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!

2018 Life Logs, Day 324: Getting Ready for Thanksgiving

2018 Life Logs, Day 324: Getting Ready for Thanksgiving
Date: Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Weather: Overcast and Rainy, Turning Colder; High 50, Low 30 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Well, I should have been spending my day getting ready for Thanksgiving, but I had other priorities. I had a morning appointment with my physical therapist to see how my injured knee is doing. It is ‘doing’, but not continuing to improve. So, the therapist suggested I slow down a little bit on the exercise and methodically, and very gradually, increase some specific prescribed exercises. Then I drove north toward Boston to Scituate to have lunch with Shirley Wiedemann (the woman who owns the cottage I am renting) and her sister Doris. Both of these ladies are the aunts of my good friend Karen Baranowski. Karen invited me to drive up to visit and have lunch today. I enjoyed seeing the ‘girls’ (Shirley is 93 and Doris is 100 plus 1 month). They are currently staying in Doris’ home but are hoping to soon be able to come down here to spend some time in Shirley’s home, next door to me. They usually alternate places every month or so, but health issues for both have kept them in Scituate throughout the summer and fall. Hopefully they will be able to come down soon,

When I got back to Falmouth, I did do a little food shopping for Thanksgiving Day and then headed home. There is no school tomorrow, so I will be spending most of the day with Ollie and Jonah and I hope to be able to involve them in Thanksgiving preparations. Sam has an off-Cape birthday party to attend, so he will not be around. But I have some ideas for involving him in the preparation of a couple of dishes on Thanksgiving Day.

2018 Life Logs, Day 323: Shameful, Shameful

2018 Life Logs, Day 323: Shameful, Shameful
Date: Monday, November 19, 2018
Weather: Mostly Cloudy and Warmer; High 55, Low 42 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I had a good day until I watched the news tonight. When I saw our President visiting the site of the disastrous Camp Fire in northern California and he didn’t even know the name of the community of Paradise, I was aghast. How can the President of the United States visit the site of such a terrible disaster and not even know the name of the town? He called it Pleasant a couple of times before he was corrected. It would have been funny if it weren’t so shameful. And then listening to him blaming the fire on a lack of forest management and suggesting we rake the forest floor like they do in Finland was just over the top. First of all, northern California’s climate is very different from Finland’s, but secondly, Finland doesn’t rake their forest floor. Shameful, shameful. But other than our President, I think the rest of us will be keeping the people of Paradise, the survivors, the dead, the missing, and all of the firefighters in our thoughts throughout the Thanksgiving holiday.

I started my day at the gym with a pilates class and biking on the recumbent bike and then came home to do some outside work in the warmth of the day. It was in the 50’s today, but on Thanksgiving Day the high is forecast to be 30 degrees colder. So today was the day to do garden clean-up and leaf raking. Yes, I did rake leaves, but I was not doing it to prevent forest fires! I also did a little Thanksgiving Dinner prep and baking. Tomorrow I have a physical therapy appointment and will then drive to Scituate, just south of Boston, to visit with Doris and Shirley, my neighbors that are spending Thanksgiving in their ‘other’ home.

2018 Life Logs, Day 322: Time to Give

2018 Life Logs, Day 322: Time to Give
Date: Sunday, November 18, 2018
Weather: Mostly Cloudy; High 46, Low 37 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today the Scouts in Falmouth were standing at the entrances to the supermarket collecting food to be distributed to needy families for Thanksgiving reminding us all that it is time to give. Heather, Jonah, and Ollie were on supermarket duty. Scout leaders were transporting the donations and Jed and Sam were at the Falmouth Service Center taking in the donations. Since I wanted to go to the gym to use the recumbent bike today, I waited until noon so I could stop by the grocery store to buy food to donate. As I entered the store, Scouts handed me a flyer explaining what I could buy to donate and it seemed like everything on the list was on a super sale. I was shocked at how cheap frozen turkeys were today. A turkey that would normally cost $35 was only $11 with your Stop and Shop card. At that price, I bought two to donate, along with all the trimmings. For less than I spent on a dinner out this week, I was able to buy enough for two families to have turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving and it felt really good to give.

I spent the rest of my day in the basement. There are a few things that I have been searching for and not finding, so I went on a basement explore. I ended up moving too many things around as my knee is letting me know tonight, but I did make some progress in finding a few missing items. There’s more to do in the basement, but I really need to make sure my ‘looking’ doesn’t turn into moving things. Carrying any amount of weight causes knee pain that is no fun at all.

The weather this week looks ‘interesting.’ Tomorrow is by far the warmest with a high temp in the 50’s and a low of 41 degrees F. But after tomorrow night, the nighttime temps dip below freezing until next Saturday. Thanksgiving Day is forecast to be the coldest day of the week with a high of 28 and a low of 18. Ouch! Friday is still in the deep freeze, but then the daytime and nighttime temps are above freezing for the next few days. I’m just not ready for this freezing weather. But it is here, so I’d better adjust.

2018 Life Logs, Day 321: Evolving Plans

2018 Life Logs, Day 321: Evolving Plans
Date: Saturday, November 17, 2018
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 48, Low 31 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Heather had mentioned to me that she needed to take the boys off-Cape to do some more clothes shopping today, but we knew they would not want to spend a sunny day riding in the car and shopping. So this morning I sent a text to Heather offering to go with her if she wanted help with the boys. She sent a text back saying she had just learned about a Wampanoag Thanksgiving ceremony at 11 am and she wanted to take the boys to that. I was interested as well, so I got dressed for going to a Thanksgiving ceremony and went to Heather’s. Jed was already gone as he was going to the Yale-Harvard football game in Boston today. When I arrived, all three boys were outside playing soccer with the next door neighbor, Joey, and I could getting them to stop to go shopping or go to a Native American Thanksgiving was not going to be easy. As Heather learned more about the Wampanoag ceremony, it became less enticing. It was actually a four-hour commitment and we knew the boys were not ready for that. So we switched back to the shopping idea. Heather decided to take Sam as he was the one that needed shoes and would need to try them on and leave Jonah and Ollie with me. In the meantime, Jonah had discovered that today was the elementary track meet and he wanted to go to that. As he pointed out, it would be his last chance to run for East Falmouth Elementary as next year he will move on to Morse-Pond School for 5th and 6th grade. Heather had not signed Ollie or Jonah up to run today as she had planned to take them shopping. Well, that all changed. Heather left with Sam to go shopping and I took off for the high school with Jonah and Ollie. It was too late for Ollie to run today, but the 4th graders were running at 11 am, so we had plenty of time to get Jonah signed up. The boys really enjoyed spending time with friends in the high school gymnasium and Jonah really enjoyed participating in the meet. Students from all the elementary school participate in grade level competitions and East Falmouth was well represented. Jonah won a second and a third place ribbon in the two different events, as did next door neighbors Molly and Joey. Everybody was happy, and that’s always a good thing. Later in the afternoon, I took Jonah and Ollie to see the new film version of The Grinch. I think most everyone is familiar with How the Grinch Stole Christmas!–a children’s story by Dr. Seuss about a grumpy green creature who hates Christmas. It is a great story and we really enjoyed our special movie time together. Heather and Sam got home before us and I was invited to stay for dinner and to play games after dinner. It was an unplanned day that just evolved and we all enjoyed it. Even Sam enjoyed going shopping for clothes!

2018 Life Logs, Day 320: Free Friday

2018 Life Logs, Day 320: Free Friday
Date: Friday, November 16, 2018
Weather: Overcast, Rain Early; High 40, Low 35 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Life has been moving pretty fast these days, so I gave myself the treat of a Free Friday. I started the day by getting up early to head to the gym to use the recumbent stationary bike, but first I needed to stop by Heather and Jed’s to drop off the canned goods I bought yesterday for the elementary school food drive. I arrived before 8 am, but both Sam and Jonah were already gone. Sam leaves for school before 8 am every day. Jonah’s school day doesn’t start until 9 am, but he has before school commitments on two days, one for chorus and one for band. And now he is part of a Friday before school activity called Sweatin’ It. So when I arrived, only Ollie was home and he was sitting in the kitchen with Heather. She asked if I had time to stay and listen to Ollie read Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! Of course, I did. And what a delightful start to my day. Ollie is such an expressive reader and I loved the way he would stop and explain what was happening in the story for me. So cute. But then it was time for him to get ready to go to school and I headed on to the gym despite the unexpected pouring rain. And when I got there, the only recumbent bike was in use. Bummer. I went to the grocery store to get a few things and then went to Walmart to buy a heating pad and cold pack since I left mine at the Kanegsberg’s last week. When I got back to the gym, the bike was available. After my fall two weeks ago, I am still having to go slow on regular exercise, but biking feels good. I then went home and used the heating pad on my bad knee and it made a huge difference. I don’t know if it was the biking or the application of heat or both, but my knee was better this afternoon. So this will be a daily routine for a bit. I returned to the Goldstones after school to have Sam try on the pants I bought for him yesterday. My shopping spree was a success as he was happy with the choices and all 4 pair of sports pants I bought yesterday fit him. Hurray. I made one misjudgment, however. I didn’t buy pants for Jonah as I assumed he would be able to wear the pants Sam just outgrew. But not yet. They are still too big for Jonah, so we’ll have to do another off-Cape shopping trip to outfit Jonah. After I returned home, I had a wonderful phone conversation with Lynne Kirwin and then settled into a quiet evening. I heard from Justin tonight after his follow-up appointment with the doctor this afternoon. The doctor feels like the wound is healing nicely. It will still take a couple of weeks, but he can now stop taking the antibiotics. Such good news! And another bit of good news . . . my fish aquarium is finally starting to reach the right balance so I can add additional fish. But the two Platys that I have are pretty amazing. One of them has had babies twice since I brought them home about 6 weeks ago. Only one baby survived from the first batch, but tonight I saw 4 new babies. They are so tiny and delicate. Sure hope they survive.

2018 Life Logs, Day 319: First Snow of the Year

2018 Life Logs, Day 319: First Snow of the Year
Date: Thursday, November 15, 2018
Weather: Overcast, Snow Tonight; High 36, Low 33 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Yikes! Despite weather predictions that the Cape would be spared its first snowfall of the winter season tonight, we got snow. I was at a Women in Newcomers dinner in restaurant about 8 miles north of here when we looked out the winter and saw big snowflakes falling. When we left the restaurant, the ground and bushes were white with snow. But by the time I got home, there was slush, but no white blanket. I just opened the front door to look outside and a slushy snow is still falling. My car and the deep beds have a layer of slushy snow covering them, but it should be gone by morning. I have been on the Cape most winters since 2011 and I certainly don’t remember snow this early. I did a research and saw that it snowed here at Thanksgiving in 1989, but only once while we lived in New Hampshire was there snow this early in the season. We shall see.

I left home before 10 am this morning to do some Christmas shopping off-Cape and I didn’t get home until 5:05 pm. Justin sent an email this afternoon asking if it would be possible to send cranberries to him in Puerto Rico for Thanksgiving, so on my way home, I stopped at a Whole Foods to buy organic cranberries and made it to the East Falmouth Post Office at 4:50, just 10 minutes before closing. The postal workers are always so helpful, and they helped me figure out the best way to send the cranberries and then packed them for me. I was being picked up at 5:10 pm by Karen Baranowski who had offered to drive the Women in Newcomers dinner. After my stop at the PO, I followed her into my driveway as she was 5 minutes early. I quickly ran into the house and changed clothes before heading to dinner. Even though I was still out of breath from the rush, it was another delightful dinner Newcomers gathering. I am hoping for a quiet day at home tomorrow.

2018 Life Logs, Day 318: Physical Therapy, Laundry, and Right Whales

2018 Life Logs, Day 318: Physical Therapy, Laundry, and Right Whales
Date: Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Weather: Mostly Sunny and COLD; High 42, Low 22 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

So proud . . . Sunday my oldest grandson’s soccer team won the league championship. Congratulations to Sam and all of his teammates. And tonight, the three G’s—Sam, Jonah, and Ollie—were all in the Scout honor guard opening of the Falmouth Town Meeting. It is amazing to watch these little guys grow.

The big news of my day is the low temp of 22 degrees F forecast for tonight. That’s COLD. So, yes, my dear friend Lynne Kirwin, you were right when you told me to accept that summer is over. I now see that there is no hope for another day in the 70’s until next summer. I must embrace the Cape Cod winter which starts tonight with that low of 22.

I started my day by going to a physical therapy appointment for my knee. It was two weeks ago today that I went to PT and was told I was doing so well that I didn’t need to come back for two weeks. Then that very night, I had my ‘stupid’ fall on the front steps. I am very grateful that my knee bounced back quickly, but according to today’s PT evaluation, it is nowhere near where it was before the fall. And after PT today, it is more painful than it was yesterday. The recommendation is more heat, more biking, and more hoping that it will be better next week. After PT, I did some Thanksgiving dinner food shopping, and I went to Heather and Jed’s to do some laundry. I put a load in and headed to downtown Falmouth to do some more food shopping and to have the fish aquarium water checked. It is finally balancing out and soon we will be able to add more fish. That was happy news. I then returned to H & J’s to put the laundry in the dryer.

Then I was off for an early dinner at Karen and Peter Baranowski’s. They invited me to dinner and to then go to a presentation on right whales. Peter Corkeron was the presenting and he had led the large whale research for the Northeast Fisheries Science Center for NOAA in Woods Hole since 2011. His focus has been the endangered North Atlantic right whales. Basically, the presentation made the case that there are less than 500 of these creatures still alive today and that their demise has been caused by decisions made by humans. It is unclear if this species can be saved, but certainly there are those that continue to work toward that end.

Update on Justin—After a little setback with a stomach virus, Justin continues to battle his way back to health after the surgery to drain the abscess on his right arm. He is certainly feeling better today than yesterday. So let’s all hope that trend continues.

2018 Life Logs, Day 317: Dining-in with the Frieswyk’s

2018 Life Logs, Day 317: Dining-in with the Frieswyk’s
Date: Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Weather: Overcast with Rain and Wind; High 60, Low 31 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It was warm today, but rainy and dreary. I spent my day inside catching up on correspondence and then went to pick Jonah and Ollie up from school. Tuesday is my day each week to pick Jonah and Ollie up from school and spend time with them until Heather and Jed get home with Sam. On Tuesdays, Sam takes the school bus to Woods Hole where either Heather or Jed meets him and takes him to drum lessons. Today was a bit different as all three boys had after-school dental cleaning appointments in Woods Hole. So, I picked up J & O and took them to Woods Hole. I got home with just enough time to heat up the side dish I was taking to my Newcomers Dining-in Group dinner and to head to Midge and Bill Frieswyk’s. This is a group of good friends that I meet with for dinner once a month. The host home provides the main dish and everyone else volunteers to bring either an appetizer, a side dish, a salad, or a dessert. Tonight’s dinner launched us all into holiday mode. Without coordinating, we ended up with a ‘red’ theme. We started with an appetizer that included red raspberries and strawberries and then moved to the main dining room to feast on pork loin topped with a delicious cranberry gravy, cranberry bread, apple and red cabbage (capusti) sprinkled with glistening red pomegranate seeds, and cranberry quinoa stuffed acorn squash. If you added a green dish of brussels sprout or kale salad, you would have a delicious red and green Christmas Day meal. We sat around after dinner and had a thoughtful discussion about the state of politics in our country. The one thing that we could all agree on is that all Americans need to learn to talk to one another about political differences in a civil manner. Civil discourse across party lines is rare these days. I don’t think we can solve our problems one dinner party at a time, but it is a start.

2018 Life Logs, Day 315: Thinking of Spring

2018 Life Logs, Day 315: Thinking of Spring
Date: Monday, November 12, 2018
Weather: Sunny; High 48, Low 44 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Yes. I am already thinking of spring and it is not even winter yet! This afternoon, I helped Heather plant the 90 tulips bulbs I bought for her earlier in the fall. Today was beautiful and the perfect day to work on those out-of-doors fall projects. Tomorrow will be warm, but rainy, and then tomorrow night the temp dips below freezing. The temperature won’t get out of the thirties until Friday when it rains again. So goes the fall ups and downs of weather. You try to make the best of it when you can.

I started my day with a coffee date downtown with Jane Woodin. She and her husband Bruce have been in Mexico for the past three weeks and just returned yesterday. It was great to see her and hear all about their stay in a time-share on the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico near Cancun. They had a wonderful time and are in a bit of shock with the chilliness they are experiencing here on their return. Welcome home, Bruce and Jane. I ended my day with a little cooking spree. I spent my evening getting food ready for tomorrow evening’s Newcomers Dining-in Group gathering at Midge and Bill Frieswyk’s. While I was finishing up my cooking, I got a text from Heather asking if she could come over and get Sam’s marsh-mucking boots which he keeps here. At bedtime, Sam remembered that he has a field trip tomorrow and that requires boots. It was the first Heather and Jed had heard of this, so she came to get the boots. I offered her a glass of wine and she accepted. We got a rare chance to talk without three little boys vying for our attention. It was so special to have time to talk.

2018 Life Logs, Day 314: Fabulous Four Days

2018 Life Logs, Day 314: Fabulous Four Days
Date: Sunday, November 11, 2018
Weather: Sunny and Cool; High 46, Low 31 degrees F
Location: Back Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Wonderful moments this weekend . . . talking with old friends at the Concord Yacht Club gathering at Alan and Helaine’s home in Bow, NH . . . touring New Hampshire Public Radio’s state of the art facility . . . meeting Leslie and Rich Kole’s two grandchildren, Piper and Luke, and seeing Piper take her first steps . . . meeting Leslie and Rich’s son-in-law who just got elected to the NH House . . . having a fabulous dinner with Leslie and Rich Kole . . . having breakfast with Leslie and Detta, two very special friends . . . visiting the beautiful home of Susie Klein and Jim Hammitt in Wayland, Massachusetts . . . speaking to the Wayland Sailing Association about Windbird . . . having lunch with my two nieces who live in the Boston area, Lynn and Candi. It was a fabulous four days. Now I am back home, and as always, it feels so good to come home, no matter how short or long the trip.