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28 April 2016

X Is For Xebec | 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, Nancy was hiding in the v-berth when one of the men heard her make a noise and went to investigate. Armed with a winch handle, Nancy nervously watch the doorknob turn and worried about getting caught.

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As Nancy braced herself for the door to the v-berth to come flying open, she heard Pete say decisively. “Knock it off. I’m the captain of this boat and what I say goes. Now get up on deck and we’re going to check that anchor out. After we’re done with that, we’ll start moving the stuff out of the v-berth.”

Nancy breathed a sigh of relief and sat back down on the v-berth cushion. As she set the winch handle next to the bolts of Sunbrella fabric, she noticed a small wooden model of a ship. She got her flashlight out of her pocket and looked at it closely.

Noticing its distinctive overhanging bowsprit and the aft-set mizzen mast, Nancy instantly knew it was a replica of a xebec. As she turned it over, she noticed a small indentation on the bottom. She pushed down on it and the bottom of the model boat popped open. Inside she found a rolled up piece of paper.

Could this be the list Captain Gus was talking about, Nancy wondered. Realizing that she needed to get out of the v-berth before she was discovered, Nancy put the piece of paper in her pocket, closed the model boat back up, put it back where she found it and grabbed the portable VHF.

Cautiously opening the door to the v-berth, Nancy peeked out into the salon. Not seeing anyone, she crept over to the companionway, climbed up the ladder and poked her head out. She saw the two men at the bow of the boat arguing over the anchor. Nancy looked across the cove and saw Party Time, the white catamaran anchored nearby.

The men’s argument grew louder.

“You’re always grumbling about the anchor. It looks fine. We gotta get this stuff moved before Captain Gus gets here.”

“Fine, we’ll check it again later. Come on, you get the dinghy down and I’ll get the first load from the v-berth.”

Nancy’s eyes got wider as she realized they would be making their way back to the cockpit.

Tune in on Friday for the next installment of Nancy Drew Investigates – Y is for Y-Valve.

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Image courtesy of The Graphics Fairy.

There aren't that many English words that start with the letter X, so I was delighted to find a nautical themed one that I could use in my Nancy Drew series - xebec (last year I went with xenophobia). As Nancy already knows (and what doesn't she know?), a xebec was a Mediterranean sailing ship with a long bowsprit and an aft-set mizzen mast.

Don't know what a bowsprit or a mizzen mast is? Join the club. I'm kind of clueless when it comes to all of this sailing stuff too. Basically, a bowsprit is a pointy thing that sticks off the front of the boat and the mizzen mast is a pointy thing that sticks up out of the deck. Pointy things are important when it comes to sailing. Along with plenty of snacks, as Bess would tell you.

You'll notice I don't have a picture of a xebec. That's because they were used in the olden days, before cameras were invented and long before I was born. Plus, I'm quite wary of using images on our blog that we didn't take and getting sued by someone for copyright infringement, so if you want to have a look at some pretty pictures of xebecs, check out Wikipedia.

For those of you who share my paranoia about getting sued for large sums of money that you don't have (you can read more about it here under point 6), but like to jazz your blog up with pretty images, check out The Graphics Fairy. She has all sorts of vintage images which you can freely use. Having said that, she does have a disclaimer on her site saying that she can't guarantee that everything is royalty free and that every country has its own copyright regulations, so you do take your chances, but the images, like the sea lions above, are charming. (Charming is a word Nancy would use, don't you think?)

What about you - what's your favorite word that starts with X?

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29 comments:

  1. I've always been fond of the word xenomorph, which is the alien from Alien. It's a nice round word - not such a nice beastie :) Pointy things and snacks - I will remember that next time I go sailing :)
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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    1. Xenomorph is a great idea. I'm going to add it to my list of possibilities for next year!

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  2. Really stringing us along, aren't you? Devilishly!
    When we get Sionna to Florida I'll give you a formal introduction to the mizzen mast. I've found it's a very good listener, though it doesn't say much in return!

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    1. Your mizzen mast sounds lovely. A great addition to any dinner party. Just seat him/it/her? right next to one of those chatty guests who won't shut up and it will be a match made in heaven.

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  3. Xanax is sounding pretty good right about now. There's a lot of be solved in the final two days! -Lucy

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    1. It was sooooo good to meet you guys today! I've managed to partially fix the keyboard so I'll be able to write my Z post and try to manage to wrap this baby up. Of course, given all of the computer problems I've been having, I'll probably be on xanax when I write it.

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  4. Xerox is the only word that I can think of. Well besides your word. I did go look at your links.

    Now Nancy is going to have to move again, but at least she's out of the v-berth. I wonder what's on that piece of paper?

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. Xerox is another good word - so many possibilities!

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  5. Glad Nancy found her flashlight! :-) X is the most difficult of the bunch. In Dutch, Y would come as a close second, but in English that one (for tomorrow) is easy! My favorite X-word would be Xenophilia. As of today! :-)

    Liesbet @ Roaming About – A Life Less Ordinary

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    1. I love xenophlia - I think you've got a winner there!

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  6. The situation is getting a bit desperate, and with only two letters to go, Nancy is running out of time!

    I never heard of xebec before you used it in this blog!

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    1. Should I just have the ultimate cliffhanger and make everyone wait until next year's challenge to wrap it all up?

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  7. My favourite word beginning with X is xenolith - which I used as one of my words a few years ago. It's a 'fragment of rock differing in origin, composition, structure, etc, from the igneous rock enclosing it', I just like the way it sounds when it's said :)
    Sophie
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles | Wittegen Press | FB3X

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    1. Another great X word! So many more than I thought to choose from.

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  8. I always thought the word xylophone had a nice ring to it. ;)

    Cheers, Stephanie

    http://www.svcambria.com/2016/04/x-is-for-exceptional-things-we-love.html

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  9. I love the word Xanadu because it conjures such amazing images in my mind.

    @Kathleen01930
    Meet My Imaginary Friends
    #AtoZchallenge

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    1. A lot of possibilities with Xanadu. I'm actually starting to get excited about next year's challenge and picking out my X word.

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  10. The rest of my facebook feed goes unread until I find out how Nancy will get out of this. Where the hell is Ned when you really need him? Way to make me anxious, Ellen. way to go. Melissa from http://littlecunningplan.com/2016/04/x-is-for-xeniatrophobia/

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    1. LOL...Melissa you made me laugh out loud.

      YEAH Ellen! What she said!!

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    2. You guys are too funny! Ned is a ninny. Nancy's better off without him.

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  11. Wikipedia pictures are OK to use - the image's page will tell you what acknowledgement is needed. I usually link back to it as well.
    The Glasgow Gallivanter

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    1. I have thought about using them, but then my general paranoia takes over.

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  12. When searching for an image to use on my website (that I didn't take myself, which I prefer).... I do a google image search, but set the parameters for only images that are labeled for reuse.

    As far as X words... I don't think I have a favorite. That's why I used roman numerals for today's post :)

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    1. I prefer to use our own photos too, but sometimes I just don't have a good one, like of a xebec. Roman numerals is a very clever way to tackle the dreaded X letter.

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  13. I have learnt a new word - Xebec. Sailing and pointy things - also another eye opener.

    Enjoyed your post. Nancy is very much my thing (or was) but will have to come back after the A-Z is over for those.

    Nilanjana.
    Ninja Minion, A-Z 2016
    Madly-in-Verse

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  14. Looks like Nancy's in trouble again! It's great to find words you didn't know existed before, that's whats's the most fun with the A to Z!

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    1. I agree - I've learned lots of new words, especially starting with X, Y and Z.

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