Following The Voyage of Windbird

We are Mark and Judy Handley and we welcome you to the Voyage of Windbird. Join us as we experience the magnificent limestone karsts rising up out of the ocean seeming to touch the sky in Thailand to the lemurs of Madagascar, the orangutans of Borneo, the clownfish anemones in Indonesia, the fairy-like temples of Bali, the magnificent beaches in New Caledonia, the pristine reefs in the Indian Ocean, to the world's most friendly people in Fiji, we have enjoyed it all and share those adventures with you through this blog.

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Aug 25

Life After Windbird, Day 13: Do-Nothing Day

Life After Windbird, Day 13: Do-Nothing Day
Date: Thursday, August 25, 2016
Weather: Mostly Sunny, High Temp 82 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio #8, Falmouth, MA

This was a do-nothing day here and it was delightful. Convinced me I should run for Congress and do-nothing every day! But unlike Congress, even when we ‘do nothing’ around here, we still get a few things done. Mark had a 10 am brain CT scan and then he returned home to rest. The scan was done to assure that the cancer has not metastasized to that area. No one thinks that is the case, but in order to properly treat the recent unsteadiness on his feet, the chance of metastases to the brain has to be eliminated. We won’t have results until sometime next week, so life will go on as usual until then. The swelling in his legs and feet gets a little worse each day, so today we researched to remind ourselves of the things we should be doing to help. Getting his feet above his heart level is important, but it is also important for him to get out for short walks as often as possible, massage his legs and feet, eat foods high in potassium, and eliminate salt intake. And add to all of this a recent resurgence of nausea and it is enough to keep us busy 24/7 just figuring out what to do next to make Mark stronger. Tomorrow morning we meet here at home with a nurse from the Visiting Nurses Association. This nurse will be coming here to check on Mark on a regular basis to make sure he is getting the best services available.

Aug 24

Life After Windbird, Day 12: Visitors Out, Visitors In

Life After Windbird, Day 12: Visitors Out, Visitors In
Date: Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Weather: Sunny, High Temp 81 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio #8, Falmouth, MA

This morning Ed and Lynne headed back to Nyack. We had a wonderful visit, but unfortunately all good things must come to an end. I wish we lived closet together so we could visit more often, but we will just have to live with the memories of this visit until we can get together again. So that’s the visitors ‘out’ portion of the title of tonight’s log.
01 With Ed and Lynne
A couple of hours later, Bob and Beth Lux arrived for lunch. That’s the visitors ‘in’ portion of the log.
02 Bob and Beth Lux
Bob and Beth drove down from Concord, New Hampshire, to see their boat Rhodora. Rhodora is on the hard across Buzzards Bay in Mattapoisett. They spent the night there last night and then drove over here today. We enjoyed catching up over lunch and then all too soon, it was time for them to head north and for me to head out to a chiropractor appointment.
03 With Bob and Beth
On my way home from my appointment, I drove to Bruce and Jane Woodin’s to water plants while they are away visiting with their daughter’s family. Then I drove to Heather and Jed’s to put out their trash and recycling. They didn’t ask me to do this, but I know they will appreciate that I did it. Tomorrow morning Mark has a CT scan of his head to make sure the cancer has not advanced to that region. His primary care physician ordered this scan just to make sure Mark’s current instability on his feet is not linked to cancer advancing to the brain. No one thinks that is really the case, but the possibility needs to be officially eliminated so the instability can be properly treated. Our job in the next few days is to just sit tight and hope we can get some of Mark’s issues under control.

Aug 23

Life After Windbird, Day 11: Wonderful, Relaxed Day with Ed and Lynne

Life After Windbird, Day 11: Wonderful, Relaxed Day with Ed and Lynne
Date: Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Weather: Sunny and Warm after a Cool Night
Location: At Home in The Studio #8, Falmouth, MA

We had a wonderful, relaxed day with Ed and Lynne.
00 Ed and Lynne
Mark is battling a new round of nausea and fatigue, so he slept-in while I ran errands and Ed and Lynne went for a walk down to the beach and back. Once we were all back together, we launched in to various projects. At Lynne’s suggestion, she and I went through the five really big plastic bins stacked in our back hallway. Two of those bins contained things we bought on our trek around the world. I’m a collector and pack rat. Lynne is the exact opposite. So all she could say to me was, “What were you thinking when you bought all these things.” The only response I could think of was that I must have thought I’d be opening a world market shop someday!
01 Sorting Through Treasures from Around the World
I was able to find room in an empty under-the-bed storage drawer to put one plastic bin of things. But the second bin remains in the hallway. We emptied two more bins, but the one marked ‘Christmas’ was left unopened. I’ll deal with that one in December. So we started with five bins and ended up with only two. Good job. That allowed me to stack two large bins that have been sitting behind the dining room table on top of the two remaining bins in the back hallway. So our afternoon was quite productive. Mark and Ed assembled two bar stool height deck chairs that were delivered by the postman so that we can now sit on the deck and watch the boat traffic. The view from the regular height deck chairs is impeded by the deck railing, so the new chairs are a welcome addition.
02  Mark and Ed Assemble New Deck Chairs
Just before dinner, Mark got a call from Sam Weigel, Windbird’s new captain. He called yesterday with the news that he thought it was possible Windbird had been hit by lightning, and today’s call seemed to confirm that. We are just heartsick for Sam and Dawn. Taking over the helm of a boat for the first time is difficult enough, but being hit with a lightning strike complicates things immensely. We are still having a hard time believing this has happened and keep telling Sam to check different systems. But after reading his blog tonight, I’m pretty much convinced that this has really happened. The title of his blog says it all. “Zap.” Sam and Dawn, just know that we are thinking of you.

Ed and Lynne leave in the morning, headed home to Nyack. But we won’t be alone for long. Bob and Beth Lux, friends from the Concord Yacht Club, are dropping by for lunch. We’ll just make sure Mark gets plenty of rest in-between. The new immune-therapy was billed as a treatment with no side-effects for most people. But Mark must be the exception. We’ve always know he was exceptional! Unfortunately, in this case, being the exception means he is experiencing extreme fatigue, edema (swollen feet and ankles), nausea, and reduced appetite. This, of course, means he will lose even more weight. So we will spend the next few days regrouping and figuring out how to best attack these side-effects. We’ll start tonight by getting the essential oil diffuser going with peppermint oil to fight the nausea. Hope I have positive results to report tomorrow night.

And the last note for tonight . . . Today it was confirmed that Justin, Jo, Ziggy, and Coco will be flying in for a week’s visit on September 9. My sister and brother-in-law Joe arrive on September 3 and leave on September 10. We will have a one night overlap so Patsy and Joe and Justin and Jo get to visit. We are really looking forward to these visits and just hope we can get Mark’s energy level up a bit so he can fully enjoy the time together.

Aug 22

Life After Windbird, Day 10: Ed and Lynne Arrived

Life After Windbird, Day 10: Ed and Lynne Arrived
Date: Monday, August 22, 2016
Weather: Much Cooler with Wind from the North
Location: At Home in The Studio #8, Falmouth, MA

Hurray, hurray! Today our wonderful friends Ed and Lynne arrived for a short visit. They really want to be back home in Nyack, New York, by Wednesday afternoon for the sailing club races, but we hope we can convince them to stay tomorrow night and drive home on Wednesday morning. In the meantime, we will just enjoy visiting together. Ed has been undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer since the spring of 2015 and he is defying the odds and staying strong. This summer he has been able to once again play golf and go sailing, both of which he has enjoyed immensely. We met Ed and Lynne in Malaysia in December 2009 and sailed across the Indian Ocean in Windbird and Constance in 2010. Over a period of nine months, we sailed side by side to India, the Maldives, Chagos, Madagascar, and South Africa. It was a magical time and we become bonded forever. The hard thing to face is that both Mark and Ed are now battling cancer, but they both do this with grace, determination, and very positive attitudes. We have no grand plans for tomorrow. We will just hang out and enjoy each other’s company.

Lots of other little things happened today. Ed, the person who does maintenance here at The Studio, came at 10 am to fix a broken kitchen drawer and a ground-fault kitchen outlet. While he did that, Mark put together a nine-drawer small chest that I bought at Job Lot yesterday. We are still desperate for storage, and this unit fits nicely at the end of our hall. Heather, Jed, and boys headed to Maine for a week and a half. And I did some cleaning and cooking. We received the check from the sale of Windbird today and talked on the phone with Sam, the new owner, as he is on Windbird this week. We had hoped to be there in person, but Mark was just not us to the trip. And late in the day, Ed Kirwin, not the Ed the maintenance guy, fixed the broken kitchen drawer for the second time in one day. In the AM, the runner on one side of the drawer was secured, but a short time later, the runner on the other side of the drawer gave-way. After a search of the boat yard next door for a piece of wood 7/8 inches thick to repair the drawer, we ended up going to Heather and Jed’s to get a piece of wood. Ed then successfully fixed the problem. While at Heather’s we picked enough cherry tomatoes for our dinner salads and enough kale for Ed’s morning green smoothie. But foremost today, other than the arrival of Ed and Lynne, we enjoyed the change in the weather. The winds came from the north and cooled things down considerably. In fact, tonight the low will dip into the 50’s. We haven’t seen that for many weeks. The cooler weather makes it feel like the end of summer, but the weather is fickle. As soon as the winds switch to come from the south, things will warm up again. But today was just delightful and we’ll enjoy the cooler weather and good friends while we have them.

Aug 21

Life After Windbird, Day 9: Successful Race Day

Life After Windbird, Day 9: Successful Race Day
Date: Sunday, August 21, 2016
Weather: More of the Same Beautiful Summer Weather
Location: At Home in The Studio #8, Falmouth, MA

Heather had a very successful run in her first Falmouth Road Race. When she zipped by us at Mile 6 (plus a little) she was still smiling.
Heather Runs Right By Us
And at the end of the race she still had enough energy to carry Ollie home on her shoulders.
It is great living so close to the race course. Early this morning, Sam and Jonah carried chairs out to the sidewalk to save a place for us so we would have a front row seat. Granddad and Ollie slept a little later than the rest of us, but we were all able to have breakfast and make it out to the street in time to see the first of the handicapped participants zip by in his wheel chair. One very special moment was when a young girl about Sam’s age went by still propelling her wheel chair after more than six miles. Her father was riding behind her on a bicycle, but she did the whole race on her own. The racers in wheel chairs are in the first wave to leave Woods Hole, then the elite women, followed by the elite men, and then wave after wave of the other 13,000 runners. After Heather went by us, we walked over to the soccer field that was transformed into a sea of runners.
A Sea of Runners
We met up with Heather and walked back to The Studio where I took the ‘victory’ pictures with Heather and the Goldpebbles. They did a victory pose that led to a pose in honor of Olympic runner Usain Bolt from Jamaica.
01 The Bolt Pose
Unlike the Bolt, Heather is not the fastest runner ever known to man, but her time today was quite respectable. And she was immediately talking about running again next year and shaving off a little time. Congratulations, Heather! We are so proud of you.
00 Heather After Successful Falmouth Road Race Run