Welcome to The Voyage of Windbird . . . and Beyond.  My name is Judy Handley and I live on Cape Cod in Massachusetts.  For six years of my life, my husband Mark and I sailed around the world.  I documented that story, one day at a time, in this blog that was then just called The Voyage of Windbird.  Those daily logs from 2005 to 2011 tell the story of our circumnavigation.  While sailing, my daily logs were sent via Ham radio to the internet to appear on this blog spot each morning.  My son Justin made that happen, and to this day, I don’t understand the process.  But it was like magic.  I would sit in the cockpit each afternoon around 4 pm and summarize the day’s activities.  During the evening when the conditions were just right for sending radio emails, my husband would send the log.  The next morning my son, my daughter, other members of my family and good friends would read the news and know exactly where in the world we were and what fun we were having.  

After almost 6 years of traveling, we sailed into Woods Hole on Cape Cod.  We continued living aboard for the next five years and I wrote about that, adding ‘and Beyond’ to the title of the blog.  Then shortly before Mark’s death in 2016, we sold our beloved Windbird and my travel logs became land logs.  At this point, I had written a daily account for each and every day for 11 years.  I fully intended to end the blog at that point, but when I wrote that news in a log, I got many responses saying that I really needed to keep posting.  At the same time, I realized that I couldn’t stop writing.  Summarizing each day had become a permanent part of my life and I will probably continue writing until I can no longer.  These postings reflect the ordinary, and sometimes the extraordinary, days in my life and I would like to invite you to join me on my journey.

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!

2021 Life Logs, Day 341: Afternoon with the Goldpebbles

2021 Life Logs, Day 341: Afternoon with the Goldpebbles
Date: Tuesday, December 7, 2021
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High Temp 49, Low Temp 31 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Ollie was feeling much better today, but Heather and Jed decided to keep him at home one more day. Because it was a school early release day and Heather and Jed had work commitments all afternoon, I went over just after noon prepared to stay there for the afternoon and do projects with the boys. But Ollie felt good enough to come to my house, so we packed up some art and craft supplies and headed out. Our first stop was The Christmas Tree Shoppe to buy a couple of huge Christmas ornaments. We are all working on turning an evergreen just outside the Goldstone front door into a gnome, and our gnome needs a big nose and something that looks like a huge pompom for the top of his hat. The boys made their choices and on we went. Our next couple of stops are top secret. Tomorrow is Jed’s 50th birthday and we needed a few things for that celebration. Giving away the destinations would give away what we were seeking. That is a surprise for tomorrow. When we finally got to the cottage, Sam went to work in Shirley’s yard continuing the fall clean up project. I worked with Jonah and Ollie helping them get started on a Christmas craft project and a project for Jed’s birthday. When we were all done, I went down to the dock to play ball with Shadow while the boys had a hot chocolate treat. It was nearing sundown and it was another beautiful pink and red sunset that reflected those colors in the water. I feel so lucky to live where I can enjoy these late fall colorful sunsets just a few steps from home.

2021 Life Logs, Day 340: Shop ‘til You Drop . . . Online

2021 Life Logs, Day 340: Shop ‘til You Drop . . . Online
Date: Monday, December 6, 2021
Weather: Overcast Turning Sunny, Very Windy; High Temp 59, Low Temp 35 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It’s still blowing outside, more now than earlier today. But hopefully it will pipe down a bit by morning. At least we got sunshine today, not the rain that was predicted. But enjoying the afternoon sunshine was not in my plan for today. My plan was to lock down Christmas gifts for Jo, Ziggy, and Coco. While they were here, we did not find time to talk about Christmas. We spent every second together just enjoying the moment, and the discussions about Christmas didn’t start until this weekend via text and WhatsApp. Jo is in Puerto Rico with Ziggy and Coco and Justin is in Virginia meeting with folks he works for at The Monroe Institute. He flew home to PR on Tuesday and flew back to Virginia on Friday. I knew I couldn’t wait until he gets home. Past experience told me that if I didn’t order things by today, there would be almost no chance that they would arrive in Puerto Rico for Christmas. So, we brainstormed online, and Jo came up with perfect gifts for Ziggy and Coco. The gift for Ziggy was available on Amazon, but couldn’t be sent to PR. So, I searched for another source. That was Walmart, but the item is out of stock in every Walmart in Puerto Rico. I checked Charlottesville, Virginia, thinking Justin might be able to pick it up and take it home with him. But it would not be available in the store in Charlottesville until Friday, and Justin flies home very early on Friday morning. Ugh. I started searching for the same item in another brand. You get the idea. Then I had to go through the same process for Coco. Finally, mid-afternoon, I got everything ordered and will now hope things get there on time. Coco’s is going to be tight. I will have faith.

I spent some time outside playing with Shadow and then headed into town to do some shopping for a few items needed for Christmas art projects to do with the Goldpebbles tomorrow. It is an school early release day and we hope to use the afternoon working on the projects. There is one little hitch, but we shall see how things are in the morning. Ollie is now sick with what Jonah had over the weekend that he probably got from Heather who had it last week. Justin either came down with allergies or a cold shortly after arriving, but Heather’s symptoms were more like the flu. Jonah’s symptoms only lasted for 24 hours. Hopefully that will be the case with Ollie and we can have some holiday fun tomorrow.

2021 Life Logs, Day 339: Falmouth Christmas Parade, Last Night of Hanukkah

2021 Life Logs, Day 339: Falmouth Christmas Parade, Last Night of Hanukkah
Date: Sunday, December 5, 2021
Weather: Beautiful Day; High Temp 47, Low Temp 33 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

The Falmouth Christmas Parade this afternoon was the final event in the Holidays-by-the-Sea weekend. And what a beautiful day for a parade. The sun was shining, there was very little wind, so it felt warmer than the 47 degrees F showing on the thermometer. A friend, Christina Brodie, contacted me this morning to see if I would like to go to the parade with her. After being so lonesome at the lighting of the Green last night, going with a friend today was great. The only disappointment for me was that there was only one lone bag pipe player in this parade. There are usually two pipe bands that march and play. I missed that. But there were the Clydesdales, Jed and his Cub Scouts including Ollie, Sam with the Boy Scouts, Jonah playing his trombone in the Lawrence marching band band (the only one wearing a blue and gray toboggan instead of a red Santa hat), and Heather as a marching band ‘chaperone’.   And I can’t leave out the Newcomers float. The parade was shorter than usual, but there were loads of spectators lining Main Street from the beginning of the parade route to the end. The amount of community cheer was overwhelming.

This evening, we switched gears to light the last candles of Hanukkah that burned brightly as we had artichokes for dinner and the Goldpebbles opened their last night of Hanukkah gifts—another pair of their favorite Hannah Anderson holiday pajamas. Just as they finished opening their pajamas, the last candle light went out. Perfect timing and perfect ending for a perfect day.

2021 Life Logs, Day 338: The Lighting of the Falmouth Green

2021 Life Logs, Day 338: The Lighting of the Falmouth Green
Date: Saturday, December 4, 2021
Weather: Overcast; High Temp 41, Low Temp 33 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today didn’t go quite as planned. Heather, Jed, Jonah, and Ollie were supposed to run the in the Jingle Jog this afternoon, but Jonah had a fever and that meant the Jingle Jog went by the wayside while Heather and Jed figured out their situation. The good news was that Jonah’s Covid test was negative. The bad news was that he was sick, so everyone decided to chuck the plans for the rest of the afternoon and evening and just stay home with Jonah and decorate their Christmas tree. But I decided to go ahead and go to the lighting of the Falmouth Green by myself.

The lighting of the Green is an annual event, except for last year due to Covid. The lighting of the Green happened, but you could only see it on Falmouth Community Television. When I arrived downtown this evening, cars were literally parked on every space available in town. It is always hard to find a parking spot, but it seemed especially so this evening. Then when I arrived at the Green, I was overwhelmed by the number of people. Again, maybe because I haven’t been in a large group of people since before Covid I am just imagining that it was more people than usual. Or maybe more people just decided to come out. I watched as the lights came on and the band started playing Christmas carols. It was an emotional moment for me. I felt so alone. I have never been to the lighting without Sam, Jonah, and Ollie and I really missed them. Then memories of this event in 2015 started filling my head. That year, Heather was in Paris for the Climate Conference and Jed flew out that afternoon for a work meeting in London. Mark and I had the boys, and in my memories, I could see Mark carrying Ollie on his shoulders all around the Green so that Ollie could see all the lights. He was such a little guy in 2015, only three years old. Then I saw the boys running down the Green to pose for a photo in front of Santa and his reindeer.

00 Ollie, Jonah, and Sam Waving Hello to Mommy and Daddy

They wanted me to take a picture of them waving to mommy and daddy in Paris and London. I had to shake those memories out of my head and come back to the present to enjoy the singing. It was such a special ‘community’ moment.

2021 Life Logs, Day 337: Falmouth’s Holidays-by-the-Sea Weekend

2021 Life Logs, Day 337: Falmouth’s Holidays-by-the-Sea Weekend
Date: Friday, December 3, 2021
Weather: Sunny, Windy; High Temp 47, Low Temp 28 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Let the holiday season begin! Falmouth’s Holidays-by-the-Sea began at sundown tonight with the singing of carols at Nobska Lighthouse. I had been outside working all after. It was sunny, a little windy, but not terribly cold. So, when I came in and got dressed for going the Nobska, I did wear a heavy sweater, but I skipped wearing a winter hat and only wore a pair of stretchy gloves. Mistake. As I walked up the hill to the lighthouse, the wind was wicked. But the sight of the all the people gathered around the lighthouse and the silhouettes in the renovated keeper’s dwelling were heart-warming. Still, I was surprised by the cold. It had been nothing like this when I was working outside at my house just 45 minutes earlier. Within a few minutes my gloved hands were stinging with the cold, and I was very grateful that my coat has a hood. I met Heather, Jed, and the boys there and I think we were all very thankful that the woman leading the singing shortened some of the carols to just a verse or two and even skipped a few songs. Everyone was freezing! I’ll make sure I am properly dressed for the rest of the weekend activities. Hopefully the wind will pipe down by tomorrow.

Tonight I talked with Kevin and Claire. They arrived in Mexico in early November to begin work on their new-to-them sailboat, White Raven. She is on the hard and will stay there until the work is done. I am so excited for them and am already looking forward to sailing with them in a year or so. They are anxious to have guests, but they need time to get to know their new boat first.

2021 Life Logs, Day 336: Slowly Getting Back to ‘Normal’

2021 Life Logs, Day 336: Slowly Getting Back to ‘Normal’
Date: Thursday, December 2, 2021
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, Windy; High Temp 59, Low Temp 36 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Another trip to the laundromat, a morning mile walk with Shadow, started getting the kayaks the Lightning Opti sailboat tucked in for the winter, played ball with Shadow, went to a Newcomers Tech Tips class, did my 6 miles on the exercise bike. That was my day, and it was the first day recently where I got in my usual daily exercise routines. Now if I can just add working on editing the first 15 chapters of my book on the Voyage of Windbird, I’ll be totally back to normal.

It was windy today, but much warmer than it has been for the past week and a half. Tomorrow we dip back down into the forties, but that is fine for this time of year. The entire week when Justin and family were here was colder than before they came and colder than after they left. It’s too bad it was so cold while they were here, but we didn’t let the cold stop our outdoor explorations. But I must say I am happy with the moderation. Hope it stays this way for another couple of weeks as I have a lot of outside fall clean-up that still needs to happen.

2021 Life Logs, Day 335: Lonely December 1

2021 Life Logs, Day 335: Lonely December 1
Date: Wednesday, December 1, 2021
Weather: Partly Sunny; High Temp 49, Low Temp 32 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

One week ago today I was surrounded by both of my children, their spouses, and all of my grandchildren. Today it was back to just me and my Shadow. Jo sent a text this morning letting me know that they got to their hotel in San Juan a little after 2 am this morning. She sent a photo of Ziggy and Coco still sound asleep looking like little angels. It is so hard to live so far away from them and it will take a few days to get used to being alone again. So, I decided to just keep myself busy today so I wouldn’t have time to think about it.

Since it is December 1, I sent an interactive online Advent calendar to a few friends and the grandkids. I had so much fun with the one last year that I decided to spread the joy. Then I qfor the Goldpebbles. That ‘calendar’ is like a little triangular stand-up cabinet with doors numbered from 1 to 24. I also had a few treats to put behind those little doors and got those packed up to take to Heather and Jed’s. I then gathered up the dirty sheets and towels and other dirty laundry from the past week and headed to town. I first stopped at the laundromat to put in a big load of sheets and towels and then went to Heather’s to deliver the Advent things and do a smaller load of more delicate items there.

Heather had a break in her work about that time, so we worked together setting up the Advent calendar. We finished that and while waiting for things to dry, I made a quick trick home to play ball with Shadow before dark. Just as we got down to the water to play, the sun sunk out of sight turning the sky a beautiful pink with reflections of that pink on the water. So beautiful. I made a final trip back to town to pick up all the laundry and gathered a bunch of the food stuffs I bought for last week that we did not use. Then it was home for the evening. I busied myself putting clothes and food away and fixing dinner. While I was in the kitchen, I heard the front door creaking as it was opening. Had Shadow learned to open the door? I came out of the kitchen to check and found Heather coming inside. I had left my phone at their house, and she was delivering it. I had been too busy to notice, but I would have panicked later when I couldn’t find it. Thank you, Heather, for saving me from that panic and another drive into town.

2021 Life Logs, Day 334: With JJZ&C in Plymouth and Boston

2021 Life Logs, Day 334: With JJZ&C in Plymouth and Boston
Date: Tuesday, November 30, 2021
Weather: Partly Sunny; High Temp 40, Low Temp 32 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

On the final day of Justin, Jo, Ziggy, and Coco’s visit, we traveled to Plymouth to pick up Justin’s violin. Hollis at Plimoth Violins did a wonderful job of refurbishing Justin’s violin. While we were there, Jo bought Justin a new bow for Christmas and Hollis showed us the violin ukuleles that he makes. He is one very talented man. Since it was already noon and Hollis lives in Plymouth, I asked him for a recommendation for a good seafood restaurant for lunch. He suggested Wood’s Seafood on the Town Wharf. As we walked, we took a wrong turn and ended up on Cook’s Hill where we spent Thanksgiving Day. It looked very different without a huge group of people and the view of Plymouth Bay was glistening in the sunshine. We walked down the hill and took a look at the Plymouth ‘Pebble’ as Plymouth Rock is called by the Wampanoags. I don’t believe there is any written history of the Pilgrims landing near any particular rock, but regardless, it certainly has become a famous one. The Mayflower was not at the dock today, but there were plenty of fishing boats near the Town Wharf.

After lunch, we headed on to Logan Airport in Boston. We parked in Central Parking for Terminal C and took the Silver Line SL1 to South Station where we began a walk about in downtown Boston. We parked at the airport because I thought it would be faster to take the T back to the airport at rush hour. The traffic in Boston can be brutal at 5 pm and that is the time we needed to get back to the airport. We were all pleasantly surprised that the Silver Line came so quickly, was free, and got us to South Station in about 15 minutes. We walked from there to the gate at the entrance to Chinatown and walked through Chinatown to the Boston Commons on Tremont Street.

We walked through the park and made many stops to so that Ziggy and Coco could take photos of the very fat and very friendly squirrels. Coco is absolutely smitten with squirrels and couldn’t have been happier. After squirrel watching, as we walked on up Tremont Street I pointed out the historical spots of interest. When we got to Government Center, we walked down State Street and made our way to Quincy Market. We were looking for a place to have tea and a snack before heading back to the airport, but all of the restaurants were closed. We went into Quincy Market, but only about half of the food venders were open. We supposed this is because of Covid, but not sure.

Quincy Market, inside and out, is really decked out for the holidays. The twenty-foot-high Christmas tree in the rotunda is stunning. Ziggy and Coco got drinks and Coco got the Chinese food she has been wanting for days. Unfortunately, due to Covid, there was no place to sit down. We found one chair and Princess Coco took the seat and ate those noodles with gusto. From Quincy Market, it was a short walk to the Blue Line T stop. There were only two people inside when we entered which was surprising. We went to the machine to get our tickets and a man came over and said, “No, no, it is free. Come with me and I’ll get you in.” When we hesitated, he pulled out a card and put it in to open the gate and told us to hurry. We were not sure what that was all about, but we rushed through the gate. It seemed the gods were with us today and gave us a free tour of Boston. There is only one stop between the Aquarium Blue Line stop and the airport, so we were there in no time. We took the shuttle back to Central Parking, got the bags out of the car, and headed into the terminal. It was time to say farewell and that is never, ever easy. We kept reminding ourselves that we will be together again in April. And after hugs all around, JJZ&C headed to the security line to catch their 7:30 pm flight back to San Juan and I headed back to Central Parking to start the drive home to Cape Cod. I was dreading the rush hour traffic, but it was one of the easiest drives home from Boston I have ever had. There was bumper to bumper traffic, but it moved quickly. I was home walking with Shadow in an hour and 40 minutes. The flight to San Juan was delayed by 45 minutes, so the gang will not land until 1:15 am local time there. Thankfully, last night Justin and Jo decided to book a room for tonight and drive home to Rincon tomorrow.

Today was a wonderful day at the end of a wonderful week with my family all together. And part of the ‘wonderfulness’ of today was that I didn’t have to worry about leaving Shadow alone for so many hours. Karen Baranowski came over and walked and played with him for an hour and half this afternoon. Thank you, thank you, Karen.

2021 Life Logs, Day 333: A Day Together with JJZ&C

2021 Life Logs, Day 333: A Day Together with JJZ&C
Date: Monday, November 29, 2021
Weather: Partly Cloudy; High Temp 41, Low Temp 27 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Justin, Jo, Ziggy, Coco, Shadow, and I had a great day today just being together. Ziggy and Coco played outside with Shadow and then we decorated the Christmas tree. Justin hung a wreath on the front of the cottage and then we went to Mashpee Commons to get a few things we were going to need for our nachos dinner and Jo snuck in a little Christmas shopping for the kids. When we returned home, we launched into a cooking project that Ziggy wanted to do together. Since he arrived, he has been talking about making cat-shaped ice cream sandwiches. It turned out to be a longer project that we anticipated, but Justin pitched in and saved the day. We didn’t get home from Mashpee until after 2:30 and we were meeting Ollie and Jonah on the Mullen Hall playground afterschool at 3:30 pm. We got the cookie dough made as fast as we could, put it in the refrigerator to chill, and then we headed into town. Jed met us at the playground and said he would stay with the kids and take Ziggy and Coco home with him while Justin and I headed home so he and Jo could make the nachos and he and Ziggy could roll out the cookie dough and make the cat face cut outs. We had to juggle the oven time, so as soon as the Heather, Jed, and the kids arrived, the nachos went into the oven. Then while we were eating dinner, the cat cookies baked. The nacho dinner was wonderful, and the cat cookies came out great. After dinner, the ice cream was sliced and cut out with the same cookie cutter as the cookies. It was a bit of a process, the ice cream sandwiches were adorable.

Parting is always difficult, but with a great big group hug the Puerto Rico Handley-Hunts said farewell to the Cape Cod Handley-Goldstones. Justin, Jo, Ziggy, Coco, and I head north to Boston tomorrow. We will stop in Plymouth so Justin can pick up his repaired violin. Then we plan to drive the van to the airport and leave it for the afternoon while we take public transportation into downtown Boston. We are thinking that we will do a little historic Boston walking tour and then have an early dinner in Chinatown before returning to the airport. Their flight doesn’t leave until 7:30 pm, getting them to San Juan after midnight. I will have to say my farewells when I drop them at Logan and make the lonely drive home while visions of April vacation in Puerto Rico dance in my head.

2021 Life Logs, Day 332: Happy Hanukkah

2021 Life Logs, Day 332: Happy Hanukkah
Date: Sunday, November 28, 2021
Weather: Overcast, Snow Sprinkles; High Temp 38, Low Temp 33 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

This is the fifth day that Justin and family have been here and today was set aside for a walk to downtown Falmouth and then a celebration of the first night of Hanukkah. We lit the first night candle at sundown and then the kids started playing the dreidel game. They had a sizable ‘pot’ of gelt (gold and silver wrapped chocolate coins) with which to play the game and eat a few along the way. Heather started frying the latkes and as soon as she had a full tray, we served them while she fried more. They were gobbled up so fast that we decided to bring in the reinforcements to keep frying. Jed and Sam helped out and then Sam braised the steak. We grazed our way through dinner, eating the latkes while they were warm and adding prosciutto wrapped asparagus, a salad, and braised sirloin steak slices. The food was all delicious and everyone really enjoyed playing the dreidel game. I gave each of the grandchildren a book. Jonah and Ziggy got a book called RESIST that tells the story of people throughout history that rose us to resist tyranny and injustice. Sam got STAMPED: A Book About Racism, Antiracism, and You. And Ollie and Coco got a book called A BOOK ABOUT WHITENESS: Not My Idea. “An honest explanation about how power and privilege factor into the lives of white children, at the expense of other groups, and how they can help seek justice. —THE NEW YORK TIMES Each of the kids immediately began reading their books and the evening took a more serious turn with some indepth discussions on the many issues we are facing in lives today.

Justin, Jo, Ziggy, and Coco came home with me tonight and will stay here tomorrow night as well. They fly home on late on Tuesday, so we have two more days together. As soon as we arrived at my house tonight, the first thing Justin did was put up my Christmas tree that I bought this morning. We went from Hanukkah to Christmas in short time, but Ziggy had really expressed an interest in decorating my tree while they are here. That will be one of tomorrow’s activities.

JJZ&C have really enjoyed their stay at Heather and Jed’s, but it is great to have them here now. We have invited Heather and family here for dinner tomorrow when they will have to say their farewells. But we are planning a family trip to Puerto Rico during the April school vacation which we are already looking forward to.