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!
Life After Windbird, Day 68: Debate Night
Date: Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Weather: Partly Cloudy, High in the 70’s, Low in the 50’s
Location: At Home at The Studio, Falmouth, MA
The big highlight of today was tonight’s Presidential debate. No matter what political stand you take, the debate was not a deal breaker for either candidate. But I do find it earth shattering to hear a presidential candidate refuse to say whether or not he will accept the results of the election. Not a democratic statement in my mind, actually I found it horrifying, so thank goodness we have less than three weeks to go.
Heather came over to watch the debate tonight and to work on my computer email problem. Justin tried to work on this earlier today, but was not able to take control of my computer because of a password issue. Basically, for a couple of weeks I have only been able to send or receive emails immediately after booting my computer. If I don’t send/receive immediately, I lose the window of opportunity. But Justin couldn’t figure out the problem, and neither could Heather. So tomorrow, after backing up a lot of files, I will take my computer into the local computer shop and see if they can figure out the problem. Tonight, however, I am writing this log on Mark’s computer and after I transfer files in the morning, I will just use this computer until the problem is resolved. Thankfully I have the back up.
The weather continues to be more like summer than fall. Absolutely delightful. But tomorrow the temperature starts to drop. Heather and gang will come over for dinner tomorrow night as they have another activity on Friday evening. Then on Saturday morning, I’ll head to New Hampshire for a weekend visit. Think that is it for the news from today.
Life After Windbird, Day 67: Eleven Glorious Years
Date: Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Weather: Indian Summer; High 74, Low 64 degrees F
Location: At Home at The Studio, Falmouth, MA
Eleven years ago today, friends Kevin and Claire threw us our lines as Windbird left Shipyard Quarters Marina in Boston headed for ports around the world.
By October 18, 2006, we were in the Kingdom of Tonga. On October 18, 2007, we were in New Caledonia. By October 18, 2008, we were sailing from Belitung, Indonesia, to Singapore. In 2009, we were at the end of a visit to the US for the births of two grandsons, Ziggy and Jonah. On October 18 of that year, we were actually walking with Kevin and Claire on Myrtle Beach just before our return to Malaysia to continue our trek. October 18, 2010, found us sailing from Madagascar to South Africa. And by October 18, 2011, we were back home on Cape Cod preparing for living aboard in cold country. October 2012 found us readying to sail south for the winter. October 2013 we were tucking in for another New England winter at Fiddler’s Cove Marina in North Falmouth. On October 2014 we were anchored behind a little island in Morehead, North Carolina, headed to the Bahamas. And then on October 18, 2015, we were meeting with Jed’s cousin James Emmerling, who crewed with us on our final sail south. Today, October 18, 2016, I find myself without my Captain, but with such glorious memories of our life together. So I celebrate October 18 as a very special day in my life.
And speaking of glorious, this gift of sunny and warm “Indian summer” weather this week has been delightful. Today was so warm I had to go back to wearing a tank top and shorts. I love it. But the winds turn to come from the northwest on Thursday resulting in significantly cooler weather for the weekend. I will be in New Hampshire this weekend visiting with friends Detta and Tom Porat. And I’m sure we will not allow the cooler weather to curb our activities.
Life After Windbird, Day 66: Staying Busy Doing Nothing
Date: Monday, October 17, 2016
Weather: Mostly Sunny and Warming; High 70, Low 58 degrees F
Location: At Home at The Studio, Falmouth, MA
It is amazing just how busy one can be doing absolutely nothing. Well, not exactly nothing, but nothing of consequence. But the weather is nice and I am enjoying these rather slow-paced days. I went to the gym this morning for my first exercise class which was called 20/20/20. I think it was 20% cardio, 20% weights, and 20% aerobic. I had to go slow on some of the exercises as my left knee is still inflamed, but for a first try, I think I did just fine. I rode a bike for 20 minutes before I left, and it was after 11 am when I got home. I did get the cranberries sorted and stored away and I got most a big batch of granola baked, but that was just about it for my day.
This evening I went over to play games with Ollie while Sam, Jonah, and Heather were at Scouts. Every other Monday Jed has a Health Board meeting, so Heather takes over as Scout leader on those nights. Ollie and I always have fun when we are together and tonight was no exception. When I first arrived, I gave Jed a t-shirt that Heather had given to her dad a few years ago. It was Mark’s favorite t-shirt of all time. Printed on the front was this little quip, “If a man is sailing at sea where no woman can hear him, is he still wrong?” Of course the answer is YES. No matter where Mark was when he wore this shirt, every woman who saw him stopped him so they could read the shirt again. It was quite a conversation piece. But when I gave the shirt to Jed tonight, Ollie stopped me saying we (he and I) needed to keep the shirt so we could touch it to let Granddad know how much we love him. I tried to convince him that when his daddy wears the shirt, we can still touch it to let Granddad know we love him, but he wasn’t buying it. He finally agreed, but I am constantly amazed at Ollie’s determination to do things to keep letting Mark know we love him. Tonight he told me that he knows that when people die they can still talk. And he still hears Granddad tell him that he loves him. Heather often calls Ollie the Ollie lama as he often has insights that are way beyond his years. Tonight he sent a couple of magnets home with me and he said that when I touch them, Granddad will know. He almost has me convinced.
We moved on to the game playing part of our evening. We tried to assemble a very difficult dinosaur 3-D anatomy puzzle. I could figure out how to make the skeletal structure fit in, but I couldn’t figure out how to include all of the various organs. Ollie kept asking me, “You know what they are don’t you?” I assured him I did, but that I just couldn’t figure out how to make them fit. We did get the dinosaur together minus brains, lungs, kidneys, intestines, etc., and then we moved on to playing Zingo, a game I can understand. It is like Bingo, and although Ollie filled his cards first each time, he assured me I didn’t lose because we just kept playing until I filled my cards. He then played on his own for a few minutes while I unloaded the dishwasher and filled it up again. But I had to stop before I was finished as we needed to head to the beach at Menauhant to try and see the launch of Orbital ATK’s Antares rocket being launched from Virginia’s Eastern Shore on Wallops Island. Ollie and I arrived just before launch time, and right behind us came Heather with Sam and Jonah. Unfortunately there were clouds on the horizon and we couldn’t see the launch, but we did get to see the slightly waning full moon rise above the clouds while listening to the waves quietly washing ashore. It was definitely worth the trip even without seeing the launch. That was the perfect ending to a good day.
Life After Windbird, Day 65: Cranberry Harvest and Chutney
Date: Sunday, October 16, 2016
Weather: Mostly Sunny and Warming Up; High 66, Low 59 degrees F
Location: At Home at The Studio, Falmouth, MA
Today was the day to make and can apple chutney at the Goldstones, so I got up, gathered the ingredients that I had, and headed to Heather and Jed’s. When I got there I suggested we make a double batch as we have never gotten more than seven pints out of a single. So Heather got out the apple peeler/corer and with the help of Ollie and Jonah, got the apples ready. We then realized that in order to cook a double batch in one pot, we would need the big pot I bought this summer to make chicken mineral broth, so while Heather cut up the onions and red peppers, I headed home to get the pot. But even with the delay, we were ahead of schedule, so Heather suggested that we all walk down to the bogs to gather some cranberries. The big harvest with machinery started on Thursday which meant there should be ‘leftovers’ that big harvesting operation leaves behind that we could we could gather. Sam and Jonah rode their bikes to invite friends to come along and we said we would meet them at the bogs. We left the chutney burbling and got the Radio Flyer red wagon loaded with nets and pots for gathering the cranberries. But it took us so long that Sam and Jonah were back with their friends and we all headed to the bogs together. What we found was that the closest bogs were actually being harvested today but that the harvest of the bogs across the road had been completed. It was mighty tempting to just dip our nets into the gathered cranberries that were waiting to be sucked up into the big trucks, but we resisted, walked on, and found plenty of cranberries that had been left behind in the bogs harvested at week’s end.
There were lots of berries, but we were struck by the number of them that were not ripe. We think the combination of dry weather and the lack of cold nights and warm days resulted in a harvest with almost half of the berries still ‘green’—for cranberries ‘green’ is really white. But for sure, they weren’t the deep red that we have seen in past years. The other couple with us, Jeanne Harper and Dan Hennen, have two boys close to Sam and Jonah’s ages, and while we gathered cranberries, the boys were racing around the bogs on their bikes. Ollie wasn’t able to keep up with the older boys, but we saw Dan take off with Ollie and realized they were all headed to the huge sand bank on the opposite side of the bogs for a little slip and slide fun. By the time I got there, the boys were having a great time sliding down the sand bank.
Sam yelled down from his perch at the top of the bank that the first parent to make it to the top would be paid a dollar by each of the boys. Jed and Dan took the bait and Dan made it to the top first . . . just in time to hear, “Just kidding.” Boys will be boys.
At some point Heather started talking about lunch and said she thought she should make grilled ham and cheese sandwiches with slices of apple between the ham and cheese. Jeanne had never heard of doing this, but said she had some apples that needed to be eaten. Sam really wanted all of us to have lunch together, so Jeanne and Dan invited us all over for this culinary delight. I was quite surprised at how good the addition of sliced apples is for the old ham and cheese stand-by. After lunch, we headed back home to prepare to can the apple chutney and wash the cranberries. The berries were all coated with a heavy layer of tiny cranberry leaves and Heather concocted a way to rinse them using the screening Jed uses for screening compost. The smaller berries fell through the screen, but so did all of the little leaves. So Heather and I decided to cut our losses by not trying to rescreen the smaller berries. Instead, she took them back to the bogs for the ducks and geese to eat and returned with another big load of cranberries. We’ll probably lose about half of our original bounty by the time we throw out all of the small berries and the unripe cranberries, but we’ll still have plenty for making cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving and Christmas, for making cranberry bread, and for experimenting with making apple cranberry juice and drying cranberries. I volunteered to bring all of the washed berries home with me in order to pick through and get rid of those that are just not ripe enough to use or were too bruised by the harvesting process to keep. As I write this log, I am surrounded by baking pans lined with sorted cranberries in order to let them dry before storing them away for the holidays.
Today’s double batch of apple chutney yielded almost 14 pints. That will be enough to last us for two years. But next fall I think we’ll try a cranberry apple chutney to see if we like that. Making this Ball Canning Book apple chutney is a family tradition started by Mark and me back in the 1980’s to accompany our favorite veggie curry dinner. Heather and Jed have continued making this as one of their pantry staples, thus I call it a family tradition. It really is yummy.
Life After Windbird, Day 64: Soccer x 3 plus Beach and Bike
Date: Saturday, October 15, 2016
Weather: Mostly Sunny, High 50’s, Low 40’s F
Location: At Home at The Studio, Falmouth, MA
I’ll sleep soundly tonight. This was a day filled with outdoor activities with the Goldpebbles. Heather had to work today and Jed, Sam, and Jonah had to be on Cub Scout popcorn sale duty this morning, so I took Ollie to his soccer game—the first of the day at 10:30 am at the field just down the street from my apartment. Unfortunately, Ollie had announced to Heather ahead of time that he was not going to play, and he basically stuck to that with the exception of one short stint on the field with his friend Simon. Ollie and Simon were born on the same day one hospital room away from each other and neither one of them wanted to play soccer today. At one point, Simon’s dad was able to convince them that they are almost like twins and that they could be on the field and just be ghosts of each other.
It worked for a few minutes, but once they realized people could see them, they were off the field again. We had two hours between soccer game number one and soccer game number two, so Sam and Jonah went with Jed and Ollie stayed with me. Ollie rode his strider bike, we ate lunch, and then we headed back to the field for Jonah’s game. Jonah plays with all his heart and soul. He moves so fast that when he gets hit, he sort of flies through the air and does what Jed calls the ‘Jonah flop’ on the ground. But he is always right back up and on his way again. I love the way he constantly works to keep team spirits high, giving others a big thumbs up when they make good moves.
After this game, Sam went one way with friends, Jonah went another way with a different friend, and Ollie went with me. Again we had two hours until the next game. Ollie opted to go to the beach and the two of us really enjoyed the sand and sunshine.
At 4:30, we arrived at a different soccer field for Sam’s soccer game. Heather was able to join us for this one and we closed out the soccer day on a high note. Jed is the coach of Sam’s team and even though they lost by one point, it was a very exciting game. Sam is really turning into a good, aggressive defense player. He is on a team with Ethan, a friend from pre-school days, and it is almost scary to watch them grow up right before my eyes. They looked more like teenagers on the field this afternoon than the little boys I have watched play soccer for the last five, almost six, years.
Tomorrow is a fall harvest day. I will go to Heather and Jed’s in the morning to make chutney from the apples they picked in Maine. And then we will walk down to the cranberry bogs to harvest left-over cranberries. The big harvest happened on Thursday and Friday, so we’ll pick through the berries left behind.
Life After Windbird, Day 63: Goldstones Come to Dinner
Date: Friday, October 14, 2016
Weather: Mostly Sunny, High Temp 57 degrees F, Low Tonight in the 30’s
Location: At Home at The Studio, Falmouth, MA
It was a good day. I got up and went to the gym for the first time since joining the end of September. I chose to do bike riding rather than tread mill walking, hoping the biking would be easier on my knee. I sat there and pedaled for over 30 minutes, but the machine told me I had only biked about five miles. I feel like I would have gone farther than this on a real bicycle, but I was happy with my progress. I then tried all of the upper body strength machines before heading home. I’m really hoping to go to the gym at least three days a week and attend a few exercise classes each week. I’m terrible at disciplining myself to exercise, so we’ll just have to see how that plays out. When I got home it was time for lunch and then it was time for an appointment with a lawyer to get a new will crafted. When I returned home, I had a great phone conversation with friends Ed and Lynne Kirwin, and then it was time to get ready for dinner. I had invited the Goldstones over for tacos. I barely got the taco meat done when Jonah showed up at the door. Jed and Sam had soccer practice and were dropping Jonah off with me. Jonah brought his bicycle and some wood to make a bike jump and I hung out with him in the parking area as he did jump after jump. When he tired out, we went back to the apartment and I continued to get dinner ready. Very soon Heather showed up with Ollie and we all headed outside for more bike jumping. Sam and Jed arrived later than expected because Jed had to mark off the soccer fields for tomorrow’s games, but when they did arrive, we had a great taco dinner. When it was time for the Goldstones to leave, we had a bit of a problem. It was 8 pm and the temperature outside was already in the 40’s. But the sprinklers were on and there was no way for them to get to their car without getting soaked. There is a way to get to the parking area by climbing over the deck railing and walking behind the apartment building and back out to the parking area. None of us had ever done that, but they opted for that rather than getting soaking wet. I helped them over the railing and evidently they made it as I didn’t hear otherwise. I am going to have to find out just when these sprinklers are on so we can time arrivals and departures. It wasn’t a huge problem when the weather was warmer, but getting wet this time of year is no fun at all.
Tomorrow is soccer day. Ollie plays at 10:30, Jonah at 1:30, and Sam at 4. In between soccer games, I’m hoping to get the granola baked that I had planned to do today. And the chutney making is going to wait until Sunday.
Life After Windbird, Day 62: Sailing Through the Fog
Date: Thursday, October 13, 2016
Weather: Mostly Sunny, High Temp in the 60’s F
Location: At Home at The Studio, Falmouth, MA
No one enjoys sailing through the fog, but that is just what I feel like I am doing. I have some sense of direction but no radar. So I am moving very slowly, always checking for obstacles. But my bigger problem is that I’m not sure of my destination. So I’ll keep sailing along, hoping this fog lifts soon, and I’ll find a welcoming port.
In the meantime, daily tasks keep me busy. This morning I waited for the service person to arrive to fix my heat issue. At 10 am, they still were not there but I got a call from friend Linda Stuart. Linda and Mike were at the airport in Chicago waiting for their flight, with their bicycles, back to Columbia, South America. We talked for over an hour until the serviceman appeared. At that point we said our farewells and I focused on the heat issue. I have natural gas heat but I have no access to the furnace. Evidently it was just a pilot light issue. I actually kept the heat on for a bit to take the chill of, but then I turned it down to 64 degrees. Tonight the temp will be in the low 40’s, so the heat might kick on. The temp inside this week has been 61 degrees with no heat. I don’t mind that at night when I’m sleeping, but during the day that is just too cool for me. It will be interesting to see just how much it will cost to heat this apartment this winter.
Tomorrow I’ll busy myself with cooking. I need to make granola and I have invited Heather and family over for a taco dinner. And I also need to start gathering the ingredients for making apple chutney. Heather and Jed brought the apples back from Maine, so I just need to get those and start the process.
Life After Windbird, Day 61: Return from New Hampshire
Date: Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Weather: Beautiful Day, Warming Up a Bit
Location: Back Home at The Studio, Falmouth,MA
After a lovely morning in Rye, New Hampshire, I returned home to the Cape. The weather today in both places was just beautiful and the leaves were almost at peak in Rye.
New Hampshire has about 17 miles of coastline and the towns of Hampton and Rye are the beach towns. Rye is just south of Portsmouth. Portsmouth is a beautiful waterside city of about 5,000 people. From Portsmouth you and cross over to Kittery, Maine, or to an island where New Hampshire’s smallest town, Newcastle, is located. This island is home to about 1,000 people. And from Newcastle you can continue back to the mainland to Rye. My friends Leslie and Rich live in Rye just across the bridge from New Castle. This morning Leslie I walked, along with Leslie’s little doggie Roo, about five miles from her home in Rye, across the bridge to Newcastle, passed Wentworth by the Sea Hotel and Marina, down to the water, and then on through New Castle, and back to Rye.
What a beautiful walk! Everywhere we looked there was either water, colorful fall trees, or old historic homes. Couldn’t have been prettier. And it was so much fun for me to walk through the marina. Pre-Windbird, we kept Sky Breaker at the Wentworth Marina for a couple of summers.
After the walk, we drove across the Piscataqua River to Kittery, Maine, where I had hoped to buy a new pair of Tevas for next spring. But the shoe store where I have shopped for these in the past has changed ownership and Tevas had been put away for the winter. Guess I’ll have to return in the spring. We also stopped in Kittery’s little downtown and had a pastry at Lil’s. I don’t eat wheat products these days, but I made an exception at Lil’s. The decision between a cruller, an almond croissant, and a chocolate croissant was painful as all looked so good. The cruller won and it was “melt in your mouth” good. Unfortunately, I’m paying the price this evening with terrible acid reflux. Next time I might make a smarter decision!
I stopped by Heather and Jed’s on the way home to say hello. They were in Maine for the three day weekend and then I left for New Hampshire. It was great to see them for a few minutes and I invited them over for dinner on Friday evening. Then on Saturday I’ll see everyone at the soccer games. When I arrived back home, I unloaded the things I bought at IKEA. I now have a second set of low shelves behind the dining room table and a coat rack by the door. Well, I have assembled the coat rack, but not the shelves. That’s tomorrow’s job. I was also greeted by Ed, the maintenance guy, telling me that I still have no heat but that someone is coming tomorrow to check this out. Thankfully it is a tad warmer this evening, but it still only 64 degrees in here. I don’t mind 68 degrees, but a daytime and evening indoor temperature of 64 is just a little too chilly for me. Hopefully this will be resolved tomorrow.
Life After Windbird, Day 60: Dinner with Friends in New Hampshire
Date: Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Weather: Sunshine, but Still Cool; Low in the 40’s, High 59 degrees F
Location: At Home with Rich and Leslie Kole, Rye, New Hampshire
My day didn’t go exactly as planned, but I did make it to New Hampshire to have dinner with friends. This was a ‘girls night out’ with teaching friends Detta Porat, Leslie Kole, and Cheryl Dolin. The three of them have been getting together almost monthly during the school year for over 20 years. At one time everyone lived in Concord, New Hampshire, but now Cheryl is the only one there. Detta and Leslie live in the Portsmouth area on New Hampshire’s tiny bit of coastline. With traffic it was almost three hours from the Cape to Portsmouth to Leslie’s home, and then we drove another half hour to meet halfway from here to Concord. It was lots of driving, but well worth it. I had an evening of fun with friends and got to enjoy the colorful fall leaves here on the coast. The colors further inland weren’t this vibrant, so that was an added bonus.
I mentioned that my day didn’t go quite as expected. I had hoped to get here much earlier in the afternoon, but my departure from home kept getting delayed. The final delay had to do with the ‘no heat’ in my apartment situation. When I stopped to get my mail, The Studio maintenance person, Ed, saw me and inquired about the fact that there is no heat in my apartment. My neighbor Kat had seen him and explained the situation. He asked me to go try a few things, so I did, but still no luck. He thinks it might be the thermostat and said he would have to call a heating-air conditioning repairman. Thankfully the temperature is going back up over the next few days giving us a little time to solve this problem.
I am staying with Rich and Leslie tonight and Leslie has a vigorous five mile walked planned for us in the morning. Not sure my knee will make it five miles, but we’ll go as far as I can go. Then it is to Kittery, Maine, just across the border from Portsmouth, for a little outlet shopping. And then home.
Life After Windbird, Day 59: A Breath of Fresh Air
Date: Monday, October 10, 2016
Weather: Sunshine, but Cool; Low in the 40’s, High in the 50’s F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA
Late this afternoon I drove up to the Massachusetts Maritime Academy to hear our state’s senior senator, Elizabeth Warren, speak. What a breath of fresh air in this current political season. This was not a rally for the presidential campaign. It was an instructional presentation on the US economy from Warren’s point of view. She is the most dynamic politician I have ever seen. And she uses her skills as a professor to educate the masses. Her condemnation of trickle-down economics is pretty convincing. But at a time when our presidential race has become such an ugly battle, it is quite reassuring to know that no matter who gets elected, Elizabeth Warren will be in the Senate fighting for all us.
I had a great phone conversation with my very good friend Linda Stuart this afternoon. Linda, and her husband Mike, are my crazy friends that are attempting to bike around the world. They had to fly home from Columbia this summer because they got word that Mike’s mother was dying. Due to their situation and Mark’s failing health, we were not able to get together, but we had a great talk this afternoon. I wish them safe biking as they head back to Columbia to bike on to Equador and Peru.
My challenge today was trying to figure out why I don’t have heat in this apartment. I woke up to 61 degrees inside this morning and threatening sniffles. I decided to turn on the heat, but I got nothing but cold air. Tonight when I got home from the Warren presentation, I sent a text to my next door neighbor asking if she had heat. She doesn’t either, so when Ed, our maintenance person, returns from Boston tomorrow, Kat will ask him to look into this. It is not a major issue yet, but soon enough it will get even colder. It was a sunny day, so by the end of the day the temp in here was 64—still cool—so I am using my Little Buddy propane heater tonight to get the temp up to a more tolerable level for the night. Hopefully my sniffles today were just a reaction to the chill and not a cold coming on. I am hoping to drive up to Portsmouth, New Hampshire tomorrow to have dinner with friends and spend the night with Leslie and Rich Kole. I’ll walk with Leslie on Wednesday morning, visit for a bit, and then head back home. But if I wake up tomorrow morning and still feel like a cold is coming on, I’ll probably have to cancel my plans. If I’m really getting a cold, I surely don’t want to spread the germs.