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 134: Happy Mother’s Day

2017 Life Logs, Days 134: Happy Mother’s Day
Date: Sunday, May 14, 2017
Weather: Overcast and Rainy; High 52 degrees F, Low 46
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Happy Mother’s Day to all of my favorite mothers, especially to Heather and Jo, the mothers of my precious grandchildren. This Mother’s Day was lovely inside, but outside it could only be characterized as foul. It was overcast and rainy all day, and even though the high temperature was 52 degrees F, it felt much colder. It was the kind of day that gives foul weather gear its name. We can only hope that the forecast for warmer weather as the week progresses proves to be true. I’m definitely looking forward to that. But enough negativity about the weather and on to the brighter parts of the day. I was invited to Heather and Jed’s for breakfast. When I arrived Jed was putting the new kitchen stove to test. He was baking homemade English muffins on the griddle in the middle of the stove, steaming asparagus straight from the garden on one burner, boiling water for poaching eggs on another, and Sam was warming the “holiday” sauce he had made earlier on yet another burner. Actually, it was Hollandaise sauce, but Ollie is convinced that it is “holiday” sauce and we like that name much better! Jonah was washing fresh organic strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, and Ollie was cutting off the strawberry leaves. All three boys and Heather had made a huge Happy Mother’s Day card for me which served as a runner down the length of the dining table. Before I got a photo of it, Sam took it off the table and rolled it up for me, because he didn’t want it to get breakfast food on it. But when I got home, I rolled it out and pinned it to the wall so I could enjoy it for a few more days . . . and I got a photo of it. Breakfast was as delicious as it looked, so thank you Goldstones for a beautiful start to the day. After breakfast, Heather launched into a ‘clean up the playroom’ frenzy, so I helped with that while Jed reorganized under-the-sink areas in the kitchen and bathroom. Around lunchtime, Justin, Jo, Ziggy, and Coco called from sunny Puerto Rico to wish me a Happy Mother’s Day and we got on Skype video so I could see Ziggy and Coco riding their bikes in the bright sunshine. It was so hot there that they had closed the house up and turned on air conditioning. So not fair! We need some of that heat up this way. But it was great talking to them even if I was just a tad jealous of their weather. Heather had plans for planting deck hummingbird flower gardens, but the weather here was just not conducive. We’ll have to wait until some of the that heat from Puerto Rico filters up this way to do that job. I came home mid-afternoon and had a quiet evening alone. I spent a couple of hours editing and naming photos from the Bahamas. I was working backwards and only made it to the Abacos, so hopefully I can finish that job tomorrow.

2017 Life Logs, Days 133: Spring Cleaning with the Grandkids

2017 Life Logs, Days 133: Spring Cleaning with the Grandkids
Date: Saturday, May 13, 2017
Weather: Overcast; High 57 degrees F, Low 46
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

This morning we got an early start around here. Sam gets up around 6 am and plays quietly until Jonah and Ollie get up around 7 am. By that time, we were all up and the boys played with Legos while I got breakfast ready. Then Jonah had to leave to go to a soccer game. Ollie has been leaving his little John Deere tractor here, and I went out with him while he rode it around the boatyard next door. Sam continued to play with Legos. But when we got home, Ollie decided he wanted to give his tractor a scrub down. Sam decided to join in and somehow that led to me taking things out on the deck that needed to be cleaned. The next thing I knew they were washing down the sliding glass doors. Those glass sliders really needed to cleaned, so I let them wash them down with soapy water and then I took them buckets of rinse water with a little white vinegar in them and let them throw the buckets of water on the sliders. They loved that. Then I gave them the squeegees to wipe down the glass sliders. By the end of the morning, I had clean windows, a clean deck, and a number of items scrubbed down. Fantastic! By this time I had heard from Heather that she was already exhausted trying to remove layers of plywood sub-flooring in the their upstairs bathroom. We headed there and helped with that demolition project. So we got lots of good work done today before the Goldstones headed out to an afternoon party. I came home and watched all six episodes of a PBS mini-series called Wolf Hall. This is about the reign of Henry the VIII. And since I am reading a historical novel about the same time period, I really enjoyed watching it. But because of that, it is later than it should be and I need to close down for the night.

2017 Life Logs, Days 132: Goldpebble Overnight

2017 Life Logs, Days 132: Goldpebble Overnight
Date: Friday, May 12, 2017
Weather: More Sun, More Clouds; High 51 degrees F, Low 42
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

It was a bit of a disjointed day, but a good one. I started the day by meeting the realtor at a house that looked interesting when I was searching online. The address was Journey’s End Road, and indeed, it is on a dirt road that matches the street name. I loved the almost one acre fenced lot and instantly dreamed up all sorts of ways to use the land, and the house was nice, bigger than I need and in need of some minor renovations, but the kitchen was the deal breaker. It was just too tiny. I don’t think I’d ever be happy with a kitchen that small and I could see no way to expand it. The property still intrigues me, but this is probably not “the right one” for me. When I got home, it was time for a scheduled call with Creekside Resort in southern West Virginia where we are having the Martin family gathering in June. I worked through more of the details with the young woman there ! promised her a final count on the number of people and our food plan sometime next week. After the call, it was time for lunch and then out to do some food shopping. Yesterday I invited the Goldpebbles over for dinner and an overnight. I hadn’t heard whether or not they were coming, but I figured it was best to be prepared. Time flies, so by the time I got back from the store, it was time to go pick up Ollie at school and then to Heather and Jed’s to pick up Sam and Jonah. Actually, Jonah didn’t decide to come until the very last minute, and I was so glad he made that decision. He has to leave at 8:30 in the morning for a soccer game that is about an hour from here and had thought he would just prefer to stay at home. But he came and we all had a relaxed, fun time. And I’m really hoping Heather and Jed had a relaxed, fun evening. The boys are in bed now and I’m headed that way very soon.

Once every few days, I check on various friends and family on Facebook to see what’s happening in their lives. Tonight, I went to my daughter-in-law Jo’s page and what I read made my day. Jo wrote: “Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I’m imagining I am the only person in my circle who came home from the beach today to find her horse in the living room eating her beloved house plants!!!” Too funny. Jo is the mother of those two beautiful grandchildren of mine, but also to a host of other mammals—dogs, cats, rabbits, and a horse, of course. Happy Mother’s Day, Jo!

2017 Life Logs, Days 131: Out of Focus

2017 Life Logs, Days 131: Out of Focus
Date: Thursday, May 11, 2017
Weather: More Sun, More Clouds; High 55 degrees F, Low 44
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Today I felt just a little out of focus . . . many things to do but no way to know what to tackle first. So I punted. Instead of doing anything, I spent most of my day driving north off the Cape returning things I had bought before leaving for the Bahamas that either didn’t fit or were just the wrong thing. I had this whirlwind shopping trip before leaving and even though most things were just perfect, but there were a few things that needed to be returned. So now that is done. And I got back to Falmouth just in time to go pick up Ollie for our second day of after-school adventures. I thought we were headed back to the bike path, but we ended up going to my place where Ollie wanted to play on the dock, ride his little John Deere tractor on the desk, and ride his bike through the boatyard next door. We also dug out the kinetic sand that has been in hiding all winter and played with that. Tomorrow morning I meet with a realtor to look at a couple of houses and then come home to work on final plans for the June gathering of my family. The Goldpebbles might be coming to dinner and to spend the night, so I will need to gear up for that. And then it is the weekend.

2017 Life Logs, Days 130: Out and About

2017 Life Logs, Days 130: Out and About
Date: Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Weather: Partly Cloudy; High 57 degrees F, Low 43
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Today I was out and about. I left home at 8 am so I could get to Hyannis. I had a 9 am appointment at Hyannis Honda to get a new passenger seat air bag replaced as per a recall. While I was waiting for the work to be done, a young woman came out to the waiting area to tell me that May is the month for my state car inspection and asking if I would like to have that done. Sure. And thankfully there were no problems. By 10:30 am I was headed back to Falmouth and on the way, I did a drive by of a few homes that are for sale that looked of interest in my online search yesterday. By 12:30 pm, I was at the Congregational Church in downtown Falmouth for a presentation on life in India by my good friend Olivia White. Olivia invited Jane Woodin and I to attend this presentation being made to a woman’s group from the church. One of things they had expressed interest in was the saris that Olivia wears. So, the presentation began with a demonstration on how to properly wrap a sari. Olivia shared that saris are 6 yards long and 45 inches wide and then she had a woman from the audience come up so she could show how to turn this long length of material into a beautiful dress. She pointed out that she still has saris from when she was a teenager. No matter what your size, you can always wrap the sari to fit. You can gain weight and lose weight and still wear the same sari. I had the privilege of being called up to be wrapped in Olivia’s mother’s sari. In addition to the fantastic sari demonstration, Olivia shared how she came to this country in 1962, went to seminary school in Texas, and then continued on to get her PhD in science. She taught genetics for 20 years at the University of North Texas (at least I think I have the school right) while continuing to serve the church. And after she retired from teaching, she spent full time serving the church for a few years in voluntary positions before moving to Cape Cod in 2011. Her PowerPoint presentation included photos of Christian churches, Hindu temples, and Muslim mosques in India. I could have listened for the entire afternoon, but there was a time limit on the presentation, and we had to move on. Thankfully, Olivia is my good friend and I can hear more from her at a later time. But her presentation today was wonderful and I am so glad I was invited to attend. And it was great to see Olivia and Jane for the first time in weeks.

At 4 pm I picked Ollie up from preschool, not because I needed to, but because he asked his mom if I would pick him up and take him biking. I was more than happy to do this and we had such a wonderful time. The partly cloudy day became very sunny for the hour or so we were out biking and that made it all the more enjoyable. When I picked Ollie up in Woods Hole, he had Woofster Jr with him. This is a stuffed puppy whose daddy, Woofster Sr, was at home. Ollie explained that Woofster Jr wanted to go biking with him, so off we went. Woofster Jr was a very lucky puppy this afternoon. He got to see osprey, swans with their goslings, flying ducks, Canadian geese, and red-winged blackbirds. Plus, he even got to ride on the bike with Ollie, stuffed into his overalls. We went to the Shining Sea Bike Path where I walked while Ollie rode. He wanted to ride to the bridge across Trunk River. By mistake, I called it the Turkey River and that got a huge chuckle out of Ollie. He just said, “Oma, you are so funny.” Not really. I just forgot the name of the little river leading out into the Vineyard Sound. On the way home, we stopped by my place to drop off the rocks that had been collected on the bike ride. When I delivered Ollie home, I got the bike out of the back of my car, but Ollie said to put it back in because he wants to ride again tomorrow after school. That’s fine by me, so we have another biking date tomorrow at 4 pm.

Windbird Alert. At 9:34 pm I got a Spotify report from Windbird indicating that she was at the inlet at Little River, South Carolina. Sam and Dawn left Fort Pierce on Monday morning, and since tonight is the full moon, I thought maybe they decided they would have enough light to enter the inlet and make it to the marina. But I just got a text saying they are at anchor inside the inlet. They made 411 nautical miles in 60 hours for an average of 6.9 knots average. They said they had an incredible ride in the Gulf Stream with a high speed of 11.3 knots over ground with the chute up. Way to go, Sam and Dawn!

2017 Life Logs, Days 129: Stuck Behind My Computer Screen

2017 Life Logs, Days 129: Stuck Behind My Computer Screen
Date: Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Weather: Partly Cloudy; High 53 degrees F, Low 43
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

I didn’t even stick my head out the front door today. I was completely stuck behind my computer screen for the entire day—except for running to the oven to deal with the granola I was baking. On the computer, I was searching for possible homes to buy and working on the gathering of my family in West Virginia in June. And that just about sums up my day. The only thing I can add that is Windbird left Fort Pierce yesterday headed for Little River in South Carolina. They are making great time and should arrive there by Thursday morning if the weather holds.

2017 Life Logs, Days 128: Taking Care of Business

2017 Life Logs, Days 128: Taking Care of Business
Date: Monday, May 8, 2017
Weather: Partly Cloudy, Windy; High 59 degrees F, Low 43
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Out of the last 97 days, since the first of February, I have actually been away from home one more day than I’ve been home—48 home and 49 away. And two of the weeks that I was home in March I was down and out with a terrible cold/sinus infection. So, it’s no wonder that I returned home from the Bahamas to a pile of papers that had piled up and needed to be gone through, filed, or thrown out. So that was my day today. I spent my time taking care of business. Going through the pile of papers and files reminded me that I still have lots of organizing to do for the Martin family gathering in June. In preparation for that gathering, I spent a great deal of time on family history research in March and April and I need to get back to that. Before leaving for the Bahamas, I was also trying to decide whether to stay in my present apartment for the next year or buy a home. It didn’t help that today the landlord payed me a visit and wanted me to sign a lease for the next year a month and a half early. He said everyone else in the complex is on a May 1 to May 1 contract and it would make him easier on him if I were on the same cycle. I told him I’d think about it and he left the papers to be signed. So now I have move quickly on that front. And then there are the eight days of Food Revolution interviews that I missed while I was gone. This is an internet-based annual ‘conference’ of sorts where experts on eating right to stay healthy speak for three hours each day. I listened to the Day 9 summary today, but now I need to find time to listen to the other 24 hours of interviews. The pile of papers is gone, but there’s still plenty to do. But I am taking time to get back into my classes at the gym. Today the class was 20-20-20. It was the instructor’s 40th birthday and she was bemoaning the fact that she is half way to 80. She has four decades to go while I have only one. Ouch!

2017 Life Logs, Days 127: Sunday is a Friends and Family Day

2017 Life Logs, Days 127: Sunday is a Friends and Family Day
Date: Sunday, May 7, 2017
Weather: Sunny AM, Mostly Cloudy PM with Sprinkles; High 57 degrees F, Low 43
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

After spending my morning at home trying to get my life in order after being gone for two and half weeks, I headed out to Sam’s soccer game at noon. Sam got home this morning from his two-night Scout camping experience and then had to turn right around and get ready for the soccer game. It was a good game that ended with neither team scoring, but both teams played well. Jed co-coaches the team with a good friend, but Jed was on his own today and at the end of the game he was so proud of how well the boys played. I spent part of the time watching the game and part of the time shooting goals with Ollie. And then we headed back to Heather and Jed’s to attend a celebration next door. Mollie, “the girl next door” who is Jonah’s age, had her First Communion this morning and good friends and family were invited to the Keefe’s this afternoon. Mollie was a very proud eight year-old wearing a modified version of her mother’s First Communion dress. Mollie’s grandmother added a new skirt to the dress since Mollie is taller than her mother was at this age. Heather and Jed had to eat and run as they were headed to Hyannis to buy a new kitchen stove at Sears. They have had issues with their stove for the last couple of years, but this past week their oven just completely stopped working. So, it was an absolutely necessary and successful trip. A new stove will be delivered on Tuesday. But while they went shopping, I stayed at the Keefe’s with the Ollie, Jonah, and Sam. All of the boys in attendance interchanged playing baseball in the backyard with watching a Red Sox’s game in the livingroom. Ollie was the youngest and eventually he talked me into going next door to his backyard to be pitcher for him without the competition of the older boys. Then Sam and Jonah continued to stay at the Keefe’s while I went with Ollie to a nearby side street where he likes to ride his bike. Eventually Mollie joined us for biking and announced that the boys had gone to Heather and Jed’s to play and that her mom had put Sam in charge. At that point, I decided that we needed to go home to check on things, but all was well and we returned to biking for just a bit longer. It was a delightful afternoon. After Heather and Jed got home, I headed back to my place for the evening. Right now I’m getting ready to listen to President Obama’s acceptance speech of the John F. Kennedy Profiles in Courage Award. He is at this moment accepting the award, so I’ll sign off and listen.

2017 Life Logs, Days 126: Hanging Out with Ollie and Jonah

2017 Life Logs, Days 126: Hanging Out with Ollie and Jonah
Date: Saturday, May 6, 2017
Weather: Rainy Morning, Some Sunshine Late Afternoon; High 65 degrees F, Low 50
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

My afternoon was spent with Ollie and Jonah. Just after noon, Heather headed to Boston to the Massachusetts State Science & Engineering Fair and Jed was still at the Scout camp-out with Sam. We spent the rainy part of the early afternoon playing indoors, but mid-afternoon it cleared and the sun came out. At that point, everyone wanted to be outside, so we spent the next hour riding bikes around the neighborhood with friends. I’m exhausted tonight because I don’t have a bike, so I was walking as fast as I could to make sure Ollie was safe riding with the older kids. The walking is good for me, but I think I need to buy a bike for the summer. Ollie can ride as fast as the big kids now, and I just can’t keep up. When we got close to the neighborhood ice cream shop, Smitty’s, Jonah suggested we all go get ice cream. Everyone agreed, but that meant I had to walk home to get money. Ollie rode along with me and when we returned I went to Smitty’s with five kids. After we all enjoyed an ice cream cone, the kids headed across the street to the library lawn which is on a pond. I sat and talked with a friend of Heather’s and the mother of two of the bike riders while the kids played. There were trees in blossom on the library lawn which made it look very much like spring even though the weather has not seemed much like that. But signs of spring always make a smile. All too soon, it was time to head back to Heather and Jed’s to get the car and drive to my house. Jed and I had been texting back and forth and had decided to meet at my place for dinner. Jed actually got home (Sam returns in the morning) just as we were leaving. We had raided the refrigerator for pizza toppings and Jed was going to stop to pick up pizza dough on the way. We watched the Kentucky Derby and ate homemade pizza. While we were eating, Heather joined us as she had just returned from Boston. After dinner while the adults talked, Jonah and Ollie found my snorkel gear that has not been put away and came swimming down the hallway floor on their bellies in full snorkel gear. I loved it! But I must admit it made me nostalgic for the warm, turquoise water of the Bahamas.

2017 Life Logs, Days 125: Back Home on Cape Cod

2017 Life Logs, Days 125: Back Home on Cape Cod
Date: Friday, May 5, 2017
Weather: Ouch! Overcast, Heavy Rain, and Cool, Temp in the 50’s F
Location: Back Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Yes, I’m definitely aware that I’m back home on the Cape and no longer in the Bahamas. I got off the plane in Boston wearing my summer slip-on shoes, light weight Columbia capris and a tank top with a short sleeve top over it. These were the warmest clothes I had with me, so thankfully I had also taken a polar fleece jacket because the temp in Boston when we landed was 47 degrees F. Ouch, ouch, ouch! Today went much smoother than yesterday. Brad and Sue got up with me at 5 am and they both took me to the West Palm Beach Airport. They were a real life saver for me yesterday. Brad and Sue, thank you, thank you! My flight was at 7:15 am. I boarded the plane and sat back to relax . . . until we took off. It was the bumpiest take-off I’ve ever encountered, but the decent into Baltimore was even bumpier. In fact, it was the first time I have ever been just a tad scared on a flight. So I was very happy that the Baltimore to Boston leg of the trip was a bit smoother, but the weather in both Baltimore and Boston was overcast, cold, and rainy. Yuck! My bag had been sent to Boston on the Delta flight that I couldn’t get on yesterday, but as promised, it was waiting in the Baggage Storage Office. I had to wait 45 minutes for the bus to the Cape and was relieved when I arrived at the Park & Ride and saw my car. You never know when you leave your car in a lot for a couple of weeks if it will still all be in one piece, but it was fine. I stopped to see the Goldpebbles before returning home. I sure have missed those little guys, but I don’t think I’m going to be able to call them ‘little’ guys much longer. Sam and Jed were getting ready to leave for a Scout camping weekend and Sam was wearing Heather’s hiking boots. And they fit! He’s not so little anymore. I didn’t stay long as I was anxious to get home, turn the heat up, and just kick back for a bit. I will spend most of tomorrow with Jonah and Ollie as Heather has to go to Boston to moderate the State Science Fair, so I’ll be with them until Jed gets home from the camp-out.

A few days ago I wrote this really comprehensive day by day overview of my Bahamas adventure on Windbird. But I have no idea where I saved it, if I did save it. So I’m going to post here a few photos that show the highlights of the seventeen days on Windbird in the Bahamas. We made tracks in that short period of time.

Arrival in Georgetown . . . Reuniting with Windbird . . . Meeting Piper the Sailing Dog . . . Happy Hour with Cruising Friends Rick and Robyn of Endangered Species . . . Dinner at the Chat ‘n Chill

Snorkeling Stocking Island . . . Monument Beach . . . Dawn’s Tacos in a Bag

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Warderick Wells South Anchorage with Isabelle and Dan on Epiic . . . Nassau Groupers . . . Hawksbill Turtle . . . Massive Lobster . . . Spotted Eagle Ray

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Beautiful Hog Cay Anchorage . . . Wild Dinghy Ride to Malabar Cays . . . Queen Angelfish and Triggerfish . . . Dawn’s No-Knead Bread

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Spinnaker Sail to Rock Sound, Eleuthera . . . Meeting Behan and Jamie on Totem . . . Dinner at Rose’s . . . Snorkeling The Ocean Hole . . . Glass Window Bridge . . . Queen’s Bath . . . Cave at Hatchett Bay . . . Governor’s Harbor . . . Searching for a Pink Sand Beach . . . Meeting the Kids on Totem

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Overnight Sail to Abaco . . . Great Guana Cay . . . Drinks at Grabber’s and Dinner at Nipper’s

Beautiful Hopetown . . . Candy-Striped Lighthouse . . . Quaint Village . . . Pink Sand Beach . . . Drinks at Reef Bar & Grill, Hope Town Harbor Lodge

More Spinnaker Sailing from Marsh Harbor to Allans-Pensacola Cay . . . Last Dose of Beautiful Water . . . Sunset on the Little Bahama Banks

Just Hanging Out on Windbird . . . Thank you, Sam and Dawn