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27 April 2016

W Is For Watch | 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, two men had boarded the boat Nancy was hidden on, started up the engine and pulled out of the marina. Nancy realized that the men were Pete, Captain Gus's nephew, and Donny, the man on the white catamaran who tried to hurt Nancy at the marina, threatened other boats and stole a dinghy.

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Nancy tried opening the hatch in the ceiling of the v-berth to crawl out onto deck and make her escape, but it wouldn’t budge no matter how hard she pushed on it. Realizing that she might have to confront the two men, she grabbed a winch handle to use in self-defense if necessary.

Putting her ear up to the door between the v-berth and the salon, Nancy heard the men argue about the weather.

“I’m telling you, the forecast says that the wind is going to shift and get up to 30 knots tonight. This cove is notorious for poor holding, especially with winds like that.”

“That’s what makes it perfect. Other boaters never come here. It’s an ideal place to move the goods between the two boats.”

Nancy determined that they must be anchored in Witch Tree Cove on the south side of Grande Isle. The marina was located in the more protected cove on the north side. She hoped that Ned had been able to warn the others that she had been on Party Palace when it left the marina. But, would they know to look for her in Witch Tree Cove, especially as boats didn’t typically anchor here?

As Nancy puzzled over this, she noticed a portable VHF radio lying underneath bolts of Sunbrella fabric. She picked it up and examined it. When she turned the power switch on, the VHF started crackling loudly. She quickly turned down the volume, but it was too late.

“Did you hear that, Pete? I think I heard something in the v-berth,” said Donny.

“That’s your overactive imagination again. It’s probably just a mouse. Captain Gus just got a cat to get rid of them. Come on, let’s go out on deck. I want to make sure that anchor is well set, given the winds that we’re going to get. I think we’ll also have to take turns keeping anchor watch tonight as well.”

Donny huffed. “I’m not imagining anything. There’s something in there and it’s not a mouse! I’m going to go check it out.”

Nancy grabbed the winch handle tightly as the knob on the door to the v-berth started to turn.

Tune in on Thursday for the next installment of Nancy Drew Investigates – X is for Xebec.

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The dark and spooky sky after we dropped the anchor off of Waiheke Island in New Zealand after having to move in the middle of the night when the winds changed.



While we trust our Rocna anchor to keep us safe and secure, there are times when you have to keep anchor watch, to make sure that your boat doesn't drag and either hit other boats in the anchorage or end up damaged on a reef or the shore. Anchor watch isn't a lot of fun. But, it's part and parcel of cruising. For all of the incredible highs of living on a boat, there are lots of lows, like sitting up in the middle of the night, listening to the howling wind and wondering if your anchor will hold.

I remember the first night I did anchor watch, sitting up in the cockpit, huddled under a blanket looking out at the starry sky and cursing Scott for sleeping so soundly while time ticked away so slowly during my watch. Isn't amazing how quickly time goes when you're having fun and how slowly it marches on when you'd rather be doing something else? Fortunately, we didn't drag that night.  Although, I think some other boats did.

Have you ever stayed up all night worried about something destroying your house, like a tornado, high winds, forest fire etc.? 

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38 comments:

  1. Oh no, Nancy is in deep trouble.
    I've never stayed up all night, but a while back we did have to rush outside in the middle of the night during a storm and tie down our car-port. It was a frame that sat in the wall on long metal spikes so that it could move slightly in strong winds - the winds were so strong they had lifted it completely out of the wall (and these spikes were 2ft long). We had to tie it to the metal gate and hope. It was a complete write off and had to be taken down the next day.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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  2. Nancy needs a distraction for the guy about to come in!
    No, I have never sat up all night because of a storm, or anything - I even slept right through 'the hurricane' of 1987 which took the tops of trees in our road.
    Sophie
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles | Wittegen Press | FB3X

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  3. I like how you build the tension. I'll be back tomorrow to see how Nancy gets out of this current situation.
    Anchor watch would be very hard. I'm sure I would day dream, and feel very sleepy at night!
    Great moon/dark sky shot.

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    1. It's an odd combination of sleepiness and moments of wakefulness when the wind picks up and you're hoping that you don't drag.

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  4. I so love our Rocna that I haven't needed to stay awake for formal anchor watch; it takes so much to dislodge it that the wind and boat motion have to get bad enough to wake us up long before we drag. (Though we often use the anchor watch app on phone or chartplotter. )

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    1. We should look into getting an anchor app that we can monitor down below.

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  5. I have, it's truly frightening. We have 90 ft trees around our house and for some reason the remnants of hurricanes always seem to hit at night. The electricity goes out and the winds howl like a covenant of sirens out to destroy the world. You can hear the trees breaking and falling, and several years ago we were lucky. A tree fell at an angle so that it's highest branches just barely scrapped the back door. But the sounds of the howling winds, the sound of debris hitting the windows, it's enough to drive you insane. I couldn't imagine being on the water during that, I couldn't do it. And hubby wouldn't be sleeping peacefully. LOL

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    1. Yes, why is it that storms are always worse at night? Or is it just that they seem worse at nights.

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  6. I’ve experienced an intense storm, but we don’t get hurricanes/typhoons/whirlwinds/tornados and other natural disasters on my end of the globe. Touch wood.

    (P.S I'm just doing a follow up...have you received the e-book of CassaStar by Alex J Cavanaugh?
    Writer In Transit

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    1. Hi Michelle - I did get a copy of the book from Alex. It was a great read. I had sent you an email about it. Not sure what happened, but I'll resend it.

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  7. I grew up in Kansas, so tornado warnings were a constant in my life this time of year and I'm happy to be rid of them! Funnily enough, I never actually saw a tornado in over 20 years. Had a new (to me) car totaled out by hail before I could even make the first payment, but that's it.

    Cheers, Stephanie

    http://www.svcambria.com/2016/04/what-cruising-means-to-us.html

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    1. That is quite strange that you never actually saw a tornado in Kansas. We had tornado warning/watches where I grew up, but I'm sure it was nothing like Kansas.

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  8. I lived on the Gulf Coast for a number of years and lived through quite a few hurricanes that kept me up all night. It is not a good feeling.

    @Kathleen01930
    Meet My Imaginary Friends
    #AtoZchallenge

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    1. That would not be a good feeling at all!

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  9. I lived for a few years in Oklahoma and had tornado watches. We were in the keys for Hurricane Katrina and we had a tornado alert on the TV, so I got the dog into the bathtub and was hauling a mattress to get under. Matt really enjoyed this since I was actually watching a DVR'd show from earlier in the evening! Matt will do an anchor watch, but I'm too lazy and selfish to help. - Lucy

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    1. Matt sounds like a peach for doing anchor watch! And nothing wrong with watching a show while waiting for a tornado, helps distract you from everything.

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  10. Oh no, how is she going to get out of this mess? I'll wait and see.

    Yes, anchors are great, but you have to make sure they hold.

    Have a fabulous day Ellen. ☺

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    1. That is the secret - an anchor that holds :-)

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  11. Anchor watch is no fun, especially in bad weather. There have been many nights in the past, while on our catamaran Irie, that I was envious of all my land friends in their comfortable beds or of my cruiser friends in quieter circumstances!

    Liesbet @ Roaming About – A Life Less Ordinary

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    1. There are definitely days when you're on a boat and wonder why you're there when you could be all cozy in a house.

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  12. That would be tough! I had a job in college at a clothing store where the manager and senior employees got to work at the cash register. The newbie had to stand in the first one-third of the store and make sure nothing was stolen and greet every customer who came in. Even if nobody was in the store, we had to stand there, alone, for hours. It was SOOOO boring. I would just be begging for something to do. Sometimes they'd bring new clothes up for me to pull out of the bag, put alarms on, and steam. That made me the happiest of happy. You couldn't pay me enough to do nothing now!

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    1. I've had those kinds of jobs where you have nothing to do other than sit for hours. It's so boring and the time goes by so slowly.

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  13. I haven't had to do anchor watch yet, I'm not ruling it out as a future possibility however.

    I am a survivor of the 1964 9.8 earthquake in Alaska. We, (my family of six, I was 7 yrs old), watched homes slide into the ocean, ran from our home, (which fell in a crevasse), and made our way to safety through opening earth, and live power lines. Our damaged house and car are featured in many of the earthquake magazines that were printed. If you google the event, we usually show up int the images. (my claim to fame LOL), Nowadays, I don't get very excited about earthquakes, I can usually "hear" them coming right before they start.

    Nancy had better be very strong, or fast, she's in serious trouble now! I'm anxiously awaiting her rescue!

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    1. Wow - that is quite the story!! What an experience for such a young child.

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  14. Hide, Nancy! This is killing me. This would be the kind of book where I would stay up all night reading so I could see what would happen next. even though I hate staying up all night because it's awful. Mike and I usually sleep well on board the boat. If the wind kicks up, we just keep one 'ear' open for unusual sounds. I will notice if the boat stops moving the same way. Both of us are known to go out into the cockpit to check things over in the wee hours. We use an anchor alarm, and I recently told him we need to put a speaker down in the boat so I can hear it should it go off. Melissa from http://littlecunningplan.com/2016/04/w-is-for-water/

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    1. I'm turning into the Queen of the Cliffhangers. I imagine it's getting pretty annoying by now :-) Fortunately, there's not many letters left and it will all be wrapped up.

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  15. I live in hurricane country ... so there have been many nights laying in bed sick with fear that an approaching storm would destroy all I knew. Twice it came true. :-(

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  16. I've stayed up, worried about imaginary dangers more often than actual ones. Funny, the things I can convince myself of when it's dark out.

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    1. I'm the same way - my imagination always runs away with itself during the dark hours.

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  17. I tend not to stay awake worrying about natural disasters (although relationship disasters have caused me many a sleepless night...)

    But one year we went to bed at midnight and less than thirty minutes later a thunderclap shook the entire house. We went outside to discover lightning struck our chimney! I stayed awake the rest of the night thanking God no one was hurt and the house was relatively unscathed.

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    1. That is good news that no one was hurt and your house was okay. It could have been so much worse!

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  18. I hope X marks the spot on that guy's noggin when Nancy swings that winch handle!

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    1. I wish I had thought of that for X - that would have been a great idea!

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  19. Nancy is ready for any emergency . . . but can she defend herself with just a winch handle and that radio? Maybe we need a change of wind or thunderstorm to distract the villains? I think you readers will be tuning in tomorrow to see what happens next!

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    1. I think she's a tough cookies, so it should all be okay or will it be?

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