Hey there Clue Crew!
In the last ASB, I left you just as my first official day at the Nancy Drew Convention ended. Time to share the scoop on day two! Day two was filled with optional excursions. We started out boarding a bus bright and early that would take us to Ogunquit, Maine! As the bus drove further up to the coast, I couldn’t help but feel like I was driving to Horseshoe Bay! Jenn Fisher of Nancy Drew Sleuths had planned this excursion to be themed after the Nancy Drew CW show with lots of Aglaeca themes. Prior to the 2023 Convention coming here, a previous convention year was held here, and they did activities themed after the classic yellowback book Mystery of the Tolling Bell. Many people broke off into three groups when we arrived. Some went to the sea caves that inspired the Mystery of the Tolling Bell, others started off on a Nancy Drew-themed photo scavenger hunt around town, and Laurie, Kasey, and I (friends I met on night one!) headed to the Marginal Way.
The “Marginal Way” in Maine refers to a picturesque, mile-long coastal walking path. Along the Way, you will find absolutely stunning views of the rugged shoreline, with opportunities to enjoy the scenic beauty of the Atlantic Ocean and the surrounding cliffs. All of us couldn’t help but feel like we were walking on the cliffs where Lucy Sabel fell. Laurie and Kasey were braver than me and even took a photo recreating the infamous scene from the Nancy Drew TV show! We kept our eyes peeled as we walked for anything that we could check off from the photo contest.
A foggy morning made for an extremely striking view along the Marginal Way
The prompts for the photo scavenger hunt and two of my submissions.
The Marginal Way ends at this picturesque little seafood restaurant just like The Claw, except this one is named Barnacle Billy’s. Right next door was the Harbour Master’s office. I couldn’t resist getting a selfie in honor of Holt Scotto, the Harbor Master in one of my favorite games – Danger on Deception Island. Growing up, I was always around water and ate a lot of seafood. My Dad worked on a fishing boat in Maryland when he was younger, so we have a lot of family and friends who are fishermen, and my aunt and her family are specifically crab fishermen. Many of them are retired now and live in Florida. So I ate all the crab, shrimp, and fish I could ever want as a kid. Surprisingly enough, we never really ate lobster! When in Maine, you do as Nancy and the rest of The Claw would, which means I had my very first lobster roll. 10/10! It was so good! I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on lobster rolls my whole life. I have a lot of lobster rolls to eat to make up for it.
I wonder if the Harbor Master likes lobster rolls? Also, the plush lobster with the Christmas lobster was my submission for “the most interesting lobster” I could find.
After a lunch fit for a true Mainer, it was time for my “official Ogunquit tour.” A few locals who put together the photo scavenger hunt for us also gave us a walking tour of all the places they thought a Nancy Drew fan would want to see. We walked along the Marginal Way, and they told us some spooky maritime stories like that of the legendary ghost ship The Dash.
In 1813, The Dash was built specifically to be fast enough to outrun British warships that blockaded Portland Harboro. It was commissioned as a privateer ship and had a well-known reputation in the area for seemingly unbeatable success. After completing 15 successful voyages, the Dash would finally meet its fate. One cold day in late January of 1815, the Dash and its sister ship, the Chamberlain, set sail out of Portland. After encountering rough seas and high winds for two days, the Chamberlain decided to change course, but the Dash, having a false sense of indestructibility, pushed on into the storm, never to be seen again. Legend has it that whenever a descendant of one of the original sixty lost crewmen is about to pass away, the Dash returns from the depths of the Atlantic Ocean to call the loved one on board for the final journey. Many have claimed to see the Dash off in the distance from the cliffs of the Marginal Way.
When the sun went down and the moon came out, I found myself walking up to Hammond Castle. It could’ve been straight out of one of our games. It was so kooky in the best possible way it reminded me of the spirit of Blackmoor Manor. The castle was built in the 1920s by inventor John Hay Hammond, Jr. The architectural style of the castle, now a museum, is a wonderful hodgepodge of medieval castle, a gothic cathedral, Roman ruins, and a Renaissance-era French village! The castle was originally the home to his wife and him. The castle served as his lab, where he built a giant Faraday Cage and interviewed spiritualists to “test their abilities.” Did someone say Deadly Device mixed with Secret of the Old Clock? I am now dying laughing thinking of putting Richard Tophman in a Faraday Cage while Mason Quinto tells him the real secret to his mind-reading abilities.
Hammond Castle is filled with windy staircases, dead ends, books, artifacts, artwork I studied in school, and even two real French buildings’ facades from the Renaissance era that he built into the inside of the Castle!
Hammond sounds like he would have been a hoot to know in person. He constantly put his mind and knack for inventing things to use by pranking his friends and neighbors. He is best known for creating a fake remote-controlled sea monster and driving it around the bay in the middle of the night to scare his neighbors (Please tell me he called it Caddy). He also had a guest room completely covered in wallpaper and no door knob inside, so when he shut the door at night, his guests would wake up and not be able to find the door or a way out! The guide at the castle told us he would find it funny when his guests would inevitably resort to yelling out the window for help.
Bonus photo! Here is my outfit for the day – You too can get the look! The T-shirt is from our TeeSpring store! I also noticed the Hammond Castle security system while adventuring around the castle, and I couldn’t help but think about another castle’s security system Nancy is very familiar with. Finally, we have all the different lobsters I took pictures of but didn’t use for my “most interesting lobster” submission.
After a busy Nancy Drew-packed day, I boarded the bus for the hotel. I played some of my favorite puzzle games on the New York Times Crossword app and listened to the Curse of Blackmoor Manor soundtrack on my phone. I can’t think of a better way to end day two at the Nancy Drew Convention!
Cosplay and Pumpkin Contest Voting
Before you start your weekend plans, make sure to head over to our Instagram and vote for your favorite Nancy Drew Cosplay and Pumpkin Contest Entries! We had an overwhelming amount of entries this year, each one better than the next! It was a VERY close call for many of the categories, but you, the fans, have spoken and narrowed it down to 8 finalists for each category. Make sure you use the poll to cast your vote. Any messages sent to our DMs of your vote does not count and will not be noted 🙁
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Head to our Instagram Stories to vote for your favorite before it’s too late!