We are Mark and Judy Handley. We have been writing about our experiences on this website for almost eleven years now. For six of those years, we were sailing around the world on our 42-foot sailboat, Windbird. During those six years and the five years since our circumnavigation, we have posted a log almost daily. We lived aboard all of those years and loved every minute. But we have now sold Windbird and are living in a harbourside apartment in the town of Falmouth, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod. The website title has been tweaked just a bit to reflect our new status, “The Voyage of Windbird . . . and Beyond.” We decided not to change things totally because we want to leave the three and a half thousand daily logs and all of the accompanying photos on the website for anyone who might be interested. But for those who would like to continue to follow the current “Voyage of Windbird”, her new owners have a website that will chronicle the adventures. We are proud to introduce you to Sam and Dawn Weigel whose blog “Weigels on the Water” can be found at: http://wotwater.blogspot.com/

NOTE: Due to Google upgrading Picasa to Google Photos, many of our old photos are now broken.  We are actively working on fixing this – thanks for your patience!

2017 Life Logs, Day 205: Rainy Monday

2017 Life Logs, Day 205: Rainy Monday
Date: Monday, July 24, 2017
Weather: Overcast with Rain All Day, Wind from the NE; High 68, Low 60 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Here in the harbor, the wind is still gusting from the north and northeast and it feels downright chilly. The rain has stopped, but tomorrow will still be overcast with the north winds. It will not be until Wednesday that the wind switches back to the southern sector and things will warm up again. So for now, we are back to long sleeves. Heather dropped Sam and Jonah off for their first day of fort building camp this morning and I picked Ollie and his bicycle up and headed to the daycare summer camp so he could ride in their mini-Mass challenge. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the email saying this had been cancelled for this morning, but Ollie still wanted to bike. We went to pick up my bike and we rode the bike path in drizzle and then pouring rain. But he loved it! We then picked Sam and Jonah up at noon and came back to my place for lunch and a movie. Heather and Jed are hoping they will have time in Oslo, Norway, to stop at the Kon-Tiki Museum, so I wanted the boys to see the Kon-Tiki movie. The original Kon-Tiki raft is on display in that museum. All three boys were riveted to the movie, so it was a great rainy day activity. . . and a little bit of history. Jonah called it an ‘educational experience’.

2017 Life Logs, Day 204: Bike Ride to Woods Hole

2017 Life Logs, Day 204: Bike Ride to Woods Hole
Date: Sunday, July 23, 2017
Weather: Partly Cloudy; High 71, Low 63 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

My day started with a lazy morning at home where I even took time to watch the bumble bees on the bushes outside my dining room windows. Then I met the Goldstones for a bike ride to Woods Hole. We left at noon but didn’t get back to our starting point until 4:30 pm. As Heather said, we made a vacation day out of it. Jed had to go to work to feed the fish that are used for research in his lab and he took the boys with him. This gave Heather and I a chance to poke around in the two specialty shops in town. We found all sorts of lovely things, but one shop had the most beautiful pottery serving dishes shaped like oysters and mussels. We then went to the Captain Kidd for a late lunch. The only outside seating was in what they call the lounging area and it was just perfect. Instead of sitting at a table, you sit on lounging furniture around low tables. It was perfect with the kids and we all really enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere. When we left we had to wait for the Eel Pond Bridge to open and the incoming boat was Pax and Tim and their two boys, Sebastian and Fofie. These are really good friends of Heather and Jed’s, so naturally the boys wanted to run and play together for a bit. We then enjoyed our 4-mile ride back to the parking area and I even snuck in a photo shoot of one of the nests of osprey on the way. There seem to be multiple babies in many of the nests. So as Heather said today, a long, cool, wet spring must be good for osprey production! When we got back, I took Jed, Ollie, and Jonah home while Heather took Sam to do the weekly grocery shopping. I came home and had a long conversation with a third cousin that just contacted me through Ancestry.com. He and his wife life near Fort Myers Beach, so I think we will get to meet we all go to Florida for Thanksgiving.

I found out today that this next week is going to be a bit different than I thought. The camp that Sam and Jonah are attending is only half day, not all day, so Ollie and I will only have our mornings together. But that is fine. Ollie is all excited about classes I signed him up for on two of the mornings. On Wednesday we will go to a Field and Farm class at Peterson Farm and on Friday we do a Fairy House workshop at Highfield Hall. And tomorrow morning we go to see his friends at the Woods Hole Daycare Center summer camp. So, here we go into another week of summer fun.

2017 Life Logs, Day 203: Do Nothing Day

2017 Life Logs, Day 203: Do Nothing Day
Date: Saturday, July 22, 2017
Weather: Partly Cloudy, Hot and Humid; High 80, Low 64 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

The calendar says this was Saturday, but I say it was ‘Do Nothing Day’. It is the very first day since I returned from my family gathering in West Virginia in June that I have had a whole day with nothing that had to be done. So, I took full advantage and did absolutely nothing . . . and it feels great! I do have a couple of confessions–I did go to the gym for Zumba class and I did have a nice long phone conversation with Ed and Lynne Kirwin. And tonight I’ll call my sister to check-in with her. But that’s it.

2017 Life Logs, Day 202: Sandwich Glass Museum and Heritage Gardens

2017 Life Logs, Day 202: Sandwich Glass Museum and Heritage Gardens
Date: Friday, July 21, 2017
Weather: Beautiful Sunny Day; High 86, Low 68 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

What a beautiful day! I promised the Goldpebbles that they could play at home this morning, but my 10:20 am, they were already getting restless. So we left for our first adventure of the day. It was another Free Fun Friday at Massachusetts museums, and today the boys chose to go to the Glass Museum in Sandwich. They have been there multiple times, but Jonah in particular was interested in going again. It was crowded when we arrived, so we ducted into the theatre to watch the historical video outlining the of glass making in Sandwich. The glass factory was opened in 1825 and incorporated in 1826 as the Boston & Sandwich Glass Company. I think the thing all three boys will remember is that Sandwich is the oldest community on Cape Cod and that glass making was a huge part of its history in the 1800’s. We then watched the live glass blowing demonstration. The boys had front row seats on the floor in front of the seated adults. The young man that does this is very entertaining and all three boys were mesmerized for the entire presentation. Today he made a wine glass and I found the step-by-step demonstration fascinating. The wonderful thing about the Free Fridays at museums is that you don’t feel like you must see everything to get your money’s worth, so we did a little shopping for glass souvenirs and headed on to the Heritage Garden and Museums. This is basically just across the street from the glass museum, so we were there in about five minutes. We are members, so we didn’t have to pay the admission here either. I promised the boys we would only stay as long as they wanted, but that wasn’t an issue. I literally had to drag them out at 4:30 to head home. They set the agenda and we had a great time. We first headed to the labyrinth to run its intricate path and then on to the Lake Shawmee overlook to have our picnic lunch. Next, we headed to Hidden Hollow which is an area with all sorts of children’s outdoor activities. Then we headed up the hill to ride the carousel, not once, but twice, and on our way back to the parking area, we visited the waterfall pond to search for frogs and the maze garden where we played hide and seek. I’m not sure how far we walked, but my knees tell me it was a long distance. But regardless of tired knees, it was a fun-filled day.

Next week, we have a change of pace. Sam and Jonah are going to Fort Building Camp at Falmouth Academy, so Camp Oma will be just Oma and Ollie until 3 in the afternoon. Ollie insists that we still have swim lessons, so we’ll still get in our beach time every morning. We also have plans to ride our bikes. And I’m sure we’ll find all sorts of other exciting things to fill our days.

2017 Life Logs, Day 201: Long Day for Oma

2017 Life Logs, Day 201: Long Day for Oma
Date: Thursday, July 20, 2017
Weather: Mostly Sunny and Very Warm; High 87, Low 70 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Today was a long day for me, but the Goldpebbles and myself paced ourselves and turned the long day into a happy one. We started with swim lessons followed by playing on the beach. I had promised the boys I would buy them Italian shaved ice if they had a good week in swim lessons, so doing that was an important part of the day for them. We then decided to go to my place for showers and a little relax time before heading home. It was a hot day for these parts, but the breeze here on the harbor was delightful . . . so we lingered. By the time we decided to head to the Goldstones to play, it was mid-afternoon. I knew Heather was planning to take the bus home, so I sent a text to her to see if she would like us to pick her up. She accepted that offer and we snuck in a stop at the Thursday Farmer’s Market on the way home. Jed had non-stop meetings today and this evening, so we didn’t see him. And Heather had to leave at 6:15 for a meeting, so I put together a quick dinner and stayed with the boys until Heather returned around 9:30 pm. Sam, Jonah, Ollie, and I had a nice dinner on the deck and then I let them watch a Wild Kratts episode and then go outside to play for 15 minutes before we headed upstairs to read and go to bed. It was all relaxed and the boys were totally cooperative. So, although it was a long day for me, we had a really good day. Tomorrow we are going to a Free Fun Friday at a Cape glass museum. The boys have been there multiple times, but they never tire of watching the glass blowing demonstration. After our museum visit, we’ll head across the way to Heritage Gardens to have a picnic lunch and play in Hidden Hollow.

2017 Life Logs, Day 200: Swim Lessons and the Barnstable County Fair

2017 Life Logs, Day 200: Swim Lessons and the Barnstable County Fair
Date: Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Weather: Partly Cloudy; High 84, Low 67 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Today was the ninth swim lesson of the summer for both Sam and Jonah and it was a breakthrough day. Yeah! Sam can now swim long distances. Today he, along with his classmates, swam out to the buoy and back, which is the goal of the intermediate swimming class. Then they had multiple races and Sam was right there in the front of the pack. After Sam’s lesson, Jonah had his lesson and he was swimming the required distances for the second day in a row. But the real breakthrough for Jonah came after the lessons. Jonah and I were throwing a water football back and forth on the water’s edge and then Jonah decided to get into the water and throw and catch from there. And he did this without his floaties and he didn’t even seem to notice. Previously you couldn’t drag him into the water with the flotation support, but today he was going after the ball into water over his head and not even noticing that he was doing it all on his own. He is still reluctant to get his whole head in the water, but we’ll get there. After tomorrow’s lessons, we take a break for a week while Sam and Jonah attend Fort Building Camp at Falmouth Academy. But they will get one more week of lessons during the first week of August. Ollie is still wearing his floaties, but he is treading water, swimming freestyle, and floating with support. He loves the water and I don’t think he will need the flotation support much longer. So, tomorrow we will have a special celebration of water accomplishments to date.

The boys had made the decision that we would leave the beach right after lessons today and head home for a relaxed afternoon of play. But Sam has met a new friend in his swim class and he really wanted to stay at the beach and play. Jonah and Ollie agreed, so we extended our time at the beach. All three boys had a great time playing ball games on the beach, burying themselves in the sand, making sand forts, as well as playing in the water. By the time they were ready to leave, it was almost 1 o’clock. At that point, I needed to get some lunch into them quick, so we went to my place which is less than a half mile from the beach to eat. It was much later than expected before I got them home to play. I was going to take them to Heritage Gardens tomorrow afternoon, but we are scratching that to have the promised time to play at home.

Jed came home early and we all got ready to go to the Barnstable County Fair. This is a yearly affair that the boys love. It has become an annual tradition for the Goldstones to go on Wednesday night so they can attend the Demolition Derby. We watched the blacksmith, visited the horses, cows, chickens, and rabbits, listened to the Brian Boru Pipe Band, watched a magician, saw some amazing Clydesdales, and rode the rides.

I headed home around 9 pm but the Goldstones were returning to see the final Demolition face-off of the evening. I think I’ll have very tired little boys tomorrow. But that’s what summer is all about.

2017 Life Logs, Day 199: Swim Lessons, Flight Stuff at the Library, Evening Photo Shoot

2017 Life Logs, Day 199: Swim Lessons, Flight Stuff at the Library, Evening Photo Shoot
Date: Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Weather: Partly Sunny, Morning Fog; High 82, Low 69 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

These are busy summer days, but I am trying to keep the pace relaxed with the Goldpebbles even though we are doing lots of things. I don’t want them to feel hurried all the time, so we are building in a lot of down time even in a full day. Today we started at Falmouth Heights Beach for swim lessons. Sam is doing lots of swimming and Jonah is trying hard to overcome his fear of putting his head in the water. I’m working with Ollie and today was dunk Oma’s head in the water and then dunk Ollie. Sam was actually a better swim teacher for Ollie than I was and I loved watching the big brother tenderly challenge his baby brother to tread water and dive under. After swim lessons, the boys played kick the beach ball and then just relaxed on the beach. Then ‘somehow’ we ended up going to Dairy Queen for ‘first’ lunch and the boys really enjoyed their chocolate DQ dipped in chocolate and covered with rainbow sprinkles. Bad Oma. This is certainly not a healthy summer treat, but the boys loved it. I told them it is simply something you just have to do once every summer! Then we went to my place. We all took baths or showers and had a little screen time before real lunch. Then it was to the public library for a presentation called The Flight Stuff with the Mad Science. The presenter taught the children about lift, thrust, drag, and the effect of gravity. There were demonstrations using roto copters, stomp rockets, a piezo popper which is an electric device that generates a few thousand volt spark at the touch of button, and finally Skyhawk and Cobra rockets that blasted to impressive heights. After the outdoor presentation, we went inside to check out a few books. Then we ended our day together back home creating our own Diet Coke and Mentos backyard explosions.
I made it home with just enough time to fix a quick dinner before heading to Chapaquoit Beach for a photo shoot with the Newcombers Shutterfly photo group. It was a sunset shoot, but it really wasn’t a very impressive sunset. But I have always said that every sunset is special and you find something beautiful. So I tried. This was my second photo shoot with the group, but I made the decision tonight that I won’t be joining them again. It didn’t take me long to learn that I am just not a “set up your camera on a tripod” type of photographer.

2017 Life Logs, Day 198: Afternoon at Stoney; Dinner at Woodin’s

2017 Life Logs, Day 198: Afternoon at Stoney; Dinner at Woodin’s
Date: Monday, July 17, 2017
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 78, Low 66 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

After morning swim lessons and a ‘kick the beach ball’ game at Falmouth Heights Beach, we went to my place for lunch and then headed to Stoney Beach in Woods Hole. During our morning planning for this week, one of boys requested a visit to Stoney and that was seconded by all. When we got to the beach, I heard Sam breathe deeply and then exclaim, “Stoney is the perfect beach.” I don’t know if I would go that far, but it has always been a favorite of the Goldpebbles. We met up with Jeanne Harper and her son Leo from Heather and Jed’s neighborhood and the boys went into immediate action—trying to catch minnows, trying to catch crabs, and just generally enjoying the water. Kids we didn’t know joined in with our crab search, and it was actually Jonah and a child I don’t know who caught the only crab of the day. They were very proud of their accomplishment. It was a relaxed, fun time at Stoney Beach.

Close to time to leave, I got a text from Heather offering to come to Stoney to pick the boys up since I had a 5:30 pm dinner party at Bruce and Jane’s Woodin’s. The dinner group is a fairly recent addition to the Newcomers Club long list of organized activities. There were four couples at tonight’s dinner plus myself and we had a wonderful dinner and enjoyed the time to visit together. Thank you to Bruce and Jane for hosting this lovely event.

2017 Life Logs, Day 197: Successful Launch of Pooh

2017 Life Logs, Day 197: Successful Launch of Pooh
Date: Sunday, July 16, 2017
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 79, Low 64 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Today we had a successful launch of Pooh. Pooh is a 15-foot Sandpiper cat boat made right here in New England by Marshall Marine. I said earlier in a log that it is 17 feet in length, but I think I was wrong about that. The important thing is that it is now on its mooring in West Falmouth Harbor and ready to sail. We had to use the Honda 7.5 motor for the dinghy we bought we this spring as Bruce couldn’t get either of his motors really running properly, but using the Honda allowed us to launch today. We had a couple of issues, but for the most part, the launch went smoothly. It took us a little more than two hours to get her in the water, bring her to the dock, put on the rigging and sail, and get her out to the mooring. Heather and Jed worked with Bruce to get the rigging and sail on while I walked to the local market with Jonah and Ollie to get sandwiches for everyone for lunch. Sam stayed with the crew to get photos for me. Thank you, Sam. And he ended up taking the sailboat out to the mooring with Heather and Jed and rowing them back to shore.

Pooh looked beautiful sitting out there on her mooring. I’m looking forward to a sail on her soon.

2017 Life Logs, Day 196: Changed Plans—No Launch Today

2017 Life Logs, Day 196: Changed Plans—No Launch Today
Date: Saturday, July 15, 2017
Weather: Partly Cloudy; High 75, Low 64 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Plans for today were changed due to engine problems. We were planning to launch Bruce and Jane’s little sailboat, but during prep for the launch yesterday, Bruce discovered that neither engine that he has was working properly. Getting any work done on a small boat motor at this time of year requires a two to three week wait, so Heather and Jed offered to put the engine from the dinghy we bought in May on the sailboat. But then we discovered that the dinghy we bought came with a motor and trailer, but no gas can or fuel attachment–the hose with special attachments that goes between the gas can and the motor. Our motor is a Honda and Honda doesn’t allow just anyone to sell their parts. Jed had to travel off Cape to get the required attachment. Since we have to launch at high tide and that was at 1:10 this afternoon, we had to call off the launch. I was at Heather’s at 3:30 pm and Jed still wasn’t home. So maybe we launch tomorrow. I haven’t heard about that, but I’ll be prepared. Heather has a 5 pm work-related engagement, and high tide isn’t until 2:02 pm tomorrow. So we shall see.

Mid-afternoon I was at Heather’s to deliver some lavender recipes and a little book of 101 Things to Do in Sweden. When I had talked to Heather earlier, she was harvesting lavender so I ran off a few recipes I thought she might like to try. By the time I got there, the lavender harvest was completed, but I got a special tour of the garden and some lavender to bring home with me. In order to preserve it, you hang it upside down in a dark, dry place. So, when I got home I hung it in the back hallway over the dryer. It is definitely dark and definitely dry, and every time I walk to the guest bathroom, I can now smell the wonderful aroma of lavender. Lovely.