Welcome to The Voyage of Windbird . . . and Beyond.  My name is Judy Handley and I live on Cape Cod in Massachusetts.  For six years of my life, my husband Mark and I sailed around the world.  I documented that story, one day at a time, in this blog that was then just called The Voyage of Windbird.  Those daily logs from 2005 to 2011 tell the story of our circumnavigation.  While sailing, my daily logs were sent via Ham radio to the internet to appear on this blog spot each morning.  My son Justin made that happen, and to this day, I don’t understand the process.  But it was like magic.  I would sit in the cockpit each afternoon around 4 pm and summarize the day’s activities.  During the evening when the conditions were just right for sending radio emails, my husband would send the log.  The next morning my son, my daughter, other members of my family and good friends would read the news and know exactly where in the world we were and what fun we were having.  

After almost 6 years of traveling, we sailed into Woods Hole on Cape Cod.  We continued living aboard for the next five years and I wrote about that, adding ‘and Beyond’ to the title of the blog.  Then shortly before Mark’s death in 2016, we sold our beloved Windbird and my travel logs became land logs.  At this point, I had written a daily account for each and every day for 11 years.  I fully intended to end the blog at that point, but when I wrote that news in a log, I got many responses saying that I really needed to keep posting.  At the same time, I realized that I couldn’t stop writing.  Summarizing each day had become a permanent part of my life and I will probably continue writing until I can no longer.  These postings reflect the ordinary, and sometimes the extraordinary, days in my life and I would like to invite you to join me on my journey.

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!

2021 Life Logs, Day 99: Taxes and a Scavenger Hunt

2021 Life Logs, Day 99: Taxes and a Scavenger Hunt
Date: Friday, April 9, 2021
Weather: Sunny; High 60, Low, 41 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

The day finally came when I had to stop everything and do my taxes for 2020. Somehow by the time I gathered everything and finally hit the complete button on my computer, the morning was gone and a little of the afternoon as well. It was a beautiful day which made me sorry for not doing this sooner. I could have played outside today. But at least that task is done for another year. I also realized in the process of filing my taxes that my driver’s license is expired. So, I spent the next bit of my afternoon filling out the online form to get a new license.
Then it was time to go get Ollie and head to Woods Hole. Yesterday I told him about the Woods Hole Library Spring Scavenger Hunt where you look for specific bells and weathervanes in the village. He loved the idea and wanted to go this afternoon. So away we went. There were six bells and seven weathervanes to find. We found the bells more easily than we thought we would, but the weathervanes were more challenging. The library flyer has photos of the weathervanes and we eventually found six of the seven. Since photos of the weathervanes are in the flyer, we can share the weathervane photos. We will return to find a grasshopper weathervane and take a better photo of one that was camouflaged in the branches of a tree. We found Cricket Lane, but there were no grasshoppers there!

Ollie had great fun taking photos of the finds. He commented that it has been a very long time since we have been out and about due to Covid. And he said he has missed that. He also said he had forgotten how much he loves taking photos with my camera. I really enjoyed the hunt and the fact that I did not need to take the photos. I did take a couple of Ollie with some of the bells, but I can’t share the bell photos until May when the Scavenger Hunt ends. We wouldn’t want to give away the secrets to fellow scavengers. This is a great activity for adults as well as kids. Ollie and I spent an hour and a half of intense searching. The section of Woods Hole included in the hunt is not that big, but it really takes an eagle eye to find the treasures. And the clues for the bells definitely need an adult’s knowledge, as well as some inside Woods Hole in-the-know.

2021 Life Logs, Day 98: Puzzling and Editing

2021 Life Logs, Day 98: Puzzling and Editing
Date: Thursday, April 8, 2021
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 57, Low, 39 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

All winter, and now into the spring, I have kept a jigsaw puzzle on my dining table next to my computer. I write, get up and put in a couple of pieces of a puzzle, write some more, take the dog for a walk, write some more, put a few more pieces of the puzzle in place, and on and on. But today I was close to finishing the puzzle and spent more time puzzling that I should have. I finished Chapter 13 last night and today I have finished doing the first read through of that chapter, making edits as I go. Editing is a slow, tedious process, and this chapter about our time in the Society Islands in French Polynesia was even more tedious because of the spelling of the mixed French and Polynesian words. When I wrote my logs at the time, I did not have Google at my fingertips to check on the various spellings of the places we visited. Now I do, but it takes time. I will do one more read through tomorrow morning and then move on. In number of days, I am three-quarters of the way through Year One of the Voyage of Windbird. Only five and one quarter years to go!!!

2021 Life Logs, Day 97: Happy Birthday, Ziggy

2021 Life Logs, Day 97: Happy Birthday, Ziggy
Date: Wednesday, April 7, 2021
Weather: Mostly Sunny AM, Mostly Cloudy PM; High 56, Low, 41 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA


Ziggy Milo Handley turned 12 years old today. Oh, my. One more year and he’ll be a teenager. Jonah is hot on his heels as he will turn 12 in June. My grandchildren are growing up way too fast. Ziggy got to take the day off school and the whole family went to a trampoline park. Since other children were in school, they only had to share they whole park with two other families and they had a great time. Coco got Ziggy a stuffed lamb that he loved. Jo says he is obsessed with lambs. And he got a Bob Ross bobble head mini-figure. I had to ask, “Who is Bob Ross?” Evidently he was an American painter who had a wildly popular program on PBS in the 1980’s called The Joy of Painting. I am constantly amazed that my grandchildren have much greater pop culture knowledge of the 1970’s and 1980’s than I do. I sent Ziggy a portable basketball hoop. He is not a kid that is into sports, but Justin is hoping that he can get Ziggy interested in taking breaks from his computer programming and play basketball with him. Evidently Coco made more baskets today than Justin, so maybe she can get Ziggy to play.
While they were setting up the hoop, their pot-bellied pig named Rabbit was the first to check it out. Justin sent me a photo of that—a Puerto Rican basketball playing pot-bellied pig. Made my day! When they called tonight so I could sing Happy Birthday to Ziggy, Jo was cutting the birthday cake. Chocolate on chocolate. It looked delicious. Happy Birthday, Ziggy.

I got up bright and early this morning and put a pot of chicken mineral broth on to burble for the day. Once that was on, I spent the morning finishing up Chapter 13 of The Voyage of Windbird and am now on to Chapter 14 which will take me to Rarotonga in the Cook Islands. After I finished, I headed to Hyannis to Home Depot to buy a new faucet for my kitchen sink. Then I rushed home to pick Ollie up after school. Then I drove to Woods Hole to the Woods Hole Library to pick up information on an April Scavenger Hunt and got home five minutes late for a Zoom ‘house party’ question and answer session with Onjale Scott Price, a young woman of color who is running for a position on the Falmouth Select Board. She is most impressive and will definitely get my vote. It was a busy and productive day.

2021 Life Logs, Day 96: Making Money Back

2021 Life Logs, Day 96: Making Money Back
Date: Tuesday, April 6, 2021
Weather: Overcast AM, Partly Sunny PM; High 56, Low, 41 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was a day of making money ‘back’. It was money I have spent, but today I took the time to assure that I will get it back. First, I sent the necessary paperwork to Honda to assure that I will get back the $1700+ that I spent on replacing both of my front drive shaft assemblies on my Honda Fit. Honda assures me the work I had done makes the vehicle safe and they will foot the bill. Both pieces of good news. Then I went on to Priceline. In January of last year I made a reservation on United Airlines through Priceline to attend a Willie Nelson concert in Lexington, Kentucky in April. As we all know, Covid was raging in April of last year and I cancelled the flight. At the time, I was told by United that I could not be reimbursed the $318 I had paid for the flight. They did say that I could make a new reservation within 15 months of the date I had purchased the ticket. Well, I purchased the ticket on January 3 of 2020 and today I realized that was 15 months ago. I called Priceline anyway. They talked to United and now I have until March 31 of 2022 to make a reservation. Hopefully by that time I will feel safe enough to fly somewhere!

My day started on a more negative note. I had an 11 am dental cleaning appointment, but I realized last night that I did not have the Amoxicillin that I have to take before any dental work due to my knee replacement. I could not even find the prescription bottle. I called CVS, but they had no record of that prescription. I left a message for the dentist. Then this morning, I called the dentist office and found out they could not issue a prescription. It had to come from the orthopedic surgeon. I called that office and left messages. When I didn’t hear back by 9:15 am, I called to reschedule the dental cleaning. At 10:15 am I did get a call from the orthopedic surgeon’s office apologizing for not getting back to me sooner. I accepted their apology but knew it was my own stupidity that caused the problem in the first place. I should have made sure I had the Amoxicillin before 8 pm last night! But all is well that ends well. I have a dental cleaning appointment on Thursday, and I have the Amoxicillin in hand.
The weather has been interesting over the past few days. The high and low temperatures have been the same, but cloudy skies and wind have caused it to feel cooler than the temps would indicate. Finally, this afternoon the sun came out and it felt warm—same temp, just no wind. By the time I picked Ollie up after school, you did not even need a jacket. I took Jonah to the skatepark and Ollie rode along. I then went to fill up my empty gas tank, took Ollie home for his violin lesson, and then went back to the skatepark to wait for Jonah to finish up. Then it was home to play ball outside with Shadow.

By 5:30 pm, I was back to writing and finished up at 7:45 pm. I was oh so close to finishing Chapter 13, but I did not quite make it. That will happen tomorrow. I have had a lot of distractions in the past few days, and I wanted to make sure that what I had written about the time that Mark’s sister Mary Ellen and brother-in-law Lee were with us was just right. This evening when I wrote about taking them to the airport in Bora Bora to fly home, I really felt sad. Mark and I had a wonderful time with them in Tahiti, Moorea, Raiatea, and finally in Bora Bora. I think I finally got it right, so tomorrow on to Chapter 14. But I have to admit, if had the money, I would fly to Tahiti, charter a sailboat, and sail through those islands again.
Or maybe I would just fly to Bora Bora and spent time in one of those little tiki hut hotel rooms out over the water. And speaking of water, the colors of the shallow lagoon in Bora Bora challenged me. I was not sure what color name to use to describe it. I’m attaching a photo for those of you who read this online. If you can name the color, let me know. Bora Bora was a fabulous destination.

2021 Life Logs, Day 95: Back to Normal

2021 Life Logs, Day 95: Back to Normal
Date: Monday, April 5, 2021
Weather: Overcast; High 54, Low, 40 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Weatherwise, today was a repeat of yesterday . . . without the sunshine. There was a tad of brightness in the afternoon, but the cloud cover remained. But today was not a repeat of yesterday for me. It was a ‘back to normal’ day. The holiday weekend was over and my body’s strong response to the second Moderna vaccine was also over. I had a few chills before bedtime last night, so I piled on the blankets and slept through the night. Hurray! I hope that my reaction to the second vaccine is as close as I ever get to the coronavirus symtoms.

I spent today writing and am very close to ending another chapter. Chapter 13 covers the five weeks we spent in the Society Islands in French Polynesia—Tahiti, Moorea, Raiatea, and Bora Bora. For three of those weeks, Mark’s sister Mary Ellen and brother-in-law Lee were with us and I have called them a few times in the last few days to ‘check’ my memory. And as I have noted in prior logs, I think it is fitting that Chapter 13 covers the time when I broke my leg. I am just glad that it did not seem to change anything. We continued doing everything we had been doing. I just had to learn new ways to do those things. By Tuesday, I should be on to Chapter 14 which covers our passage to Rarotonga in in the Cook Islands where my friend Linda Stuart, her husband Mike, and son Garrett came to visit. Fun memories.

2021 Life Logs, Day 94: Happy Anniversary to Justin and Jo on Easter Sunday

2021 Life Logs, Day 94: Happy Anniversary to Justin and Jo on Easter Sunday
Date: Sunday, April 4, 2021
Weather: Sunny, North Winds; High 54, Low, 41 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Wednesday is my son Justin’s lucky day. He was born on a Wednesday in 1977 and he married Joanne Elizabeth Hunt on Wednesday, April 4, 2007. They had a bit of a rough day today as they had to spend much of it working on fencing on their property. Yesterday their six-month-old puppy, Lenny, got through the fencing and was shot with a pellet gun by a neighbor. Justin spent last night at the vet hospital and today repairing fencing. But still he said they managed to have a fun Easter Sunday and that Lenny should be fine. And I hope they found some time to celebrate their anniversary.

Easter Sunday here was a little quieter than usual. I did not go to Heather and Jed’s for the annual backyard Easter egg hunt. Last night just after I sent my log, I started feeling simply horrible. It became evident that I was not going to be one of those people who has no symptoms after their second coronavirus vaccine. I started chilling and every muscle and bone in my body seemed to hurt. I went to bed immediately, but I could not sleep. It was after 1:00 am before I went to sleep, but then I was up and down all night. I got up at 6:30 am to take Shadow out and I sent a text to Heather telling her I would not be coming for the egg hunt. I decided to take a couple of Ibuprofen even though I knew that any NSAID pain killer can interfere with vaccine effectiveness. At that point, I didn’t care. I just wanted to sleep. It worked and when I got up at 11:00 am I felt so much better. Ten hours of misery is not too much to ask in return for being vaccinated against the coronavirus. But it did give me just a little window into what it might feel like. I cannot imagine feeling like that, and even worse, for days! So glad to have that second vaccination. And so glad I rebounded enough to have the Goldstones over for Easter dinner and an Oma Easter egg hunt. All is well that ends well.

2021 Life Logs, Day 93: Second Vaccination at Gillette Stadium

2021 Life Logs, Day 93: Second Vaccination at Gillette Stadium
Date: Saturday, April 3, 2021
Weather: Sunny, Still Cool; High 44, Low, 31 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Woohoo! I have now had my second coronavirus vaccine. Since I received my first Moderna vaccine at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, my second vaccine was scheduled for the same place.
It was a bit of a drive, but the process is so easy there. Today they were administering vaccines at Gillette West and Gillette East. My appointment time was 12:42 pm. And the appointment times were schedule for every minute. They have a big billboard in front of the parking lot that shows which appointment time they are currently accepting. As with my first time there, my appointment time came up ten minutes early. By the time I got out of my car, walked into the building, showed my appointment confirmation, took the escalator upstairs, and was directed to ‘my’ nurse, it was 12:42 pm on the dot. By 12:44 pm I was sitting in a chair to wait my fifteen minutes.
I did not take time to count how many nurses were administering vaccines at the same time, but I think it was about twenty. I waited ten minutes and then walked outside to take a photo of the stadium. The last time I was there, the turf was missing. Today it was back, ready for another season.

I drove home without stopping and went directly to Heather and Jed’s. I had a date with my grandsons to dye Easter eggs. All three boys, regardless of age, seemed to really enjoy the process. I will return tomorrow morning for an Easter egg hunt and late tomorrow afternoon they will come here for Easter dinner.

I talked to Justin, Ziggy, and Coco when I got home. I didn’t get to talk to Jo as she was outside. Justin called to let me know that an Easter gift I sent arrived, as well as Ziggy’s birthday present. Tomorrow is Justin and Jo’s fourteenth anniversary and Ziggy turns twelve on Wednesday. When Justin said ‘12’ it stopped me dead in my tracks. I’ve gotten used to the idea that Sam is a full-fledged teenager, but to think that Ziggy and Jonah, whose twelfth birthday is in June, are hot on his heels took my breath away. They are growing up so fast.

2021 Life Logs, Day 92: Trip to Hyannis Honda

2021 Life Logs, Day 92: Trip to Hyannis Honda
Date: Friday, April 2, 2021
Weather: Sunny, but Nippy; High 39, Low, 26 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I love my little Honda Fit. But two times in the last two years, I could have been seriously injured or even killed when first one, then the other drive shaft broke causing an instant loss of power. In both cases, the car just stopped dead in its tracks with no warning. I had a guardian angel with me on both occasions as I was stopped at an intersection both times. The power loss happened just as I moved into the intersections, but not far enough in that traffic couldn’t go around me. If this had happened when I was speeding down the highway in traffic, who knows what would have happened. When the front driver side drive shaft broke, my daughter Heather and one grandson were with me. I am just thankful that no one was hurt.

Last week I received a recall letter from the Honda Automobile Division alerting me that my Fit is under recall due to the fact that “the protective coating on the drive shaft may not properly adhere to it, causing the drive shaft to more susceptible to damage from road debris . . . de-icing agents used to maintain the roadway.” I was advised to call my local Honda dealer to have this checked. I called on Monday of this week and was given an appointment today. The good news is that Falmouth Motor Car that replaced both drive shafts did a great job and Honda says there should be no further problem. And Honda should reimburse me for both installations, each of which cost about $900. The only bad news today was the weather while I was waiting. I arrived at 10 am and there was a back-up. I was told there would be at least a two hour wait, not one hour as I had been told when I made the appointment. Because of the surge of coronavirus on the Cape right now, I did not want to wait inside. The temperature outside was barely above freezing, but the sun was shining. So, I went for a long walk, stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts to get a hot coffee and found a seat in an area protected from the wind at Barnstable High School. There are no students this week due to the coronavirus surge. So, I sat and read until I was almost frozen. I decided to walk back and check on the status. When I got there, my Fit was just coming out of the work bay and I was on my way home.

I went to Heather and Jed’s to pick up Ollie and Jonah who had said yesterday they would like to come to my house this afternoon to do some work for me as there was no school today. But they were deep into a Nerf battle and Ollie then had to go to a doctor appointment. They did not end up coming with me today. Maybe tomorrow. Ollie’s appointment was with the orthopedist for a Lyme disease update. The inflammation in his knee is still there after four weeks of Doxycycline. He will continue to take the antibiotic for another couple of weeks and if it is still not improved, at some point he will be referred to an infectious disease physician at Boston Children’s Hospital and probably have to have intravenous antibiotics. The doctor today said he needs to suspend all physical activity, keep elevating the leg, and keep icing it. He really has already limited his activities, but this past week he has been playing soccer with his class at recess. I guess that needs to stop. Poor little guy. How I hate that little tick that has caused Ollie such a huge problem.

2021 Life Logs, Day 91: April Fool’s Day

2021 Life Logs, Day 91: April Fool’s Day
Date: Thursday, April 1, 2021
Weather: Overcast with a Little Rain; High 55, Low, 29 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

April Fool’s Day came a day late for me since the joke was on me yesterday. I thought March 31 was April 1. And after school today, Ollie gave me a sheet of directions to follow. It was an April’s Fool joke and I almost fell for it. Otherwise, my day was unremarkable.

I did get to write about breaking my leg in Moorea and sailing on the next day to another island. At the time, I thought it was no big deal. Just a pain to deal with. Getting on and off the boat was very difficult, but I figured out ways to do it. In looking back and writing about it, I thought I must have been on drugs to think it was no big deal. I even called Mark’s sister and brother-in-law tonight to verify what I had written in my logs. They were with me the night I broke my leg and for the next week and a half. They said I seemed to be unfazed by the whole thing. Less than forty-eight hours after breaking my leg, we were on our way to another island. And then we went on to Bora Bora where we had a wonderful few days. If we had not had guests on board, things might have been different. But I certainly didn’t want to spoil their vacation, so I think I just took a deep breath and said it was time to move on. In the introduction to the book I am writing about the voyage of Windbird, I begin with a quote by Thoreau: “What people say you cannot do, you try and find you can.” I think that truly applies to the broken leg episode. Because Mary Ellen and Lee were with us, I put forth my bravest self and then found that I could continue on without skipping a beat. Or maybe I was so in love with the South Pacific that nothing was going to keep me from enjoying every minute while we were there.

Tomorrow writing might not make it on to my agenda. I take my car to Hyannis tomorrow morning for a recall check due to a defective protective coating on the drive shaft. Then I will return home and pick Ollie up to come home with me. Tomorrow is a school holiday and he wants to work to make money for a remote control car. I have plenty of jobs to keep him busy. Not sure how long he will want to work. So I will write later in the day if I get a chance. If not, I’ll continue on Saturday.

2021 Life Logs, Day 90: Oops

2021 Life Logs, Day 90: Oops
Date: Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Weather: Sunny and Warm; High 62, Low, 50 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Oops! I got a bit ahead of myself. As you well know, today was the last day of March. Not yesterday as I wrote in last night’s log. Still, it went out like a lamb. Today was the warmest day yet, sunny with blue skies, just perfect. So perfect that I just could not stay inside and write this morning. After Shadow and I did our Morning Mile, I did a little garden clean up of one of my raised beds, put a bean tower in one end of the bed, and then planted snap peas around the base of the circular tower. I then moved to a square bean tower that supports a climbing clematis in front of my bedroom window. I cleaned around the base of that tower and planted snap peas there as well. Hopefully in June the Goldpebbles can enjoy snap peas here and at home. They love to pick and eat the peas right in the garden.

Just as I got inside, a friend called that I have not talked to for months. We made up for it today by talking for more than an hour. The friend lost her husband this winter and is making her slow way back to living a good life a new way. After that conversation, I had lunch and just as I sat down to write, friend Karen Baranowski stopped by. We walked down to the dock and sat and talked, again for more than an hour. But it was so beautiful to sit in the sunshine with a cherished friend and talk while Shadow kept us entertained with his antics. I have not been spending much time sitting down by the dock recently, so seeing that the osprey had returned to her nest on what my grandkids have named Osprey Island and watching purple finches flitting around in the tops of the trees in the yard was just delightful. The dock is in Shirley’s yard, my landlord and Karen’s aunt. She is currently in the hospital for the third time in the past few months due to chronic heart failure. I so hope Shirley recovers and can come home to enjoy the beautiful sights from her deck overlooking the water. She and her 102 year-old sister Doris have been at Doris’ home since last August. Hopefully, they can return here soon.

When I picked Ollie up after school, I spent some special time with him to further support his interest in birds. I got a text from Heather at Ollie’s bedtime last night asking if I could take him bird feeder shopping after school today. He desperately wants to attract more chickadees to come closer to their house. Knowing this, I picked my friend Karen’s ‘bird’ brain while we were together today to find out what kind of bird feed and bird feeder we should purchase. Karen and Peter’s side yard is a bird paradise, so I knew she had the information I needed. And I want to make clear that it was the bird knowledge part of Karen’s brain I was probing. Karen is certainly no ‘bird’ brain.

Using Karen’s very helpful guidance, Ollie and I bought two bird feeders, bird food, a huge suet and bird feed cake and hanger for that, plus a container for the bird seed. We then headed to 43 Grasmere and found places to hang everything. Ollie and I then went to the hardware store to get some grass seed to fill in some grassless areas in the front yard. Ollie spread the seed and raked it in without any help. He knew exactly how to do it. Ollie is such a good little worker.

So, I talked part of my day away, but it was so wonderful to connect with friends. I enjoyed the beautiful warm day and got some gardening done. And Ollie and I had a great time setting up bird feeders and planting grass. Ollie told me he wants to start keeping a journal to keep track of when the feeders need to be refilled and what kinds of birds are coming to feed. Since he is temporarily on restricted activity due to the Lyme disease infection in his knee, bird watching seems like a perfect activity, so I hope to find other ways to encourage his interest.

I did get a little writing done in the early evening and will resume in the morning. What I did not get to do today was write about breaking my leg in Moorea. But since April Fool’s Day is tomorrow, not today as I thought last night, tomorrow will be the perfect day for writing about that debacle!