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!

2019 Life Logs, Day 233: Chiropractor and Coffee Date

2019 Life Logs, Day 233: Chiropractor and Coffee Date
Date: Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Weather: Mix of Sun and Clouds with Sprinkles; High 88, Low 73 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was a little more of the same with the addition of meeting up with Jane Woodin for coffee and conversation. I’ve hardly seen Bruce and Jane this summer, so today’s coffee date was a real treat. I met Jane after an assessment appointment with my chiropractor. I’ve been seeing him since June when I threw my back out. Today’s assessment showed that all is well now, so after an appointment in two weeks to go over today’s scan, I can take chiropractor appointments off my calendar for now. So that was good news. I continued working on drip irrigation installation and spent some time watering the patch of Heather and Jed’s front yard where I planted grass seed yesterday. We got some sprinkles today, but not enough to replace watering.

I just heard that Governor Jay Inslee, Democratic candidate for President and current Governor of the State of Washington, has withdrawn from the Democratic Primary. I mention this because I so admire Inslee’s dedication to the environment. He developed an action plan to combat climate change that is the state-of-the-art plan that needs to be adopted by whomever ends up being the Democratic candidate. I will miss his voice in the Democratic Primary standing up for progressive environmental standards, but he promised tonight to continue his fight against climate change. He has moved the needle for all of the other Democratic candidates in terms of their focus on the climate crisis and for that we should all be grateful. He will announce his future plans tomorrow and I’ll be tuned in.

2019 Life Logs, Day 232: Failed Dental Appointment

2019 Life Logs, Day 232: Failed Dental Appointment
Date: Tuesday, August 20, 2019
Weather: Sunny and Warm; High 90, Low 67 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I never thought it was possible to ‘fail’ a dental appointment, but I managed to do that this morning. I totally forgot that after you have a knee replacement, you have to take a massive dose of an antibiotic before you show up to have your teeth cleaned. I have the antibiotic, but at no point in my prep for the appointment did I remember that I needed to take it. I won’t forget again. I have to wait an entire month for another appointment. But there was some success. In addition to a cleaning, I was scheduled for x-rays and an appointment with the dentist to review the x-rays and I as allowed to do those things. The good news is that my teeth look healthy. It was almost noon by the time I left the dentist’s office. My next stop was Heather and Jed’s. I looked at the front yard last week and realized that soccer playing had depleted the grass. So, I took advantage of the absence of soccer players to plant some grass. Sure hope it grows quickly! I also did some other gardening. Then, in the late afternoon, I attended a gathering of the Newcomers Singles Group at an outside bar and restaurant venue on the Falmouth Harbor. I had never been to the Boathouse before, and it was the perfect place for a summer outdoor get-together. Lots of members of the group were there and we caught up on summer activities. As I sat there drinking a beer, I noticed an osprey nest on the top of the next-door boat storage shed. It appeared that the nest took precedence over a boat storage space, possibly making that osprey nest the most expensive osprey real estate in Falmouth.

2019 Life Logs, Day 231: Transition Time

2019 Life Logs, Day 231: Transition Time
Date: Monday, August 19, 2019
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 88, Low 68 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

This is a week of transition for me . . . from Camp Oma with grandkids five days a week to “Life Oma” without the grandkids. And, oh my, how much I miss them. During the summer months, I focus exclusively on caring for the Goldpebbles, but now I transition back to caring for myself. Today I had an orthopedic appointment to assess the condition of my right knee (the one not replaced in February). Tomorrow I have a dental appointment for cleaning and x-rays. On Wednesday I have a chiropractic assessment. And on Thursday I have an appointment with my primary care physician to assess a possible reflux issue. The result of today’s appointment was a little worse than I expected. Before I had my left knee replacement, I thought my right knee was fine. But as my knee replacement healed and my left knee became stronger and stronger, I realized that my right knee had issues. The bad news is that the x-rays today showed that my right knee is bone on bone and is well beyond need of replacement. The good news is that because it is not painful and not interfering with life-style, I can hold off surgery for a year or two. In between other medical appointments this week, I will continue my drip irrigation installation in my raised beds and in the raised beds at Heather’s. And I will continue the basement clean-out project, both in my basement and at Heather’s as I still have things stored there that need to be dealt with. There is certainly no lack of things to do. But I am committed to working at a relaxed pace. I won’t get as much done, but I’ll enjoy doing it more.

I checked the mail at Heather’s late morning and found the teacher placement letter for Ollie. His teacher this year will be Katie Karl, the mother of his best friend Raylan. I called Maine to let him know and I am sure it was a bitter-sweet moment for him. He loves Mrs. Karl, but he immediately realized that having her as his teacher probably means that Raylan will not be in his class. Jonah’s letter should arrive tomorrow, so I’ll be texting Heather with that information as they will be at the Union Fair tomorrow. Jonah’s best friend Luke got his letter today, so I know Jonah is anxious to find out if he will be with Luke.

2019 Life Logs, Day 230: Enjoying Summer

2019 Life Logs, Day 230: Enjoying Summer
Date: Sunday, August 18, 2019
Weather: Partly Cloudy; High 87, Low 71 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Working on drip irrigation systems for the raised garden beds here at the cottage and at Heather’s house took most of my day and I really enjoyed working at a relaxed pace. I didn’t finish the job, but I made great progress. I am just focused on enjoying this last month of summer, so having to continue working in the gardens on this project is a welcome activity. It was a bit cloudy for parts of today, but the high temp was 87 so the clouds were welcome. Almost 13,000 people ran in the Falmouth Road Race and I’m sure they appreciated the clouds as well. In the early afternoon I walked next door to take some ripe tomatoes and cucumbers to my neighbors Shirley and Doris. Shirley watches the race on the local television station every year and she said she has never seen so many runners. In addition to the 12,800 runners, an estimated 75,000 people lined the streets to watch. Lots of extra people in our town today.

2019 Life Logs, Day 229: Gardening and Generally Messing About

2019 Life Logs, Day 229:  Gardening and Generally Messing About
Date:  Saturday, August 17, 2019
Weather:  Cloudy; High 79, Low 68 degrees F
Location:  At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

My day today was spent generally messing about, doing a little of this and a little of that.  I moved slowly and thoroughly enjoyed the day.  The Goldstones left for Maine early this morning and I went over late morning to check their mail. The boys are expecting letters from their respective schools announcing their teachers for this year, so I promised them I would check every day and text photos of the letters when they arrive.

?

I didn’t find the school letters, but I did find blackberries and raspberries at Heather’s that needed to be picked and eaten, cherry tomatoes that needed to be picked, roasted, and frozen, and basil that needed to be picked and turned into pesto.  Those projects dominated the rest of my day.  I’m also working on getting rid of ‘stuff’ that seems to multiply in the basement.  That is an ongoing project, but I’m giving it a starring role in the next few days.  Tomorrow I am going to focus on finishing the installation of a drip irrigation in the raised beds.  It is Falmouth Road Race day, but I am going to ignore that and stay home to focus on that project.

2019 Life Logs, Day 228: Cap’n Kids Fishing Adventure

2019 Life Logs, Day 228: Cap’n Kids Fishing Adventure
Date: Friday, August 16, 2019
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 77, Low 65 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

?


Today was the last day of Camp Oma for the summer of 2019, so Oma decided to take the Goldpebbles for a fishing adventure. And a grand adventure it was. Cap’n Kids is located in Harwich Port which is about an hour from here. Ollie, Jonah, and I started our day with more casting practice on the docks here at the cottage while Jed and Sam went to Hyannis in search of new bicycles. We met in Hyannis at 11:30 and then the boys and I traveled on to Harwich Port. It is quaint community on the Vineyard Sound side of the Cape. When we arrived, we checked out the location of the kiosk where we were to check-in for our trip at 1:30 and then walked across the parking lot to have lunch at Brax Landing Restaurant. The restaurant is on the harbor and has great views of the water which we all enjoyed. Our personalities were evident in our lunch choices. I had a salad with baked salmon, Sam had a cheeseburger with fries, Jonah had macaroni and cheese, and Ollie had an order of steamers. Steamers are soft-shelled clams, rather than the quahogs we normally have, and he loved them. We then checked in for our trip and still had a 45-minute wait. But the Goldpebbles were patient and creative. They found a spot on the dock with a corn hole game and played that while waiting. At the appointed time we met Captain Chris by the kiosk where trip rules were overviewed and then about 35 of us got on the boat. It was a 50-foot fishing trawler with plenty of room for the six or so families. Three teenagers served as crew and they were tremendously helpful. We knew our catch would be limited to small fish, but we were hoping for black sea bass rather than pogies. Unfortunately, it ended up to be a pogie afternoon for everyone on the boat. Jonah caught the first fish and won the day with four catches. Sam and Ollie were right behind him and I brought up the rear with only one catch. But just being on the boat on a beautiful afternoon was what it was really all about. We were taught how to set a crab trap and at the end of the trip we hauled in the results of that effort. I think we all had a great time, but Sam stopped fishing after his first three catches as he felt really sorry for the fish. Catch and release seems humane until you see up close the damage to the fish. All three Goldpebbles agreed that they would rather fish for larger fish that could be eaten. They are hoping their fishing expeditions in Maine over the next ten days will provide that opportunity.

Summer didn’t end today, but the remainder of the summer will be very different for me. I am going to miss being with Sam, Jonah, and Ollie every day. No doubt there are frustrations in dealing with the needs of boys that are seven, ten, and twelve years old, but the joy of being allowed to watch them grow outweighs any of the frustrations. I am going to miss those feisty Goldpebbles!

2019 Life Logs, Day 227: Fun with Grandkids and Friends

2019 Life Logs, Day 227: Fun with Grandkids and Friends
Date: Thursday, August 15, 2019
Weather: Back to Sunshine; High 77, Low 61 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today the Goldpebbles needed to get packed for their trip to Maine, but Jonah, Ollie, and I took time out this morning to go to my house so they could practice casting with the fishing rods they set up yesterday. Knowing how dangerous casting can be, I put one child on one dock and the other on a neighbor’s dock and let them go at it. Such a simple activity, but they truly enjoyed the time and begged to come back and do it again. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a camera with me, so there are no photos, but let me assure you that I have rarely seen such happy little boys. Hopefully they will use their practiced casting skills in Maine and catch fish for dinner. Sam came home from Scout camp with a cold and it has worsened during the week. So, he was a little under the weather today and stayed home to try and recover before heading to Maine on Saturday. Jonah had guitar lessons this afternoon and Ollie had a playdate with good friend. But in between all of this, they got their clothes packed for Maine and we snuck in a trip to LL Bean in Mashpee to buy hiking boots for each of them. Sam already has an almost new pair, so he didn’t need to go on this trip.

Today is Independence Day in India. On August 15 of 1947 India gained independence from the British. We had set this date for our monthly Dining-in group gathering so that we could celebrate. Terry and Olivia White were our hosts and we feasted on fantastic Indian food. And Olivia invited the female members of the group to go through her closet and choose a sari to wear for the evening. Olivia has lived in this country for over 50 years, but her ties to her native country are strong. It was great to share this evening together. A special thanks to Terry and Olivia!

2019 Life Logs, Day 226: Goin’ Fishing

2019 Life Logs, Day 226: Goin’ Fishing
Date: Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, Clearing Late Day; High 72, Low 62 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

On Friday, I am taking the Goldpebbles on a little fishing expedition. We are going on an organized kid trip with Cap’n Kids Fishing Adventures out of Harwich Port. Then on Saturday, the Goldstones head to Maine. The boys are taking their fishing gear and hoping to get in a little fishing there. So, in preparation for the fishing in Maine, today we got out all the fishing rods and gear, made a list of the things we needed to make repairs and to add to the tackle boxes, and headed out on a shopping expedition. Hours later I brought the boys home with fishing gear, back to school supplies, and their tummies full of subs from Subway and the obligatory ‘once a summer’ Dairy Queen soft serve cone dipped in chocolate, and for Jonah, the chocolate dipped in sprinkles. I skipped having a sub, but I did indulge in a Dairy Queen cone.

When I got home I went on a hunt for a power cord to the Polar Cube icing machine I loaned to Alan Kanegsberg to use after his knee surgery. Alan’s surgery was this morning and this afternoon Helaine called from the hospital saying the power cord was missing. I looked through the house, searched the basement, and had Bruce Wooden check his Polar Cube that I had borrowed when I had my surgery. No power cord was found. I finally gave up the search and sat down. Should have done that earlier as I then remembered a strange power cord that didn’t seem to go to anything that I had found in the bedroom just before Justin and Jo arrived. It was in a dresser drawer and looked very much like the Polar Cube cord. So, I made a mad dash north to meet Helaine and give her the cord. Hopefully it is the right one. We’ll find out in the morning when she returns to the hospital.

2019 Life Logs, Day 225: The Lion King versus Plastic Straws

2019 Life Logs, Day 225: The Lion King versus Plastic Straws
Date: Tuesday, August 13, 2019
Weather: Overcast with Rain; High 80, Low 67 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I had a personal battle over what to name tonight’s log. Should I focus on the positive and name it ‘The Lion King’? The reason for this is that I spent this rainy afternoon in the Falmouth Cinema Pub with the Goldpebbles and friends watching the new rendition of the original animated film that came out in 1994. Or should I focus on the negative and rant about the almost half a million dollars some Americans have spent buying Trump plastic straws? I decided to include both, but I’ll start with the positive. The new Lion King gets mixed reviews, but I was anxious to see what the realistic animation looked like and how it changed the film’s effectiveness. I was fascinated by the realistic animation, but I will have to go back and watch the original to make a fair comparison. But, no matter, it was a great way to spend a rainy afternoon. Nothing earth shattering, just enjoyment. Learning about the Trump plastic straws, however, almost sent me over the edge. Trying to get people to buy into the idea of getting rid of single-use plastic anything is not going to turn around climate change, but it is something that we need to do for our health and for the good of the environment. And it is something that even the youngest Americans can understand. The movement to get rid of plastic straws, a totally unnecessary item in the first place, has been gaining momentum. My grandchildren know to ask waitresses to not bring them plastic straws and this is helping them understand why single use plastic items are harmful to the environment. But our President has decided to take issue with this and Trump 2020 has just made almost half a million dollars through the sale of plastic straws. They claim ‘liberal’ paper straws don’t work. What does this say about our country? There are so many things being done by this administration that have much more serious consequences than using plastic straws. I can name at least five things that he did just today that have negative world-wide consequences. But to intentionally try to undermine the tiny little anti-plastic straw movement that has come to be an important thing young children can do to improve the environment just set me off. The man obviously knows his base and is obviously a great marketer. Just think of the progress that he could be making if he were working for the good of all people, for the good of a healthier environment.

I want to end by wishing my friend Alan Kanegsberg good luck. He is having a knee replacement tomorrow and I will be thinking of him. And I want to wish a happy birthday to my world traveling friend, Linda Stuart. Linda and I worked together in the Concord School District in New Hampshire. She and her husband Mike are now traveling around the world on their bicycles. They are currently biking north from Singapore through Malaysia. Sure hope Linda had a great day.

2019 Life Logs, Day 224: A Day in the Life

2019 Life Logs, Day 224: A Day in the Life
Date: Monday, August 12, 2019
Weather: Sunny; High 86, Low 72 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was just a day in the life . . . lazy morning with the Goldpebbles, a short trip to the beach, lunch, Ollie’s violin lesson. I really enjoyed having a bit of time to reconnect with Sam after his week away at Scout camp. He has been working to earn the money to buy a Google phone and today was his first day to use it. He was one happy kid—growing up way too fast. When Heather got home, I visited with Karen Baranowski on my way home. Tomorrow is supposed to be rainy day, so we will see what we can come up with to bring in a little sunshine.