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, 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.
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.
|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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