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, Nancy hid in the lazarette to escape detection and noticed that the crew of Party Palace were dumping their waste directly overboard. As she was pondering their disregard for the environment, she decided to call for help on the VHF, but then Pete and Donny discovered her hiding place.
Donny grabbed Nancy and pulled her out of the lazarette while Pete sneered and said, “Well, what do we have here? Someone sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong. Who would have thought a teenage girl could be so much trouble.” He grabbed a piece of line and tossed it to Donny. “Go ahead an tie her up and stick her back in the lazarette where you found her. We’ll figure out what to do with her once Captain Gus gets here.”
As Donny pulled Nancy’s arms tightly behind her and started to tie her up, a bright light shone off of their port side. A loud voice boomed out, “Attention Sailing Vessel Party Palace, Attention Sailing Vessel Party Palace, this is the United States Coast Guard. Prepare to be boarded.”
Donny quickly let go of Nancy and dived over the side of the boat. Pete started to climb out of the cockpit and make for the dinghy attached to the side, but Nancy was too quick for him. She had fashioned the line that Donny was going to tie her up with into a lasso and flung it around Pete, pulling tightly and causing him to lose his balance and fall onto the deck of the boat.
“Miss, are you okay?” shouted one of the Guardsman as they pulled up alongside Party Palace in their tender.
“I’m fine. I’ve got this one tied up,” Nancy answered as she pointed to Pete struggling to get out of the line coiled around him. “But, you better go after his accomplice. He dived off the boat and it looks like he’s trying to swim to shore.” Nancy watched as the Guardsmen raced after Donny, scooped him out of the water and into their boat. A few minutes later, two of the Guardsmen had boarded Party Palace.
“I’m so glad to see you,” said Nancy. “You came just in the nick of time!”
“We heard your distress call over the VHF and a young man had reported that you were in danger to us earlier,” said the older of the two men as he pulled Pete up to his feet. “That’s some very quick thinking, tossing a lasso around this fellow here.”
“Oh, it was nothing. I learned how to do that when I was solving the 'Mystery of the Old Stagecoach,'” Nancy said modestly.
“Wait a minute,” said the Guardsman. “I know who you are. You’re Nancy Drew, Carson Drew’s daughter! I’m Petty Officer Stan Lebonski. I’d shake your hand, but I’ve got to keep an eye on this guy.”
He tightened his grip on Pete, turned to his partner and said, “Can you imagine that, Lou. We’re in the company of America’s Favorite Girl Detective! This young lady is famous. She’s a crack investigator and solves all sorts of mysteries.”
Lou’s jaw dropped in amazement. “Wow, It’s so nice to meet you, miss. I’m Seaman Lou Potter,” he said as he shook Nancy’s hand. "What case are you investigating now?”
Nancy smiled and said, “Well, we’ve been calling it 'The Case of the Missing Anchor.' It all started when my friends’ anchor was stolen at the marina, along with equipment from lots of other boats. We discovered that Captain Gus from Xebec Charters was the ringleader of a dastardly group of criminals who were stealing marine equipment and then reselling it to unsupecting people.” Nancy pointed at Pete. “This man is Captain Gus’s nephew and the man you caught trying to swim to shore is one of their accomplices.”
Lou nodded and said, “There had been some rumors that someone was fencing stolen marine equipment, but no one could find any proof.”
Nancy reached into her pocket and pulled out the piece of paper she had found hidden in the model of a xebec ship earlier. “I think this might be the proof that you and the police need. It’s a list of all of the goods that they’ve stolen and how much they sold them for. It’s even got names and dates on it.” Nancy grinned and said, “And to top that off, you can find some of the stolen goods in the v-berth down below. These guys were going to move the goods from this boat over to that white catamaran across the way, Party Time.”
“With that evidence, we should have these guys behind bars in no time,” said Lou.
Nancy furrowed her brow and said, “The only problem is that we still need to nab Captain Gus. He was the mastermind behind this whole operation.”
“Did you say he ran Xebec Charters?” asked Lou. “If so, I think we’ve got our man. We boarded a boat called Xebec earlier tonight and conducted a safety inspection. While were were onboard, we found a number of serious infractions and took the Captain into custody.”
As Nancy breathed a sigh of relief, she heard the sound of an outboard motor and a voice call out, “Nancy, are you there?”
Nancy peeked over the side of the boat and saw a dinghy with Marvin, Shelley, George, Bess and Ned in it all waving and smiling at her. Lou said to Nancy, “Why don’t you head off with your friends and get some rest. We can touch base with you tomorrow to get more information as needed.”
As Nancy climbed down onto the swim platform, Ned helped her into the dinghy, giving her a quick peck on the cheek. He whispered into her ear, “I’m so glad you’re safe. I was so worried about you, but I should have known that you would be fine. You're such an amazing girl.”
Nancy smiled at Ned, sat down on the side of the dinghy and said, “It’s so good to see you all.”
Bess stared anxiously at Nancy. “Are you okay? I can’t believe you were on that boat when it took off.” As Bess looked at Nancy, she noted a stain on her friend’s bermuda shorts. “What happened there?”
“Oh, that must have happened when I was hiding in the lazarette,” Nancy said as she tried to brush off the grime
As Bess let out a gulp, George asked, “What did you find out when you were on board?”
“You’ll never believe it,” said Nancy as her eyes sparkled. “I found evidence that Captain Gus and his cronies were behind everything.”
“Now, now girls, let’s stop pestering Nancy with questions. We’ll take her back to our boat, let her clean up and then we’ll all have some lemon bars and cocoa while Nancy tells us all about her adventure,” said Shelley.
“That’s a very sensible idea, dear,” said Marvin as started the outboard motor and pointed them out into the bay.
As they sped across the water, Bess said to Nancy, “Did you see what type of dinghy this is? It’s a Zodiac, like in astrology. I bet if we looked up your horoscope it would say something about avoiding dangerous situations. I think it’s a sign that you should stop investigating mysteries.”
George rolled her eyes, “It’s just like you Bess to bring up horoscopes and astrology at a time like this. Nancy is fine and she solved the case.”
Nancy smiled at her two best friends. “I don’t know, maybe Bess is right and it is a sign. A sign that our next case is going to be ‘The Secret in the Chinese Horoscope.’ Wouldn’t that be fun! We could go sailing in China and solve another mystery.”
And that wraps up the A to Z Blogging Challenge! Thanks to everyone who stuck with us from the letter A all the way to the letter Z. We'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming and random nonsense on the blog on Monday.
|Our old Zodiac Zoom dinghy tied up behind our first boat, Rainbow's End, in New Zealand.|
Zodiac is a popular maker of dinghies. We used to have a Zodiac Zoom 230 Aero dinghy in New Zealand, but had terrible troubles with its oar locks (you can read about it here). We had to use our dinghy to get back and forth to our boat on our piling mooring, and because we stored our outboard motor on our boat, Scott had to row us to and from our boat. We had some dicey situations where the oar locks would break, the wind would be against us and Scott would have to paddle with one oar from the front of the dinghy desperately trying to get us to the dock.
Our new boat came with a Caribe RIB dinghy and a 9.9 hp outboard, which worked fine for us when we were in the Bahamas. We'll see how it holds up once we're back out there cruising again. Hopefully, we get out there cruising again one of these days.
Thanks to everyone for following along with our "Nancy Drew Investigates" series. We hope you had as much fun as we did! I'd love to know what you thought and if you think Nancy should make another appearance in next year's challenge.
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