Mystery aboard Avante

Jun 11, 2008| 0 Comment

The First Mate has been told that every boat has a Gremlin or two lurking aboard her somewhere. Gremlins are the creators of mysterious happenings or events for which a cause cannot be determined initially and sometimes never. We have encountered just such a Gremlin. Even The Captain is flummoxed.

A few evenings ago, she requested a high-powered drink: a soda water and a slice of lime. Our cans of soda water and tonic are stored in plastic boxes below a set of floorboards. The Captain lifts up the floorboards and, believing she had requested a tonic, he retrieves a can of tonic. The can is light. He shakes it. There is nothing in it. He picks up another can. It too is empty. Of the six cans in storage, five are empty and one is half-full. He then checks the soda water, and they are fine, full and bubbly.

The First Mate does get her requested soda water and slice of lime, but the mystery remained: What happened to the tonic in the tonic cans? The cans had been bought last season, probably in Sitka on our return trip from Alaska. They were stored for the winter in the plastic box in a compartment under the floor boards. Frost is rare up here, but they do have plenty of cold and rain. The cans look and appear perfectly normal. The top openings are intact. There is no bulging to any of the cans. Each looks like an unopened can of soda should look. Though there is a slight discolored roughness to the bottom edges of the cans, there is no sign of puncture. There are no holes. We open one can and fill it with water. It does not leak. We set it in a bowl and leave it overnight. In the morning, there is no leakage or seepage. The bowl is perfectly dry and so is the bottom edge of the can. How did all that tonic get out? There is no way that it simply vaporized.

A second question arises: Why did it only the tonic cans lose their contents. Why not also the soda water cans?

Can anyone solve this mystery? Are there any Sherlocks out there? Maybe this calls for an Einstein. Where did the tonic water go? What happened?

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