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 279—Soccer, Kayaking, and a New Aquarium

2018 Life Logs, Day 279—Soccer, Kayaking, and a New Aquarium
Date: Saturday, October 6, 2018
Weather: Beautiful Fall Day; High 65, Low 58 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Ollie and I had quite a day. We spent our morning going into town to get the supplies we needed to ‘decorate’ our new 10-gallon aquarium. Ollie chose the aquarium gravel, a castle to add to the aquarium, and picked out the fish we would come back and buy after his soccer game in the afternoon. Then we headed back home to wash the gravel and castle and do the final preparations to the aquarium before adding the fish. I had him watch a couple of YouTube videos about setting up a 10-gallon aquarium and he learned quickly that we could only add a couple of hardy fish today. The advice stated that if the initial two survive the next few weeks as the aquarium finds its balance, then we start adding more fish friends. We barely had time to get the aquarium ready before it was time to head to a 1:30 pm soccer game. Since this is a long four-day weekend for school kids in Falmouth, many kids were not there today. That was really unfortunate as it was the soccer photo day. Not a good choice on the part of the soccer organization, but I guess you live and learn. Ollie’s team had four players and a substitute coach in Jed’s place. Lucky for our team that two kids from another team got the time mixed up for their game and had no team to play with. So they joined Ollie’s team giving them enough players to hit the field and win the game 4-0. After the game, Ollie and I went back to the Falmouth Pet Center and bought the two Platies that he had picked out earlier. Platies look like goldfish, but they are tropical fish needing an aquarium thermometer whereas goldfish are cold water critters. Ollie chose one Platy that was all orange with a slightly lighter yellowish center. The other choice was orange with black markings on its tail. The shop owner explained to Ollie that this is what was once called a Mickey Mouse Platy because the black markings on the tail look like a sideways Mickey Mouse. We looked closer, and sure enough, those markings do like Mickey Mouse, big round ears and all. The owner went on to tell us that our two choices are both female and that they might have live babies at some point, even when male is not in the tank. Interesting. I sure have a lot to learn! We stopped by Karen and Peter Baranowski’s on our way home to pick up some oysters Peter had harvested earlier in the day. Karen has an allergy to shellfish and Peter brought home more that he could eat. So we were the lucky recipients. Ollie and I had already bought Pacific salmon and a few clams for dinner, but the oysters and additional clams Peter gave us made for a seafood feast tonight. When Ollie and I got home, we followed the directions for acclimating our new fish to the aquarium and then putting them in. I am having a little difficulty controlling the water temperature, but I sure hope I now have it right and that our two little Platys will be survivors.

Heather arrived here around 5:30 pm. I thought she had been at a conference on the Outer Cape, but actually she was in Wellesley, near Boston. She had a great two days and was ready for some fun with Ollie. After he introduced her to the aquarium, the two of them went out for a late evening kayak adventure. Then Heather fixed a clam-oyster-salmon feast while I talked to Justin, Ziggy, and Coco on Skype. It was great to connect with them. After our call ended, Heather, Ollie, and I had a fantastic dinner and I most enjoyable evening together. Great day!

2018 Life Logs, Day 278—Ollie Overnight

2018 Life Logs, Day 278—Ollie Overnight
Date: Friday, October 5, 2018
Weather: Partly Sunny, Very Windy; High 62, Low 45 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

The north winds did indeed blow in cooler weather for today and for tonight, but it looks like it will again start warming just a bit tomorrow. But when I say cooler, it was not really chilly. I didn’t really need a jacket, so no real weather complaints. I tried a new class at the gym this morning that was a bit challenging, but I made it through. There was a lot of work with weights, lots of push-ups, pull-ups, and other strengthening exercises. It is a special class only available for the month of October, so I will probably return each Friday and tough it out. After class, I checked in with Heather and Jed. They were trying to get Sam and Jonah all packed for their weekend camping trip and Heather was getting ready to leave for her trip to the Outer Cape. There was nothing I could do to help, so I headed home and assembled a new wooden storage unit I bought yesterday. I know assembling these things should be easy, but I always struggle. It took me way too long, but I got it done. Then I worked on getting the aquarium filled with water and ready for fish that Ollie and I will buy tomorrow. Ollie arrived at 5:30 pm, ready to spend the night. Jed and Jonah brought him over and Ollie and Jonah immediately headed to the dock. It has been ages since they have been here and they decided they needed to collect all of the seaweed floating on the water and pile it on the dock. They called it their seaweed farm and they really enjoy just messing about on the dock. Jed took a look at my aquarium set-up and pointed out that 10 gallons of water on the top of a short bookcase with chipboard shelves is going to cause that shelf to bow drastically. I should have known better, but I just didn’t think about it. Jed and I came up with a plan to add another board that sits on top of the bookshelf uprights and that will hopefully help distribute the weight. While the seaweed farmers were busy down on the dock, Jed helped me cut the additional shelf, but had to leave it to Ollie and to get it in place. Jonah has to leave for camp at 5:30 am, so he needed to head home with Jonah to have dinner and get to bed. Ollie and I emptied most of the water from the aquarium into buckets and together managed to lift the aquarium and get the additional shelf in place. Hopefully this will work. Ollie and I had a delightful evening together and are looking forward to more seaweed farming, soccer, fish acquisition, and who knows what else tomorrow. One activity that I am going to focus on is this seaweed farming idea. I am going to check with the local feed and seed tomorrow morning to see if they have straw. If so, I am going to actually compost the seaweed. Evidently if you do multiple layers of 4 inches of straw topped with 2 inches of seaweed, you end up with great compost. I have an empty compost bin and hope to give this a try.

2018 Life Logs, Day 277—Out and About All Day

2018 Life Logs, Day 277—Out and About All Day
Date: Thursday, October 4, 2018
Weather: Partly Sunny; High 69, Low 57 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I was out and about all day today. I went to the gym for a 9:15 am class, then on the h annual appointment with my dermatologist. All is well there. And then I was of to Hyannis to do something I should have taken care of two years ago. My car was bought in both my name and Mark’s, and I needed to go to Motor Vehicles to get the title in only my name. It was not as straight forward as I had thought, but actually the staff there was extremely helpful and helped me get the job done. Then I headed to Hyannis Honda to get a new key fob. I stupidly lost my keys in a field of milkweed a couple of weeks ago. I was getting milkweed for the Monarch caterpillars and somehow my keys fell out of my pocket and feel into the tall grass. I searched and searched and didn’t find them, but luckily had an extra key in the glove compartment. I thought I could survive without the remote key fob, but it is just too frustrating. Unfortunately, even though I had called ahead, Hyannis Honda did not actually have the replacement fob for my car. So, it has been ordered and I will return next Tuesday to get the key cut and the fob programmed. While there they told me I needed to get a new passenger seat air bag as the one I have has been recalled. They will do that on Tuesday as well. I then returned to Falmouth and ran a few errands. By the time I stopped by Heather’s on my way home, it was almost time for dinner. I wanted to check in to get my ‘marching orders’ for the next few days. Heather is out of town tomorrow and Saturday and Jed, Jonah, and Sam are out of town on Saturday, Sunday, returning on Monday. Ollie will be with me tomorrow night and all day Saturday until Heather returns. We worked out all of those details and then I headed home. Not an exciting day, but productive.

We have had a run of lovely fall days with moderate temps and enough sunshine to make me happy. But tonight the NNE winds blow in at 15 to 25 miles per hour. This will cool things down considerably for tomorrow and especially tomorrow night when the temp will dip into the 40’s for the first time since last spring. Saturday will also be a bit cool, but on Sunday the winds shift back to the SW and our beautiful, mild fall weather will return. So we will plow through tomorrow and look forward to warmer days starting on Saturday.

2018 Life Logs, Day 276—Applesauce Day

2018 Life Logs, Day 276—Applesauce Day
Date: Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Weather: Mostly Cloudy; High 68, Low 52 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I had intended to get the jars of applesauce I canned over the weekend to the hospital to my neighbor and landlord on Monday. But I ended up staying home with Ollie. I didn’t make it hospital yesterday either, but today I did. I took most of the jars of applesauce I had canned over the weekend to Shirley and I was delighted to see that she is feeling so much better. She is hoping to be released tomorrow so she can go to back to Scituate (near Boston) to be with her sister Doris on her 100th birthday. Shirley was delighted to get applesauce made from her apple tree, and I spent the rest of today making more. I had picked up the apples off the ground on Monday, but didn’t get a chance to process them until today. It takes a lot of apples and a lot of time to make the applesauce, but I hope Shirley and Doris will enjoy it during the winter.

I have been working on other projects as well. After two years, I finally found a home for all of Mark’s suits and sports coat and delivered them today. I’m also working on getting a 10-gallon aquarium ready to accept the first fish this weekend. I started filling the new aquarium this morning and immediately discovered a leak. Yikes! I emptied it and went back to Walmart to exchange it for a new one. But first I went to the small family owned pet center in Falmouth and talked to one of the owners. He assured me that the brand new leaky aquarium was very rare and convinced me to try it again. I started filling it tonight and so far, so good. This weekend Jed, Sam, and Jonah will be camping with Scouts and Heather, Ollie, and I will work on the aquarium project.

2018 Life Logs, Day 275—Lunch with Friends, Afterschool with Ollie and Jonah

2018 Life Logs, Day 275—Lunch with Friends, Afterschool with Ollie and Jonah
Date: Tuesday, October 2, 2018
Weather: Partly Cloudy; High 70, Low 65 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I generally stay up too late and as a result I get up too late, so my mornings just seem to fly by. At least that happened today and before I knew it, I had to take off to meet with women in the Newcomers Single Group for lunch. We had a great lunch at Liam McGuire’s in downtown Falmouth and I really enjoyed the various conversations. After lunch, I walked down the street to check out the price of a pillow I saw in a shop window the other day. This is a very large living room throw pillow embroidered with all sorts of Cape Cod icons. I rarely see things in store windows that I want to buy, but this pillow caught my eye and I have just the chair that needs it. If I found the cost to be in the $100 range, I would have considered it. But I was pretty sure the price would be in the $200 range which was too much for me. How far off the mark I was! The price was $699. For a pillow! I’ll have to live without this one.

Tuesday is now the set day of the week that I pick Jonah and Ollie up from school. I often pick them up on other days, but Tuesday will be a weekly affair. Jonah exited the school with a huge musical instrument case with a trombone inside. He has decided to play the trombone in the school band and the case is almost bigger than Jonah. When we got home, Molly from next door was already home and was outside playing her choice of instruments . . . a clarinet. This prompted Jonah to thrown down his things and take out his trombone to answer Molly’s notes. Then Ollie decided that he needed to get out his violin and join in. They came inside and did a little formal ‘practicing’ in preparation for a concert, but their planned performance was cut short as Molly’s brother, Joey, had a baseball game and they had to leave. Of course, Jonah and Ollie wanted to go to the baseball game, but I insisted that we do homework first. We then took off for the game. Unfortunately when we got there, we found out that there was an hour-long practice before the game that was to begin at 5:30. We stayed anyway and Jonah and Ollie enjoyed watching the practice and the first 15 minutes of the game. Then we headed home in time for them to have dinner.

I am really enjoying the warm weather we are experiencing. The nights are cool, but the days are warm enough. We are going to get a little rain in the next couple of days, but then it looks like mostly sunny weather for the next week with continued warm days. I love it.

2018 Life Logs, Day 273—Another Happy Birthday Wish

2018 Life Logs, Day 273—Another Happy Birthday Wish
Date: Sunday, September 30, 2018
Weather: Another Beautiful Day; High 68, Low 55 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Here’s to Heather . . . another Happy Birthday wish. We celebrated yesterday, but today was her real birth date. She chose to spend it working about the house rather than relaxing—way too much like her mother. But she did stop working mid-afternoon and took off all by herself with the three boys to go fishing and to have a simple picnic dinner at the beach. I surely hope that all went well. I know from experience that fishing with the three boys can be a challenging experience. So I will be anxious to hear how that went. In any event, I wish the happiest of happy to Heather in her next year of life.

I worked on projects at the Cottage in the morning, went over to Heather’s to help out a bit in the afternoon, and then went to the hospital to visit with Shirley, the woman from whom I rent the cottage. She had a heart attack last week and is struggling with recovery. She wanted to know all about how I have been spending my time and I shared with her that I have been picking apples off the ground from a big, old tree in her yard to make apple sauce. And when I left, I asked if there was anything I could do or get for her. All she asked for was some homemade applesauce. She is sure hospital food is trying to do her in and that homemade applesauce will make things better. So I’ll can some small jars and take them to her tomorrow afternoon.

From the hospital, I drove to Woods Hole to have dinner aboard S/V Star with Irene and Steve Macek. For more than thirty years, they have been sailing back and forth between Woods and the Caribbean, except for the years they spent sailing around the world. They spend their summers aboard their beautiful 3-masted sailboat, Star, in Eel Pond in Woods Hole, and their winters at their home on the island of Nevis in the Caribbean. Mark and I got to know them when we were living aboard in Woods Hole and Mark was working at West Marine. It has been much too long since we have been together, so tonight was a very special evening on Star. Irene served a wonderful dinner and we really enjoyed the time to just sit and talk. Woods Hole is a small village and neighbors do just stop by to say hello. So tonight the man who is the principal engineer in WHOI’s Deep Submergence Lab dropped by to say farewell to Irene and we all enjoyed talking about sailing. Irene is flying home to England tomorrow and when she returns, Steve will have Star ready for the sail back to the Caribbean. I am contemplating meeting Windbird in Nevis in January and will Steve and Irene in their home there if I make that decision. They made it sound very inviting, so hopefully that plan will work out.

2018 Life Logs, Day 274—A Day with Ollie

2018 Life Logs, Day 274—A Day with Ollie
Date: Monday, October 1, 2018
Weather: Partly Cloudy, Rain Late Afternoon; High 70, Low 57 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Ollie’s cold finally got the best of him, so Heather decided not to send him to school today. I had said yesterday that I would be glad to stay with him if he didn’t go to school, so that is what I did. He didn’t even wake up until after 9 am and Heather stayed home with him until I got back from my class at the gym. We worked a puzzle and then went to my house to get what we needed to make chili for lunch (Ollie’s request). After lunch Ollie took a very long, hot bath and then took a much needed two-and-a-half hour nap. He resisted the idea of taking a nap, so I struck a deal with him. I gave him 30 minutes of screen time on Granddad’s tablet in trade for a 30-minute nap . . . and the deal was more than successful. When he got up, he had enough energy to go to his Tiger Cub meeting tonight. I’m still on call for tomorrow, but I think he will be fine to go to school. He just needed a day of rest and I really enjoyed just hanging out with him. When I left tonight, he asked if I would consider buying a house closer to his house. He explained that he wants to be able to walk or ride his bike to my house. That kid sure knows how to pull the heart strings of his Oma.

2018 Life Logs, Day 272—Happy Birthday to Heather . . . One Day Early

2018 Life Logs, Day 272—Happy Birthday to Heather . . . One Day Early
Date: Saturday, September 29, 2018
Weather: Beautiful Day; High 71, Low 52 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

This evening we celebrated Heather’s birthday one day early since Jed will not be home tomorrow. I attended Ollie’s soccer game at noon, went home to continue a ‘redecorating’ project in The Cottage, and then went to Jonah’s soccer game at 4 pm. Sam’s game was off-Cape today, so Jed took him while the rest of us stayed home for Jonah’s game. After the game, Heather headed home with Jonah and stopped to pick up an ice cream pie for dessert while I drove into town to pick up the sushi for our birthday dinner. We had a wonderful dinner and afterwards Heather opened her presents . . . jewelry from Jed, a cashmere sweater from me, and a chocolate milk maker/milk frother from the boys. Then the Keefe’s from next door joined us for birthday ‘pie’. It was a beautiful day in every way. And as a footnote, I must add that when I went to pick up the sushi, I found myself staring at the first tree I have seen displaying full fall colors.

2018 Life Logs, Day 271—Democracy is Messy

2018 Life Logs, Day 271—Democracy is Messy
Date: Friday, September 28, 2018
Weather: Overcast and Rainy; High 62, Low 53 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

The nature of democracy makes it a messy affair. Our democracy has not been working very well for some time now and somedays it seems hopeless. But in all of that messiness, today I feel like we witnessed one tiny little glimmer of hope. I have been opposed to Judge Kavanaugh from the beginning because of his written opinions on Presidential power. But no matter what side you are on with this Supreme Court nomination and no matter what the reason, I would think that yesterday’s hearings gave you reason to pause and reassess. Nevertheless, this morning, it seemed like it was a done deal. Then democracy kicked in. People protesting in the halls outside the hearing room, two women passionately making their case to a Senator in an open elevator door, a Senator from one party reaching out to his friend across the aisle . . . all of these things that are an integral part of a living, breathing democracy . . . all of these things turned the tide this morning resulting in an reopening of an FBI background check on Brett Kavanaugh. I have no idea if this FBI investigation will change things, but I personally think it was the only respectful way to move forward. So, I celebrate this victory for democracy tonight.

Today, other than being riveted to democracy in action on television all morning and into the afternoon, I had mid-afternoon coffee with friends Karen and Peter Baranowski, and then picked Jonah and Ollie up from school. Heather was headed home from Boston, but sent a text saying that traffic was going to keep her from making it in time to pick up the boys. I was glad to pick them up and stay until she got home. Once Heather reached the Cape, she called again to say that she needed to drive to Woods Hole to take care of something at work. When she did get home, we had a little time to talk as the boys were playing next doors. Heather is out of town for part of next weekend and then all of the following weekend and we were able to discuss the details of childcare needs while she is out of town. We also made birthday plans for this weekend. Heather’s birthday is on Sunday, but since Jed is attending a conference starting Sunday morning, she plans to celebrate tomorrow night after an afternoon of soccer. I offered to pick up sushi for dinner and I look forward to that!

2018 Life Logs, Day 270—Fitfusion, Senate Hearings, Fun with the Goldpebbles

2018 Life Logs, Day 270—Fitfusion, Senate Hearings, Fun with the Goldpebbles
Date: Thursday, September 27, 2018
Weather: Most Sunny and Warm; High 72, Low 56 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

My day was all over the place. I started by going to a class at the gym that is new for me. It is called Fitfusion and is half spin on a stationary bike and half core strengthening. I have to modify the bike spin due to my left knee, but otherwise it was a good class. After the class, I came home and turned on the TV to watch the Senate hearings. I only got to watch Christine Blasey Ford, so I’ll make no comment about the Supreme Court nominee . But one thing is certain. History was played out on our TV screens, phones, and tablets today and it became evident that the divide in our country was deepened further. The reason I didn’t get to watch Kavanaugh was that I had to go pick up Jonah and Ollie at the end of the school day and then spend the rest of the afternoon and evening with the Goldpebbles. Heather and Jed were both at MIT in Cambridge attending the 50th Anniversary of the MIT-WHOI (Massachusetts Institute of Technolology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) Joint Program. Both are graduates of this program and Heather was asked to one of the speakers. Jed said her presentation went well and he was appreciative that I was able to stay with the boys so he could attend. It was soccer practice evening which was made ‘doable’ by other parents who helped out. Sam was picked up at 4:45 and then Ollie and I left at 5:10 to take Jonah to his practice. We stayed and watched 15 minutes of Jonah’s practice and then headed back to Falmouth to pick Sam up. When Sam, Ollie, and I got home, we quickly got dinner on the table and ate as soon as Jonah was delivered home by another parent. The boys had requested pasta for dinner. Sounds simple, but Ollie and Sam like meat sauce on their pasta. Jonah only eats pasta with black olives and parmesan cheese. And I don’t eat pasta! But with all of our different requirements, we had a great dinner and the boys ate voraciously. After the boys went to bed, I made Toll House Squares for Sam to take to school tomorrow. His class has a monthly birthday celebration for kids with birthdays in that month and tomorrow it is Sam’s turn to bring the goodies. My sister Patsy used to make Toll House Squares and send them to me during finals when I was in college. A couple of years ago, I made Toll House Squares for Sam and they have become his requested favorite.

I am now home and watching cable news to catch up on what I missed in the afternoon hearings. Not pretty.