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 102—Costco Trip and Newcomers Meeting

2018 Life Logs, Day 102—Costco Trip and Newcomers Meeting
Date: Thursday, April 12, 2018
Weather: Partly Sunny; High Temp 50, Low 46 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

My day involved a trip to Costco which a full hour north of here. So between driving and shopping, that took most of the day. I needed certain vitamin supplements that I buy there, and the price at which I can buy them there justifies the trip. So off I went. And since Home Depot is right next to Costco, I also did a little shopping there. Then this evening I went to a Newcomers monthly meeting. The speaker tonight was an entomologist, Larry Dapsis, from the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension office. The topic was tick-borne diseases and how best to prevent them. The presentation was excellent. The presenter was knowledgeable and presented the facts with humor which made a grim topic most enjoyable. The number of tick-borne illnesses in New England is extremely high and the consequences can be devastating. The most common tick-borne diseases in Massachusetts are Lyme disease, Babesiosis, and Anaplasmosis. And then there are others that are rare, but still occur. Prevention seems to require the use of an insecticide called Permethrin. I’m not a big fan of using insecticides, but in this case, it seems like the only sensible course of action. Lots to think about and research, but while I’m doing that, I want to send a big thank to the Newcomers Programming Vice-Presidents, Jane Murphy and Jane Woodin, for bringing such an important topic before the group.

2018 Life Logs, Day 101—A Day of Sunshine

2018 Life Logs, Day 101—A Day of Sunshine
Date: Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Weather: Sunny and a Teency Bit Warmer; High Temp 43, Low 34 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Today was a sunny day from start to finish, but it was only a teency, weency bit warmer. Tomorrow should be a little bit warmer and Friday even better, but then we start going back down again. But little by little, it will feel like spring at some point.

I spent time today planting garden seeds in indoor seed trays. The hope is to get a headstart by planting small plants, not seeds, in the garden once the weather is warmer. Then I picked Jonah and Ollie up from school and we all went to soccer practice. Sam and Jonah had practice and Ollie took his bike, as well as his soccer gear, to play on his own. He rode his bike on the half-mile track around the soccer fields with Heather running along with him. Then he switched to kicking around a soccer ball. After Sam and Jonah’s practice sessions were over, we all headed Seafood Sam’s. This is a Falmouth restaurant that was doing a fund-raiser for Sam’s school tonight. The food was standard ‘fish and chips’ with a few healthier options. But it was interesting that Sam noticed that the food was served on Styrofoam plates that he knows are not good for people or for the environment. I suggested he write a proposal to the state legislature to have them write a law banning Styrofoam. Jed had an even better suggestion. He told Sam he could take his proposal to the local government as part of a Scout badge project. There are towns in Massachusetts that have banned the use of Styrofoam products and Sam could bring this forward in Falmouth. I’m all in for that project. Go, Sam!

2018 Life Logs, Day 100—Gardening Amid Snow Flurries

2018 Life Logs, Day 100—Gardening Amid Snow Flurries
Date: Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Weather: Partly Cloudy with Snow Flurries; High Temp 40, Low 30 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

I’ve done a lot of things, but I don’t think I have ever planted seeds in a garden with snow flurries in the air. But I did that today. After Tai Chi, I went to Heather’s to do some planting and did it with snow flurries falling. Then I came home and prepared seed trays to do more planting indoors. We are moving forward, despite the cool spring. I got a text this afternoon from friend Jane Woodin inviting me to go to a movie with her tonight. So, I finished up my seed tray prep, went to the gym for a Kick Boxing class, and then headed to Mashpee to meet Jane at the movie theater. It was fun to have a night out with Jane.

2018 Life Logs, Day 99—Never Have I Ever

2018 Life Logs, Day 99—Never Have I Ever
Date: Monday, April 9, 2018
Weather: Mostly Sunny, but Still Chilly; High Temp 41, Low 32 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

There was sunshine today, but it was still chilly and windy. Does not feel like spring! I went to the gym and then spend a few hours with a realtor looking at homes for sale. There are some interesting things out there, but each possibility has some major drawback. So, I think I am going to end my search and either stay put or move to the cottage. I’m waiting to hear specifics from the cottage owner before I make the final decision. Stay tuned.

I rushed home to have a late lunch. While I was eating lunch, I checked in on Facebook and saw that Jo had posted a beautiful picture of Justin, Ziggy, and Coco messing about in a canoe as part of Ziggy’s birthday celebration. That was one post and then there was a post with a list of “Never Have I Ever” farmy-type experiences. My response was, “Oh, yes I have.” I read the list and realized I had done almost all of the 26 things listed. How come other people responding had only done one or two? I smiled and realized that not only am I much older than other respondents, I have lived one interesting life. That was all Mark’s ‘fault’. I would never have done any of those things had I not met him. But I enjoyed it all . . . with the exception of the broken egg in my pocket (one of the items on the list). As I wrote in a post on Facebook, it was winter in Minnesota. I walked to the barn to do the chores and put the only egg of the day in my jean’s pocket as my hands were carrying water buckets. When I got back to the house, I forgot about the egg and sat down. Not pleasant! Here’s the list. How many of these things have you done?

I also got a text message from Jo with photos of Ziggy and Coco opening Ziggy’s birthday presents from me and Coco opening her little sister present. I ordered the things on Amazon and they did arrive on Friday, but the post office in Rincon was behind on sorting and they couldn’t pick the presents up until today. Then I headed to Heather’s to check in on the gardening situation. Heather got lots of things planted yesterday, but there a few more things for me to plant tomorrow. Plus there are seeds that we need to start inside. Now that I have my marching orders, I’ll hope to get things planted tomorrow. Last week I planted cilantro and parsley inside in the big pots that I put on the deck. Both have sprouted and I included seven bean seeds that Jonah foraged from the garden. In one week, these beans are about a foot tall. I think we will have a new story to tell . . . Jonah and the Beanstalk. Today, he found a few more seeds so we will plant them and see what happens. And cold as it felt to me, Jonah and Ollie have decided that it is spring and time to play baseball. Ollie has taken over Jonah’s catcher gear and they are having a great time playing baseball in the backyard. This is a sign of spring.

2018 Life Logs, Day 98—Dinner at Bleu with Woodins

2018 Life Logs, Day 98—Dinner at Bleu with Woodins
Date: Sunday, April 8, 2018
Weather: Cloudy AM, Some Sun Late PM; High Temp 41, Low 28 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

I had dinner tonight at a French restaurant called Bleu with Bruce and Jane Woodin. They took me out to dinner to thank me for watering their plants while they were out of town this winter. I must say, it was a very special treat for doing very little work. The reviews say that Bleu provides a bit of France on Cape Cod. I am no expert on French food, but the food tonight was delicious, and the atmosphere is delightful. Thank you, Bruce and Jane.

Otherwise, my Sunday was very quiet. I just stayed home, did a little cooking and a little catching up on correspondence. I found out late in the day that Heather worked in her garden all day. If I had known, I would have gone over to help. But now all the heavy work is done. She got the entire garden tilled by hand and got the weather-hardy seeds planted. Way to go, Heather! When she called, she did give me a few little garden jobs to do if I want to help out, so I’ll work on those this week.

2018 Life Logs, Day 97—Happy Birthday, Ziggy

2018 Life Logs, Day 97—Happy Birthday, Ziggy
Date: Saturday, April 7, 2018
Weather: Cloudy AM, Some Sun Late PM; High Temp 46, Low 32 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Happy ninth birthday to Ziggy! I talked to him briefly today and when I asked what he got for his birthday he said, “An electric guitar!” Go, Ziggy. When I was in Puerto Rico, some evenings Ziggy just sat quietly and strummed on a guitar quietly. I’m guessing now that he has an electric guitar the strumming won’t be quite so quiet. I find it hard to believe that it has been nine years since he was born. Mark and I flew home from Malaysia to meet him when he was ten days old. I just read my log from the day we first met Ziggy and it was quite the adventure getting from Malaysia to New Mexico. “Seeing your grandchild for the first time is worth about anything. Even a ferry ride from Rebak to Langkawi . . . a taxi across Langkawi to Kuah . . . a ferry to Penang . . . a taxi from port to hotel . . . a little sleep . . . a taxi to airport . . . a 5-hour flight to Hong Kong . . . a 12-hour flight to Los Angeles—no sleep . . . a bus to train station . . . a Southwest Chief 18-hour train ride to Lamy, New Mexcio—some sleep . . . a shuttle van to Santa Fe . . . and then a walk through the snow with only sandals on. All this and we made it a day sooner than we thought. Somehow we miscalculated not including the day we gained crossing the dateline. So when we called Justin, he was just a little surprised. But he met us on the corner next to our home for the next three weeks and then we walked through the snow to meet Ziggy. Yes, it is snowing here. It probably snowed two-inches today and all of it is hanging on the pine trees. It is beautiful but it is freezing. We opted not to bring any shoes home with us, only the Tevas we were wearing and some wool socks we packed. Bad choice. Our feet were soaked and freezing by the time we got to Justin and Jo’s, but the first look at Ziggy warmed our hearts and our toes. He is so tiny and so beautiful.” Happy Birthday, Z.

02 Oma Holds Ten Day Old Ziggy

The sun made an appearance late this afternoon and I headed over to Heather’s to do some work in her garden. The two of us, with some help from Jonah and Ollie, made the first efforts to get the garden ready for planting. It is past time to plant peas, but it has been so cold that I don’t think they would have sprouted even if we had planted them on St. Patrick’s Day. Heather swears that is the day to plant peas, but not this year. But we will get them planted before April 17th!

2018 Life Logs, Day 96—Shellfish Presentation and Evening in Woods Hole

2018 Life Logs, Day 96—Shellfish Presentation and Evening in Woods Hole
Date: Friday, April 6, 2018
Weather: Rain, Snow, and Wind; High Temp 46, Low 37 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

This was a day of learning. In the morning I attended a two-and-a-half hour long presentation about recreational shellfishing in Falmouth. Shellfishing includes digging for clams, harvesting oysters, and catching scallops and the presentation included how to do this as well as size and catch limits, storage and safe handling of the shellfish, and regulations. It was organized by friend, Peter Baranowski, and presenters included Chuck Martinsen and Christina Lovely of the Falmouth Marine and Environmental Services, and John from The Clam Man showing us how to properly get open the shells. It was really informative. Now I just have to go to the Town Hall and get my permit for this year.

My afternoon was spent driving around town in the rain and spitting snow driving by more houses. Today I focused on homes in a slightly higher cost bracket and the places were much more appealing than the homes I drove by on Tuesday. The next step in my decision making process is to visit inside some of these homes and then I will make a decision about whether I am going to rent the cottage I have been considering.

My evening started early when Peter and Karen Baranowski picked me up at 5 pm. We then drove to pick-up Terry and Olivia White and all of us went out to dinner Woods Hole at Quick’s Tavern. This little restaurant overlooks the ferry terminal in Woods Hole and I realized that I haven’t driven through Woods Hole for weeks. The ferry headquarters has been torn down and will reopen in downtown Falmouth. And the docks for the three ferries that plow the waters from Woods Hole to Martha’s Vineyard are a mess. Sure hope things are cleaned up before the tourist season begins. Dinner was delicious and then we attended a presentation on climate change, specifically the connection between changes in the ice in Antarctica and sea rise. The presentation was very informative, although a bit disturbing.

2018 Life Logs, Day 95—Meeting Two Phenomenal Ladies

2018 Life Logs, Day 95—Meeting Two Phenomenal Ladies
Date: Thursday, April 5, 2018
Weather: Sunny, Windy, Cold; High Temp 44, Low 27 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

I have mentioned in recent logs that I am considering a move to a small cottage owned by a friend’s aunt. The friend is Karen Baranowski and her aunt is a 93 year-old woman named Shirley. Shirley and her 99 year-old sister, Doris, live part of the time in Doris’ home in Scituate, about an hour north of here, and part of the time in Shirley’s home here in Falmouth. Shirley owns her home and the adjoining lot with the cottage. That cottage has not been lived in since Shirley bought it about 20 years ago. Over the years, family members sometimes came to stay in it during the summer, but otherwise it has just been sitting there. Karen introduced the idea of selling or renting the cottage to her aunt after she heard me say I would like to a place with lower rent than I now pay, but that I would still like to be near the water. That sounded like the cottage to Karen, so she approached her Aunt Shirley. Before Shirley was willing to make a decision, she wanted to meet me and today was that day. It was the first time I have ever driven along the coast on the way to Boston to where Scituate is located. It is a lovely area. And when we got to a place where the North River runs out to sea, Karen pointed out Doris’ home on a hill overlooking the entire flats of the river. What a great location! Once I met Shirley and Doris I decided that living in homes with beautiful views must help one to stay young. Both women need walkers to get around, but their minds are still young and we had a delightful few hours together. Shirley is ready to rent to me, so now I just need to make that decision. I am going to spend the weekend looking at other possibilities and then make up my mind. But whether I move there or not, I hope to visit with Shirley and Doris from time to time. I shared much about my life with them today, but I would love to learn more about their lives. Together they have 192 years of experience to share. What a treasure.

2018 Life Logs, Day 94—Happy Anniversary to Justin and Jo

2018 Life Logs, Day 94—Happy Anniversary to Justin and Jo
Date: Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Weather: Overcast, Foggy with Rain, Super Windy; High Temp 55, Low 31 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Happy 11th anniversary to Justin and Jo. The traditional gift for the 11th anniversary is steel, I suppose because it is virtually resistant to corrosion and damage. If you have made it through 11 years of marriage, you are probably in it for the long run, thus resistant to damage just like steel. This past year has certainly shown that Justin and Jo are both resistant and resilient. May their relationship stay as strong for all the years to come.

I have to comment on the weather. Today was really depressing. Our April weather feels more like March weather. We certainly had March winds today and it was overcast, foggy, and rainy the entire day. Yuck! Jane Woodin stopped by just to say hello this morning which was a pleasant part of an otherwise depressing day. After she left, I drove around town looking at homes in my price range. That was really depressing, and sometimes so absurd it was funny. Near the end of my little tour, I drove by a house on the edge of a golf course. There were no other homes around, except for one right next to the one I was looking at. It was very tiny and right next to it was this two-story behemoth of a home, and then just manicured golf course all around. Really funny looking. I found neighborhoods in Falmouth I never knew existed. One home had burned down, some had neighbors with huge work trucks in the drive-ways, and others had neighbors with so many cars and so much junk scattered about that I was sure I wouldn’t want to live there, no matter how nice the house. Then there was the one that was hidden behind other homes and was surrounded on all four sides with 6-foot wooden fence. I thought I was in a fort. The bottom line is that there is nothing desirable in a price range comparable to the little home I have been considering. Tomorrow I drive off-Cape to meet the woman who owns that little house. Because I am a friend of her niece, she had agreed to think about selling to me, dependent on how our meeting goes. What I hope to find out is whether or not she might rent, rather than sell. She is 93 and no longer sails, but she did sail for much of her life. So, we have that in common. Hopefully the meeting will go well. On Friday, I will drive around and look at few homes that are in the next financial bracket and if there are any that I want to look at, I have a realtor lined up for Saturday morning. Hopefully by the end of the weekend I will have a better idea of my options. And if there are no options, I will stay here for another year and continue looking for the ‘just right’, affordable place to live.

2018 Life Logs, Day 93—Rainy Day

2018 Life Logs, Day 93—Rainy Day
Date: Tuesday, April 3, 2018
Weather: Overcast with Rain; High Temp 40, Low 39 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

So we had a few days near the end of March with temps nearing 50 degrees, but the rest of March was cold and miserable and April is continuing that trend. This morning was overcasee that in the immediate future. In fact, I see snow again on Saturday. But the osprey have returned, so evidently they think it is spring. Good for them!

I went to Tai Ji this morning and this afternoon I finally finished Ziggy’s book about Finca Maravilla. I spent some time looking online at possible homes to buy and made another visit to the home that friends are offering. Heather went with me this afternoon to see that home and she feels that the kitchen is a deal breaker–just too small. Somehow, I think I could adjust, but maybe not. I’ll keep looking, but the search is so frustrating because places look good online, but then when you do a drive-by, you can immediately see the problems. Often it is undesirable neighbors that are just too close. I’ll continue this search for the next few days and see what I come up with.