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, in order to follow along with the story, you may want to read the posts from the beginning (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. If Nancy isn't your thing, feel free to skip the story and go straight to the end.
When we last left you, Nancy and her friends had discovered that several other boats had items stolen from them. As they were chasing a suspicious looking man through the boatyard, he suddenly pushed Nancy down to the ground.
“Nancy, are you okay?” asked George as she helped her up from the ground. Nancy brushed dirt off of her navy blue cotton cardigan, adjusted her pearls and said, “I’m fine. Did you see where he went?”
“There he is!” shouted Bess as she pointed to the man climbing up a ladder onto a white catamaran with a blue dolphin painted on the side underneath the name Party Time.
Bess noticed that the catamaran looked different from the other boats she had seen in the boatyard. It had two hulls, instead of one and was much wider than the others. She remembered that her cousin, George, had told her that catamarans didn’t heel over like monohull boats did. Looking up at Party Time, she wished that the boat they would be sailing on in the Grande Isle Regatta this weekend was a catamaran instead of a monohull. Bess wasn’t looking forward to being on a boat that tipped over from side to side.
Nancy marched up to the catamaran, knocked on the hull to get his attention and called out, “Hey, we want to talk to you!” When he didn’t respond, she knocked louder and then started to climb up the ladder.
As she got partway up, the man came out onto the deck and glared down at her. “Get off my boat, missy,” he hissed. “This here’s private property. You should know better than to board someone’s boat without being given permission.”
“You’ve been following us around the boatyard and eavesdropping on our conversations. Then, you pushed me to the ground. Do you want me to call the police and tell them that?”
The man scratched his scraggly beard and looked nervously about. “There’s no reason to get the police involved.”
“Good. Then, why don’t you come down here and talk to us.”
He adjusted his baseball hat, shrugged his shoulders and then climbed down the ladder. “Okay, what do you want?”
“We want to know why you’ve been following us,” said Nancy. George stepped in front of him, crossed her arms and stared at him. “And we want to know why you pushed my friend Nancy. She could have been seriously hurt.”
“Look, I didn’t mean any harm. It was just an accident,” he huffed. “I haven’t been following you about either. This is a public boatyard and I’ve got every right to walk around here.”
“I don’t think it was an accident, but we’ll let that go,” said Nancy. “Why don’t you start by telling us your name and what you were doing last night. There was a string of robberies at the marina. Did you have anything stolen?”
The man walked forward until he was looking down at Nancy with his beady eyes and said, “I don’t need to tell you my name and what I got up to last night is none of your business.” He brushed her aside, got into a blue pick-up truck parked next to the catamaran and drove off in a hurry through the boatyard.
Bess stared after the truck and said nervously, “Maybe we should just drop it and let the police investigate things. That guy looks like real trouble.”
“Nonsense,” Nancy said. “The police are so busy with everything else that I’m sure they would welcome our assistance. Remember, we’ve helped out solving cases before like The Secret of the Old Clock. After all, look what we’ve found out already. Did you see that truck as it drove away? The tarp on the back flew up and I'm sure I saw a Rocna anchor, an inflatable dinghy and other marine equipment. Maybe he was involved in the robberies.”
Nancy walked over to the side of the catamaran, looked down on the ground and exclaimed, “Girls, look what I found! It’s a business card that says Xebec Charters and on the back there’s the name Pete written down, along with a phone number. I wonder what that’s all about.”
Tune in on Tuesday for the next installment of Nancy Drew Investigates – D is for Ditch Bag.
|One of several Gemini catamarans stored at Indiantown Marina. Note the yellow tie-down straps, just in case a hurricane or severe storm blows through.|
If you ever find yourself at a marina potluck and feel like the conversation is starting to be a bit dull, here’s a sure fire way to liven things up. Just throw this out there – “So, what do you think is better, a catamaran or a monohull?” – and watch the fireworks start. Monohulls are just that – sailboats with one hull. Catamarans have two hulls. There are pros and cons of the two types of sailboats, although fervent supporters of monohulls would tell you that catamarans are for sissies who can’t stand it when a boat heels over, while rabid fans of catamarans would brag about the fact that they can leave a bottle of wine on the galley counter while they’re sailing with no worries about it tumbling down and breaking.
We vaguely toyed around with the idea of getting a catamaran once upon a time. If truth be known, I don’t like it when the boat gets all tippy. Intellectually I know it isn’t going to tip all the way over, but in reality, it’s something I worry about. Scott tries to reassure me by saying things like, “If the boat happens to get knocked all the way over, it will roll right back up all the way around.” For some reason, I don’t find this reassuring. What happens if the boat does go under water – how long can I really hold my breath? (Check this post out for some strange ramblings from me on the topic.) So, I thought a catamaran might be the perfect solution to the tippiness issue. However, logically, a monohull was a better fit for us. Darn logic.
If we had gone down the catamaran route, I would have been interested in checking out a Gemini. They’re small catamarans, tiny enough to fit in a standard size marina slip, and they seem to have a nice layout. They’re quite popular coastal cruisers and can often be had for a decent price. There are a number of Geminis at Indiantown Marina, like the one pictured above which is in the storage yard. I think it misses its owner and wishes they would come back and take her to the Florida Keys or the Bahamas. (If you want to know more about the catamaran vs. monohull debate, check out this post I wrote a couple of years ago.)
What's your preferred mode of travel - boat, RV, train, plane, camel or something else?
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