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.
When we last left you, the gang was rushing off to Moonstone Castle Cove to see if they could help out another boat which was almost struck by the suspicious white catamaran.
“This is beautiful,” Bess exclaimed as they neared the entrance to Moonstone Castle Cove. A white, sandy beach ran along the cove and, in the distance, Bess could see the ruins of Moonstone Castle surrounded by trees and wildflowers. “It’s hard to believe that anything as peaceful as this island could be the scene of a dinghy theft.”
“Don’t forget that the crew of Double Jinx almost got their boat rammed by that suspicious white catamaran,” said George. “I knew we shouldn’t have let that guy get away after he pushed Nancy down in the boat yard!”
“Oh, it’s okay George. I have a hunch that we’ll crack this case even if he did get away,” said Nancy as she sat down in the cockpit. “Bess, are you excited for your first dinghy ride? After we anchor, we’ll take the dinghy over to that jetty and go talk to the crew of Spider Sapphire.”
The girls watched as their host, Marvin, steered the boat towards the north side of the cove. “Honey, get ready to drop the anchor,” he said to his wife, Shelley, who was up on the bow. Shelley turned back and gave a thumbs up sign. Marvin looked down at the chart plotter and turned the boat slightly to port. “Go ahead and drop her,” he said as he motioned forward with his hand. Shelley pushed down on a button in the anchor locker with her foot, turning on the windlass which lowered the anchor and chain down to the water. They marveled at the hand signals Marvin and Shelley used to communicate while anchoring the boat.
Shelley walked back towards the cockpit. “The anchor looks well set, but let’s wait a while to be sure we don’t drag before we head to shore. Why don’t I get us some iced tea and the rest of those brownies that Hannah sent with Nancy?”
After finishing off the brownies, Marvin lowered the dinghy into the water. “All right girls, everyone climb on in.” Bess looked a bit unsure as she stepped off of the swim platform on the back of the boat into the dinghy, which was bobbing up and down in the water.
“Bess, don’t be such a silly goose. Hop in,” said George as she reached up a hand to help her down. Nancy followed Bess, sitting down next to her and George on the inflatable tube running along one side of the dinghy. Shelley sat down on the other side while Marvin started the outboard engine and pointed them towards the jetty.
As they came alongside the old wooden jetty, Marvin cut off the engine and grabbed the side of the jetty with his hand as the dinghy glided up next to it. “Here’s where we get off. Shelley, why don’t you get out first and tie us off.”
Bess looked at the rope in Shelley’s hand and remembered that George and Nancy had said that it was called a painter. For the life of her she couldn’t figure out why a rope would be named after some sort of artist, especially when it didn’t have anything to do with water colors or oil paints, but she was eager to prove that she had learned something. “Would it be okay if I tied the painter to the dock? I’ve been practicing tying knots as part of my volunteer work with the River Heights Girl Scout troop,” Bess said eagerly as she climbed out of the dinghy.
“Do you know how to tie a clove hitch?” asked Shelley. Bess nodded, took the painter from Shelley and bent down to tie the dinghy to the metal cleat attached to the jetty.
Just then, another dinghy approached the jetty. “Are you from Spider Sapphire?” asked Marvin as he walked over to grab their painter. “We sure are,” said a middle-aged man with brownish red hair. “I’m Don and this is my wife Sandra. Our friends from Double Jinx had their dinghy stolen and we came over to help.”
Marvin nodded. “Yes, we heard about it on the VHF and thought we would come see if there is anything we can do to help as well.”
Sandra, a pleasant looking woman with long brown hair tied back in a ponytail, looked up and said, “That’s so kind of you. Why don’t we all walk down to the beach and find out exactly what happened.”
While everyone was busy with introductions, Bess worked feverishly to tie the dinghy to the jetty. Nancy glanced over. “Bess, are you okay? Do you need a hand?” Bess shook her head and said, “No, I’ve got it. Why don’t you all go on ahead and I’ll join you. I left my cardigan in the dinghy and I want to grab it first.”
Bess watched everyone walk down the dock, looked at the painter in her hand and sighed. “I suppose if I just tie enough knots, it won’t drift away,” she muttered to herself.
“Bess, hurry up!” shouted Nancy from the beach. “The crew of Double Jinx have a description of the man who stole their dinghy."
Tune in on Wednesday for the next installment of Nancy Drew Investigates – K is for Knot.
I love Wikipedia. Not so much that I donate to it, but I love it all the same. I learn so many useless facts. Things that are only good for crossword puzzles and cocktail parties. Like this little nugget - the word jetty is derived from the French word, jetée, which means thrown. (By the way, it took some effort to add that accent to the word. Just saying.)
Basically, a jetty is a walkway thrown out over water. After reading that on Wikipedia, I immediately started imagining giants (friendly ones, mind you), carrying large tote bags, crammed full of jetties, and tossing them all over the place. Although, I suspect this isn't what Wikipedia meant. That's why I don't donate to them. Their explanations of things can be rather on the dull side. Whereas, my explanations - so much more interesting.
I bet you can't get that image out of your head - giants wearing khaki vests with lots of pockets for their pencils and slingshots, with a tote bag slung around their shoulders, wading in deep water (deep to you and me, but not deep to them) and creating lovely little walkways for us to wander on.
What's the most imaginative explanation for something that you've ever come up with? I'm sure you've told your teachers and parents some very imaginative excuses in your time. I know I have.
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