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, Bess repaired the torn Q flag on Shelley's Sailrite sewing machine, while Nancy told George how critical it was that she find Captain Gus's list of stolen goods in order to crack the case.
After quickly finishing their meal at the barbeque, Ned and Nancy walked along the beach towards the docks, where various sailboats were tied up in slips. They seemed like an ordinary young couple out for a pleasant stroll, but Nancy wasn’t any ordinary teenage girl. She was on the lookout for the boat she suspected was being used by the gang of thieves led by Captain Gus.
“Ned, isn’t that her over there?” Nancy pointed to the end of the dock where a white ketch with red racing stripes was moored. On the side of the boat, she could make out the name, Party Palace, underneath a distinctive dolphin logo.
“Yes, that’s her all right,” said Ned. “Let’s take a look.”
They approached the boat cautiously and called out, “Is anyone aboard?” When no one answered, Nancy peered in the port lights along the side of the boat. “There doesn’t appear to be anyone on board. Why don’t you stand watch and I’ll sneak aboard. We just have to find that list of stolen goods! It’s the proof we need to put an end to this dastardly racket.”
Ned walked down to the end of the dock to stand guard, while Nancy climbed over the lifelines and onto the deck. She peeked inside the cockpit and noticed that the washboards weren’t locked. Walking out to the bow of the boat, Nancy whispered loudly to Ned. “I’m going to go down below and see if I can find anything.” Ned nodded at Nancy and turned back around to keep lookout.
Nancy took out the washboards, climbed down the companionway and put the washboards back in place so that no one would know that someone was on board. As she looked around the spacious salon, she noticed dirty clothes, blankets and dishes scattered everywhere. Hmm, Nancy thought to herself, not only are they thieves, but they’re also slobs. Nancy thought to herself that Hannah Gruen, the Drew's housekeeper, would have a fit if she saw the state of this boat.
Nancy started poking around the salon, opening up cupboards and lifting up piles of clothes off of the settee. As she was starting to think that she wasn’t going to find anything, she heard two voices on deck.
“Ouch!” a man cried out. “I stubbed my toe on the toe rail.”
“Pipe down Pete,” another man said. “We don’t want anyone to hear us.”
Nancy froze. She wondered if Pete was the same man who was Captain Gus’s nephew and was selling stolen nautical equipment. And who was that other man? His voice sounded so familiar to Nancy, but she couldn’t quite place it.
Tune in on Monday for the next installment of Nancy Drew Investigates – U is for Underway.
Boats are a minefield. So many sharp, pointy things sticking up all over the place just waiting for you to trip over them and stub your toe. Getting from the rear of the boat to the front of the boat is like running an obstacle course. You have to bend, duck, dive and do yoga moves to make your way. Sooner or later, the toe rail is going to do you in. It's called a toe rail for a reason. It's after your toes.
Of course, sensible people wear shoes. We're not sensible. Scott always sails barefoot and I sometimes do as well. Did you ever wonder why sailors curse so much? That's because they're constantly stubbing their toes. Did you ever wonder why sailors drink so much rum? That's because their toes hurt and it's the only way to numb the pain.
Why do toes hurt so much when you stub them? When's the last time you stubbed yours?
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