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 294—Celebrating Fall

2018 Life Logs, Day 294—Celebrating Fall
Date: Sunday, October 21, 2018
Weather: Rain Early, Then Partly Sunny and Chilly; High 48, Low 32 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was spent celebrating the fall season. I went with Heather, Jed, Sam, Jonah, and Ollie to Highfield Hall to see an exhibit sponsored by the Studio Art Quilt Associates of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Here’s how Highfield advertised the exhibit: “We spend our lives moving from building to building, often focused on our destination, overlooking the beauty of the natural world that surrounds us. This exhibit requires that artists step outside, literally, to observe this natural environment and then share the textures, colors and patterns as well as the emotions it evokes using fiber as the medium to communicate their vision.” Highfield is a three-story mansion that was built in the Nineteenth Century and is now a center for the arts in Falmouth. Today we got to see the quilted pieces on the first floor plus a display of tapestries on the second floor. The quilted pieces depicted all sorts of things in nature. I loved the teasel (like a thistle) and Heather loved a piece depicting a hurricane. Ollie liked a piece depicting a classic car on a beach at sunset, while Sam relaxed in the ballroom enjoying a bright red and blue piece called Water Grasses. I was also taken with a depiction of an osprey nest. When we traveled to the second floor, Jonah found a three-dimensional tapestry called Boxes that he loved and Jed really liked one called Green Seaweed. The boys enjoyed the reading room on the second floor and the museum room on the first floor where they learned about the history of the mansion. Unfortunately, Sam was not feeling good and by the end of the visit it was apparent that he had a temperature and was achy all over. Looks like he has the flu for the second time since the beginning of the school year. I’ll be staying with him tomorrow as he certainly can’t go to school with a fever. When we got back to Heather and Jed’s, I had to run home to do a few things, but Heather worked with Jonah and Ollie to carve their pumpkins. Sam’s will have to wait until he is feeling better. I returned with a salad for dinner and Heather made a fall favorite for dinner, Afghan kaddo. There is an Afghan restaurant in Cambridge that serves this, but Heather’s is better. She bakes pumpkin baked with sugar and serves it covered with a spiced meat sauce and garlic and minted yogurt. Delicious. It was the perfect dinner on this very chilly fall day.

2018 Life Logs, Day 293—Soccer Times Three

2018 Life Logs, Day 293—Soccer Times Three
Date: Saturday, October 20, 2018
Weather: Rain Early, Then Sunny and Windy; High 62, Low 46 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It was definitely Soccer Saturday! Jonah and Sam both play on soccer travel teams which means they play some games at home and for others they travel around southern Massachusetts. Today they were playing their last games of the season, so I wanted to go to both—one in Falmouth and one a little more than hour north of here. Ollie plays on a Falmouth recreational team and his games are always on the field next to Falmouth Heights Beach. Today was not his last game, but since Heather couldn’t go because she was transporting Jonah and some other of his team members north for a practice session before the game, I wanted to go to Ollie’s game to cheer him on. It was in Falmouth at 1:30 pm. Jed is Ollie’s coach, so he was there as well, but only three team members showed up today. The father of one of the boys stood in as goalie and the game went on. Ollie made a goal and although he was very guarded about showing his elation, it was obvious that he was very proud of making that goal. I left Ollie’s game about 10 minutes early and started the drive north to the town of Rehobeth for Jonah’s game. Here on the Cape a few trees are starting to lose a few leaves, but we don’t get the blast of color that happens further north. Driving to Rehobeth there were splashes of color along the road which made for a delightful drive. Jonah’s team has won all but their first game this season, and today was no exception. Jonah was goalie for the first half, but he got his chance to score in the second. The minute that game was over, I headed back to Falmouth for Sam’s 5:30 pm game. The sun had already gone down behind the trees surrounding the field when I arrived and it was fully dusk by the end of the game. I let Ollie have my camera to get photos, but unfortunately the light level was just too low to get good pictures, but he tried. It was if the sun going down was a farewell salute to soccer for this fall season. Sam’s team lost and he was a very sad and mad. But we all went out to dinner afterwards, and he seemed to be in a much happier mood by the end of the evening.

2018 Life Logs, Day 292—Dining-in with Friends

2018 Life Logs, Day 292—Dining-in with Friends
Date: Friday, October 19, 2018
Weather: Sunny and Warmer; High 59, Low 56 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Tonight my Newcomers Dining-in group had our October dinner at Karen and Peter Baranowski’s. There are nine of us in this group and we have become very good friends. I have known Jane and Bruce Woodin for many years and Olivia and Terry White since they moved here in 2011. But I was introduced to the Baranowski’s and Midge and Bill Frieswyk when I was invited to join this group. Great meal, great friends. I started my day by going to a class at the gym and then headed straight to Heather’s to paint three more dining room chairs as it was sunny and relatively warm. I love the bright rainbow colors of these chairs, but the best thing is that the job is done!

2018 Life Logs, Day 291—Really Chilly

2018 Life Logs, Day 291—Really Chilly
Date: Thursday, October 18, 2018
Weather: Sunny, Windy, and Chilly; High 49, Low 37 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

My thermostat is set on 68 degrees, but I have been cold all day. It has suddenly gotten truly chilly. And I just don’t believe it is really 68 in this house. Tomorrow morning on my way home from the gym, I will buy a couple of indoor thermometers to check the validity of my thermostat. Maybe it is fine and I have just forgotten what 68 degrees feels like. In any case, tomorrow is supposed to be a bit warmer. I’m looking forward to that.

Today I got up early and headed to the Goldstones. Heather and Jed both had to leave before 8 am, so I got Jonah and Ollie to school. Then I headed to the gym for a 9:15 class. By the time I got home and took a shower, somehow it was after 11 am. It was definitely time for me to work on that presentation. I wrote until 1:30 pm, had lunch, and continued writing for the remainder of the afternoon. I basically got the presentation written and now need to put it into PowerPoint adding the photos. My job is not done, but I made lots of progress today. Then I had a 5:30 pm dinner with a group called Women in Newcomers and spent my evening with them. Since the forecast for tomorrow is for a high around 60 degrees, I will devote my day to sanding and painting three more chairs from Heather and Jed’s dining room. Tomorrow is the day as it is the only day in the next seven forecast to be above the 55 degrees required for painting. If I get that done, I’ll be a happy person. Tomorrow night I have a dinner with my Newcomers Dining-in group. Saturday is soccer day and on Sunday, Heather has suggested we go to an exhibit at Highfield Fall called Stepping Inside the Outside. This is a Massachusetts/Rhode Island exhibit by the Studio Art Quilt Associates. “This exhibit requires that artists step outside, literally, to observe this natural environment and then share the textures, colors and patterns as well as the emotions it evokes using fiber as the medium to communicate their vision.” Sounds very interesting, so I do hope we can go. Life is just too interesting. So, finishing that presentation will be put on the back burner until Monday.

2018 Life Logs, Day 290—Pumpkin Time

2018 Life Logs, Day 290—Pumpkin Time
Date: Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Weather: Mostly Sunny and Windy, 20-30 mph; High 60, Low 35 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

As the nighttime temperature will dip into the 30’s (brrrrrr!) tonight, this afternoon seemed like the perfect time to celebrate fall by picking pumpkins. Afterall, it is pumpkin time. Two weeks from tonight is Halloween, so the Goldstones invited me to go with them to the nearby Tony Andrews Farm where we went into the field to pick out our favorite pumpkins. We got one for each Goldpebble to carve at their house and one for them to carve or paint at my house. Ollie and Sam pulled the wagons while Jonah ran through the field scouting out the most interesting pumpkins he could find. Ollie wanted a big, round one, Sam wanted a tall, egg-shaped one, and Jonah just wanted something a little different. In addition to getting pumpkins, I was extremely pleased to get a good photo of Sam. Eleven-year olds and cameras don’t seem to go together, but I caught him at just the right time. Sadly for Oma, he is not a little boy anymore. But what a handsome young man. The weather was warm enough to make this outing an enjoyable venture. But tonight, the thermometer will go lower than it has this fall and tomorrow the high is forecast to be in the 40’s. Friday and Saturday might reach 60 degrees F, but then during next week the high temps will be in the 40’s and 50’s.

Due to the weather forecast, I changed my plans for today. I had planned to come home to work on the presentation for the Wayland Sailing Association, but I put that on the back burner. I had hoped to get Heather and Jed’s dining room chairs painted, one or two at a time over the next week. But with this forecast, I hustled over to their house and sanded and spray-painted three of the six chairs. I will do three more on Friday, weather permitting. Since I am spray painting them, the work must be done outside and the temperature needs to be at least 55 degrees F. The 20 to 30 mile per hour winds today didn’t make spray painting easy, but I got the job done. Just as I was leaving Heather’s Karen Baranowski called to see if she and Peter could drop by to visit. They were coming next door to do some chores for Shirley, and while they were here, Peter helped me check out the dehumidifier in the basement. This is something I have been reluctant to touch. It does such a great job of keeping the basement dry and I didn’t want to do anything to mess that up. But now I understand how it works and how to get the filter out to clean it. Otherwise, it is maintenance free as it has a built-in drain pump that pumps any condensation into a drain pipe that goes directly into the house drainage system.

I start my day early tomorrow. Heather and Jed both have work commitments that require them to leave home by 7:45 am. So, I will head over and get the boys off to school before heading to the gym. After that, maybe I’ll find time to work on that presentation.

2018 Life Logs, Day 289—Plumber, Writing, Laundry, Grandkids

2018 Life Logs, Day 289—Plumber, Writing, Laundry, Grandkids
Date: Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 68, Low 47 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Yep. It was a day of a little of this, a little of that, and not a whole lot of anything. When I had the energy assessment done last week, they found that when I run the kitchen exhaust fan over the stove, there is a leakage of flue gas from the hot water heater in the basement. I was to call a plumber and get him to install a fan of some sort to fix the problem, but when the plumber came, he really didn’t understand the problem. We tried to recreate the situation, but he found no leakage. So, I called the technician that did the assessment and actually got through to him. He explained to the plumber what needed to be done, but the plumber had never heard of doing such a thing and thinks it will not work. He is going to do some research with other plumbers, but he suggests that I offer to remove the kitchen exhaust fan and see if that satisfies the gas company. If weatherization work is going to go forward, the gas company will not proceed if there is any type of flue gas leakage. If removing the kitchen fan idea isn’t going to satisfy the gas company, the plumber suggested I would have to get a different kind of hot water tank and he estimated the cost of that at round $2,000. The hot water tank that is in place looks new and with a $2,000 price tag, the project is just not worth it for me. So we’ll see what happens. But the plumber was able to fix the drain in the bath tub. I have been having to hold down on the drain toggle to drain the tub after a shower. Sometimes I can get the lever in just the right position to drain without holding it, but not most of the time. The plumber thought he was going to have to have replace the entire drain system, but when he got into it, he found he could just replace the toggle. Much cheaper!

All of the above took much more time than I expected, so it was late morning before I got started writing my November presentation. Surely didn’t get as much done as I had hoped, but there’s always tomorrow. While I was sitting at the dining table writing, out of the corner of my eye I saw something fly by the front window. It looked like a Monarch butterfly, but I figured that couldn’t be so. I went to the window, and sure enough, there was a Monarch feeding off the last of the flowers in my deep beds. I took this to mean that there’s still hope for summer-like weather! I had a late lunch and then headed to the laundromat. I had multiple pairs of jeans that needed to be washed. It was a big, heavy load, so I opted for the laundromat where I could do all of the heavy things in one big washing machine. I then took the more delicate things to Heather’s to use her laundry facilities for that load. It was warm enough to paint, so I had hoped to spray paint the two dining room chairs I had sanded for her over a week ago. I got the chairs outside and was ready to do the job, but then I couldn’t find the paint. It was almost time to go pick up Jonah, Ollie, and Jonah’s friend Kaiden, so on I went. On Tuesdays, Sam takes the bus to Woods Hole for his weekly drum lesson. I pick up Jonah and Ollie so Heather and Jed can wait in Woods Hole for Sam to complete his lesson before heading home. While the kids played, I was able to get the chicken mineral broth I made yesterday canned. Always some job waiting to be done.

I’m hoping to get up early tomorrow and go to an 8 am yoga class. I went to one class two years ago and thought it was probably not my thing. But I want to check it out again. Then I’ll head home to keep working on that November presentation.

2018 Life Logs, Day 288—Attached to My Computer

2018 Life Logs, Day 288—Attached to My Computer
Date: Monday, October 15, 2018
Weather: Overcast and Warmer; High 67, Low 47 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today I was attached to my computer and I need to stay that way for a while. I am giving a talk called “Passing It On” on November 10 to the Wayland, Massachusetts, Sailing Association. Mark and I spoke to this group in 2009 while we were sailing around the world and they would now like to hear about the sale of Windbird and the friendship that blossomed with the new owners. The presentation was named “Passing It On” and will focus on the seller/buyer relationship and my voyages with the new owners aboard Windbird. When I agreed to do this in late August, I thought I’d have plenty of time to come up with a presentation, but to this point, I have done nothing. So, I need to get busy and today I did. Of course, I got side-tracked. Seems that happens to me more often than not. When I tried to photos on my computer from 2017, I found that some of them are still on my computer and others have already been saved onto a hard-drive. I started trying to fix that problem, but soon discovered that I have hours and hours of work to do that. So, I gave it up on that and just started writing and searching for photos wherever I can find them. I will continue tomorrow and the next day and hope to have a basic outline of the presentation done by then.

I did make a trip into town in the early afternoon to attend a meeting about wellness programs offered by the Senior Center. I got notice of this on my phone and thought I should check it out. Either I am delusional or all the other people there were at least five to ten years older than me. So nice programs for those in their late 70’s and 80’s, but I’m not ready for their offering just yet! The only other happening is that Heather is back in town. I pick up Ollie and Jonah after school on Tuesdays and stay with them until 5:30 pm when Heather and Jed get home. Hopefully I’ll get to see Heather then. She did report that she had a good weekend in DC but that ‘reentry’ was a bit overwhelming. Upon returning to the Cape, she went straight to a school council meeting and then on to Scouts with Jonah and Ollie. My daughter is one busy woman.

2018 Life Logs, Day 287—Love Those Grandkids

2018 Life Logs, Day 287—Love Those Grandkids
Date: Sunday, October 14, 2018
Weather: Partly Sunny, Still Cool; High 56, Low 47 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I often have Heather, Jed, and boys over for Sunday dinner, so this morning I invited Jed and boys over. Heather is still in DC and won’t be home until tomorrow. At my invite, late this afternoon Jed dropped off Sam, Jonah, and Ollie while he went to the grocery store and the boys and I headed down to the dock. Somehow we managed to mess about in kayaks for almost two hours and really enjoyed our time together. It was high tide, so Sam decided to try and cross the island between our dock the the canal on the other side by pulling his kayak and the Ollie’s kayak which were tied together. Jonah and I watched the process and were pretty amazed that they made it to the canal on the other side of the island. Those Goldpebbles always seem to be able to think up fun adventures and this afternoon was no exception. After Jed and boys left, Justin sent a text asking if I would like to Skype. He wanted me to see the kids using the yoga swing I got Jo for her birthday. He just got it hung this week and the kids are having so much fun with it that I’m not sure Jo has gotten a chance to try it out yet. When we hung up, all I could think was how dull life would be for me without the craziness that comes with grandkids. They fill my life with joy. Love those grandkids.

2018 Life Logs, Day 286—Thinking Ahead

2018 Life Logs, Day 286—Thinking Ahead
Date: Saturday, October 13, 2018
Weather: Overcast, Cool, Intermittent Rain, Clearing Mid-Afternoon; High 52, Low 42 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Exercise, move the fish tank, get hair trimmed, go see a movie, spend some time thinking ahead . . . that was my day. It was the coolest day we’ve had this this fall with a daytime high of 52 degrees F and not a hint of sunshine until after 3 pm. When I sent a text to my friend Lynne Kirwin to check in on how Ed is doing, I mentioned the cool weather but added that I was sure we would have another warm spell. She was not encouraging. She told me to face it, summer is over. True, but I will not give up yet! Exercise was easy and moving the fish tank went more smoothly than I expected. Last week Ollie and I had put the new fish tank on top of a half-height book case, but there were three problems with that. Even with a second board cut and put under the aquarium, in one week quite a sag was developing. The second problem was that the reinforcing board we used was particle board and somehow it was getting damp. The aquarium is definitely not leaking, but dampness and particle board just don’t go together. The third problem is that after setting up the aquarium, Ollie decided that he would like it down lower so he could sometimes put Lego structures in for the fish to play with. For instance, he might want to take out the castle we bought and put in a Lego underwater research vessel with divers, and of course, sharks. The aquarium is now on a shelving unit with a metal frame, so sagging and moisture shouldn’t be an issue. Ollie hasn’t seen the new location, but hopefully it will please him. In the afternoon, I drove into town to get my hair trimmed and to go see a movie. I couldn’t decide which I would rather see—First Man or A Star is Born. I knew one started at 3:15 and the other at 4:15, but couldn’t remember which was which. The hair trim went faster than expected and I arrived at 3:20 in time to see . . . First Man featuring the story of Neil Armstrong, the first man to step on the surface of the moon. I think my favorite movie of all time is The Right Stuff (1983) about the original Mercury 7 astronauts. I have always had a fascination for astronauts and space travel and this movie didn’t disappoint. In between these activities, I spent a good deal of time thinking ahead to my schedule for the winter. I focused on researching dates and times for local events I want to include in my calendar as well as thinking about out-of-town trips I might want o take. I am seriously considering having knee surgery done in late February as the surgeon has a cancellation and can do my surgery on February 25th. I don’t have to make a final decision until I meet with him on January 9, but at this point, I am thinking that I will go ahead with this. I researched flights to Nevis-St. Kitts in mid-January to meet up with Windbird, and I am still trying to find the best time to fly to Nashville to visit with my sister and brother-in-law. My brother-in-law, Joe, seems to have one medical issue right after another, so I’m sure my sister could use a little distraction. Much to think about and do.

2018 Life Logs, Day 285—Energy and Geopolitics

2018 Life Logs, Day 285—Energy and Geopolitics
Date: Friday, October 12, 2018
Weather: Heavy Rain AM, Cloudy to Clearing PM; High 64, Low 45 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Tonight was the second Falmouth Forum of 2018-2019 season. Each month the Forum presents a speaker sponsored by the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole and the general public is invited to attend. In addition to the general public, the audience is filled with scientists from the Woods Hole community making the Q&A most interesting. Tonight’s topic was Energy and Geopolitics presented by Ambassador Richard Morningstar. I attended along with Terry and Olivia White. Ambassador Morningstar is not a scientist. He is a lawyer that has served in various government positions, the last being as Ambassador to Azerbaijan from 2012 to 2014. He was also the Ambassador to the European Union during the Clinton administration. Tonight’s presentation included his reflections on the various ways he has seen geographic location affect politics and the way both affect the decisions various governments make on energy policies. And, of course, those decisions guide the way we are facing climate change. I was most interested in the various ways the world’s largest energy companies are, in some cases, leading the way, in the absence of leadership by governments. Unfortunately, this sounds to me like the blind leading the blind.

I spent the very rainy morning out running around. I had an early morning routine mammogram, went to the grocery store, and then came home and did some cooking. Focusing on food led me to watch a few videos from a digital docu-series on the Healing Power of Food. And that led to more food preparation. In between cooking and watching the videos, I texted back and forth with Heather whose flight from Providence, RI to Washington, DC was delayed due to weather. She arrived in a sunny DC this afternoon. She is attending a conference for science writers and will be home on Monday, so Jed is a single parent this weekend. I’ll see him at Ollie’s soccer game tomorrow afternoon and see what I can do to help out. The weather here improved this afternoon, but when I walked out the door this evening to go to Woods Hole, I had to come right back in and grab a polar fleece jacket. I was wearing a light-weight sweater, but even though the temperature was in the 50’s, but it felt really chilly to me. Fall is finally really here.