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 222—Books, Trains, Mini-Golf, Beach . . . Fun

2018 Life Logs, Day 222—Books, Trains, Mini-Golf, Beach . . . Fun
Date: Friday, August 10, 2018
Weather: Beautiful Day; High 87, Low 67 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Ollie and Jonah requested a trip to the Cape Cod Inflatable Park today. The weather was perfect but there were commitments at home that caused us to change our plans. After weeks of waiting, the flooring for the upstairs bathroom was scheduled to be installed today and we needed to be home for that. Plus, Jonah’s good friend Luke and his mom were coming to dinner. A trip to the inflatable park is evidently a FULL day, starting early and ending late, so we’ll try for this during the last week of August when Sam is home and can go with us. But the alternative was a mix of activities that made it a fun-filled day. Heather suggested a Book Fest in the backyard before she left for work and Jonah took her up on that, reading book after book in the backyard hammock. Ollie chose to stay inside and play with the train track that had been built earlier in the morning. When the flooring guy came, we found out that he would do part of the work in the morning and then finish the job in the afternoon, so we again adjusted our plans. We were going to spend the whole morning at home and then go to play mini-golf in the afternoon. But we dropped everything and headed there early so we could be home for the flooring guy again at 2 pm. We went to Cataumet Crossing and played mini-golf, visited the arcade where Jonah managed to get six games on Thunder Road for free himself and Ollie, rode in the bumper boats, and batted and pitched baseballs in the mini-cage. And on our way home, we visited Smitty’s for an ice cream treat for the second time this week. After all, it is summer!

After the bathroom flooring was completed, we headed to Menauhant Beach to meet Jed. We met Heather there yesterday and showed off the new swimming skills, so Jed rode his bike home from Woods Hole and met us there today for a repeat performance. The boys swam, dove, and snorkeled, showing daddy the underwater critters they first discovered yesterday. We all snorkeled and saw baby sea robins, boxfish of some sort that the boys are calling pufferfish, baby dogfish, and other unidentified fish. Today only Ollie rode his bike home with daddy as Jonah wanted to ride home with me in the car to get ready for the arrival of his friend Luke. The Goldstones head to Maine on Monday morning for a week plus of vacation. And that means a vacation from Camp Oma for me as well. I’ll miss my little summer buddies, but I look forward to time to catch up with friends and do whatever adults do in the summer.

2018 Life Logs, Day 221—Rained Out

2018 Life Logs, Day 221—Rained Out
Date: Thursday, August 9, 2018
Weather: Rainy AM, Partly Sunny PM; High 86, Low 67 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Our last day of swim lessons was rained out. Actually, the heavens seemed to open just a few minutes before Jonah’s lesson was to begin. We were on the way to beach when it started pouring and become apparent that there would not be lessons. But we drove on to the beach to in hopes of a break in the rain when Jonah and Ollie could get out and go find Jacqueline to thank her for being a great swim instructor. When we got to the beach, all of the life guards were in the parking lot trying to get to their cars to get out of the rain. Jacqueline was right there, so the boys got to thank her and she had Munchkins for them as a treat. When we got home, I let the boys have some TV screen time and then they played the day away. Heather had mentioned in the morning that she would be riding her bike home from Woods Hole today and would love to meet the boys at the beach in the late afternoon. Both Ollie and Jonah were very excited to meet momma at the beach. At Heather’s suggestions, we took their bikes and they rode home with her. But not before really enjoying some swim time with momma. She was quite impressed with their progress this summer. And rightly so. They are both swimming like fish, doing flips in the water, and diving down with snorkel masks to explore the sea bottom. Today Jonah kept saying he saw baby pufferfish and sea robins. When he said he saw a flounder, Ollie said, “I don’t think I believe you.” But Jonah was right. Heather dove down with him and confirmed the sightings. Great fun.

I stayed at Heather and Jed’s for dinner and we had our first fried green tomatoes of the season. As always, they were delicious. And we had our first taste of Pop’s Pickles made by Oma. The recipe for these pickles comes from Jed’s grandfather. Ollie loves them, so I made them with some of the excess of cucumbers I have growing in the garden right now. Heather made zucchini bread, also compliments of the garden. And when I left to head home, she was packing green beans from the garden into canning jars to make dilly beans. ‘Tis the season.

2018 Life Logs, Day 220—44 Years Ago Today

2018 Life Logs, Day 220—44 Years Ago Today
Date: Wednesday, August 8, 2018
Weather: Sunny and Hot; High 87, Low 73 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

In catching up on the news tonight, I was reminded that 44 years ago today Richard Nixon resigned as President. And that led to the memory of what Mark and I were doing on that day. We were setting the ridge pole in place on the log cabin we were building in northern Idaho. We had built up the logs on either end of the cabin and the ridge pole is the main beam that holds the whole thing together. In this case, that beam was 37-feet above ground level and we had no ladder. The only way to get the beam up there was to drive railroad spikes into trees and to use those spikes to climb up. We had no electricity, but even back then we were news junkies and had a battery-operated radio. We had heard that the Nixon was going to resign, so we had the radio sitting at the base of one of threes blasting the resignation speech just as we set the ridge pole. There must be some significance to this, but I am not sure exactly what that is. But I will say that we had quite a celebration that evening. I am inserting a photo, not very clear, of that moment. You probably can’t see it, but Mark is straddling that ridge pole at the far end.

Jonah, Ollie, and I had a great time at the beach this morning. While Jonah had his class, Ollie challenged Dorothy, a very proficient nine-year-old swimmer, to race him to the jetty. The beauty of a six-year-old is that they have no concept that there is anything in the world that they can’t do. So he swam as hard as he could and made it to the jetty and back. Then he and Dorothy spent the next hour doing acrobatics in the water—handstands, back flips, front flips, and something Ollie calls a 180 twist. After his class, Jonah joined them and they all had a great time. Then Jonah and Ollie played in the sand, digging tunnels for another hour. When we got home, we had a water battle using the Water Blasters (like water canons). We didn’t need showers afterwards, as all salt water was washed away. I think we were all exhausted by that time, so we had lunch and the boys spent the afternoon in front of the fan in the living room drawing fancy cars. With Sam’s absence, Jonah and Ollie are spending a lot more time playing together. Nice to watch.

When Heather got home, she headed to the garden to harvest the day’s bounty. She asked me what plans I have for next week when they are in Maine on vacation. I replied that I had no plans, but then I thought about that and realized that I a huge list of things I hope to accomplish. I will also be spending a bit of time reconnecting with friends. I have been out of the loop since the end of June and will take time to join in on a few gatherings during the week.

2018 Life Logs, Day 219—Fun with ‘Bots’

2018 Life Logs, Day 219—Fun with ‘Bots’
Date: Tuesday, August 7, 2018
Weather: Sunny, Hot, and Windy; High 86, Low 72 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

The word ‘bots’ can mean different things, everything from the larvae of the internal parasite called the botfly to the short term for robots. Today, thanks to an heads up from friend Jane Woodin, Ollie, Jonah, and I attended a ‘bot’ workshop at the West Falmouth Library. We built water bots, jiggly bots, and art bots as part of a STEM workshop. In the education world, STEM stands for the disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. And today’s workshop was fantastic. The kids got to build three different kinds of ‘bots’—a water ‘bot’, a jiggly ‘bot’, and an art ‘bot’, sometimes called a scribble ‘bot’. Robots perform repetitive tasks with expertise and the little robots we built today did just that. Using an AA battery pack and a 3 volt motor, the kids built ‘bots’ with a propeller that turns circles in the water, a jiggly ‘bot’ with wooden skewer legs that turns circles on the floor, and an art ‘bot’ with art marker legs that scribbles in circles on a large sheet of paper. This is all so much fun, but the bigger idea is that kids are learning about motors, DC power, electrical engineering, and the basic design of a robot. When we got home, Jonah and Ollie launched into other electrical engineering projects, and when I left at 5:30 this evening, Ollie was in the basement searching for materials to adapt the water ‘bot’. It was definitely a successful venture.

Before the ‘bot’ workshop we went to swim lessons. Actually, we just went for Jonah’s lesson as we had to leave before Ollie’s. But in addition to building sand castles, Ollie challenged himself to swimming the long distance to the jetty. His breast stroke is beautiful to watch and his free-style is strong as long as face is underwater.. He just needs to learn how to turn his head to the side to breathe rather than stopping to breathe and then continuing. We’ll work on that next summer. Jonah still enjoys the beach games before and after swim lessons much more than the swimming, but he is hanging in there and has made wonderful progress. We missed Sam at the beach today and were all glad to find out at day’s end that his bus trip from Boston to Portland went smoothly and that he is now in the capable hands of Grammy Marti for a week’s adventure in Maine. It was a hot day here, so in between ‘bot’ adventures, the boys cooled off by having fun on the Slip ‘n Slide. It was another good summer day.

2018 Life Logs, Day 218—The Joy of Watching Kids Being Kids

2018 Life Logs, Day 218—The Joy of Watching Kids Being Kids
Date: Monday, August 6, 2018
Weather: Sunny and Hot; High 87, Low 72 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

This was a special day. Some days there is bickering, some days everyone is grumpy, and some days are joyful. This was one of those days. Sam is eleven and all of a sudden seems so very grown up. Here’s a photo Heather took of Sam with his good friend Sebastian yesterday . . . so handsome and not looking like little boys any more. Today was Sam’s last day of beach swim classes as he heads to Maine tomorrow to spend a week with his Grammy Marti. He has not been taking swim lessons like Jonah and Ollie this summer. Instead, the deal was that he would swim from jetty to jetty every day. He has done that, most of the time without complaining, and he has definitely become a stronger swimmer, as have Jonah and Ollie. So, we celebrated his last beach swim class day by going to Smitty’s to get special treats. Sam wanted a chocolate frappe and Jonah and Ollie wanted watermelon sherbert freezies (like a milkshake). These things are not cheap and there is way more ice cream or sherbert in them than any child needs, but I caved and let them have them and tried to make it clear that this is a really special treat that only happens on very special occasions. Smitty’s is across the street from the Falmouth Public Library and while we were there, Ollie saw his friend Raylan over at the library. On Mondays free lunches are provided for children along with a special performance. Ollie really wanted to go get a lunch and play with Raylan, so Sam and Jonah walked home while I watched Ollie playing with Raylan and Raylan’s cousin Grayson on the hill behind the library. These three had been at the beach together all morning, but you would have thought they hadn’t seen each other for weeks. They were running on the hill as I watched them, and then I looked down to examine a book Ollie had taken from the free pile. All of a sudden it got very quiet and when I looked up to see what they were doing, I saw no little boys. They seemed to have vanished. I walked all around the library and there was no sign of little boys. I went into the library to see if they were there, but they were not. Raylan’s mother went out to help me look for them, and we found them lying in the grass basking in the sun not far from where I had been sitting. They were just quietly soaking in the day, so quietly that I didn’t even see them. Another of those moments of joy. Jonah’s joy today came from throwing a football back and forth in the water with a friend from his swim class and then taking a long walk on the beach with the same friend. It was a low key day that was enjoyed by all. And I feel so blessed to be able to watch the Goldpebbles just enjoying their summer days.

We spent the afternoon at home and the boys played with next door neighbors, Molly and Joey. As I wrote earlier, some days there is bickering and conflict, but today the kids just played with not a single complaint. This was a first! At one point in the afternoon when I was working with Sam to help him gather his clothes to pack, the other kids set up a lemonade stand. I had made lemonade for their picnic lunch, so they used what was left to make a little money. They set it up with no help. In fact, I didn’t even know it until Ollie asked if he could take the pitcher of lemonade to sell.

Tomorrow morning, Heather will take Sam to the bus station in Boston and put him on a bus to Portland, Maine, where Grammy Marti will pick him up. This is a first for Sam and he is so excited. Heather and Jed invited me to stay for dinner tonight to celebrate Sam’s first away from home trip without mommy and daddy. I will have only Jonah and Ollie for the rest of this week and then next week they will head to Maine for week of summer vacation with Heather and Jed.

2018 Life Logs, Day 217—A Little Gardening, A Little Cooking

2018 Life Logs, Day 217—A Little Gardening, A Little Cooking
Date: Sunday, August 5, 2018
Weather: Overcast with Late Afternoon Rain; High 82, Low 69 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I can’t believe it is midnight on a day when I did so little, and yet I am just now getting the time to write this log. I did a little gardening—cleaning out and replanting things like lettuce. I drove to Terry and Olivia’s to pick up a couple of compost bins they were getting rid of. And then I came home and did a little cooking. There were some other tasks that I snuck in here and there, but basically that was my day. The weather was beautiful and I spend a little time down on the dock just watching a pair of egrets and sitting at the dining room table on my computer, I watched bright yellow American Finches darting about in the back yard and bright red little birds, maybe Purple Finches, visiting the zinnias in the front raised garden beds along with Black Swallowtail and Tiger Swallowtail butterflies. Sure glad I planted those zinnias as I am loving the show. The Swallowtails stay right on the flowers even as I stand there and water.

2018 Life Logs, Day 216—Rainy Day

2018 Life Logs, Day 216—Rainy Day
Date: Saturday, August 4, 2018
Weather: Overcast with Late Afternoon Rain; High 77, Low 68 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

To say that we got rain late this afternoon is a bit of an understatement. For about an hour, we got a real downpour that was much needed. Otherwise, today was uneventful. I went to the gym for a one-time Saturday class offering and it felt great to workout. It has been six weeks since I have been to the gym. I’ll get back to my regular exercise routine after school starts. In the meantime, just trying to keep up with three active boys keeps me in shape. I then went to Heather’s to make cucumber soup with the bounty of cucumbers we are getting from our gardens all of a sudden. Heather and Jed are hosting a dinner for the people in Jed’s lab tomorrow afternoon, so I’m hoping everyone likes cucumber soup! Tomorrow will be another quiet day for me. Maybe I can catch up on logs not written and photos not posted.

2018 Life Logs, Day 215—Working Day

2018 Life Logs, Day 215—Working Day
Date: Friday, August 3, 2018
Weather: Sunny; High 84, Low 72 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was a working day . . . garden, yard, and house clean-up at the Goldstones. The boys helped out, sometimes enthusiastically and sometimes not so, but together we ticked off a lot of jobs on the list made by Heather and Jed plus some jobs added by Oma. Sam loved using the power washer to clean house trim and Ollie loved using the hand-powered lawn mover to cut grass in the back yard. Neither of those things were on the list. Jonah didn’t find his love until Heather got home. She had him spraying the cleaner on cabinet doors as she wiped them down. He loved doing that so much that he then sprayed the kitchen floor as I mopped. When Heather got home, she got the trim around front door painted. It looks great.

Mid-day we drove into town to get Sam’s hair cut. Heather usually cuts his hair, but he had a coupon from Pro Cuts and wanted to go there. He wanted to be in charge of telling the stylist how much to cut, so I let him do it. I think she cut too much, but then I love the ‘mop top’ Goldpebbles. Sam looked way too ‘groomed’ for me, but he was very happy with the results. He leaves on Tuesday for a week in Maine to spend time with his Grammy Marti. Getting his hair cut was on his list of things to get done before leaving, so we accomplished that. The other thing that got accomplished was getting new brakes for my car. I needed new calipers as well as pads, an oil change, and other maintenance issues. The price tag was higher than I hoped, but my eight year-old Honda Fit has needed very little maintenance until now. Mark and I bought it used in 2014 and I think the first time I have spent money on the car has been this summer. New tires a month ago and now new brakes. Hopefully that will be it for a bit. The people doing the brakes reported that the car is in incredibly good condition other than needing regular maintenance work. Hope they are right about that.

2018 Life Logs, Day 214—A Summer Day of Swimming and Playing

2018 Life Logs, Day 214—A Summer Day of Swimming and Playing
Date: Thursday, August 2, 2018
Weather: Sunny and Windy; High 80, Low 73 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was all about kids spending a summer day swimming and playing with friends. The day was not planned. We just let it evolve. First, we went to swim lessons and found that it was REALLY windy. That means lots of waves, so Jonah, Sam, and Jude, the grandson of my next door neighbors, spent a lot of time riding those waves. It was a bit rough for Ollie, but when he went out with his swim instructor, he had a great time. It is such a joy for me to see kids enjoying their summer days. We left the beach at noon, but through a series of texts, we made arrangements for Sam to spend the afternoon with friends Cole and Leo at their house while Jonah and Ollie came home with me to play with Jude, the nine-year old grandson of my neighbors. Later in the afternoon, Jonah, Ollie, and I went to the Farmer’s Market while Sam stayed home alone to enjoy some quiet time to himself. It was a relaxed summer day enjoyed by all of us. The only negative was that the brakes on my car started making a horrible metal scraping sound. Heather and Jed have loaned me their van for tomorrow and I was able to get an appointment to have the brakes fixed.

“Tucked between two high-rise condominiums, about 50 boats bob lazily at Pier 3 marina on the Delaware River. About 20 of them are also homes to their captains, who head out to work as scientists, professors, salespeople, or students each morning and return to the vessel each night.” This is the intro to an article published today in the Philadelphia Inquirer
http://www.philly.com/philly/business/real_estate/pier-3-marina-waterfront-delaware-river-morgans-pier-20180802.html?mobi=true
and one of the 20 boats belongs to my dear friends Claire McKellar and Kevin Russell who now live at Pier 3 on their 34-foot 1989 Catalina named Merganser. Mark and I first met Kevin and Claire when they lived aboard Merganser in the Boston Harbor. Claire was a graduate student at Harvard Medical and she and Kevin had been living in Brookline. One day she joked with Kevin that they should do something in their lives that wasn’t just working 18 hours a day. She says she was just kidding, but when she said to Kevin, “We could just give up our apartment and live on a boat,” he loved the idea and they lived aboard in Boston for the next four years. Since 2007, they have been living on land in Virginia and enjoying the boat on weekends. But this spring Claire’s work as a neuroscientist took her to Princeton in New Jersey and they made the decision move Merganser from the Chesapeake Bay to Philadelphia so they could once again live aboard. I can’t wait to go visit with them!

2018 Life Logs, Day 213—It’s August . . . Yikes

2018 Life Logs, Day 213—It’s August . . . Yikes
Date: Wednesday, August 1, 2018
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, Warm and Humid; High 80, Low 73 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I love summer, but somehow this one seems to be slipping away too quickly. Part of that is because we really didn’t have spring until June and it didn’t feel like summer until July. And part of it is because there has been no consistency this summer. Every week has been completely different, so it has been impossible to establish routines. But we are having fun and will try to make every day from now until the day school starts a very special day. Our plan for today was to go to swim lessons and then spend the afternoon at home just relaxing. But Sam and Jonah got an invitation to go play at a friend’s home which sounded way more exciting than relaxing to little boys. We’ll try for a quiet afternoon tomorrow, but somehow I’m not convinced that will happen. But whatever happens, it will be fun.

The last couple of weeks have been crazy busy and I have not had the time to post photos. I will go back and post those photos this weekend, but I thought I would share some of the best moments here. A photo opportunity capturing my whole family . . . grandkids kayaking . . . ice cream at Smitty’s . . . the Goldstones at Highfield . . . capturing photos of Jonah and Ziggy who hide from cameras these days . . . photos of Coco’s birthday party in Puerto Rico . . . digging clams with Rex and friend Peter Baranowski . . . visiting with Rex and Diana . . . the Goldpebbles enjoying lunch at Quicks Hole Taqueria . . . Ollie frolicking in the water . . . afternoon at Woodneck with Jeanne Harper and boys . . . making summer memories.