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