Welcome to The Voyage of Windbird . . . and Beyond.  My name is Judy Handley and I live on Cape Cod in Massachusetts.  For six years of my life, my husband Mark and I sailed around the world.  I documented that story, one day at a time, in this blog that was then just called The Voyage of Windbird.  Those daily logs from 2005 to 2011 tell the story of our circumnavigation.  While sailing, my daily logs were sent via Ham radio to the internet to appear on this blog spot each morning.  My son Justin made that happen, and to this day, I don’t understand the process.  But it was like magic.  I would sit in the cockpit each afternoon around 4 pm and summarize the day’s activities.  During the evening when the conditions were just right for sending radio emails, my husband would send the log.  The next morning my son, my daughter, other members of my family and good friends would read the news and know exactly where in the world we were and what fun we were having.  

After almost 6 years of traveling, we sailed into Woods Hole on Cape Cod.  We continued living aboard for the next five years and I wrote about that, adding ‘and Beyond’ to the title of the blog.  Then shortly before Mark’s death in 2016, we sold our beloved Windbird and my travel logs became land logs.  At this point, I had written a daily account for each and every day for 11 years.  I fully intended to end the blog at that point, but when I wrote that news in a log, I got many responses saying that I really needed to keep posting.  At the same time, I realized that I couldn’t stop writing.  Summarizing each day had become a permanent part of my life and I will probably continue writing until I can no longer.  These postings reflect the ordinary, and sometimes the extraordinary, days in my life and I would like to invite you to join me on my journey.

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!

2020 Life Logs, Day 98: Happy 11th Birthday to Ziggy

2020 Life Logs, Day 98: Happy 11th Birthday to Ziggy
Date: Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Weather: Sunny, Breezy Afternoon; High 56 degrees, Low 44 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Happy, happy 11th birthday to Ziggy! For the first time ever, I sent a grandchild money for his birthday. It just seemed too difficult to order the things he wanted and get them to Puerto Rico in time with the adjusted Covid-19 delivery uncertainties. Thankfully the money gift worked out. I think he enjoyed getting money. But he also got lots of other presents. It seemed more like Christmas than a birthday. He got the coolest roller skates I’ve ever seen. The boots are red Converse sneakers. We had a Skype video call this afternoon and I got to see him skating around the living room as Coco zoomed about on her roller blades. Thankfully they have a really big living room that can accommodate such activity. I got to meet Opal and Pearl, the new baby goats. At birth they thought both were girls, but then they discovered that Pearl is a boy. Justin and Jo held them and then Justin brought them into the living room to run about. They are just too cute for words. But I think Justin’s favorite baby of the week is a little tan bunny. I didn’t get to see Hopi’s baby pony, Barnaby, as his pen is too far from house to have an internet connection. I hope to see photos of him as he grows. The Handley-Hunts in Puerto Rico seem to be doing just fine. And Ziggy really was a very happy birthday boy.

I spent the rest of my day writing, gardening, walking with Shadow, and fighting with Comcast, my internet and cable TV provider. I really enjoyed the writing, gardening, and walking, but the fight with Comcast has gone on too long. I have called many times since Monday and each time I get a cheery computer voice saying, “I see you are Judy. Am I correct?” Yes, yes, yes. I am Judy and my address is 2-3. And yes, your computer does show that I have a problem—major breakup or pixilation on my TV screen. And after six calls, I still have the problem. And yes, I have the break-up on all channels. And yes, I did try a different HDMI cord. And every time I have called I have gone through the same testing regime and have been told to watch the screen and report any changes to a person that will call me back in one hour. The problem is, no one has ever called back. When I finally got an agent this evening, I explained that I certainly understand that their service is overwhelmed due to the coronavirus. But I just wanted to find out what my next step should be. I tried to explain that as Albert Einstein is credited with saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” This worked. They are sending me, via UPS, a new cable box with a new HDMI cable. I’ll install it and if that doesn’t solve the problem, then Comcast will send someone to check the outside connections. They are doing almost no work, maybe none, inside homes unless service has been totally cut-off. Hopefully we can avoid that here. I could live without the television, but I would have difficulty without my internet connection.

Today I had my first ever home delivery of beer and wine. Essentials, right? Someone in my wine group mentioned that they were getting deliveries from a liquor store in Cotuit, a little town between here and Hyannis. I got online to check it out and it is so easy. The prices are higher than going into Kappy’s, the major liquor store in Falmouth, but they don’t deliver. You still have to wipe down the boxes and bottles of wine, but you order online, pay by phone, and then just tape a tip to your door. They leave everything on your doorstep and you take it from there. No contact with people. A great service. My friend Detta Porat also called today. She is a second grade teacher in New Hampshire and is working 15 to 18 hour days providing online instruction and email support for students and families. Sure wish the Goldpebbles were in a school system working this hard to provide educational support during these times. If they are, I don’t see it. But I’ll not give up hope just yet. And the greatest news of the day was that Nilson, the contractor who does work for my land lady, Shirley, and has done work for me, was able to help out in response to an SOS text I sent to him this morning. I know how much stress Heather and Jed are under right now. When I went over to deliver some packing boxes last evening, they were outside scraping paint off the trim around the garage door. Part of their contract of sale is that the garage door and trim will be painted and that has to be done by the end of next week. I know they could have gotten it done, but it is just one more thing on their overflowing plate. So, this morning I sent the text to Nilson and this afternoon he was on the job. Since it is an outside job, Heather and Jed just had to direct the kids not to play on that side of the house to keep proper physical distancing. Nilson’s team actually got the paint scraped and the first coat of paint on today. Thanks and praises.

2020 Life Logs, Day 97: A Writing Day

2020 Life Logs, Day 97: A Writing Day
Date: Monday, April 6, 2020
Weather: Sunny and Warmer; High 56 degrees, Low 40 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

We finally had a sunny and warmish day, but I spent it indoors writing. I kept thinking I would come to a stopping place and go outside to ready the raised beds for planting. But I never reached that stopping place. I have written a book introduction and Chapter One for my book about the Voyage of Windbird and today I started Chapter Two. After thinking about writing this book for the eight years since Mark and I arrived back home, I find it amazing that I am now actually writing. Taking the Newcomers Memoir Writing class that started in late January got me started, but it took the slow down in life imposed by the coronavirus to actually get me to buckle down. The book introduction sets the stage. Chapter One is currently titled, “There He Was.” It is about meeting Mark. Chapter Two that I focused on today tackles the question of why and how we made the decision to sail around the world. It was great fun today to go back and try to reconstruct our first off-shore sail from the Chesapeake Bay to Maine in 1989. The fact that I survived that trip sets the stage for me thinking seriously about sailing around the world. Tomorrow and Wednesday I will continue writing and, hopefully, do a little gardening. Then on Thursday and Friday, writing will be put aside to focus on the Goldstone move from 60 Vidal to 43 Grasmere. I’m actually looking forward to that distraction. Today I saw a replay of a White House news briefing this weekend when Dr. Birx said that she thinks this week is most crucial in the battle against the coronavirus. She recommended that people not even go the grocery store or drug store during this week. I haven’t been in a grocery store since mid-March and don’t need to go now, but the tone in her voice chilled me. This is really scary, so maybe dropping everything and just working hard at moving is a good thing.

2020 Life Logs, Day 96: Random Thoughts and Observations

2020 Life Logs, Day 96: Random Thoughts and Observations
Date: Sunday, April 5, 2020
Weather: Mostly Cloudy; High 50 degrees, Low 41 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

The time in which we are currently living is certainly unprecedented. We are having a cold and cloudy spring with bits of color here and there and I have a puppy that is growing by leaps and bounds. Those things are normal. But living in the time of a worldwide pandemic that I never envisioned happening in my lifetime, not going to any kind of store but instead getting food delivered to my doorstep by my daughter or by an online company called Misfits, wearing a mask when out in public, keeping a physical distance from everyone and only having face to face contact over the internet, not touching my face and washing my hands constantly . . . these things are not normal. But hopefully we are all doing these things in the hopes of slowing down the coronavirus. I want to share the development of the spring colors and the details of ordering food from Misfits. But every night by the time I sit down to write my log, I am too tired to write about these things. I spent half of today overseeing the moving of boxes from the driveway of Heather and Jed’s new home to the basement. Ollie and I would strap a box on a small dolly and he would head down the hill with the loaded dolly to the basement. I would follow, carrying something manageable. We would get those things put away in the basement and then go back to make another delivery. By mid-afternoon we all needed to head home to have lunch. I then stayed home and did some cooking. I delivered salmon cakes to the Goldstones for their dinner and then came home to spend the evening with my Shadow. The Goldstones have to take the next three days off moving activities so that radon mitigation work can be done at the new house. On Wednesday, I will observe Passover at Heather and Jed’s current home. I guess we can call that the last supper as on Thursday we will start the moving of everything from the old house to the new. Thursday will be packing day and on Friday they will be renting a truck and doing the final move. I suppose this means they will be sleeping in the new house on Friday night. This move is a huge undertaking without the help of movers and contractors to do painting and flooring and moving, but H & J keep revising their plans and moving forward. From my point of view, things are moving along smoothly, considering the working conditions. And when things get hard, we just have to remind ourselves of how lucky we are to be healthy and have a steady income. So many people have neither. I am looking forward to a few days off and then the huge push to get this move done. I am also looking forward to the full moon on Tuesday. Tuesday is April 7 which is Ziggy’s 11th birthday. It is the Full Pink Moon. Pink used to be Ziggy’s favorite color. I am not sure that is still the case, but I think it is a good omen that he will have a full moon birthday this year.

2020 Life Logs, Day 95: Happy Anniversary to Justin and Jo

2020 Life Logs, Day 95: Happy Anniversary to Justin and Jo
Date: Saturday, April 4, 2020
Weather: Overcast with a Little Sunshine Late Day; High 43 degrees, Low 33 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Justin and Jo were married on this day in 2007. They met in Massachusetts, got married in California, moved to New Mexico where they had Ziggy and Coco, and then moved to Puerto Rico where they now live on their two acres they call Finca Maravilla. This week they celebrated spring with the arrival of a foal, twin goat kids, and baby bunnies. A beautiful abundance of life in these otherwise grim times. As we are here, and as Jo’s family is in England, Justin, Jo, Ziggy, and Coco are living under the threat of the coronavirus. My anniversary wish for them is that we all work as hard as we can to stay safe and healthy. I know they did not go out to celebrate, but I hope they had a wonderful day celebrating their wonderful life together.

Today was a work day here and I think it was a most productive one. There are still things to move out of the storage unit tomorrow morning, but it will be done. Heather cleaned out the big chest freezer this morning and left it to defrost while we moved things from storage. Then we returned to move it to the new house. As we all stood there looking at it, Jed said he really thought they needed a special dolly with a strap. I reminded them that my friends Peter and Karen Baranowski had offered the use of their dolly and suggested we call them to see if it might do the job. It sounded like just what we needed, so Jed and I went to get it. It made what seemed a very difficult task so much easier. Heather and Jed were able to get it out of the basement, into the van, out of the van at the new house, and down the hill to the entrance to basement. Thank you, thank you to Peter and Karen. While Heather and Jed moved the freezer, I stayed home with the boys and we worked together to get laundry that was on the couch folded. By the time Heather and Jed got home and announced their victorious feat, the boys had put their folded clothes away, the pizza for dinner was delivered, and they were ready for a movie night to celebrate a job well done. I came home to be with Shadow as I had to leave him at home today so we could get the work done. I did come home to have lunch with him and this evening we played outside and took a nice long walk. Tomorrow will be more of the same. Once the storage unit is emptied and everything is carried down to the basement, the work upstairs can begin. Right now it seems like the Never Ending Story, but in another couple of weeks, I think the Goldstones will be settled in their new home. We just have to move forward one day at a time.

2020 Life Logs, Day 94: Craziness

2020 Life Logs, Day 94: Craziness
Date: Friday, April 3, 2020
Weather: Stormy; High 44 degrees, Low 40 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Please tell me I’m not crazy. My good friends Olivia, Karen, and Jane spend their days sewing face masks for the local visiting nurses because they don’t have any. I’m very proud of the contribution they are making, but it makes me ask, “Is this the 21st century? Do we live in the most powerful country in the world?” I guess not. I hear our President say daily that we are under attack by an invisible enemy. I hear him say we are at war, that he is a war President. But if we were being attacked by a visible enemy, would the President of this great country be telling each state governor to wage the war however they want? I don’t think so. This is craziness.

Sorry. I just had to get that off my chest. But the craziness doesn’t end there. The fact that Heather and Jed are trying work full time from home, oversee some semblance of schooling for three boys at three different grade levels, while staging a move into a new house with no outside help all come with their craziness as well. These things are possible, but they are challenging. Why do they have to do the remodeling and the move all by themselves? Well, remodeling projects are non-essential so you can’t get that kind of work done with our current stay-at-home policy in place. And as for not hiring professional movers . . . who in their right mind would want people you don’t know touching everything you own and moving it into your new home in these times? It’s hard enough to wipe off all groceries that come into your home. But everything? No. Moving yourself is not easy, but it is certainly easier than taking a chance on getting Covid-19. So today, I went to the new house and cleaned the garage while Heather and Jed worked at home. While I was there, the dumpster they have rented was delivered and at some point, it will be filled with the carpeting and other things in the house that need to go. Tomorrow morning, I’ve offered to go to their current home and help clean out their freezer in the basement. It has to be defrosted and then moved to the basement of the new house and repacked. Add to that, the emptying of the storage unit they rented and filled with things from their current house to get it ready to show. That unit has be emptied by 2:30 pm on Sunday. Else, they have to pay for another month. Aye-yai-yai. I don’t know how they are keeping their sanity, but they are. One day at a time, things will get done. I’ll help as I can. But I certainly hope that with all these issues that at least the weather improves. Today we experienced a nor’easter with high winds and more rain from gray skies. Yes, April showers bring May flowers, but could we please have showers, not storms. And warmer weather . . . please.

During all of this, Shadow and I continue to enjoy our daily walks, even in the rain. And I spend a bit of time each day keeping in contact with family and friends. This evening I attended what has become a weekly Friday evening gathering of my Wine Group via Zoom. And I talked with Mark’s sister and brother-in-law, Mary Ellen and Lee, in Bonita Springs, Florida. They, and all the Florida Handley Clan, are all weathering the Covid-19 storm and staying healthy. Good to hear. And the big excitement today was that there was a front page article in the local weekly Falmouth Enterprise with the headline, “Circumnavigating the Globe Has Never a Dull Moment.” The article was the result of an interview I had with a local reporter a couple of weeks ago. I’m not convinced I said everything she put in quotes, but it was fun to read about the adventure!

2020 Life Logs, Day 93: Writing Day

2020 Life Logs, Day 93: Writing Day
Date: Thursday, April 2, 2020
Weather: Overcast and Rainy; High 46 degrees, Low 40 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Electrical work was being done in the basement of Heather and Jed’s new house today, so we all stayed home and focused on other things. Things will start to ramp up tomorrow and if the current plan sticks, the big move will happen late next week. In the meantime, there is more cleaning, getting old carpeting out of the house, more stripping of wallpaper, painting, and moving things out of the temporary storage unit by Sunday at 2:30 pm in order to avoid paying for another whole month. No lack of things to do!

I had an afternoon Memoir Writing Class on Zoom this afternoon, so I took advantage of the day off and focused on writing. I spent my time continuing to edit my Book Introduction and Chapter 1, plus reading and making recommendations on another class member’s piece we were to focus on during class today. Those of us who are now meeting weekly via Zoom are finding this just as effective as meeting in person. Jerry Lanson is our fearless leader. As another class member said this afternoon, Jerry’s experience as a college writing teacher is invaluable. His experience, plus his gentle and caring manner, sets everyone at ease and makes it so easy to share. And his editing skills are amazing. After years of thinking about writing, Jerry’s encouragement has finally nudged me forward. Thank you, Jerry.

2020 Life Logs, Day 92: Reboot
Date: Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Weather: Overcast, Rain Late; High 41 degrees, Low 38 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It is late, so this will be short. I spent my morning editing a piece for my writing class and in the afternoon I tuned in to Heather’s webinar. She did a phenomenal job. My one big takeaway was that the states that moved early and quickly to control the coronavirus are also the same states that have aggressive climate change policies. Interesting. I had intended to head over to H & J’s new house to do a cleaning project afterwards, but one thing and then another happened and then it was too late to go. So, with a little time before dinner, I made a call to my sister-in-law that lives in Boynton Beach on the East Coast of Florida. Sue is in her 80’s and I just wanted to check in to see how she and Brad are doing. They have had three friends die of the coronavirus. They last saw these friends on March 1 when they attended a show together. But thankfully Sue and Brad are doing fine. I was relieved to hear that. I then had to get creative to fix dinner as the refrigerator is almost empty of fresh veggies. But salmon cakes made from canned salmon and canned artichoke hearts dipped in an egg mixture and corn meal and then fried turned into a great dinner along with a fermented red cabbage salad. I used one egg mixed with water for the artichoke hearts and used what was left to make the salmon cakes. I enjoyed my dinner and then I spent the rest of the evening having technical difficulties. I lost my wifi connection on my computer and on my phone but not on my television. I tried everything I could think of, but nothing worked. And I couldn’t Google solutions as I had no internet. I sent a “Help ASAP” text to Jed and another to Justin and soon got a call from Justin. He led me through many of the things I had already tried and a few more that I never would have known how to do, but still no internet. I had not thought to reboot the router system since I still had a television connection, but as Justin and I gave up and said goodnight, he suggested that I try a reboot. I did and it worked. Thank you, Justin. I should have tried that to begin with. I have to admit that losing the internet connection for just a couple of hours had me in a panic, more so than usual. In these times of not seeing friends in person or attending any activities, I have become totally dependent on the internet to make connections. The Zoom classes and social meetings are wonderful and I panicked thinking that maybe my computer had an issue that couldn’t be resolved. But all is well as this first day of April comes to an end.

2020 Life Logs, Day 91: Climate Change in the Era of COVID-19

2020 Life Logs, Day 91: Climate Change in the Era of COVID-19
Date: Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, Sunshine Late Day; High 40 degrees, Low 30 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Tomorrow afternoon at 2:30 pm, Heather is hosting a webinar on Climate Change in the Era of COVID-19. The intended audience ranges from middle and high school students to scientists to the general public. If you would like to attend, just Google Woods Hole Research Center Spring Webinars, click on Spring 2020 Webinar Series—Woods Hole Research Center, scroll down and click on Register.

Climate Change in the Era of COVID-19
Heather Goldstone, Chief Communications Officer
with opening remarks by Phil Duffy, President & Executive Director

The novel coronavirus pandemic has been compared to climate change at warp speed. Heather Goldstone will introduce what we know about the causes and increasingly apparent impacts of climate change, and explore connections between the COVID-19 and climate crises – including the need to ensure that pandemic response policies also advance climate preparedness.
REGISTER

My early morning emails brought more good news from Puerto Rico. One of Justin and Jo’s nanny goats had twins and both were girls—Opal and Pearl. In the last few days they have welcomed a new foal named Barnaby, baby bunnies, and now kid goats. A true celebration of spring in these otherwise dark times. I made some cleaning progress at Heather and Jed’s new house today while Heather, Jed, and boys worked and schooled at home. I had some ‘technical difficulties’ with hooking up a hose to start cleaning the front entrance to the house, but in the late afternoon Jed arrived with Ollie and Jonah and solved my leaky hose hook-up. Hopefully I can complete that project tomorrow. I also took advantage of the washer and dryer at the new house today and did my first laundry in a machine since the first week of March. I have been doing great at keeping up with the essentials by washing them in a 5 gallon bucket in the bathtub, but it was great to have the use of a washing machine and dryer to do jeans and winter sweaters. Hopefully those sweaters can be stored away until next year. When I got home, I spent some time preparing for my Thursday Memoir Writing Class on Zoom. And then I just kicked back, relaxed, and caught up on the daily news—not relaxing. On to tomorrow.

2020 Life Logs, Day 90: Chipping Away

2020 Life Logs, Day 90: Chipping Away
Date: Monday, March 30, 2020
Weather: Overcast and Misty; High 44 degrees, Low 36 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today a children’s song about chipping away layers of fossil rock kept creeping into my head. “Chip, chip away those layers of clay. Knock, knock, knock to the fossil rock.” I arrived at Heather and Jed’s new house around noon to install shelving liners in the kitchen. Then mid-afternoon after hours of working and schooling at home, the Goldstones arrived. Heather started chipping away at the stubbornly attached wallpaper on the walls of the master bedroom while Sam and Jonah were upstairs removing the carpeting tack strips with hammers and crowbars. Jed was unloading a van full of bins from the old basement to the new. And Ollie and I were taking down curtains, putting them in the washer while going back to wash the windows, putting the curtains in the dryer and then putting the curtains back up. We are all working as fast and as hard as we can, yet it is a little overwhelming to think about how much more needs to be done. But we shall persist until the move is complete.

2020 Life Logs, Day 89: Working Sunday

2020 Life Logs, Day 89: Working Sunday
Date: Sunday, March 29, 2020
Weather: Overcast and Rainy; High 47 degrees, Low 42 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I’m sure the weather could be worse, and our work today was inside, but it was surely a most dreary, cool, rainy day. It didn’t help that Shadow got me up at 2 am and again at 5 am to go out in the rain. But at least after the 5 am get up and go outside affair, we then slept in until 9 am. Then it was time to get up and get ready to go to Heather and Jed’s new house to clean the basement and the garage. Those are the jobs I volunteered to do along with Jed and the boys. We started by working on the basement while Heather attacked the wallpaper in the master bedroom. She and Jed have given in on getting rid of the carpet in their bedroom and will do that later when carpet installation is once again allowed. But she really wants to get that wallpaper replaced with fresh paint. She has stripped wallpaper before, but this stuff is really stuck in many places. She has to get back to fulltime work at home starting tomorrow morning, so I will try my hand at wallpaper removal tomorrow. I also offered to pick the boys up tomorrow morning and take them with me to the new house to continue working. Yesterday they started stripping the carpeting out of their new bedrooms and evidently Sam and Jonah figured out how to remove those wooden tack strips that hold the carpeting in place. They can work on that tomorrow while I help Ollie turn cutting pieces of Con-Tact Shelf Liner into a math lesson. Hopefully we can get all of the kitchen shelves covered so we can begin moving the non-essentials from the old house to the new. The basement is ready to start ‘accepting’ deliveries and with a little more work tomorrow, the garage will be ready as well. The plan is to move Jed’s wood shop into the double car garage, along with all of the sports equipment. Hopefully there will be room left for a car or maybe two. And hopefully we’ll get periods of dry weather during the week so we don’t have to move things in the rain. Progress is being made, but there is plenty of work to keep us all busy full-time. And then, of course, Heather and Jed are working full time from home and the boys are supposed to be completing school activities at home. Those Goldpebbles are going to have to get creative and turn all their help with moving into school assignments. That’s my challenge to them!