll have to try to do that on my phone this week, otherwise, you'll all worry about what happened to Nancy.

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When we last left you, Nancy had sneaked aboard Party Palace and was snooping around when she heard two men talking on the boat.

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While Nancy was looking around Party Palace, Ned heard someone scream and rushed over to see what happened.

“Are you all right?” Ned asked the young woman, who was lying down on the beach and clutching her ankle in pain. “I think I sprained my ankle. I was walking along the beach, when suddenly I tripped over some driftwood and fell down.” As she tried to get up, she moaned in pain.

“Here, let me help you,” said Ned as he gently grabbed her arm and helped her to her feet. “We better get you back to the marina so that someone can look at your ankle.”

“Thanks so much, that’s very kind of you,” she said as clutched Ned’s arm. Ned noticed the sprinkling of freckles across her nose as she looked up at him with big, blue eyes. “My name is Nellie. I’m here at the regatta with my uncle, Captain Gus, on his boat Xebec.”

“Captain Gus, the man who runs Xebec Charters?” Ned remembered Nancy telling him that she suspected Captain Gus of being the ringleader of the thefts at the marina. “I heard that he owns two other boats – Party Time and Party Palace. They both have a distinctive dolphin logo on their bows. Is that right?”

Nellie eyed Ned cautiously. “I don’t know anything about those other boats. Now, if you could just help me back to the marina.” Just as Ned was about to question Nellie more about her uncle, he heard the sound of an engine and saw Party Palace pull out of their slip.

“Hey, wait a minute,” he shouted. “My girlfriend is on that boat!”

While Ned stared helplessly at the boat getting underway, Nellie pushed him aside and ran up the beach and into the woods that covered the island. Ned watched in astonishment. Her ankle seemed fine. Had it all been a distraction to lure him away from the dock so that he wouldn’t notice anyone getting on board Party Palace?

Watching the boat make its way out into the bay and knowing that there wasn’t anything he could do to help Nancy from the dock, he rushed back to the barbeque to alert the others.

Tune in on Tuesday for the next installment of Nancy Drew Investigates – V is for V-Berth.

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Underway to Whangarei in New Zealand. I still remember how choppy the water was and what a struggle it was to get the mainsail down that day.

It's such a good feeling to get underway on a sailboat. It means you're going someplace. Whether out for a day sail, off to a new anchorage for the night or embarking on an overnight passage to someplace new and exciting.

Getting underway isn't a simple matter of hoisting the anchor and pointing the boat in the direction you want to go. An awful lot of planning and preparation is involved. For starters, you have to make sure everything is stowed away down below. Trust me, the last thing you want to hear as you're hoisting the mainsail is a crashing noise as your glass French press coffee maker tumbles off of the galley counter and onto the floor, leaving you with shards of glass everywhere and no way to make coffee the next morning.

Does it look like rain is on its way? Are you expecting to be crashing into heavy seas? Then, you need to make sure that the hatches are battened down and dogged, so that you don't get any salt water rushing down below all over your bedding. (I don't know where the term "dog the hatches" comes from, but it means to make sure the hatch is securely closed by turning the handles so that water can't seep in.)

Do you know where you're going? You need to make sure you've got your charts (paper and/or electronic) and guidebooks at the ready, you've planned your course (any reefs or shallow waters you need to avoid?) and you know what anchorages or hidey holes are along the way, in case you need to duck in due to weather or other issues.

And, of course, there's the weather. No one gets underway unless they've looked at the weather forecast. Mother Nature can be very unforgiving, so you need to know what you can expect before you head out. If it looks bad, sometimes the smart thing to do is not get underway at all.

But, probably the most important part of getting ready to get underway is making sure there are enough snacks and refreshments. Although, Bess isn't the best when it comes to sailing, I'm pretty sure this could be a strong suit of hers - ensuring the crew (and herself) is well fed.

What do you do to get ready for a trip? Are there any special preparations you make?

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36 comments:

  1. Love your A to Z theme! Also love the subtitles to each of your chapters on the story page. Can't wait to find out what really happened!
    And, also, I wish I was on a sailboat now...

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    1. Thanks so much! I really appreciate your kind words.

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  2. My parents have a motor home and I know they have a lot to do before hitting the road, so I can only imagine how much needs to be done before setting sail.

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    1. How fun that they have a motor home. Such a great way to travel!

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  3. This is a very stressful turn of events; the computer, the kidnapping, the reminder of that time we set sail with no lunch! - Lucy

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    1. I blame the zombies for breaking my computer. It's the only logical explanation.

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  4. We never left when bad weather was predicted. The weather is always the main concern, since it is out of your hands as a cruiser. And, in some parts of the world, the forecasts can't be trusted, unfortunately, so... always be ready for unpleasant surprises! For short trips we had Irie ready, up and running in 20 minutes (on a catamaran, there is less to store inside), but on a longer passage, it would take a bit longer, since we would take the engine off the dinghy, install jacklines and prepare some food ahead of time.

    http://www.roamingabout.com/u-is-for-unique/

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  5. Ellen, I am so glad you wrote these ahead of time, what with your computer broken. I strained one of my fingers severely this weekend and have to write the last posts with one hand... :-(

    http://www.roamingabout.com/u-is-for-unique/

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    1. Oh no! Your poor finger! I'm trying to respond to comments by typing with one finger on my phone and it's so frustrating. I can't imagine writing blog posts too. Hope it gets better soon.

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  6. It's all about weather for us, but there's a lot of other preparation that goes into a trip, all of which you mentioned in your blog (I'm still cursing the day I left a bottle of red wine unsecured and it crashed to the floor, staining the carpet -- talk about alcohol abuse!).

    Good luck with the computer!

    Stephanie

    http://www.svcambria.com/2016/04/under-weather.html

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    1. Shame about the wine. Maybe a reason to drink white?

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  7. Unfortunately I don't do much traveling these days except for short trips but on the page my journeys are endless.

    @Kathleen01930
    Meet My Imaginary Friends
    #AtoZchallenge

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    1. That's the nice thing about writing, you can take wonderful trips in your mind.

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  8. Oh no!! A red herring! Men are so easy to trick when they are going all heroic and stuff. Ned, how could you be so dumb? Will Nancy dive overboard without looking for sharks? This is terrible! I won't be able to sleep. And now there is they mystery of the computer pixies keeping you from doing your Z post! Do they hate us or something? Melissa @ http://littlecunningplan.com/2016/04/u-is-for-ultra-violet-death-rays/

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    1. Sharks bow down to Nancy's poise and fashion sense and would never think of harming her.

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  9. When things get shaky, have a brownie! Or two. I'm leaving for Europe soon and my dining room table is covered with stuff to pack. I am still not sure how the date snuck up on me.

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    1. I like the way you think! Have a wonderful time in Europe. Look forward to your blog posts from there.

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  10. Ned, you knuckle head! Men! Can't trust 'em a minute!
    Yes, before we get underway we always sit in the cockpit, just for a minute, and talk about what we're planning. Which side is the mooring ball on? Which way will we turn out of the anchorage? If we're sailing off the mooring, who's handling which lines? It saves a whole lot of "but I thought YOU were going to..." later!

    As for Nancy, I'm on pins and needles! But I just finished writing "Z" is for "Zephyr", so I'm feeling like a snack!

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    1. That predeparture chat is such a great idea. Looking forward to your Z post. Great word!

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  11. So sorry about your computer. Yikes! Preparing for a trip isn't nearly as complicated when you're traveling by car or plane. There are all kinds of preparations if you're heading toward the open water.

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    1. Travelling by boat is more complicated, but you do get into a routine.

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  12. Sorry to hear about your computer - I hope you get a fix soon. Oh no, Nancy is in trouble. My friend's boat is in a marina that is very tidal so he has to plan his leaving and coming back very, very carefully. When my husband and I go on a trip I just make sure I do the packing, at least for the suitcase (he deals with the rest of the stuff if we need it). If I leave the suitcase to Rob I will find myself without knickers or something equally problematic ;)
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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    1. Keeping track of the tides is super important. Lots of tidal waters in the UK.

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  13. Yikes on Nancy still being aboard. This is getting more nail biting by the day.

    You are right about getting ready to leave your slip. There is much work to do. Safety first.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  14. Ned never has been the brightest guy. Can't wait to see how Nancy gets out this dilemma.

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    1. I can't quite figure out why Nancy spends time Ned when those Hardy Boys are so dishy and clever.

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  15. When I prepare for a trip, I make lists of the things I cannot forget, then proceed to forget them all when I pack. It is a terrible pattern, and one I seem to repeat.

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    1. I've done that too. It's always the thing that you didn't want to forget the most that you forget.

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  16. It's a serious preparation for even the smallest of trips, I'm sure. But key would be the supplies of food and drink. Even spending a week in a hotel room means getting the perfect snacks for the down time. :)
    I do admire your sense of adventure!

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