Alaska Nuns Crack Case of Monks' Missing Boat

Eagle-eyed sisters help remote monastery near Kodiak solve what happened to skiff
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2014 1:59 PM CST
Alaska Nuns Crack Case of Monks' Missing Boat
Nuns sometimes moonlight as crime-solvers—at least the ones in Alaska do.   (Shutterstock)

What crime could there possibly be on a desolate, wooded island near Kodiak, Alaska, where a community of Orthodox Christian monks are holed up in a monastery? Boat-napping, according to Alaska State Troopers, who say that the Archangel, a 21-foot aluminum skiff used as the monks' primary means of transport to and from their home, was reported stolen from Spruce Island on Saturday, the Alaska Dispatch News reports. The monk from Holy Archangel Michael and All Angels Skete who called the theft in initially thought a storm may have yanked the boat from the dock, but when he looked more closely, the more nefarious possibility that the boat had been stolen emerged: The lines to the boat were intact (not ripped apart as a storm would have done), and 10 gallons of gas that had been on the dock were also MIA.

Enter two nuns from St. Nilus Skete—a tiny island not too far from that of the monks'—who apparently were in the habit of scanning the waters surrounding their home. They said they had seen the Archangel cruising over the waters the day before with two people on board decked out in rain gear. By Monday, the boat was found deserted on a beach north of Kodiak, mostly intact save for about $750 worth of what the Dispatch News describes as "cosmetic damage." The boat is now back on Spruce Island, on the ready to bring its owners to and fro, as well as the occasional visiting pilgrim. (The Vatican recently released a report that showed its appreciation for nuns.)

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