Aaron's blog

Origin by Dan Brown

By aaron.axvig, Thu, 10/10/2019 - 03:00
Date completed
4 years 4 months ago

Standard Dan Brown story (I read The Da Vinci Code way back when, plus maybe one other of his).

Completion status

Lucy in the sky by Anonymous

By aaron.axvig, Mon, 09/30/2019 - 03:00
Date completed
4 years 4 months ago

When I started reading this book I actually thought it was plausibly a real diary.  I grew more skeptical while reading it, but thought maybe just possibly someone could be dumb enough to write a few of the things that were making me doubt.  So when I finished the book and then looked at some reviews online it was not a shock to see that it was fiction.  It made me think of how the movie Fargo claims at the beginning that it is a true story.  And I also recall someone saying that the producers of Fargo admitted in an interview or something that of course it is not a true story but that making that claim at the beginning is a powerful device to suck the viewer in.

That device did positively affect my enjoyment of the book.

My main take-away from the book is that the parents really failed.  Letting your child go to a party without verifying the circumstances of it is pretty whack.  Of course this is coming from the guy who did not go to parties in high school so...whatever.  But the whole plot in my mind hinges on the parents being idiots.

Completion status

Provincetown -> Martha's Vineyard -> Cuttyhunk Island -> Block Island

By aaron.axvig, Fri, 09/27/2019 - 03:00

After leaving Provincetown we sailed for a few hours across Cape Cod Bay towards the Cape Cod Canal. We motored for the last hour or so once the winds gave out. Then we enjoyed a 2 knot boost from the current in the canal, up until we came around a corner and saw a railroad bridge ahead that was lowered. Aaron had flashbacks to about 30 minutes earlier when he had built a case to Anna that there were no low bridges to worry about. The bridge operator hailed us on the radio and said he figured if we slowed down then he would have it open for us in time. That worked out and shortly we emerged into Buzzards Bay. It was beautiful with the late afternoon sun, tree covered shores on both sides, some islands, and calm waters.

A couple miles south we turned off to find a place to anchor behind Bassets Island. We saw a group of mooring balls that didn't appear to be part of a business (for rent) and about half of them were unused so we used one of those instead of anchoring. It was a very quiet and scenic spot. At night Aaron noticed that there were lights in the water like fireflies! When we splashed in the water more of them would light up. Not sure what they were, but in the morning we saw a lot of minnows in the water so maybe "fire-minnows" haha!

The next day we went to Edgartown on Martha's Vineyard, motoring the whole way. We anchored just outside of the inner harbor. It isn't protected at all from the north but the winds were forecast to only be from the SE. We hurried into town to see some sights and learned a lot at The Carnegie which was an old Carnegie library turned into a museum about Martha's Vineyard.

We spent a few days exploring Edgartown and the island. One day we rode the bus around the island--pretty reasonable at $10 per person for the day. We went out to the west end where we saw some colored cliffs and were surprised by a nude beach. Then we went to the town of Oak Bluffs where we had a late lunch with two other young couples from Connecticut who were vacationing on the island. Hi Matt, Annie, Mike and Richelle! We walked around the Camp Meeting Association grounds where they have hundreds of quaintly decorated cottages ("gingerbread houses")…they are so cool! Another day we took a walking tour of Edgartown and some of the scenic buildings. The Old Whaling Church was very cool, with trick painting inside that reminded us of similar painting in a mansion we toured in Portland, ME. The next day Aaron changed the engine oil and we poked around on shore a little more.

We had intended to leave very early in the morning to go to Cuttyhunk Island but came up with the pretty good excuse that the current would not be favorable until 9:30. That current did give us a nice boost and we arrived in the early afternoon. We were hoping to get fuel there but nothing was open. Aaron went to explore the island and Anna stayed on the boat. She noticed a boat from Minnesota coming into the harbor so when Aaron returned we both went to say hi. They invited us aboard (Susan and David on SV Winneduma) where we had a great long chat and arranged to have supper the next night.

The following morning Aaron caught the attendant at the fuel dock and filled the jerry cans with 10 gallons of diesel and poured them in the tank. Then he took Louise to the beach where she ran around like a maniac and barked at waves. She needed a bath after that. Susan and David came over for supper. Anna made a pot roast with potatoes and carrots and they brought bread and salad. Very delicious!

Today we had a very lazy morning and didn't leave until 10:30. But we only had 38 miles to go so made it to Block Island by 5:30 where we got fuel and water and then anchored. Tomorrow we will explore Block Island! Then we will make our way to New York City by Tuesday. Aaron is going to fly to Fargo Wednesday-Saturday for a little work and a doctor's visit, and Anna's mom is coming to stay with Anna and explore New York City.


Anchor dragging

By aaron.axvig, Wed, 09/18/2019 - 03:00
Aaron and Anna bundled up against the cold and wind

What we look like after re-anchoring late at night.

We had just crawled into bed when we heard a very odd noise. Aaron popped out of bed, looked outside, and learned that we had moved! A full day of bouncing on moderate waves must have worked it loose. The noise was probably us hitting a mooring ball. We hurriedly dressed for the cold and wind, pulled up the anchor, and moved back to a clear spot to drop anchor.

Lessons learned: use more chain and use an anchor alarm when things are lively. We were pretty lucky to receive notice before drifting into the jetty, onto the beach, or into a boat. Probably the easiest way possible to learn that lesson!

Now off to bed again, good night!

Isles of Shoals -> Gloucester -> Provincetown

By aaron.axvig, Wed, 09/18/2019 - 03:00

On Sunday we left Isles of Shoals and made it to Gloucester. We sailed 15 or 20 miles to Rockport where we wanted to stay (haven't been there yet). But when we tried to anchor, the sound of the pointy tip of the anchor dragging across granite was clearly transmitted up the chain. We tried five different spots but all we found was rock, which was frustrating because others had reported good holding mud in that area. We radioed the harbormaster for advice and to maybe just stay on a mooring ball but he was busy "looking for someone" and they had a boat out in the harbor with six divers in the water. We never heard back from him so we motorsailed around the peninsula and stayed in Gloucester.

We were able to find a spot to anchor in Gloucester's inner harbor where there is room for 6-8 on anchor. Then we rushed to shore to try to watch the second half of the Vikings game. It was not nationally televised so we were not successful. On the way back to the boat we stopped to chat with Steve from the boat Thursday's Child. We met them in Stuart, FL and had seen them about six weeks ago at the SSCA gam in Rockland, ME. He had been up to Nova Scotia while we explored Maine.

The next day we stayed put as the winds were not favorable for moving on. Louise got a walk, we had Domino's for supper, and Anna got a key lime pie. As we were walking around town we saw a large film crew near the waterfront filming for a movie called Coda.

On Tuesday we sailed to Provincetown, MA out on the tip of Cape Cod. The wind was a solid 15 knots just off of the stern so we made pretty good time, averaging 6.5 knots. As we left the protection of the Gloucester peninsula the waves built up to 3' and fairly close together so we were rolling back and forth the whole way. Aaron went to shore to walk around for an hour.

Today we woke up and figured that the waves would become unreasonable as we approached the entrance to the Cape Cod Canal--20+ knots of wind. So we stayed and will go tomorrow when we should get close to Martha's Vineyard. We plan to spend a couple days there. Now we (all three) are heading to shore for a walk.


Another day at Isles of Shoals and exploring Star Island

By aaron.axvig, Sat, 09/14/2019 - 03:00

Today we weren't planning to leave Gosport Harbor at the Isles of Shoals because of forecasted four foot waves. But when we looked outside around 8:00am all the other boats were gone. And our end of the harbor was getting some wave action so we needed to move further into the harbor anyways.

We decided to see what the conditions were like out there. They were just on the good side of unreasonable and we probably could have tacked our way upwind to Rockport by late afternoon. But we looked at the dark clouds on the horizon and matching forecast for light rain, and then turned around. On the way back the heightened conditions and frustrations of not making any progress for the day led to lively "team dynamics".

We grabbed a mooring ball closer in and had lunch. Our mooring ball floated quite a ways back as our boat hung on it, so that the next mooring ball (unoccupied) was at times almost touching the stern. Later someone was daring enough to snag it and now we are all hanging out with good spacing.

We took the dinghy to Star Island where we walked the trails around the island to look at the sights as the drizzle started. We had very good ice cream and then went back to the boat to nap and read while it rained a bit longer. Now we are about to make pizza and are looking forward to a sunny day tomorrow!

Louise getting off the couch
Louise getting up from her nap.
Anna and Louise on some rocks
Walking Louise on a little island
A trail through some flowers and bushes
One of the trails on Smuttynose Island. There are a lot of muskrats living in the bushes!
Aaron and many solar panels
Aaron loves solar panels. These are on Star Island.


Hurricane Dorian has passed

By aaron.axvig, Sat, 09/07/2019 - 03:00
Sailboat on a bay surrounded by trees

The hurricane has passed us. We had winds up to 20 knots today and a little bit of rain. So basically we have had worse thunderstorms several times...very fortunate.

We have been in The Basin for a few days now and in addition to having great protection, it is very scenic. There are some trails nearby that Aaron explored for a few hours yesterday. He saw a variety of beautiful biomes: great big pine trees with pristine pine needle carpets, lush fern groves, grassy meadows, and of course great hunks of granite everywhere.

The mosquitoes are thick here and come out early! Time to go for a short walk with Louise and then think about leaving tomorrow. No wind is forecast so maybe we would only go the ten or so miles to Portland. We will see!