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 173: On the Way to West Virginia
Date: Thursday, June 22, 2017
Weather: Partly Sunny and Warm with a Few Sprinkles
Location: Red Roof Inn, Allentown, Pennsylvania

After so much anticipation, we are finally on our way to West Virginia for the gathering of my family. I call us the Martin Clan and tomorrow night we will all be together. We are coming from Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Massachusetts. We left Falmouth around 5 pm hoping to miss rush hour traffic in the corridor between Massachusetts and New York City, but that plan didn’t work. We missed rush hour but road construction on I 95 slowed our progress. We didn’t arrive in Allentown, Pennsylvania until 12:30 am. Sam and I shared one room and Heather, Jed, Jonah, and Ollie shared another. We all went straight to bed. No log was written last night, but we are now on the road. Next stop, southern West Virginia!

2017 Life Logs, Day 174: All Together Now

2017 Life Logs, Day 174: All Together Now
Date: Friday, June 23, 2017
Weather: Partly Sunny with High in the 80’s, Sprinkles Here and There
Location: Creekside Resort and Spa, Greenville, WV

We made it to West Virginia singing “Almost Heaven” along with John Denver on the CD player. The ride south through the Shenandoah Valley and then the ride across the Appalachian Mountains and down into the hilly southern West Virginia countryside was just beautiful. It took longer than we planned due to road construction all along the way, but everyone hung in there. Near the end, everyone but Jed and I took a much needed nap. As soon as we arrived here at Creekside I had to quickly meet with Kerri Clarkson and her daughter Lauren who arranged this gathering for us. I hardly had time to soak in the beauty of the place, but believe me, it is the absolutely perfect place for this family gathering. We have rented the entire farmhouse for the weekend and it is just delightful. The little ones jumped right into the pool while I launched into the massive project of fixing enough salmon cakes for 40 people. And that took longer than planned as well. The rest of dinner was catered and I think we had enough food for 80 people. But better too much than not enough. The highlight of the day for me was watching all of the little ones running around with abandon on this gorgeous property. I sure wish my mother and father were still alive and could see what they wrought. There’s no way a photo could capture that moment adequately, but it is a memory I will have with me forever. I was so busy that I really didn’t get to take many photos today, but I promise to do better tomorrow and share those with you.

2017 Life Logs, Day 173: On the Way to West Virginia

2017 Life Logs, Day 173: On the Way to West Virginia
Date: Thursday, June 22, 2017
Weather: Partly Sunny and Warm with a Few Sprinkles
Location: Red Roof Inn, Allentown, Pennsylvania

After so much anticipation, we are finally on our way to West Virginia for the gathering of my family. I call us the Martin Clan and tomorrow night we will all be together. We are coming from Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Massachusetts. We left Falmouth around 5 pm hoping to miss rush hour traffic in the corridor between Massachusetts and New York City, but that plan didn’t work. We missed rush hour but road construction on I 95 slowed our progress. We didn’t arrive in Allentown, Pennsylvania until 12:30 am. Sam and I shared one room and Heather, Jed, Jonah, and Ollie shared another. We all went straight to bed. No log was written last night, but we are now on the road. Next stop, southern West Virginia!

2017 Life Logs, Days 172: Big Day—Happy BDay to Jo, Heritage with Ollie, Sam’s 4th Grade Graduation

2017 Life Logs, Days 172: Big Day—Happy BDay to Jo, Heritage with Ollie, Sam’s 4th Grade Graduation
Date: Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Weather: Mostly Sunny Day with Foggy Harbor Tonight; High Temp 77 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Happy Birthday to my daughter-in-law Jo. Since we will be together this weekend, celebrations will happen then. And I know she was busier today than we were here as Justin, Jo, and kids are flying to New York City in the middle of the night. They arrive at JFK at 9:30 am and then head to West Virginia in a rental car. It sounds like a crazy thing to fly from Puerto Rico to New York and then rent a car to head back south, but actually it was much cheaper than any other option. They are going to enjoy their drive south by doing a quick tour of New York City tomorrow. Ziggy really wants to go to the American Museum of Natural History located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, so hopefully they will get to do that tomorrow.

We are a busy family. It would have been enough to just spend the day getting ready for the trip to West Virginia tomorrow, but that was not in the cards. Ollie and I had a great day at the Heritage Gardens. We love visiting there and today Ollie really enjoyed finding turtles, frogs, and tadpoles in the waterfall pond, riding on the carousel, and playing in Hidden Hollow. We both enjoyed our time there.

Before and after Heritage, we searched for new socks and shoes for Ollie. He has outgrown everything he has. But the bottom line is that if you live on the Cape and need any clothing, you have to order it online. We did find some socks at Walmart in Falmouth and a pair of sneakers in Hyannis on the way home from Heritage. But there was not a pair of sandals to be found anywhere. There used to be Stride Rite in Hyannis, but it is no longer there. Olympia Sports and Sears seem to be the only options, and they have a very limited selection. Sooooo frustrating.

Since Ollie and I could not get home in time to pick Sam and Jonah up from school, the next door neighbor did that for us. Thank you, Melissa. It takes a village. And when we did get home, it was time to get ready to go to Sam’s 4th grade graduation. I was teary-eyed through the whole graduation because I just really cannot believe my first-born grandson is so grown up. He’s almost as tall as I am. And he is such a handsome young man. I am very proud of him. School has not always been easy for Sam, but he has made such huge advances since kindergarten. East Falmouth Elementary School supported him in just the right way and by third grade he was flying high. Congratulations, Sam.

Even though this felt like the shortest day of year since there was no way to get everything done that I would like before leaving for West Virginia tomorrow, this was actually the longest day of the year. Summer solstice happened in the Northern Hemisphere at 12:24 am this morning. Welcome, Summer!

2017 Life Logs, Days 171: Time to Press the Panic Button

2017 Life Logs, Days 171: Time to Press the Panic Button
Date: Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Weather: Partly Sunny and Still Windy; High Temp 72 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

The calendar tells me it is June 20. Really? How did that happen? But despite my skepticism, I must believe what the calendar tells me. And that being the case, we leave here headed to West Virginia on June 22. That’s day after tomorrow. Yikes! It is time to press the panic button. Of course I’m not ready, so I’m going to have to kick in the high gear. Right now I’m listening to an online healthy food course while writing this log and at the same time catching up on today’s political news by watching the TV with the sound off. Tomorrow I will be with Ollie and maybe I can get a few things done during the day. Today we went to the children’s book store in town and bought a few fun things to do on the 12-hour trip. Tomorrow I need to go to the grocery store for the last bits of things to take with. But the biggest job is packing everything so it will fit in the van. I’m going to sign off and start packing food and genealogy notebooks right now. Hopefully I’ll have this under control by this time tomorrow night.

2017 Life Logs, Days 170: Family History AM, Shopping PM, Dinner with Marti

2017 Life Logs, Days 170: Family History AM, Shopping PM, Dinner with Marti
Date: Monday, June 19, 2017
Weather: Partly Sunny Day, VERY Windy, Stormy Evening; High Temp 77 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Today was fast moving . . . from a morning trying to tie up loose ends with the family history project to an afternoon of shopping with Grammie Marti and Ollie for end-of-the-year presents for school personnel to shopping for food items that need to be transported to West Virginia to having Grammie Marti over for dinner. There is never enough time, but it was a good day. I especially enjoyed having Jed’s mom, Marti, come over for dinner. We sat on the deck, despite feeling like we were going to blown away by the wind sweeping in from the Vineyard Sound, and truly enjoyed the end of the day together. Marti heads to Maine tomorrow morning and I start Camp Oma with Ollie. And on Thursday, we head to West Virginia.

2017 Life Logs, Days 169: Still Working on Family History

2017 Life Logs, Days 169: Still Working on Family History
Date: Sunday, June 18, 2017
Weather: Overcast with a Little Rain, Temp in the High 73 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Researching family history is absolute addiction for me. Once I get started, I just can’t stop. I got up this morning and spent the entire day trying to pin down a few specifics. One thing that intrigues me is that this past week I found out that the place we are staying in West Virginia for our reunion next weekend is on the land originally owned by Jacob Mann, Jr., in the late 1700’s. Jacob Mann, Jr., was married to Barbary Miller, a daughter of my 5th great grandfather, Jacob Miller, Sr., who came to this country from Germany. Jacob Mann, Sr. and Jacob Miller, Sr. both lived in Rockingham County, Virginia, in the mid-1700’s. Jacob Mann, Sr., and one of his sons, Jacob Mann, Jr. and wife Barbary Miller, made their way across the mountains into present day Monroe County sometime between 1770 and 1775. John Miller, Sr., son of Jacob from Germany, married a French woman named Barbary Mauze, and they too crossed the mountains into West Virginia around 1775. Jacob Mann, Jr., settled on the land that is now Creekside where we will be staying next weekend and John Miller settled on an adjacent property. I won’t go on, but you can see from this tiny piece of history that I have put together from various sources in the past couple of days just how confusing this process can be. There were way too many people in this story named Jacob, John, and Barbary. And this is what takes so much time. I have to take notes, reread, recheck, and finally come up with what makes sense. But that’s what I enjoy . . . the story that evolves out of the names and dates. And how cool is it that we are going to be staying where the first members of our family that came into Monroe County once lived? I love that connection. But at 5 pm, I made myself stop this nonsense so I could go to Heather and Jed’s for dinner. Jed’s mother, Marti, is here this weekend, and they invited me over so we could visit. Marti is going to stay an extra day to help me out by having Camp Grammie with Ollie tomorrow morning. This will give me a little more time to get ready for the family gathering. In the afternoon, I will go over and pick-up Ollie and Marti and we will go on a shopping expedition to buy farewell gifts for teachers and parent volunteers for Sam’s 4th grade graduation on Wednesday evening. The gifts are not from Sam, but from the whole 4th grade class. Since Heather is the PTO president, she is in charge of this. As we discussed this over dinner, it just seemed like something Marti and I could do to help Heather out and Ollie will enjoy going along with us. Then the Goldstones have a kid-centered swimming party tomorrow evening with friends, so Marti and I might escape and go out for a nice quiet dinner.

2017 Life Logs, Days 168: Parade of Tall Ships 2017, Boston

2017 Life Logs, Days 168: Parade of Tall Ships 2017, Boston
Date: Saturday, June 17, 2017
Weather: Overcast with Misty Rain, Temp in the High 60’s F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Sam and I were up early and were off to Boston. Sam drove his rental car and I followed in my car. We drove to the airport so he could return the car, and then we went to the Hyatt Regency at the airport to a viewing area there for the Parade of Tall Ships. It should have been a seven-minute trip from the rental car return area to the hotel, but I stupidly took a wrong turn and went back through the tunnel to South Boston and then had to turn around and go back. But even with the glitch in getting there, the Hyatt venue was perfect for viewing the Parade of Tall Ships. There was no line for the security check-in and there were places to sit on the concrete sea wall. We then settled in to watch the ships with the Boston skyline in the background. This made it even more special. The tall ship leading the parade was the US Coast Guard Eagle out of Newport, followed by some smaller US ships. Then came the Canadian ships followed the Pictan Castle from the Cook Islands in the South Pacific. There were some spectacular tall ships from the Netherlands and Ecuador and Peru. The largest was the 379-foot Union from Peru. We could not stay to watch all the ships as Sam needed to check into his hotel in downtown Boston so he could get a nap before his flight to London tonight. Thankfully pilots take their jobs very seriously and do make sure they get the required rest before flying across the ocean! But we did take time to have lunch in Chinatown before Sam headed to the hotel for a nap. At that point, I started the drive home. I made a stop at Costco to get a few things I need for the Martin Family gathering in West Virginia next weekend, and then it was home again, home again.

2017 Life Logs, Days 167: Sam (of Windbird) Comes to Visit

2017 Life Logs, Days 167: Sam (of Windbird) Comes to Visit
Date: Friday, June 16, 2017
Weather: Cloudy with a Threat of Rain, Temp in the Low 70’s F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

When the phone rang just after 1 o’clock this afternoon, I realized I had been sitting at my computer all morning totally engrossed in the family history project. I knew I had to go to the grocery store and prep dinner and that Sam (of Windbird) would be arriving mid-afternoon, but all of that got lost as I got caught up in the history of Europe from about 700 to 1200 AD. It was Sam on the phone saying he was already on Route 3 and would be here in a little over an hour, so I had to hustle. As I have written before, Sam is a Delta pilot and this week he is doing a Boston to London, London to Boston, and London back to Boston run. He heads back to London tomorrow evening, but decided to rent a car to come down to visit tonight. He arrived in his pilot uniform, looking very ‘official’. After he changed into something more comfortable and I finished prepping dinner, we took a quick tour of Falmouth and Woods Hole. It had to quick as Heather and gang were coming for an early dinner. We had hoped to go to the opening game of the Falmouth Commodores, our collegiate league summer baseball team, but the threat of rain caused the game to be cancelled. So I didn’t have to hurry to get dinner on the table right at 5 pm. Whew!

Ollie had his last day of preschool today. Heather was a bit sad thinking about the fact that next fall there will not be a Goldstone in the Woods Hole Daycare Cooperative for the first time in eight years. And Ollie has some good friends that he is really going to miss. No one in the preschool will be going to East Falmouth with him, so next fall will be a time to make new friends.

Sam Goldstone, not Sam from Windbird, will be graduating from East Falmouth Elementary School next week and today went on a 14 mile bike ride with the other fourth graders. They had a nice lunch stop at a beach to play soccer. Why didn’t I go to elementary school on Cape Cod?

Tomorrow morning Sam and I are off to Boston for the Parade of Tall Ships. Neither of us has the time to watch the entire six hour parade, but we will hope to get a glimpse.

2017 Life Logs, Days 166: Day Off the Family History Project

2017 Life Logs, Days 166: Day Off the Family History Project
Date: Thursday, June 15, 2017
Weather: Cooler–Temp in the 60’s F, Partly Sunny
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Today started with a semi-annual dentist appointment for a cleaning followed by running errands about town. Then I headed home to get lunch together for my friends Jane Woodin and Olivia White. We started by sitting on the deck, but it was just too cool here on the harbor. So, we moved inside for lunch. I served my daily lunch which I call ‘everything in the fridge’ salad. Today it was a ‘make your own’ salad followed by chia pudding with fruit. When Jane and Olivia left, I did sneak in just a bit of family history work, and then it was time to head to Woods Hole to pick up Ollie. Heather was out of town today, so Jed took care of the pick-up of Sam and Jonah in East Falmouth and I did the Woods Hole pick-up of Ollie. I got a text this morning telling me that Ollie wanted to go to the East Falmouth Elementary School playground after school to continue his fun on the climbing equipment started this morning. So that’s what we did.

I have spent my evening writing a very long email to family about our ‘gathering’ beginning next Friday. Tomorrow I will start my day by wrapping up the family history project and then I’ll host the Goldstones and Sam Weigel for an early dinner, followed by the Falmouth Commodores opening baseball game. Sam Weigel (I think you know by now that Sam is Windbird’s new owner and captain) is flying into Boston tomorrow and has a layover until Saturday evening. He’s renting a car and driving down for a visit. I’m excited to see Sam and catch up on all the work he and Dawn have been doing on Windbird since our return from the Bahamas.