Careening was a very necessary operation for the old pirate. On his superior speed he depended both for overhauling the trader and escaping the man-of-war. But it was impossible to retain his sailing qualities unless he periodically–once a year, at the least–cleared his vessel’s bottom from the long, trailing plants and crusting barnacles which gather so rapidly in the tropical seas. For this purpose he lightened his vessel, thrust her into some narrow inlet where she would be left high and dry at low water, fastened blocks and tackles to her masts to pull her over on to her bilge, and then scraped her thoroughly from rudder-post to cutwater.
“The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans” is one of the 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is one of eight stories in the cycle collected as His Last Bow.