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 197—JJZ&C Arrive

2018 Life Logs, Day 197—JJZ&C Arrive
Date: Monday, July 16, 2018
Weather: Mostly Sunny and Hot; High 85, Low 70 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Justin, Jo, Ziggy, and Coco arrived in Boston right on time at 5:35 pm this afternoon. I didn’t get to the airport until 6:15, but they didn’t have to wait too long after getting through Immigration and Customs and then getting their baggage. But after a stop at Whole Foods to eat dinner and to get a few food items and then a stop at Walgreens for some things they needed, it was almost 10 o’clock by the time we got home. All four of them were exhausted. 9:30 pm here is 1:30 am in Iceland, so they were more than ready for bed. Visiting will begin tomorrow once they have had a good night’s sleep. But tired or not, it was wonderful to be together again. After four weeks in England and four days in Iceland, they are also travel weary. So, we have no plans for the week other than to play and relax together.

On the Camp Oma side of things, today was a good day. It was Jonah’s first swim lesson of the summer and he did a great job. In fact, all three boys have made so much progress since last summer. We played on the beach for a bit after lessons and then it was home for lunch. Jonah and I took Ollie to a playdate with his friends Roland and Meadow (twins) while Sam stayed home and did the daily chores. Jonah and I stopped at my house and he helped me with some chores that I needed to get done before Justin and family arrived. It was a productive day. Can’t wait to get all five grandchildren together tomorrow. More fun!

2018 Life Logs, Day 196—World Cup and More

2018 Life Logs, Day 196—World Cup and More
Date: Sunday, July 15, 2018
Weather: Mix of Sun and Clouds; High 81, Low 65 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

In addition to all the projects I had on my list for today, there was the final game in the World Cup. What self-respecting grandmother with three grandsons who love soccer could refuse to watch. So I worked and watched while Heather and the boys filled me in on plays I missed. Jonah, Ollie, and I had a quiet morning together. While they played, I did a little house cleaning and they helped me get the sand box filled with sand. Then Heather and Sam arrived just as the game was getting started. I made granola during the game and fixed lunch for everyone afterwards. Heather took off right after the game to drive her car home and then run to Menauhant Beach. The boys and I ate lunch while we watched the awards ceremony and then we drove to the beach. I dropped the boys off and then went back to Heather’s to finish doing my laundry. Heather put my sheets in the wash when she drove her car home and I just had to put them in the dryer. I did that and went back home to see how Nilson was doing with the two house projects I have hired him to do. He wasn’t supposed to come until next weekend, but he had the time today and got the door installed going from the bulkhead into the basement and got the posts put in the for the back porch railing. I didn’t get even half of my projects completed today, but they will just have to wait. All of my focus this week will be on having fun with Justin and Jo and the all of my grandchildren. It is so special when I can have them all together. It is going on midnight and I’m still baking granola. I made a huge batch and hopefully I can get the last load in the oven before I go to bed. I’ll just put it in the oven and then turn the oven off for the night. It will just need a little more baking in the morning.

2018 Life Logs, Day 195—Visit to Quissett Harbor
Date: Saturday, July 14, 2018
Weather: Sunny and Beautiful; High 73, Low 63 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

This was a day with many facets, but not enough hours! I shopped in Hyannis and came home to meet with Nilson, the contractor that will be doing a couple of projects here at the cottage. I also had him take a look at Heather and Jed’s front door. In sanding the trim in order to paint, we discovered that the base board and bottom trim are all rotten. Before we went any further, I wanted Nilson to take a look. He did and he will be able to work that project into his schedule in the next two weeks. So, door painting is put on hold until the new base board and trim pieces are installed. But on another construction project that has been going on for almost a year a half, great progress was made today. Heather and Jed’s upstairs bathroom has walls again. Hopefully they will have an upstairs bathroom soon. Jed flew to England for the week today, just as Justin and family left England and had a wonderful explore in Iceland today. Jo posted some photos on Facebook and wrote that their explorations there were magical. They evidently walked and drove for miles just soaking in the beauty of the countryside. I went to Quissett Harbor for sundowners with good friends Susie Klein and Jim Hammitt on their sailboat, Reveille. Their home harbor is on the other side of Buzzards Bay, but they love sailing to Quissett. I have only been back to Quissett a few times in the past couple of years, but when I do visit, I continue to marvel at its beauty. Jim and Susie had friends sail over with them and then they invited a couple of other people over for drinks. One person was Weatherly. She and her husband Rick own and operate the Quissett Boatyard. What I didn’t know is that Weatherly is an avid rower, as is Susie, Jim, and the friends with them, Jim and Louise. And another sailor joined us who hails from Jim and Susie’s home harbor of Padanarum. Chris has lived aboard his sailboat since 1990. It was an interesting mix of people and lots of talk about sailing and rowing. There was not a spectacular sunset, but it was great to be out on the water even if we were just sitting still.

As I said at the beginning, this was a day of many facets. After leaving Quissett, I drove to the downtown Art Center to pick up Jonah and Ollie. Heather and boys were attending a bar mitzvah reception for Zach, a neighborhood friend of Sam’s. I was unsuccessful on the pick up the first time around as all the kids were having a great time in a bouncy house. So, I ran some errands and returned. It was almost 9 pm when we left, so it was a late night. Heather and Sam have to be up at 5 am in order to get themselves to a designated location where they will be serving as volunteers for the Falmouth Triathlon. Jonah and Ollie are staying with me so they won’t have to get up that early.

Tomorrow I have a million and one things I want to get done before Justin, Jo, Ziggy, and Coco arrive on Monday evening . . . cleaning and rearranging a few things in the cottage to make room for more people, getting the sand box fully assembled and filled with the bags of play sand I bought at Home Depot today, making granola, making ‘leaf’ pie with the abundance of Swiss Chard from the garden, planting the perennials I bought weeks ago, building a brick ‘patio’ for the grill and another for the trash and recycling bins, and on and on. Of course, it won’t all get done, but life will go on. There just aren’t enough hours in a day for all these projects.

2018 Life Logs, Day 194—Free Friday . . . the 13th

2018 Life Logs, Day 194—Free Friday . . . the 13th
Date: Friday, July 13, 2018
Weather: Sunny and Beautiful; High 77, Low 58 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Week 3 of Camp Oma ended on a relaxed, but happy note, despite it being Friday the 13th. There are no swim lessons on Friday, so we are calling it Free Friday. When I arrived at the Goldstones this morning, I asked Sam and Jonah what they would like to do today. Sam wanted me to text Cole and Leo’s mother to see if they could play this afternoon. Ollie wanted to go biking on the bike path. As it turned out, Cole and Leo could come over to play in the afternoon, so we opted for that and will go biking on the bike path at a later time. Cole and Leo requested that we break out the Slip ‘n Slide for an afternoon of water fun and Sam and Ollie agreed that would be fun. Once plans for the afternoon were set, Sam and Ollie did their daily chores. Afterwards, Sam read while Ollie played next door with Joey. During lunch we made a great discovery while baking Sam’s make-your-own pizza. He had drizzled shredded cheese on the pan around his little pizzas. When I went to wash the pan, I scraped off the baked cheese and tasted it. Amazing. It tasted exactly like Cheese-Its. I had Sam taste it, and he agreed. He then bribed Ollie to try it, and he agreed. So, we did some experiments in baking grated Monterey Jack cheese and both boys enjoyed the results. Then it was time to get the Slip ‘n Slide ready for the arrival of Cole and Leo. When they arrived, the boys had a great afternoon of water play.

Jonah had his last day of sports camp today and he was sad to see the week end. He loved the camp and I think Heather is contemplating signing him up for another week this summer. The camp focused on tennis, basketball, and soccer, and Jonah loved all three. But more than that, I think he enjoyed making new friends. But next week he will spend time with his cousins, Ziggy and Coco, and give swim lessons a try. When Heather got home with Jonah, she invited me to stay for dinner. I gladly accepted, but had to leave to run a few errands first. When I returned, I talked with Heather about plans for next week when Justin and family are here. Jed leaves tomorrow for a week in England, so naturally Heather is feeling stretched to the limit with work and family commitments with Jed out of town. I assured her that we’ll plan the week to help her, rather than impose additional burden. We’ll probably eat meals together, but I will do the planning and shopping for that. Hopefully she will be able to relax and enjoy time with her brother and family. They arrive on Monday evening and I can’t wait to see them!

2018 Life Logs, Day 193—Lovely Weather

2018 Life Logs, Day 193—Lovely Weather
Date: Thursday, July 12, 2018
Weather: Sunny; High 76, Low 58 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Not much to report today, but it was a lovely day. The weather was perfect and Sam, Ollie, and I enjoyed the beach this morning. Both boys are making great progress with their swimming skills and we all just enjoy being on the beach. We stopped by house on the way home, and indeed, Sam was able to figure out the directions for putting the sandbox together. It took him a few minutes, but he did it. Then I took them home where we had lunch and then Sam and Ollie spent more than an hour having water battles, followed by time doing chores. Jed had cut branches from a tree in the backyard last night, so Sam and I cleaned that up while Ollie washed my car. Tomorrow is a totally free Friday with no swim lessons and no plans. I’ll arrive in the morning and we’ll figure out our day.

2018 Life Logs, Day 192—You Gotta Be Smarter Than the . . .

2018 Life Logs, Day 192—You Gotta Be Smarter Than the . . .
Date: Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Weather: Mostly Cloudy and Cooler; High 74, Low 58 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Mark Handley could do almost anything he set his mind to, but unfortunately, I don’t share that ability. I seem to always have difficulty following directions for assembling things. In the past this happened, Mark would always come back with the snarky retort, “You gotta be smarter than the (whatever it was I was having trouble doing).” Well, this afternoon I needed to be smarter than the cedar sandbox I was trying to assemble for Ollie and Coco to play in next week. The picture only, Chinese directions didn’t help me figure it out. And tonight, I needed to be smarter than my knee brace that I have managed to get tangled. For most of my adult life, I had Mark to help me figure these things out. Without him, I just struggle and will have to find someone else to help. Sometimes Sam can help me figure out how to assemble things, so maybe I’ll request his help tomorrow. In the meantime, I can’t use the knee brace and the sandbox remains only half put together. No disaster, just frustrating.

Our morning at the beach for swim lessons went well today. Sam swims from jetty to jetty each day, and after only three days, he has improved tremendously. Evidently Ollie’s swim teacher noticed this as she came over to invite Sam to join her junior life saver class. There are five girls in that class, all much older than Sam, and they do have to swim much further than Sam would be comfortable doing, but I think he felt a bit of pride in just being asked. Ollie’s swim skills are also improving with each day. Today the instructor, Jackie, started the lesson with a run on the beach. Ollie loves to run, so he led the way. Then during his lesson, he actually swam for a short distance on his own and he looked very confident in doing it. Jackie, the instructor, also had him doing the backstroke. So, swim lessons are going well despite the windy conditions. It was not as rough today, but it was still windy and without the sun, it felt a little chilly. Ollie needed three towels to warm up after his lesson! This afternoon Sam had a friend over to play and when Jonah got home, we all watched the end of the World Cup semi-final match between England and Croatia. Jed picked Jonah up this afternoon and had a special interest in coming home to watch the soccer game. He was hoping England would win as he will be in England on Sunday for the final game. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. The final game will be between Croatia and France.

Gardening is going well. I have been eating lettuce and arugula out of my raised beds for a couple of weeks now, but tonight I picked what I would call my first real harvest. I now have radishes, cucumbers, zucchini, Swiss Chard, and kale. If I didn’t need eggs, I wouldn’t have to go to the Farmer’s Market tomorrow. Guess I need to get some chickens!

2018 Life Logs, Day 191—Happy Birthday to My Sister Patsy

2018 Life Logs, Day 191—Happy Birthday to My Sister Patsy
Date: Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Weather: Sunny; High 79, Low 65 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today my sister Patsy celebrated her 85th birthday. Happy Birthday, Patsy! She has been complaining about the unbearably hot, rainy weather in Nashville, so I had a local florist there put together a sunflower arrangement to add a little ‘sun’shine to her day. I also talked to her briefly but will hope to really celebrate the occasion when I next visit.

This morning was a repeat of yesterday as we headed to Menauhant Beach for Ollie’s swim lessons. Yesterday was windy, but today was even windier. But Sam still did his daily swim from jetty to jetty and Ollie had a good swim lesson with no complaints about the wind or the choppy weather. Go, Ollie! Unlike yesterday, we didn’t leave immediately after Ollie’s lesson. Both Sam and Ollie wanted to play with friends, so we hung out for another hour before heading to my house for lunch. Ollie spent time setting up a Star Wars village and Sam read in the hammock. Then we headed home to try to balance a little work with the play. Heather leaves a daily chart with jobs to be done, so while watching the World Cup semi-final game between France and Belgium, Sam cleaned the living room windows while Ollie swept the carpet and dusted the coffee table. That is harder than it sounds as the coffee table is big and has a shelf where games are stored. Sam needed to also clean the kitchen windows, but that didn’t happen. When Heather got home with Jonah, they played for a bit and then I took Sam to meet up with Jed who would take him to Woods Hole for his drum lesson. I then headed north to Costco to return a few things and buy some things I need for Justin and Jo’s visit next week. So it was another long day, but productive.

2018 Life Logs, Day 190—Long, but Happy Summer Day

2018 Life Logs, Day 190—Long, but Happy Summer Day
Date: Monday, July 9, 2018
Weather: Sunny, Warm Day, Cool Night; High 74, Low 64 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I left home at 8 am and got home after 10 pm. It was a long, but good day. It ended up to be long because Heather and Jed had plans to go out to dinner with friends and the neighbor teenager, Cassidy, that was going to babysit, had to back out. I was more than happy to fill the gap. Heather and Jed rarely go out together without the kids, so I have encouraged them to do more of this and take me up on my offer to kidsit anytime.

Heather left early this morning to take Jonah to the first day of his week-long sports camp (which he loved). A little later in the morning, Sam, Ollie, and I headed to nearby Menauhant Beach for the first day of swim lessons. Sam has opted to do a daily swim from jetty to jetty in lieu of taking lessons this year. Ollie signed up for the Beginner class, but he has friends in the Advanced Beginner class and might move up to that one. His friends in the that class are encouraging him to do that, but he really enjoyed the Beginner class today. There were only three kids, including Ollie. One was the 4-year old cousin of one of Ollie’s best friends and the other was an 11 year-old boy named George who has just moved here from Mongolia and has obviously never been swimming in the ocean. Ollie was by far the strongest swimmer and I think he enjoyed the role of leader and encourager for the other two kids. The instructor is fantastic, and she will allow Ollie to move from class to class if he does decide he wants to be with his friends. Sam completed his first long swim and we all agreed that it was a good first day of lessons at the beach. From there we went to a concert by a group called Crooked Coast at the East Falmouth Library. This was the kick-off for daily free lunches for kids who need that, but today, and once a week all summer, the lunches with a concert will be available to all kids. When we got home, Joey from next door came over with two of his friends. The boys were playing soccer in the front yard when one of Joey’s friends got stung by a bee. He was fine, but I felt the need to get the lawnmower out to try to cut down the clover in the front yard. Heather’s bees love that clover, but it is just not safe to have the kids playing amongst the clover. So, my solution is to try and get rid of the clover. Jed picked up Jonah from his sports camp and brought him home to get ready to go to guitar lessons. That didn’t go smoothly because Jonah decided that playing with friends was much more important than going to guitar lessons. He went, crying and reluctant, but he returned home elated. He is learning to play a song that he loves and he wanted to play it for all of us when he got home. I let the boys play way past regular dinner time as they were having so much fun, but eventually I had to make then come in for dinner. Minus a couple of melt downs over shoes that don’t fit (Ollie) and not wanting to leave friends to go to guitar lessons (Jonah), it was fun and happy day with the Goldpebbles.

2018 Life Logs, Day 189—Just a Day in the Life

2018 Life Logs, Day 189—Just a Day in the Life
Date: Sunday, July 8, 2018
Weather: Sunny, Warm Day, Cool Night; High 77, Low 56 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was just a day with no drama, no excitement, just a day. And I enjoyed it thoroughly . . . and slowly. At 8 am, I met with a contractor who has done work for Shirley, the owner of the cottage. For insurance purposes, the back door steps need a handrail and I want a door installed between the bulkhead and the basement. There is a door frame, but no door, so Nilson, the contractor is going to take care of that. He also suggested that I might want him to clean out the gutters and I totally agreed. I have finally convinced myself that I don’t need to be climbing ladders and cleaning out gutters. After Nilson left, I stayed in the basement and swept and organized things a bit. That took most of the morning, and then I put on long pants and a long-sleeved shirt and went out to pull up some of the poison ivy that has returned since the goats cleared much of the property. I watched Meghan do this and used her technique. Hopefully I don’t react to poison ivy. If I don’t get it after today’s venture, then I will continue to pull those feisty roots when I see the leaves emerge. I focused on the garden this afternoon and finished my day with a food shopping trip. It seems like forever since I spent an entire day just working around the house and it felt really good.

Camp Oma will be missing one Goldpebble this week. Jonah is going to a sports camp from 9 to 3 each day, so it will just be Sam, Ollie, and myself. Swim lessons begin tomorrow for Ollie, so we’ll be at the beach in the mornings, home for lunch, and then have lazy afternoons. No big plans for the week at this point, but I have a feeling the World Cup soccer semi-final games on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons are probably on the list of things to do! There is also the annual Arts and Crafts Street Fair in downtown Falmouth on Wednesday, so we might work that in between beach and World Cup match between Croatia and England. We’ll also spend some time planning what we want to do while Justin, Jo, Ziggy, and Coco are with us next week. They arrive on Monday evening for a week. Can’t wait to have the ‘Fabulous 5’ all together again!

2018 Life Logs, Day 188—In Memory of Mark

2018 Life Logs, Day 188—In Memory of Mark
Date: Saturday, July 7, 2018
Weather: Sunny and Warm; High 73, Low 55 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today would have been Mark’s 76th birthday, so the day was spent with family in his memory. When Heather and Jed set this weekend as a biking and camping weekend on the Outer Cape, they invited me to join them for a day of biking together. We biked about 7.5 miles from the Wellfleet Audubon Campground to an ice cream stand in Orleans where we all enjoyed an ice cream treat. Next door there was a public area with a huge outdoor chess set, a bike rack in the shape of a fish, a copper umbrella fountain sculpture, and tiny little cabins with arts and crafts for sale. Heather wondered over to check out the arts and crafts and came back all excited. She met a woman who takes men’s ties and turns them into quilts and quilted pillows. I’ve not been able to get rid of Mark’s collection of ties that were given to him by Heather and Justin over the years . . . a tie collection featuring all manner of wild animals. She felt like it was fate to find this woman today who can take Mark’s ties and turn them into special gifts for the grandkids. We then biked the 7.5 miles back to the campground. This is the longest bike trip Ollie has attempted and he did great. When we got back, we had lunch, and then I took Jonah to a Ninja Warrior birthday party that was at a gym on my way home. I dropped him there and then headed on home as Heather and Jed were going to come pick him up. After a full day of biking, I hope Jonah was able to muster the energy to enjoy the Ninja Warrior Challenge.

When I got home, I grabbed a beer and headed down to the dock to sit in the evening sun at the edge of water . . . so serene. The bird life in the marsh was very active this evening. From a distance, I watched the osprey, the egrets, the red-winged blackbirds, and the gulls performing aerial acrobatics. It was a lovely ending to a lovely day. Thanks to all of you who sent messages remembering Mark’s birthday.