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!

2019 Life Logs, Day 164: Dinner with Great-Nephew in Woods Hole

2019 Life Logs, Day 164: Dinner with Great-Nephew in Woods Hole
Date: Thursday, June 13, 2019
Weather: Rainy, Rainy Day; High 69, Low 55 degrees
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

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I love having a great-nephew because that means I am a great-aunt. Who doesn’t like to be great?!!! But I especially love having a great-nephew who is a poet. And that poet is Josh Martin. He is an instructor and graduate student at Georgia State University in Atlanta and won a fellowship to the 2019 Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing which is happening this week. So he is on Martha’s Vineyard for the week and I invited him to take the ferry over to Woods Hole to meet me and Heather and family for dinner. It was a rainy day, but the Goldpebbles and I braved the rain to meet Josh at the ferry dock. We had a wonderful dinner at Quick’s Hole Tavern and then walked over to Jed’s lab so Josh could learn a little about science research in Woods Hole. It was then time for the last ferry back to the Vineyard, so we all walked Josh back to the ferry terminal and said our farewells until Saturday when he will return at the end of the institute. He flies out of Boston at 6 am on Sunday, so we will only have him for a few hours, but we’ll enjoy the time we have together.

Prior to meeting Josh in Woods Hole, I attended the Newcomers general meeting and installation of officers for next year at Highfield Hall. Highfield is currently featuring Stickworks by world renowned sculptor Patrick Dougherty. He and his assistants are building a special stick structure on the Highfield lawn with the 18,000 pounds of willow saplings that have been delivered there. Over the last thirty years, Dougherty has built over 250 stick structures from Scotland to Japan to Brussels and all around this country. The Highfield structure will be completed by the end of next week, so I look forward to returning with the Goldpebbles to see the final product. It was the hope that the Newcomers would be touring the grounds this afternoon, but the rain stopped that. Still it was a wonderful gathering in Highfield Hall with delicious food and wonderful friends.

2019 Life Logs, Day 163: Jonah’s 4th Grade Graduation

2019 Life Logs, Day 163: Jonah’s 4th Grade Graduation
Date: Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 72, Low 54 degrees
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

The last two evenings have been spent at East Falmouth Elementary School. Last night was Ollie’s first grade concert, the first in his school career. Then tonight, I returned to the school with the Goldstones for Jonah’s 4th grade graduation. He will be moving on to another school for 5th grade and 6th grade. Tonight he 4th graders sang the school song and then a song named “I’ll Make The Difference”—a song of hope that was perfect for the occasion. After each student was awarded their diploma, we all moved outside to the courtyard. There were beautiful pastries and Smitty’s, the neighborhood ice cream shop, came to the school tonight to serve ice cream for all. A couple of years ago, Heather wrote a grant to turn the courtyard into an outdoor classroom and has worked continuously since to make it a reality. Tonight was the first public use of the space and it was spectacular. The new pergola is now surrounded by raised beds, tree stump seats, and Adirondack chairs. It is a beautiful addition to the school and the 4th graders enjoyed posing for photos and signing year books in a lovely setting. Jonah looked quite spiffy this evening in a black sport jacket, long black pants, and a maroon shirt. I managed to get a picture of him with Molly, the ‘girl next door’ who Jonah declared at age five that he would marry, one with his good friend and soccer buddy Kayden, as well as another with a larger group of good friends. But I think my favorite picture was of Jonah checking out his yearbook. All you can see in the photo is the back of Jonah’s head—big hair—and the yearbook. Made me smile. Another nice touch to the evening was that each 4th grader painted a kindness rock that they placed in the courtyard during the evening.

As we move into the next school year, all three Goldpebbles will be in different schools. Ollie will remain at East Falmouth Elementary for three more years. Jonah will be at Morse Pond for the next two years, and Sam will be moving on to Lawrence School where all Falmouth students attend seventh and eighth grade. He doesn’t have a graduation ceremony as he leaves Morse Pond because Morse Pond and Lawrence are both considered middle school, just in two different buildings. Sam’s next graduation will be at the end of eighth grade when he moves on to high school. Could that possibly just be two years away?

2019 Life Logs, Day 162: LCC and Ollie’s First Grade Concert

2019 Life Logs, Day 162: LCC and Ollie’s First Grade Concert
Date: Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Weather: Rainy AM, Clearing PM; High 77, Low 54 degrees
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

What is LCC? For me it stands for Laundry, Cooking, Canning. And I could add another ‘C’ for Cleaning. But there was no cleaning today, just LCC. Doing laundry means taking three trips back and forth to Heather’s to use the Goldstone washer and dryer. It is only a mile and a half away, but still three trips back and forth takes a chunk of time. On my first trip over, I picked up the pressure canner we share and came home to start my first canner load of chicken mineral broth. While that was jiggling, I started my cooking project for today. I cleaned and chopped strawberries and rhubarb to make two strawberry rhubarb pies—one for my neighbors Shirley and Doris and one for me to share with the Goldstones. I shared one with the Goldstones last week, but rhubarb is only available for a few weeks this time of year, so you have to get your fill of this wonderful treat while you can. My neighbor and landlord, Shirley, has a home just across the drive-way, and she and her sister Doris returned yesterday after spending the last nine months at Doris’ home in Scituate near Boston. They are here for the summer and I am so glad to have neighbors once again. I delivered the pie this afternoon and welcomed them back to the neighborhood. In-between laundry trips, pie baking, and visiting, I continued to can my chicken mineral broth as well as Heather and Jed’s chicken broth. I usually spend my Tuesday afternoons with Jonah and Ollie after school, but today Jed wanted to come home to watch the USA vs Thailand Women’s Soccer World Cup game, so I just stayed home and kept the canner loads going. And I also tuned in to the soccer game. When the score was 11-0 in favor of the USA, I stopped watching. That’s went next door to visit. Then at 5:30 pm, I headed to the Goldstones (trip three in the laundry cycle) to get my laundry out of the dryer and then head with the family to East Falmouth for Ollie’s first grade concert. He had chosen to wear a white dress shirt with a dark blue blazer and turquoise shorts with his black patent leather Doc Martin boots. He had also combed his hair just so. What a handsome AND stylish kid. But he is also a very serious little one. During the concert, he dared not smile, but stood arrow straight and sang every word of every song. While most of the other first graders were doing hand motions to go along with the songs, not Oliver. He’s way too serious for that. By the last song, we saw a little smile and he actually tapped his little foot to the music, but still no hand motions. After the concert, Ollie wanted me to take a photo of him with mommy and daddy under the tulip tree in front of the school and then photos of him in the tree. Then we headed to Smitty’s for ice cream. A certain percentage of tonight’s proceeds were going to Sam’s school, Morse Pond, so we all had ice cream to support the school. Great excuse!

2019 Life Logs, Day 161: Beautiful Day on Cuttyhunk Island

2019 Life Logs, Day 161: Beautiful Day on Cuttyhunk Island
Date: Monday, June 10, 2019
Weather: Beautiful Sunny Day; High 72, Low 62 degrees
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

58 Boys at Play

18 Jonah and Sam on Foredeck as We Approach Cuttyhunk

Our Newcomers Teacher Group traveled to Cuttyhunk Island today. It was a beautiful day weather-wise and a fabulous island experience. We traveled by car to New Bedford which is about a 45-minute drive across the bridge and to the west. There we boarded the Cuttyhunk Ferry for another 45-minute ride back to the southeast across Buzzards Bay to the island. You can actually take a water taxi from Falmouth to Cuttyhunk, but it is a much more expensive ride and just as long. So, the ferry from New Bedford is the way to go. When we arrived in New Bedford at the ferry dock, we were joined by about forty 4th and 5th graders from Wellfleet on Cape Cod and off we went. There were wispy clouds in a very blue sky and the temperature was warmer than forecast. Perfect weather for a trip to an out island. I have many memories of sailing to Cuttyhunk, first in 1991 when we sailed Skybreaker north from the Chesapeake Bay and made Cuttyhunk our first landfall in New England. I have no photos of that landing in Cuttyhunk as it was so foggy you literally couldn’t see your hand in front of your face. But it was an experience that Mark, Heather, Justin, and I will never forget. Then fast forward to 2013 after Mark and I had returned from our sail around the world. We sailed to Cuttyhunk with Heather and family and the visions of Mark building sandcastles on the beach in Cuttyhunk with Sam, Jonah, and Ollie, of Heather jogging through town with a four year-old Jonah, of Granddad walking down the dock hand-in-hand with a one year-old Ollie will always remain with me. And then in 2015, Mark and I sailed with the three grandsons to Cuttyhunk and memories of Jonah and Sam on Windbird’s foredeck as we sailed into Cuttyhunk are indelible memories. I am now making new memories of visiting this very special island. In 2017 I went to Cuttyhunk with this same Newcomers Group and today returned to experience this very special island. Today we had a couple of classes on the beach with the students from Wellfleet, walked into town and had lunch at the Townhall, hiked up the hill to Lookout Point, and stood atop a World War II bunker where the views were spectacular. Only twelve people live on Cuttyhunk year round, but in the summer, the population swells with summer residents and daily tourists who take the ferry to experience this special, special place on this earth.

2019 Life Logs, Day 160:  Soccer and Gardening

2019 Life Logs, Day 160:  Soccer and Gardening
Date:  Sunday, June 9, 2019
Weather:  Beautiful Sunny Day; High 70, Low 53 degrees
Location:  At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

As planned, I headed to Heather’s early this morning to hitch a ride with the Goldstones to Jonah’s final soccer game of the season.  We had a 40 to 45 minute drive and Jonah needed to be there around 9 am for a 9:30 game, so we left at 8:20 on the dot.  The weather was beautiful and a little warmer than predicted last night.  It was one of those bright blue sky Cape Cod days.  At some point during the game, Sam asked if he could take the photos today and he got some great action shots.  It was a great game, well matched teams, and fun to watch.  The score at the end was 5-5, a good way for two good teams to end the season.  It was almost noon by the time we got home.  The Goldstones headed to an end-of-the-year Scout picnic for Ollie and Jonah and I headed home to garden.  I worked until 3:30 and then headed to Heather’s to do some planting there.  I got a lot done today, not everything, but almost, and I am ready for a good night’s sleep.  Tomorrow morning I have to meet a group of Newcomers at 7 am so we can carpool to New Bedford where we will take a ferry to Cuttyhunk.  I went on this trip in June of 2017 and enjoyed it so much I decided to return.  Anytime you get the chance to spend the day on a beautiful island, I think you should take advantage of the opportunity.

2019 Life Logs, Day 159: Another Soccer Saturday

2019 Life Logs, Day 159: Another Soccer Saturday
Date: Saturday, June 8, 2019
Weather: Sunny; High 76, Low 52 degrees
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was a beautiful day and was another soccer Saturday for both Sam and Jonah. It was Sam’s last game of the spring season, but since his team won today, they have a play-off Saturday on June 22. Jonah had an away game today and has his last game of the season is early tomorrow morning. There are no play-offs in his age bracket, so tomorrow morning is it. I got up early this morning to enjoy the bright sunshine. I had hoped to start planting the raised beds immediately, but a tire pressure light that came on yesterday evening sent me to get that checked out first thing. It wasn’t the normal low-pressure light, but rather something that said TPMS. The pressure in all the tires is fine, so it is probably a battery issue in the monitoring system. But checking that out will take an appointment, so I moved on. Since I was already out, I went to the nursery to buy some cucumber plants. For whatever reason, none of my cucumber seeds sprouted and it is getting so late that I want to plant seedlings, not seeds. By the time I got home, I had only 30 minutes to work in the garden before it was time to head to Sam’s game. I got there just before the game started, but there were no Goldstones. I was just putting down my chair and bag to make a call when Jed, Jonah, and Ollie arrived. In getting ready for the game, Sam had poked himself in the eye with the straw in his water bottle and Heather had to take him to Urgent Care to make sure everything was okay. Jed saw that the assistant coach was not there either, so he headed over to help the coach while Jonah, Ollie, and I watched the game. Sam and Heather about half-way through the first half and Sam headed over to check-in. The doctor at the Urgent Care Center said his eye was fine and that he could play. During the half-time, Jonah played a little baseball pitch with Heather while Ollie hid from the sun under a chair. It was 76 degrees and with the bright sunshine, it did feel hot. Sam played a good second half and his team won, so he was happy. Something that has been making him very unhappy this past week is that he has outgrown most of his shorts. He loves the Adidas sports shorts I can get for him at Costco, so when the game was over, I made the decision to head off Cape to Costco. In addition to looking for shorts for Sam, I had a pair of shoes that I bought for myself that needed to be returned. And since Jonah’s 4 pm game was about half-way between Costco and home, I figured I could do a quick shopping trip and then take in Jonah’s game. Everything worked out except that Costco had not shorts. They are already stocking long sports pants for the fall. But there was another department store that carries Adidas close to Costco and I was able to get shorts for Sam there. They cost double what they would have cost at Costco, but I got them anyway and headed on to Jonah’s game. Tomorrow morning I will go to Jonah’s final game with Heather and gang in their van. The game is at 9:30 am, so we have to leave by 8:15. We should be home before noon and I can spend my afternoon getting things planted in my raised beds. It is not going to be as warm as today and only partly sunny, but that is better for transplanting.

2019 Life Logs, Day 158: Weeds

2019 Life Logs, Day 158: Weeds
Date: Friday, June 7, 2019
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 73, Low 57 degrees
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I spent part of my day pulling weeds out of Heather’s garden. I have mentioned before that she is transitioning from a traditional garden to raised beds, but for this year we have both. And even though the weather has been cool and cloudy and things planted in the garden aren’t growing as they should, the weeds are prolific. Mixed in with those weeds are volunteer Matt’s Wild Cherry tomato plants that seem to return each year. Heather loves them, so I don’t want to pull up all the volunteers. Then there is the weed called Lamb’s Quarter. It is similar to spinach in taste but has about ten times the vitamins and minerals. So in my weeding, I’m trying to keep as much of that weed as possible. We’ll eat it all over the next couple of weeks, but for now, those weeds stay. So weeding is little tedious for now, but I made progress. I came home for a very late lunch and intended to do some planting in my raised beds, but that didn’t happen. I was making a batch of chicken mineral broth and got involved in other indoor activities and never made it back outside. Then it was time to return to Heather’s to kidsit for the evening. Heather and Jed were going to an event from 5 to 7 pm, so I went over to serve dinner to Ollie and Jonah. They played outside before dinner and asked if they could go back outside to play after dinner. There’s no school tomorrow, so I agreed. Tomorrow is a soccer Saturday, but the first game is late morning and I AM GOING to get things planted in my raised beds before leaving home!

2019 Life Logs, Day 157: Fickle Weather and Faithful First Ladies

2019 Life Logs, Day 157: Fickle Weather and Faithful First Ladies
Date: Thursday, June 6, 2019
Weather: Rain Overnight, Cloudy Day; High 73, Low 56 degrees
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Interesting weather day. It rained a little overnight and was cloudy and coolish this morning when I left to go to the gym for a class and to ride that stationary bike. When I came out of the gym, the sun was shining, and it felt hot and humid. I got home, changed into capri pants and a short-sleeved shirt to go out and work in the garden, but by the time I got outside, it was cloudy, windy, and cool. So, I went back inside and changed into long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. A person could spend their entire day just changing clothes to match this fickle weather! In between changing clothes, I did get a bit of gardening done while also doing some cooking. Then it was time to head to Heather’s. I was to be there by 3:30 when the kids got home from school, but I wanted to go an hour early to do some gardening there. I transplanted some lettuce plants from garden to hers, added some fencing to one of her raised beds, and finished putting tomato cages around tomato plants I planted in the last few days. There’s more to do tomorrow when I hope to be able to report that most things are planted. We shall see. I’ll work at home in the morning and then head to Heather’s in the afternoon. Today I was the after-school care for the Goldpebbles when they got home from school. Sam got home first and talked about the placement test he took today for his new school next year. He moves from Morris Pond to Lawrence where all Falmouth students attend grades 7 and 8. When Ollie and Jonah got home, Ollie was so excited to show me the academic achievement award he received at the East Falmouth Elementary town meeting this morning. Jonah also received an academic achievement award and will have his graduation ceremony next week. These little ones are growing up way too fast.

The opposite of fickle is faithful, or constant, loyal, true, committed, or any of another 200 or so words. Today while riding that stationary bike, I finished Michelle Obama’s autobiography, BECOMING. In 2015, I read A MEMOIR by Barbara Bush. Both books were incredible accounts of the lives of these two women, who at first glance appear to be so very different. But what hit me as I finished Michelle’s book is that the two actually had more in common than they had differences. Both women were madly in love with their husbands and stood by them no matter what. Both women loved and supported their children above all else. The big differences between the two is that one was born into wealth and privilege while the other was not. But the one who was not born into wealth and privilege ended up with a law degree from Harvard and had her own successful career before meeting her husband, while the one from wealth and privilege gave up college to marry the love of her life. Many differences, but a deep and abiding love of family is what they had in common. Whether you are a woman or a man (especially if you are a man), a Democrat or a Republican (especially if you are a Republican), I highly recommend you read Michelle Obama’s book. It is a wonderful documentation of life in today’s crazy world and helps put things into perspective.

2019 Life Logs, Day 156: Newcomers Dining-in Group June Dinner

2019 Life Logs, Day 156: Newcomers Dining-in Group June Dinner
Date: Wednesday, June 5, 2019
Weather: Mostly Cloudy; High 69, Low 64 degrees
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Tonight, my Newcomers Dining-in group had our June gathering at Peter and Karen Baranowski’s home. It was a fantastic dinner, but the greatest thing about these ‘almost’ monthly gatherings is that we are together, sharing ideas and supporting one another. Olivia White brought me a copy of the 2019-2020 Chamber of Commerce Falmouth Official Guide as it as a photo from a Camp Oma activity last summer. I took the Goldpebbles to the Falmouth Museums on the Green activity where the boys got to play games from colonial America. A small photo of Sam rolling a wooden hoop with me looking on is on the page sponsored by the Museums in the Official Guide. Thank you, Olivia, for pointing this out to me and bringing me a copy of the guide. Otherwise, I might not have ever seen it. It is this kind of thing those of us in this dining-in group do for each other and I feel blessed to be part of it. One couple in the group had a death in their immediate family just a few days ago, but they came tonight because I think they feel like me. It feels good to be surrounded by friends that you know you can depend on, especially in times of need.

I spent almost three hours of my morning organizing the 12 pages of usernames and passwords that have accumulated over the years. Mark always kept track of this list, and I have been meaning to do a reorganization ever since his death in 2016. I have worked on it a couple of times and even after the three hours this morning, I still have work to do. But I made progress and that is a good thing. Probably half of those passwords will never be used again, but somehow, I feel like I should keep them on the list . . . just in case. Then I headed to the gym to get in my 30 minutes on the stationary bike. I made a stop at the grocery store, came home and had a late lunch, and then spent some time in the kitchen. I had hoped to spend time gardening, but that didn’t get done. It is supposed to rain tomorrow, but I’m still hoping to get a few things planted. I guess it will depend on just how hard it rains.

2019 Life Logs, Day 155: African American Heritage Trail Tour on MV

2019 Life Logs, Day 155: African American Heritage Trail Tour on MV
Date: Tuesday, June 4, 2019
Weather: Sunny and Breezy; High 67 (MV), Low 47 degrees
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Martha’s Vineyard (MV) has a population that goes from 17,000 during the winter to 200,000 by August. There are many reasons that it is such a popular vacation destination, but one of those reasons is the beauty . . . the Aquinnah Cliffs (formerly known as Gay Head), peaceful countryside, dramatic ocean views. I have seen all of those things before, but today I went there to do a tour of the African American Heritage Trail. The markers on the trail are just simple plaques, but the stories behind those plaques are fantastic. It all started when a woman from Ireland, Elaine Cawley Weintraub, was a high school teacher on the island and saw a need to give African American students a sense of their history from the days of slavery to the present. Twenty-seven Falmouth Newcomers made the trip to Martha’s Vineyard today for this tour. We got off the ferry and piled into three mini-vans with three different tour guides. Elaine Cawley Weintraub was one guide, but the van I got into had a Christie Vanderhoop as our guide. Christie is part African American and part Native American. Her husband is also both African American and Native American and he is the post master at the Chilmark Post Office on the island. Chilmark is part of the island where the ‘rich’ people live. It is where the Kennedy property is located, where Carly Simon lives, where John Belushi lived and where he is buried, where Alan Dershowitz lives during the summer, and on and on. As Christie said today, everyone has to go to the post office, so her husband knows all of these people and as a result, he and Christie often get invited to special affairs with the rich and famous. So not only was she knowledgeable about the Heritage Trail, she added all sorts of interesting tidbits about the island and its people. It was a five-hour tour and I certainly came away knowing more about Martha’s Vineyard than I had anticipated learning. African Americans I had never heard of were honored, as well as more familiar people like Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. and Senator Edward Brooke, politicians from the 20th century, and the Obamas who vacationed their while in the White House. The Kennedys and the Clintons, neither African American nor Native American, also hold special significance to those groups on the island as the Kennedys have owned land there for years and the Clintons also vacationed there while in the White House. It was a fantastic tour, but the highlight of my day was at the end of the day when we when visited the Aquinnah Cliffs overlook. I was last there with Mark in July of 2016 and the photo of us has been the photo on my blog site since that time. I have never updated. But today I had a fellow Newcomer take a photo of me in the exact location where Mark and I stood almost three years ago and that will become the updated photo for the blog site. It is time to update from ‘we’ to ‘me’, and I feel good that the photo keeps the same background, same connection. I think that would make Mark smile.