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 21: Life Moves On
Date: Friday, January 20, 2017
Weather: Overcast; High 41, Low 36 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, NH
Political animal that I am, I simply couldn’t watch the inauguration today. To this point, Donald Trump has done nothing to gain my support. I simply find him to be rude and crude and not someone that I would want my grandchildren to emulate. And, therefore, not someone that I can be proud to call my President. So, instead I went food shopping for Heather and delivered things to her house. I returned home to have lunch and then actually drove back to Heather’s and played with Ollie while Heather and Jed put together Sam’s birthday present—a new bed with under-the-bed storage drawers and a bedside table. I had hoped to be able to help out with other jobs, but much too quickly it was time for me to leave to make it to my 5pm Friday afternoon 20-20-20 class at the gym. I talked to my sister tonight and had a long conversation with my nephew Tommy. He had just talked to our 101 year-old Aunt Ethel and had gotten her take on the Trump inauguration. This woman is a die-hard Democrat, so you just imagine what she had to say. Well, maybe you can’t imagine what a 101 year-old person might say, so just imagine that she is much younger.
Tomorrow I’ll be back in the gym for Zumba class in the morning and then I’ll attend one of the hundreds of sister rallies happening around the country in support of the Women’s March in Washington. Then it will be time to head to Heather and Jed’s for Sam’s tenth birthday party.
2017 Life Logs, Day 20: Catching Up
Date: Thursday, January 19, 2017
Weather: Partly Cloudy; High 47, Low 29 degrees
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, NH
I spent today catching up with myself. I spent much of last week preparing for the Thursday presentation to the Falmouth Newcomers Club, and then I went through a flurry of busy days. I headed to the gym first thing this morning and then spent a few hours trying to figure out a game plan for the next three months. I want to spend time in Puerto Rico with Justin and family in their new home. I want to return to Nashville to spend more time with my sister and brother-in-law. And Mark’s family in Florida would like us (me, Heather and family, and Justin and family) to come to Florida for a family get together. So, I spent most of my day checking flight possibilities and costs. I’m not sure I made much progress, but I do have a better idea of what all of these travel excursions might cost. Now I just need to figure out who can do what and when. That’s the real challenge. Tomorrow I have another day with minimal obligations, so hopefully I will make more progress in figuring out my schedule for the next three months.
Jed was in Boston all day for a conference, so I offered to pick Ollie up from school this afternoon. That allowed Heather to pick Sam and Jonah up after school and take them home to paint their pinewood derby cars for Saturday’s Scout derby race. It is a logistical nightmare for one parent to pick Sam and Jonah up at 3:30 in East Falmouth and then drive all the way back to Woods Hole to get Ollie sometime between 4:30 and 5:00. So, when either Heather or Jed are out of town, I offer to help out. Last week Ollie asked that the next time I picked him up from school that we make a stop at Peterson Farm, an 88-acre land trust held by the city of Falmouth. So we did this on our way home this evening. For years, the sheep and llama owned by a local veterinarian called Peterson Farm their home. But recently, the vet moved to western Massachusetts and took all of her animals with her. We won’t get to see the baby lambs this spring, and that made Ollie very sad. His way of dealing with that was to go to the farm to see if we could find some wool that might have been left behind to remember them by. The sun had gone down by the time we got there, but we walked through the barns using a flashlight and walked along the fencing looking for just a little wool that might have been caught in the fence. We found not one little bit of wool, so I’m going to make a collage of photos we have taken of the baby lambs over the past few years and share that with the boys.
The plumber didn’t show up today, so I still have only one working bathroom—better than none! Maybe he’ll come tomorrow. I have a bit of shopping to do tomorrow to get ready for Sam’s tenth birthday on Saturday. Where have those years gone? Hopefully the shopping won’t take all day and I can spend a little more time catching up before the busy weekend–Sam’s birthday dinner, Jonah and Ollie overnight at Oma’s, Women’s March on Washington “sister rally” on the Village Green in downtown Falmouth, and the Patriots versus Pittsburgh Steeler’s game on Sunday night. Busy weekend coming up.
2017 Life Logs, Day 18: Breakfast in Snowy NH; Dinner on Rainy Cape Cod
Date: Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Weather: Snow in NH, Rain in MA; Falmouth, High 42, Low 34 degrees
Location: Back Home in The Studio, Falmouth, NH
My day started on the snowy seacoast of New Hampshire. The weather forecast for the coast was for rain, but we definitely had snow. Despite the snow, Leslie took me out to breakfast at a great little restaurant called the Urban Farmhouse Eatery in North Hampton, NH. After breakfast we moved on to get pedicures. I have never had a pedicure, nor have I ever wanted one, but Leslie was very persuasive, so I went along. And I immediately became a convert. It felt great and I loved the look of my sparkly polished toenails. Thank you, Leslie! Our next stop was at Leslie’s daughter home to feed the dog, Graham, and let him out to play. Jessica, Leslie’s daughter is a single mom for the next two weeks while her husband is out of town, so Leslie is pitching in to help by dealing with the dog mid-day during the week while Jessica is at work and Leslie’s grandson, Luke, is in daycare. Leslie loves Graham and really enjoys visiting him each day. After a little play time with the dog, we were on our way home. The ride back to Leslie’s was slow as it was still snowing and the coast road slushy. Once we got back to Leslie’s, I said my farewells to Leslie and Rich and headed south. Once I crossed the border into Massachusetts, the snow turned to rain making the rest of the ride home wet, but not dangerous.
As I got close to the Cape, I heard my phone ding indicating I had just received a text message. I pulled over to check and it was a text from Heather asking if I could pick Sam and Jonah up from school. I had offered to do this earlier in the week, so I was happy to divert, pick them up, and then deliver them to a Mexican restaurant in downtown Falmouth for a Heritage Museum presentation. I love taking the boys to the Heritage Museum and Gardens during the summer, so we were looking forward to their presentation tonight. When we arrived, we immediately saw that all of the other people attending were in the retiree age range. But our young family-aged table made great contributions in guessing what the historic relics were that were presented. The three objects were all made from whale bone or baleen, and the Goldpebbles made very smart guesses. After the presentation, we stayed for dinner. It was a great ending to a great day.
2017 Life Logs, Day 17: Dinner with Friends in NH
Date: Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Weather: Mostly Sunny AM, Rain and Snow PM; High 42, Low 31 degrees
Location: At Home with Leslie and Rich Kole, Rye, NH
After a nice morning at home with Alan and Helaine, we went to a little restaurant called Aissa, a little Syrian café, for lunch. We had wraps in homemade filo dough—delicious. I then drove down Main Street in Concord to say hello to Franz Andlinger, the owner of Bread and Chocolate. This is a small Austrian bakery where both Heather and Justin worked on weekends and summers when in high school. Justin made me promise that I would stop in to say hello to Franz the next time I was in Concord, so I did. It was great to see him and to see that his small bakery with such fantastic baked goods is still thriving. By the time I left Bread and Chocolate, the mostly sunny morning had melted into a cloudy afternoon. The forecast was for snow in Concord and rain in the seacoast area by evening, so I wanted to be well on my way to seacoast before the first snow fell. I arrived at Leslie and Rich Kole’s around 3:30 and we visited until time for Leslie and I to leave for our dinner date. We met Detta Porat and Cheryl Dolin for dinner and caught up on life events. We were all teachers together in Concord, NH, at Beaver Meadow School in the 1990’s. Detta, Cheryl, and Leslie have been doing this monthly for years, but I joined them for the first time in November. Great fun. But we cut tonight a bit short as Cheryl had to drive back to Concord in the snow. All of us made it home safely and I’ll look forward to getting together again in March. When Leslie and I got back to her house, I was treated with a slide show of their trip to Italy in June.
After spending time with Leslie in the morning, I drive back home to the Cape–hopefully in the rain and not in snow.
2017 Life Logs, Day 16: Concord Yacht Club Meeting
Date: Monday, January 16, 2017
Weather: Sunny; High 39, Low 12 degrees
Location: At Home with Alan and Helaine Kanegsberg, Bow, NH
How does this keep happening? I always have all of these wonderful things I want to report in this log, and then it is midnight before I start writing and I’m too tired to remember what I was going to say. So regardless of the details, I had a nice drive to New Hampshire from the Cape and really enjoyed the evening with yacht club friends. We were supposed to all bring a favorite boat hor d’oeuvre and snack our way through dinner, but Bill Chapin and Bonnie brought Cajun duck jambalaya. Another member brought petite salmon cakes and another brought a large salad, so we really had a complete dinner plus all the hor d’oeuvres and dessert. It was all yummy, but the best part of any yacht club meeting is always just talking to friends. I got to catch up on Kirk and Judy Leoni’s thirty-something children (in their 30’s, not 30 of them!)and learned about John and Pam Black’s upcoming trip to Cuba. Paul and Donna Urbanekand I talked about the adventures of our mutual biking friends, Linda and Mike Stuart and I learned that Paul’s best buddy from high school is my optometrist. Small world. Peter Milne was here and I hadn’t seen him for ages. And I talked with Mike and Gretchen Coughlin about great places to vacation in Puerto Rico. So it was just a great get together. Thanks to Alan and Helaine for hosting the event. Most everyone left by 8:30, but Beth and Bob Luxstuck around to chat and the six of us talked and talked. And once Bob and Beth left, Alan and Helaine and I did some more talking. And that is how it got to be midnight.
I’ll spend time visiting with Alan and Helaine tomorrow morning before heading over to the seacoast. I will have dinner with friends and spend the night with Leslie and Rich Kole before returning to the Cape on Wednesday. It is supposed to snow here in Concord tomorrow afternoon, so I’ll leave here after a morning visit with Alan and Helaine to avoid driving in the white stuff. The seacoast is only supposed to get rain.
2017 Life Logs, Day 15: Health Care Rally at Faneuil Hall, Boston
Date: Sunday, January 15, 2017
Weather: Sunny and Cold; High 37, Low 20 degrees
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA
I loved attending a rally on the site known as the ‘Cradle of Liberty’ with a statue of Samuel Adams looming over the crowd of a reported 6,000 people. Faneuil Hall in Boston has been the site of many historic events and today was no exception. Massachusetts Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey hosted today’s rally along with Boston mayor, Marty Walsh, and a host of other state politicians. Thousands of people attended and it was obvious that the attendees were all in agreement with the statement that universal health care is a human right and that the right is being threatened. And this means people need to be ready to stand up and fight for that right. Obviously, not everyone in our country ascribes to the same belief. But Elizabeth Warren, sometimes called the warrior for the middle class, believes that, as does our other senator, Ed Markey, and Marty Walsh, mayor of Boston. Walsh gave a forceful speech saying that when Republicans say ‘Repeal and Replace’, Democrats should counter with ‘Resist and Reclaim’. That was the basic message of the rally to support the Affordable Care Act.
I met my niece, Lynn, and we attended the rally together. Thankfully the outside area around Faneuil Hall has lots of park benches and Lynn and I got there early enough to grab a seat. We were there for almost three hours and it got a bit on the chilly side when the sun went behind the buildings. But we persisted until near the end of the rally before we escaped to the warmth of a nearby restaurant to grab a late lunch before heading home. It was a good day.
2017 Life Logs, Day 14: Kidsitting
Date: Saturday, January 14, 2017
Weather: Partly Sunny, Skiff of Snow Late; High 34, Low 19 degrees
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA
I can no longer call it babysitting as those grandsons of mine are certainly no longer babies. So I’ll call it kidsitting. I went to the gym for a Zumba class and then I headed to Heather and Jed’s. We were going to work on building a chicken coop, but there were much more immediate needs that took precedence. Sam needed a new bed and mattress, the basement desperate needs more shelving, etc, etc. It was my idea that Heather and Jed take advantage of my time and head to IKEA to purchase things. I offered to stay with Sam, Jonah, and Ollie, and Mollie and Joey from next door who were playing at H & J’s today. Actually, Sam decided to go with Heather and Jed so he could help pick out his new bed, so I only had four kids for the afternoon. They played beautifully together until one point when they started getting a little rowdy. I sent them outside to play and that solved that problem. Heather, Jed, and Sam were gone much longer than they expected, so they had pizza delivered for dinner and then Heather and Jed left to go see the movie Hidden Figures. Heather has been dying to see it and I had offered to kidsit tonight so they could go. They loved the movie and when they got home, we sat around and talked about the movie, about life, and about schedules and travel plans for the spring. The clock was bearing down on the midnight hour by the time I finally headed home. Tomorrow I drive to Boston for a rally in support of health care, so I had better get to bed.
2017 Life Logs, Day 13: Friday the 13th
Date: Friday, January 13, 2017
Weather: Cooling Down; High 52, Low 17 degrees
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA
The daytime temperature today was not much different from yesterday, but it is going to be almost 30 degrees cooler tonight and 20 degrees cooler tomorrow during the day. Winter is back for a day or so and then it will warm up again. Certainly, weather you can’t depend on.
Today was a typical Friday the 13th. I had planned to spend the day catching up on life, but I got a call from Heather this morning needing some Oma ‘help’. Sam developed a stomach virus during the night and wasn’t able to go to school. She had planned to stay home with him, but she got a call from WGBH in Boston this morning needing her to come up with a noonday story. WGBH is her employer and they are a major radio and television presence in Boston. This morning the Boston Globe newspaper broke a story about climate change that shows that the temperature in the Northeast is rising faster than all areas of the country except Alaska. Since Heather is the WGBH Science Editor, they needed her to do a story to compete with the breaking news in the Boston Globe. Thus, she had to go to work and I stayed with Sam. He was feeling much better by the end of the day, but we found out that ten kids in his class were absent today. Evidently, they all contracted the same thing at the same time. Sure hope it doesn’t spread through the family this weekend.
Tomorrow I have an 8:30 appointment with the plumber to continue work on the toilet in the main bathroom that is leaking water and not flushing properly. Then I’ll go to the gym for a Zumba class and on to Heather and Jed’s to help with the building of chicken run. Heather really wants to get egg-laying chickens, but because of the hawk population here, you have to first build a run that can be covered with chicken wire to protect the chickens from the hawks. Tomorrow night I will stay with the boys for the evening while Heather and Jed go out to dinner and a movie. Heather really wants to see Hidden Figures and tomorrow night is their chance. On Sunday I am driving to Boston to be part of a “Save our Healthcare” rally. This Sunday has been designated as a national day of rallies to support health care, so our Massachusetts Senators, Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, are organizing the Boston event at the historic Faneuil Hall. My niece Lynn will meet me there. We’ll probably freeze as it is supposed to be very cold on Sunday, but we’ll stay as long as we can. The point is to let Washington know that we support healthcare reform, but we don’t support going back to what we had before the Affordable Care Act. Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. I’ll come home Sunday night and return to Boston on Monday to have lunch with my other niece, Candi, and then travel on to New Hampshire. On Monday night I’ll be staying with Alan and Helaine Kanegsberg and attending a Concord Yacht Club meeting. On Tuesday I’ll travel from Concord to the seacoast to have dinner with good friends, Detta, Leslie, and Cheryl. And then I’ll return home on Wednesday. Lots of travel and visiting in the plans for the next few days.
2017 Life Logs, Day 12: Windbird’s Top 10 Sailing Destinations
Date: Thursday, January 12, 2017
Weather: Wonderfully Warm for January; High 54, Low 45 degrees
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA
What a wonderful day! The weather was very uncharacteristic for January, sunny with a high in the 50’s. It was glorious. I presented Windbird’s Top 10 Sailing Destinations at the Falmouth Newcomers meeting and that went well. I had time this afternoon to catch up on the blogs of good friends and found that yesterday Windbird arrived in Fernandina Beach in Florida after a great off-shore passage from Charleston, SC, and that my biking friends, Mike and Linda, arrived in the Galapagos for a cruise through the islands. So I’m sitting here tonight feeling good about life.
I want to thank Jane Woodin for inviting me to speak to the Falmouth Newscomers Club today. Preparing for the presentation gave me the incentive to focus on the circumnavigation and make decisions about what is most important to share with others. The process has given me renewed energy to actually write that book I have been threatening to write for the past six years. Thank you, Jane! Jane was not there today as she is in New York City this week visiting with a friend. But Bruce was there to make sure that the technology worked for the presentation and good friend Olivia White introduced me. The group was obviously engaged in the presentation and afterwards so many came up to thank me. What a gracious group of people.
Since I finally forced myself to answer the question everyone asks about our sail around the world—What was our favorite place?—I figure I should share that with you. I had to remove New Zealand, Australia, India, and South Africa from the line-up as it would have taken the entire time allowed to present each of those. So I focused mostly on the smaller island destinations. Here’s Windbird’s ‘Trip Advisor’ for your next cruise around the world.
#10 Kingdom of Tonga—Meeting a New King and Incredible Blow Holes
# 9 Vanuatu—Volcanic Fireworks and a History Lesson
# 8 New Caledonia—Beautiful Beaches
# 7 Fiji—Friendliest People and Great Snorkeling
# 6 Thailand’s Magical Phang Nga Bay—Limestone Karsts and Long Tails
# 5 Indonesia—Komodo Dragons, Bali Fantasy, Borneo Orangutans
# 4 French Polynesia—Beautiful People
# 3 Galapagos Islands, Ecuador—All About the Wildlife
# 2 Chagos—Indian Ocean Robinson Crusoe Experience
# 1 Madagascar—A Land Like No Other
I’m already second guessing my choices, so if I redid this list tonight I might change one or two of my choices. And if I had to include New Zealand, Australia, India, and South Africa, that might change a few things as well. So if I ever come up with the top 20, things might shift a bit, but the top seven would probably stay.
2017 Life Logs, Day 11: Presentation Prep and Plumbing
Date: Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Weather: Continued Warmth—Snow is Gone; High 48, Low 39 degrees
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA
This will be short and sweet as I am going to get to bed a little earlier than usual so I can be up and at ‘em early tomorrow morning. I have tomorrow morning’s presentation ready to go. It is not completed to my satisfaction, but only I (and now you) will know that. But ready or not, I look forward to the presentation. Preparing for it has reminded me of what a beautiful world we live in.
I talked with the owner of these apartments yesterday and mentioned again that none of the plumbing in the main bathroom works quite right. He promised to send a plumber today. He did, and we spent more than an hour trying to fix things, but tonight two out three things are still not working. So much for plumbers!
It has warmed up enough that the snow is gone. It is going to be in the 50’s tomorrow and I will do a little happy dance to celebrate the warm weather. But it’s going to be in the 20’s for a high on Saturday, so the happy dance won’t last long.