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!

2017 Life Logs, Days 165: 1 of 108 Billion People

2017 Life Logs, Days 165: 1 of 108 Billion People
Date: Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Weather: Temp in the 70’s F, Partly Sunny
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

My day was spent sitting at the dining table on the computer entering family data into Ancestry.com. And as I entered some very interesting people, my sense of history demanded that I Google these folks to assure that my data is correct. I spent my time between 1500 and 500 AD. And then I got curious about just how many people have lived on this earth of ours. Today there are 7.5 billion people on earth, but how many people in total have lived on earth?
The numbers showing the growth rate of humans are very imprecise, but they give you an idea of how we have grown. Some charts start with 2 people in 50,000 BC, grow to 5 million in 8,000 BC, and up to 300 million people who had lived on earth by 1 AD. The growth rate was very slow, but as the number of people increased, so did the growth rate. We broke the 1 billion mark in the 1800’s and some experts state that there are now about 108 billion people who have lived on our planet. So you and I are one of 108 billion very lucky people who have inhabited planet earth, give or take a few million for a margin of error! I don’t know how many generations I went back in my family today, but it wasn’t 500 since there have only been that many generations since the dawn of civilization. It only felt like 500 after hours of entering data. As I cut and paste together generations, it looked like this lining the hallway.

I got my only break today when I headed out to see Sam’s fourth grade band concert. His instrument is the trumpet and he played a duet tonight. He looked so handsome and grown-up and he made it through the duet without any ‘bloopers’. So I call that a very successful evening. Next week he has fourth grade graduation as all Falmouth fourth graders go to a different school for fifth grade. Just yesterday Mark and I flew home from New Zealand for his birth. Where have these years gone?

2017 Life Logs, Days 164: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

2017 Life Logs, Days 164: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
Date: Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Weather: Temp Around 80 degrees F, Bright and Sunny
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

This was what I call a “If you give a mouse a cookie” day. This is the title of a children’s book that I have often mentioned before, but today was classic. If you give a mouse a cookie, he is going to need a glass of milk. And if you give him a glass of milk, he is going to need a napkin to wipe off that milk moustache, and on and on. Each thing you give him requires that you give him something else. I got up this morning, fully intending on spending my entire morning working on the family history project. But when I went to make my green smoothie for breakfast, I discovered I was almost out of almond milk. So I decided to head across the harbor to the market. BUT then I thought that if I was going to go out, I should also go get the oil changed in my car. And if I did that, I might as well go to the bank to deposit some checks. And if I was at the bank, I should stop at Kappy’s on the way home to recycle some bottles. So, you see how my morning went. When I finally got home, I made that smoothie and had a long phone conversation with Mark’s sister and brother-in-law, Mary Ellen and Lee, just catching up on life. Then I launched into a furiously paced session on Ancestry.com entering more family members from the way distant past. Before I knew it, it was time to head to Hyannis to get the tow hitch installed on my car so I can safely cart my new bicycle around. I made it back to Heather and Jed’s in time for dinner and we got to discuss some details about childcare for the summer and our trip to West Virginia next week. It was decided that I will drive with them instead of driving separately. It was a fast paced and very productive day. I didn’t get as much genealogy work done as I had hoped, so tomorrow is dedicated to that project.

2017 Life Logs, Days 163: Beautiful Day on Cuttyhunk Island

2017 Life Logs, Days 163: Beautiful Day on Cuttyhunk Island
Date: Monday, June 12, 2017
Weather: Temp Almost 90 degrees, Bright and Sunny
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Today I went with members of the Falmouth Newcomers Club to visit Cuttyhunk Island. I am exhausted, probably due to the early start and the unexpected hot weather, but it was a beautiful day. Last night when I checked Weather Underground, it said the high on Cuttyhunk would be 63 degrees today. Instead, when I checked Weather Underground tonight, it says the high on Cuttyhunk today was recorded as 90 degrees! It was sunny, hot, and wonderful.

Cuttyhunk is the southern most of the Elizabeth Islands running southwest from Woods Hole. It is about 15 miles from Woods Hole, but there is no ferry from there. So we drove to New Bedford which is to the west of Buzzards Bay and took the ferry from there. There were about 15 retired teachers and 100 students from Old Hammondtown School in Mattapoisett. The Superintendent of Gosnold/Elizabeth Island Schools, Midge Frieswyk, accompanied us. She organized mini-courses for us to attend and a pot luck luncheon with residents of Cuttyhunk. There are only two resident students on Cuttyhunk, Gwen and Carter, who are 6th generation Cuttyhunk residents. Gwen is in 6th grade and Carter in 7th. It was interesting to hear them talk about their experience as the only students on this outpost island. I attended a geology mini-course where geologist, Dave Twichell, explained how Cuttyhunk was formed, and then a saltmarsh exploration with Hillary Sullivan, a Woods Hole Research Center research assistant. Both were great, but the beached and very dead porpoise that I saw going from one course to another was very sad. We had a pot luck lunch in the Town Hall of this sparsely populated island and then had an afternoon Cuttyhunk history course presented by naturalist and very knowledgeable local historian Allie Thurston. I think we all really enjoyed our time with her. We ended our island visit by being treated to ice cream from the local store and then it was back to the ferry for the trip home. The ferry captain went off-course so that we could see the seals lazing on nearby rocky islets. I had never seen seals in the banana (resting) pose, so that was quite a treat. It really was a great day.

Tomorrow I get back to the family history project in the morning and then I drive to Hyannis in the afternoon to get hitch I recently bought installed on my car. Then I can attach my new bike carrier which will allow me to easily take my new bike to the bike path and distant locations for bike rides. I’m looking forward to daily rides with Ollie next week during our first days of Camp Oma 2017.

2017 Life Logs, Days 162: Playing, Writing, Talking the Day Away

2017 Life Logs, Days 162: Writing, Talking the Day Away
Date: Sunday, June 11, 2017
Weather: Temp Around 70 F, but Felt Cooler; Partly Sunny
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

I was up early with the Goldpebbles and we had a fun morning. They got deep into their Lego building and didn’t really want to leave, but I started rounding them up at 10:30 am to take them home to get a few things they needed for their two picnics today. Love having those guys come stay with me. They are looking so grown up.

Heather and Jed got home just before we arrived, and we did the transfer of boys. I then headed home to work on the family history project. I have run out of time, so I did no more research today. I just wrote the story I want to share with the younger member of the family. I’m learning that writing this sort of thing takes a lot more time than expected. I also spent a good deal of time talking and texting to family members about our upcoming gathering. This included a long conversation with my 101 year-old Aunt Ethel. I also had a long conversation with friends Ed and Lynne Kirwin. Ed is doing great and it was so great to talk with them. And that was my day. So I basically wrote and talked my day away. Tomorrow I am off for a tour of Cuttyhunk island with the Newcomers Club. I leave here just after 7 am and don’t return until the end of the day.

Congrats to my niece Candi’s husband Char. This weekend he completed a 130+ mile bike ride to celebrate this 60th birthday!

2017 Life Logs, Days 161: Glorious Day

2017 Life Logs, Days 161: Glorious Day
Date: Saturday, June 10, 2017
Weather: Finally . . . Sunshine and Warmth
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

What a glorious day . . . finally. The weather has not nice to us here recently, but today was just perfect. There was a clear blue sky with lots of sunshine and the temperature probably hit 80. Wow! It was wonderful. I went to my Zumba class, came home and did a little bit of genealogy work, and then headed to Heather and Jed’s. Heather was headed to the Outer Cape to attend the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies Women in Science Banquet. I offered to take the boys for the night so that Jed could go with her. They so seldom get to go out together without the boys and this was the perfect opportunity. They will return tomorrow in time for an 11 am Scout picnic, but at least they had this evening together. Jed and Sam were in Westport for an all-day soccer tournament, but Jed left early so he could be back to head to Provincetown with Heather. I stayed with Ollie and Jonah until Sam got home. Sam was exhausted when friends dropped him off. His team had played three straight games in the sun and for the last game they had no substitutes, so there were no breaks. They won one game, lost one, and tied one. Sam just wanted to lay on the couch, but we finally got him motivated and we all headed to my place . . . with a required stop at the beach on such a beautiful day. I had the beach shovels in my car and all three boys went crazy just digging a deep hole in the sand. Sam dug an incredibly deep hole so he could just lay in the cool, damp sand. Jonah had fun sitting in the life guard’s high seat since life guards will not be on duty until school is out. And after digging holes in the sand, Ollie wandered down to the water and we all followed him. The water was cold on my feet, but Sam took a dip and Ollie and Jonah frolicked along the edges. Then all three boys worked together to build a dam by the water’s edge. Going to the beach was the perfect afternoon activity on our first really warm day.

Heather, Jed, and boys have back to back picnics tomorrow, so once I deliver the boys to the Scout picnic, I’ll come home and do more genealogy work. And maybe I’ll take a mid-afternoon break and go for a short bike ride. But I have only a very few days left to complete the family history project before the family gathering and tomorrow is one of those days. On Monday I am making an all-day trip to Cuttyhunk island with a Newcomers Club group and Friday afternoon I think Sam Weigel, Windbird’s captain, is going to come visit. He has a flying stint in and out of Boston to London and has a layover from Friday noon to Saturday evening. If things work out, he is going to come down and stay over on Friday night. On Saturday morning we might head back to Boston to see the Parade of Tall Ships. And I think Jed’s mom is coming to visit next weekend, so hopefully I’ll get to see her on Sunday. Then on Monday, Camp Oma for Summer 2017 begins with Ollie and on Thursday we all head to West Virginia. As you can see, I really have very little time left to complete the family history project. So, regardless of the beautiful day tomorrow, I must put my nose to the grindstone. Thankfully I really love doing the research.

2017 Life Logs, Days 160: Ollie’s Preschool Graduation

2017 Life Logs, Days 160: Ollie’s Preschool Graduation
Date: Friday, June 9, 2017
Weather: Mixed Day—Clouds, Sun, Drenching Rain; High Temp 70ish F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

This evening, an entrepreneur named Sylvester McMonkey McBean graduated from the Woods Hole Daycare Cooperative. Well, actually it was Ollie that graduated from preschool, but during the entertainment portion of the ceremony, the children acted out the Dr. Seuss story of “The Sneeches.” In this story, the Sneeches are a group of yellow creatures. If you are not familiar with the story, some of the Sneeches have a green star on their bellies and some do not. The ones with stars think they are superior to those without stars and Sylvester McMonkey McBean, who calls himself Fix-It-Up Chappie, takes advantage of this situation. He offers a Star-On machine for only three dollars per person. Now everyone now a star, but the ones who originally had a star fear they are losing their special status. So McBean offers them a Star-Off machine for only $10 per person. Then he offers everyone the Star-Off machine and the Star-On machine and the Sneeches find themselves running from one machine to the other so they can all be alike . . . until they run completely out of money. McBean leaves the poor Sneeches as a rich man. Obviously, Dr. Seuss intended this as a satire of discrimination and hopefully the little ones performing the story this evening learned that whether you have a plain belly or a star-belly, not one is better than the other. Everyone, no matter what their differences, should be able to get along and be friends. And this is what they teach every day at the Woods Hole Daycare Cooperative. They really don’t stress academics. Instead, they teach little ones how to be kind to one another by treating everyone the way they would like to be treated. And they do a wonderful job of preparing their graduates to enter kindergarten knowing exactly how they should act in school. I applaud their mission.

05 Ollie and Granddad

00 Ollie Proudly Displays His Certificate AFTER the Program


There has been a Goldstone at the preschool for the past eight years, but now we move on. Ollie looked so grown up this evening when Ms. Becky handed him his certificate, but I can remember the fall of 2013 when Mark walked him to the van so he could go to the Woods Hole Daycare Center for the very first time. Special moments.

2017 Life Logs, Days 159: A Visit to Quissett Harbor and More

2017 Life Logs, Days 159: A Visit to Quissett Harbor and More
Date: Thursday, June 8, 2017
Weather: Mostly Sunny AM, Partly Cloudy PM, Still Cool
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Despite the continued coolish weather, there was a little sunshine this morning for my visit to Quissett Harbor. This is the harbor where Mark I lived aboard Windbird for three summers. I have only been back there twice since Mark died. That made it one of those happy-sad times. Today’s visit was the longest of my visits as I was attending a two-hour photo shoot with the Falmouth Newcomer’s Shutterfly group. I have now joined the Newcomers Club and the photo shoot was my first official club activity. The leader of the group is a professional photographer and I thought it would be interesting to learn more about the art of taking ‘perfect’ photos. Today we focused on the positives of using a tripod and certain lens filters. I refused to use a tripod because I know I’ll never take the time to use one even though I know they can be helpful in stabilizing the camera. I have a UV filter and a polarizing filter, but I stopped using them about a year after I bought them in Singapore. I just found it too much trouble to put them on and take them off depending on the situation, but I will dig them out and try them again. I don’t think I got any award winning photos today, but it was fun to try.

I came home to work on the family history project and eat lunch. I ate lunch, but I ended up watching the Comey hearing and not getting much genealogy work done. Then I headed out to meet Lynda, the friend from the gym who is a member of Newcomers Club and leads a biking group. She was at the photo shoot and invited me to come biking. Since I didn’t go to the gym this morning, I took her up on the offer. There was only one other woman who came today and we rode our bikes on the bike path from downtown Falmouth to Woods Hole. It is a 4-mile trek, so 8 miles round trip. At one point, Lynda checked her speedometer and we were riding between 8 and 10 miles per hour. Since I haven’t ridden a bike for any distance since the 1980’s, I felt good that I made it successfully. Lynda and the other woman rode on when we got back to our starting point, but I decided to call the ride a win and try a longer distance at a slower pace the next time. I feel like I should build up stamina slowly and not push it too hard.

It was an active day. I came home from the biking and launched back into the family history project. I’m making a little progress each day, but it is slow, slow work. Even so, I love it and will continue tomorrow morning. Unfortunately for Sam and Jonah, tomorrow is supposed to be rainy. They were supposed to have their annual school field day tomorrow. It has been postponed until Friday, June 23, and they won’t get to attend as we will be in West Virginia. I know they are disappointed, especially Sam since this is his last year in that school. Hopefully we’ll have enough fun in West Virginia to make up for missing field day and the last day of school.

All that is on my schedule tomorrow is more family history work and attending Ollie’s preschool graduation tomorrow evening. Can’t believe that little one is going to be in kindergarten next year.

2017 Life Logs, Days 158: A Little Break in the Weather

2017 Life Logs, Days 158: A Little Break in the Weather
Date: Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Weather: Partly Sunny, Still Cool
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

There was a little break in the weather today with a hint of sunshine, but it is still cool. I have on a sweat shirt and wool socks and it is only 14 days until the official beginning of summer. Already people are talking about the hope that we will have a long, warm fall to make up for this cool start to the summer. The forecast looks like we might have sunny weather in the low 70’s starting on Saturday. That’s cause for celebration! Let’s just hope that forecast holds.

I started my day at the gym at a Tabata class. This is a high-intensity training style that was developed by a Japanese professor to train Olympic speed skaters. Well, I’m never going to be an Olympic speed skater and I might not survive another Tabata class. Each set of exercises is timed and fast-paced. It goes something like this . . . jumping jacks to fast feet for 3 minutes . . . jump squats 30 times, lateral lunge to knee 30 times each leg, mountain climber to single leg push-up 30 times each sdie, skater to curtsy lunge 30 times each leg . . . you get the idea. I’m absolutely amazed that I can survive this class. Admittedly, I was exhausted when I left the gym, but the energy comes back quickly. But by the time I came home, took a shower and got ready for my day, it was after 11 o’clock. I dove into the genealogy work, entering data into Ancestry.com, but it was just not working. I then noticed a pop-up message saying they were doing maintenance on the website, so I switched gears and wrote emails to the young woman coordinating our family gathering in a couple of weeks and to the caterer. I then had lunch and dove back into the genealogy work. It makes me feel like a monk transcribing books prior to the advent of the printing press. But I got the information I have about my father’s side of the family entered today . . . inch by inch. Tomorrow I have to stop entering information and start writing the story I want to share with the younger members of my family at our gathering. I know those stories have to short to keep their attention and that’s a challenge.

Tomorrow morning I am joining a photography group called Shutterbugs at 8 am. This group is sponsored by the Falmouth Newcombers Club that I am going to join in the fall. So even though I am not a member yet, this class starts tomorrow and I want to be in on it from the beginning. I have taken thousands of photographs, but I have never had any formal training. I’m looking forward to learning from a professional photographer. After the class, I’ll return to the monastery to continue my genealogy work.

2017 Life Logs, Days 17: Details, Details

2017 Life Logs, Day 157: Details, Details
Date: Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Weather: Overcast and Cool, Now Raining
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Today was spent dealing with details for the upcoming family gathering in southern West Virginia the last weekend of this month. Because we are gathering in a remote location without restaurants and have a busy schedule that precludes cooking for a group of 40, most meals are being catered by a local woman. So my focus today was details, details. I needed to figure out each family group’s costs and send that out to the ones who will pay the bill. I got that job done and then picked Sam and Jonah up after school. Tonight I am getting ready to take part in the first class in an online course called, “Plant-powered and Thriving.” This is offered by the Food Revolution Network and I am interested in what they have to say about a plant-based diet. I seem to be going more and more in that direction and this course will go into some of the most current research into this topic.

The weather today was overcast and very cool, and now it is raining . . . again. It is going to be summer soon and we haven’t had spring yet. I’m very anxiously awaiting warm, sunny days.

2017 Life Logs, Days 156: Lost in the World of Genealogy

2017 Life Logs, Days 156: Lost in the World of Genealogy
Date: Monday, June 5, 2017
Weather: Overcast and Misty
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Today I traveled back in time to the 1300’s to Scotland. My mother’s Grandpa Jim married a woman named Sarah Catherine McGhee. It so happens that her lineage led me to Gregor of the Golden Bridles, first chief of the Clan Gregor and son or brother of Kenneth MacAlpine who was the first King of Scotland. It so happens that Clan Gregor is a Highland Scottish Clan dating back to the early 800’s and they were among the first family to begin playing the bagpipes—but not until the 17th century. A person (me in particular) could get completely lost in the world of genealogy.

The weather today was miserable. It was cool and misty and overcast here on the harbor all day. I went out early for a class at the gym, but basically spent the remainder of my day sitting behind this computer working on the family history project. Rain is forecast for tomorrow, so I’ll probably be right here again all day tomorrow.