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!

2020 Life Logs, Day 207: I Love It Hot

2020 Life Logs, Day 207: I Love It Hot
Date: Sunday, July 26, 2020
Weather: Another Gorgeous Summer Day; High 88, Low 73 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

When the thermometer on Cape Cod goes into 80’s during the summer, I am in my glory. I love it hot. Today was another one of those days, but because it was a weekend day, I had planned to do more chores around the house instead of getting out and enjoying the beautiful weather. I started taking down the shelves I put up in my living room for starting plants in the spring, but about that time, I got a call from Heather giving me an update on what they have been doing this weekend and inviting me to dinner tonight. They went to Martha’s Vineyard to visit friends yesterday and when they got home last evening they watched Hamilton on the Disney Channel. Today both Heather and Jed were working on projects around the house. When Heather called she had just finished sanding and putting a primer coat on the upstairs bathroom. Jed had to go the hardware store and the boys convinced him to drop them off at the skatepark. The new trick scooters for Jonah and Ollie arrived yesterday and they were very anxious to try them out. I used that excuse to stop working on my project and head to the skatepark to watch them break in those new scooters. Long story short, I ended up staying at the skatepark for the remainder of the afternoon as the boys showed off their new skills on the scooters and their skateboards. And they took a break to play some soccer on the adjacent fields. Heather joined us for a while, but I convinced her to go back home as I was enjoying watching the boys while reading my book. It was 5 o’clock when left the skateboard park, we headed to Smitty’s to get chocolate frappes even though it was almost time for dinner. What the rest of the world calls a milkshake is called a frappe in New England and the idea of cold ice cream drink sounded like the perfect way to end a hot afternoon.

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While waiting for the frappes, Ollie took some great photos of a blue dragon fly with the craziest green eyes. Once we had the frappes, I somehow managed to drop mine and spill half of it. But they are so big that it was probably best for my health that I didn’t drink the whole thing. But the spill prompted Jonah to share some of his frappe with me and then Ollie shared some of his with Sam. Next time, we’ll buy only two frappes for the four of us and share. We went to my house to pick up Shadow and then headed to Grasmere for dinner. But first the boys put a harness on Shadow and went for a run around the neighborhood on their skateboards. Shadow loves it, but he is a tired puppy tonight. For dinner we had clams that the Goldpebbles brought back from a clamming outing on Martha’s Vineyard yesterday. Ollie wanted to see if Shadow would eat clams and we discovered that he LOVES clams as much as he loves pulling Sam on his skateboard.

2020 Life Logs, Day 206: Errand and Chore Day

2020 Life Logs, Day 206: Errand and Chore Day
Date: Saturday, July 25, 2020
Weather: Gorgeous, Sunny, Hot Day; High 85, Low 72 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It was a gorgeous, sunny, hot day—definitely a beach day. But I had a long list of chores to do and errands to run. So that is how I spent my day. Shadow got a much needed bath, laundry got done, food that was delivered or bought at the grocery store was put away, bottles got recycled, books needed for book club reading were bought or ordered, and the last bits of hardware needed to do the drip irrigation system at Heather and Jed’s were bought. That was it. All of the emails I wanted to write didn’t get done. Maybe tomorrow.

2020 Life Logs, Day 205: The Joy of Grandchildren

2020 Life Logs, Day 205: The Joy of Grandchildren
Date: Friday, July 24, 2020
Weather: Partly Cloudy; High 80, Low 66 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was supposed to be a day off for Camp Oma as Heather and family had planned a vacation day on Martha’s Vineyard. But the weather was not perfect, so this morning that trip was put off until tomorrow. I stayed home during the morning, but just before 1 PM I called Heather to ask if they had eaten lunch. The answer was no, so I offered to deliver lunch from Subway. Yesterday Sam mentioned that he hadn’t had Subway for months, so we did it today. Sam was especially grateful and the smile on his face was a great big thank you to me. Jonah was just as grateful, not for the sub, but for the chocolate chip cookie I got for everyone. Jonah definitely has a sweet tooth and is absolutely sure that chocolate is a food group.

After lunch Sam helped me with my drip irrigation project for plants on their deck and that required a trip to the hardware store. Heather was working on sanding the upstairs bathroom and just before I headed to the hardware store, one of sanders bit the dust. Sam went with me to the hardware store where we got a new sander, the parts we needed for the irrigation system, and fancy dancy PVC pipe cutter.

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I then suggested that he run across the street to the skateboard shop to see if they had bearings and spacers for his new skateboard. Last week it became evident that all three boys needed their own skateboard, so I suggested that Sam order the parts he would need to build his own. He was super excited by this idea and his smiles and thank you’s have given me great joy. He spent a lot of time last week trying to order the just right parts, but wheels in particular just weren’t available until August. We checked the shop downtown and they didn’t have them either. But the board shop in Hyannis had them, so Jed picked those up yesterday when he took Sam and Jonah to their Scout outing. That left only two parts needed for board completion and those are to be delivered next Tuesday. But this afternoon I thought that if needed in the board shop and completed the building of board when we got home. Just watching him building his own skateboard was joyous, but look of accomplishment on his face was total joy. And Jonah and Ollie were also overjoyed as they now each have their own board. This called for a trip to the skatepark. On each visit to the park, the boys increase their skills as they get a really good physical work out. There are falls and scrapes, but no one complains too much. I love watching them improve their skills and they are very proud of their accomplishments on both the skateboards and the scooters. Ahh, the joy of grandchildren.

2020 Life Logs, Day 204: More Skatepark and Water Play

2020 Life Logs, Day 204: More Skatepark and Water Play
Date: Thursday, July 23, 2020
Weather: Sunny AM, Partly Cloudy PM; High 81, Low 71 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Camp Oma Afternoons roll on. Yesterday the boys and I checked the weather forecast for today and made plans for today based on that. It looked like we could have thunderstorms in the afternoon, so we planned to make it a Lego afternoon at their house. But it was a beautiful, sunny morning, so when I arrived to pick up the boys, everyone wanted to go to the skatepark. We had to plan a short afternoon as Jed was taking Sam and Jonah to a Scouting activity at Camp Greenough this evening, as he did Ollie on Tuesday, so we decided to go to the skatepark, go to my house for lunch, and play Legos there. Jed would pick up Sam and Jonah at my house which is on the way to the Scouting venue. The boys usually spend an hour or less at the skatepark, but today everyone wanted to stay longer. By the time we got to my house and had lunch, it was almost time for Sam and Jonah to get ready to go. Instead of Legos, the Sam and Jonah changed into swim wear and launched into a water battle while Ollie headed down to the dock to launch a kayak. My driveway became the battleground for the water battle and Sam and Jonah had a great time. When the magic time came, they stopped and got dressed and then they were off with their dad for their evening of adventure.

It was just after 3:30 when Jed picked up Sam and Jonah and I then headed down to the dock to check on Ollie. He had launched a kayak but was waiting for me before taking it out. He spent the next hour kayaking and jumping off the dock into the water. From the water, he practiced getting into the kayak without capsizing it. He practiced pushing the kayak from behind by becoming a human propeller. And he practiced swimming with a kayak paddle moving him forward. When his older brothers are around, he is often reluctant to try new things. But this afternoon he really enjoyed his alone time in the water and perfected a number of skills. Then we headed to the driveway to have a water battle with the two of us. I definitely lost that battle, but I had a good time losing! When I drove Ollie home, Heather, Ollie, and I had take-out on the deck for dinner, celebrating another fun summer day.

2020 Life Logs, Day 203:  Just Hangin’ Out

2020 Life Logs, Day 203:  Just Hangin’ Out
Date:  Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Weather:  Overcast AM, Some Rain, Partly Sunny PM; High 80, Low 71 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

The weather today improved as the day progressed, but that made it difficult to make prior plans for our Camp Oma Afternoon.  When I arrived at the Goldstones around noon, the rain had mostly stopped, but it was still cloudy.  We decided to take our chances and go to the skatepark and we won on that decision.  There were a few dibble dopps of rain, but the pavement was dry and the boys were able to get in their practice time.  Then we headed downtown to the skateboard shop called BoardStiff.  Sam has tried for a few days to buy all of the parts for a new skateboard online, but he has not been able to find some parts with an acceptable delivery date.  Evidently lots of parts are backordered and that was confirmed by the sales person at BoardStiff.  He said they have not been able to get wheels all summer.  But we did find a beautiful deck in the size Sam wanted.  The bottom is red with the word C-h-o-c-o-l-a-t-e written across it in natural wood tones.  The deck is made by Chocolate Skateboards out of Torrance, California.  They are good looking, but also have a great reputation.  The company declares that their boards can handle anything.  Even Sam?  They are known to be extremely durable and can last for years.  So he chose that one.  There are other parts that we still need, so I called the skateboard shop in Hyannis and think I have found the last bits needed needed.  Hopefully by the end of next week, we will have a third board put together and all three boys can enjoy skateboarding without having to vie for their time on the two boards we have.

From downtown, we drove to my house for lunch and for some play time with Shadow.  Sam put a harness on Shadow and he pulled Sam on his skateboard while running after Ollie on his scooter.  Jonah brought up the rear on his skateboard and wished he had brought his scooter as Shadow can run faster pulling Sam than Jonah can keep up with on a skateboard.  The clouds were clearing by mid-afternoon, but still the boys didn’t want to go to the beach.
Instead, they put on bathing suits and engaged in water play in the sand/mud box.


Then, just as we were about to call it a day, the sun came out and everyone wanted to sink and retrieve kayaks.  It seemed like the perfect way to wash off the mud, so off they went.  As I watched, I got a kick out of watching Jonah swim using a kayak paddle.  All you could see was his head and alternating paddle blades—a human kayak paddle.  While Jonah was doing that, Sam was kicking hard to push the mostly sunken kayak.  He looked like a human propeller.  Ollie stayed afloat today, but in or out of the water, all three boys enjoyed their kayak adventure.

2020 Life Logs, Day 202: Fun Afternoon at Wood Neck

2020 Life Logs, Day 202: Fun Afternoon at Wood Neck
Date: Tuesday, July 21, 2020
Weather: Sunny and Hot; High 88, Low 69 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Sunny, hot weather made a trip to the beach a perfect activity for this afternoon. We chose Wood Neck and were having so much fun that I didn’t get a chance to take any photos. I was in the water with the boys the whole time. We walked back into the marsh to an area the boys have designated for diving. Ollie and I collected jingle shells on our way to the diving area and then all four of us dove in the water looking for quahogs and the boys had boogie board surfing contests. We then walked back to our home base and had lunch before heading across to the ocean side of Wood Neck where the boys used the skim board in the low tide area and jumped the waves further out. We had to leave early as Ollie and Jed had to drive to Camp Greenough for a Scouting activity. Jonah and Sam went home with me to play with Shadow. Jonah and I spotted a red-tailed hawk on the top of the light pole at the end of my driveway and then Jonah spent time trying to photograph the osprey that was circling to drive the hawk away.
Unfortunately, the battery in the camera was dead and by the time we got it replaced, the osprey was higher in the sky making getting a photo difficult. When it was time to head home, Heather sent a text asking if the boys would like to join her at Surf Drive for a late afternoon swim. Sure! So, we were off again.

2020 Life Logs, Day 201: Skatepark, Legos, and Beach

2020 Life Logs, Day 201: Skatepark, Legos, and Beach
Date: Monday, July 20, 2020
Weather: Sunny, Hotter; High 84, Low 70 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

The window fan in my bedroom shows the current temperature and this evening when I got home it was 80 degrees in the bedroom with the fan going full blast. That is the hottest it has been this summer. We have had a couple of days where the outside high was 80, but today it was 84. That must have been just enough to cause the indoor temperature to rise to an almost uncomfortable level. Even I, the person who loves hot weather, was hot inside this evening. The saving grace is that the outdoor temperature is going down, slowly, so hopefully it will be a comfortable sleeping night. Jed went to Boston today and he said it was 96 degrees F there. That really is hot and thankfully we just don’t usually get high temps like that here on the Cape.

Each of the Goldpebbles wanted to do different things today. I tried to accommodate all their wishes, but that made the day too rushed. Lesson learned. Sam and Jonah wanted to go the skatepark, so we started there. Then we went to my house to have lunch and to play with Shadow and then back to the Goldstones to play with Legos. That was a request of Ollie and Jonah.

Then we headed to the beach in the late afternoon. That was the perfect way to end a hot day, and although we had all agreed that we would just spend an hour at the beach, it just wasn’t long enough for any of us. I got in the water and did some snorkeling today. We were at Surfside Beach and there were lots of small, and some large, fish in the water. Jonah found a big scallop that would open and shut for him. It was great, but we all just needed more water time. So tomorrow we’ll do skatepark and then head straight to the beach, have a picnic lunch and stay for the afternoon. We agreed to save the Lego play for non-beach days.

2020 Life Logs, Day 200: Lovely Sunday

2020 Life Logs, Day 200: Lovely Sunday
Date: Sunday, July 19, 2020
Weather: Sunny, Hot, Windy; High 80, Low 71 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It was a lovely Sunday. My landlord and friend, Shirley, who lives next door, will be leaving tomorrow for an undetermined length of time. She and her 101 year-old sister Doris live together, half time here at Shirley’s home and half time closer to Boston in Doris’s home. Tomorrow is the day they head back to Doris’ home, so I decided to host a luncheon for them. The idea was to have a fully coronavirus approved luncheon on their deck, but it ended up to be too windy for them, so we ate indoors. I was a bit nervous for them as we weren’t wearing masks and we were indoors, but hopefully we are all coronavirus free. Karen Baranowski is the niece of Shirley and Doris, so she and Peter joined us for lobster rolls, salad, and corn on the cob. Karen provided a blueberry roll for dessert and everything was delicious. I haven’t visited much with Shirley and Doris since March due to being coronavirus careful, but I will miss knowing they are next door. Both are amazing women that I am proud to call friends.

After lunch, I headed to Heather and Jed’s to pick up Sam and take him down town to Board Stiff, the local skateboard headquarters. He is trying to put together the parts for a new skateboard and we both thought it would be helpful to see things in real time rather than on the internet. Unfortunately, they didn’t have the parts he needs to put this ‘perfect’ board together, but he got some good advice and we will be ready to order tomorrow after he does a little more research tonight. I dropped Sam off and hurried home to connect via Skype with Justin and family. They are doing okay so far despite the fact that the coronavirus is on the rise there. Justin recounted an event that happened in their town yesterday. Econo is the name of the local supermarket and they have a security person on duty at the door to make sure that anyone entering is wearing a mask. Evidently a tourist from mainland USA wanted to enter the store without a mask and was told that was not an option. He promptly spit in the face of the security person and had to be subdued by bystanders until the police arrived. Justin said that everyone that lives in Rincon just accepts that they must wear a mask and it was shocking to see such a display by a tourist. It makes me feel so blessed to live in Massachusetts where everyone just automatically wears a mask. But here on the Cape I have heard of similar incidents as Justin described with visiting tourists—not quite as violent, but just as defiant. I just cannot comprehend why people don’t accept that wearing a mask is good for them and good for everyone around them.

After my Skype call, I headed to a gathering of my Newcomers Wine Group. It is the first time I have been with the group in person since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and it was great to see everyone. We met in one member’s backyard with individual tables set very far apart. We all felt very safe and really enjoyed being together.
We hope to have a beach gathering in August. I didn’t get a photo of the group, but I did capture the saying on the napkins: “Alcohol—Because no great story ever started with someone eating a salad.”

2020 Life Logs, Day 199: Waste of a Beautiful Summer Day

2020 Life Logs, Day 199: Waste of a Beautiful Summer Day
Date: Saturday, July 18, 2020
Weather: Sunny and Hot; High 84, Low 67 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Technology is great until it isn’t. Here’s the long story. My phone dropped out of my back pocket Thursday a week ago when I was in the Menauhant Beach parking lot. I was packing the back of my car after an afternoon at the beach when my phone plopped face down on one little piece of gravel in the dirt parking area. That’s all it took to make my screen look like an intricate spider web. The phone was still usable, but I knew I had to get the screen replaced. Without checking, the next day I called the Cellfone Fixer and said I needed a new screen for a Samsung J8. I was sure that was what I had bought. The woman who answered the phone said that they didn’t have a J8 in stock and since it was a Friday, it would be in on Monday or Tuesday. She would call. But she didn’t. This week flew by and yesterday I called to see if the screen was in. Yes. I was instructed to bring the phone in anytime time and 40 minutes later, it would be fixed. So today around noon I headed to the Cellfone Fixer in Mashpee, about a ten minute drive. When I got there, the guy who does the fixing took a look and told me my phone was not an J8 as I had told them. So much for being sure and not checking. He said it was an S8 and he didn’t have any of those screens in stock. Ugh. But he had a slightly used S8 that he assured me was just fine and he could take the mother board out of my phone, put it in the new phone, and I would be all set. Since I didn’t want to spend any more time on this, I agreed. While I was waiting, I walked down the street in the Mashpee Commons to the little organic grocery store I have been using since the early days of the coronavirus. I can always order from Rory’s and have things delivered on the same day. But since it was just down the street, I went in today and picked up a few items. When I returned to check on my phone, the phone still wasn’t ready. So I waited another 10 minutes in the car. Finally, it was done. It looked like everything was fine, so I drove home. Next on my ‘to do’ list was to check on the delivery of the planters that I ordered for Heather and Jed’s deck on May 9th. Finally, on July 1, I got a message from UPS that said the packages had been labeled. But there has not been an update since then. This afternoon, I tried a back and forth messaging ‘conversation’ on my computer with UPS and got nowhere, so I decided to call. That’s when I got a message telling me I had no mobile network connection. Sure enough, when I looked closely at my home screen, it showed no bars. I tried turning the phone off and on and checked the settings, but I got nowhwere. So now I needed to call AT&T. But, of course, I got another ‘no mobile network’ message. I turned on my computer and tried to call via Skype. That worked and I got a real person almost immediately who couldn’t help me. She had to transfer me to technical support and I had to wait about 30 minutes to get someone who asked me if the person who worked on my phone replaced the SIM card. I had no idea. She gave me instructions on how to pop open the door to the SIM card on my phone, but the instructions didn’t work. She explained that I was going to have to call the person who worked on it, ask him, and then call back and go through the waiting time again. Ugh, ugh, ugh. I used Skype to call the Cellfone Fixer. No answer and a nice little message that said they have a busy little shop and in order to talk to someone, I would need to come in. I won’t say what I thought about that message, but I got back in the car and drove back to Mashpee. The ‘fixer’ listened to my story, opened the back of the phone, and discovered that evidently in Samsung phones you also have to transfer the mother board plus the mechanism that holds the SIM card. The fix was fairly quick and the phone does work fine now. But what a waster of a beautiful afternoon.

Unfortunately, the day was almost over by the time I got home and I just couldn’t face trying to battle with UPS over where in the world the deck planters are, so that will have to wait until Monday morning. Instead, I headed outside to remove some of the briars that I obviously missed in the spring when I worked on prickly briar removal. Everyday when I take Shadow for a little walk in the woods by the cottage, I get caught by these prickly vines. I made some progress, did some watering in areas not yet covered by the drip irrigation system, and called it a day. In between all of this, Heather and gang stopped by on their way to a late day stop at the beach. All of the beach equipment like boogie boards and buckets and shovels are in my car, so they stopped to get that. Then Peter Baranowski stopped by to share the bounty of clams he got this afternoon. It was way more than I could eat, so I, in turn, sent a text to Heather and said I’d drive to the beach when they were ready to go home and share some of the clams with them. The clams saved an otherwise wasted day. Thank you, Peter!

2020 Life Logs, Day 198: Free and Easy Friday

2020 Life Logs, Day 198: Free and Easy Friday
Date: Friday, July 17, 2020
Weather: Overcast with Periods of Light Rain; High 71, Low 67 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

As predicted, today was overcast with periods of light rain . . . enough rain to make the pavement wet which curbed the plan to take the Goldstones to the skatepark this morning. Instead, when I arrived to pick them up, we worked on practical things like music practice for Ollie and Sam (Jonah had already practiced) and finishing up writing birthday thank you notes for Jonah.
Ollie went down to the basement first to practice violin and I followed along with my phone so he could use the tuner on my phone to tune up. Once he started playing, I stayed to listen and was able to get a couple of photos of him in action. Delightful. I headed back upstairs and folded laundry while Sam practiced drums, but even with the basement door closed, you can hear the drums upstairs. So, I got to enjoy his playing, and then Jonah’s as he went down to accompany Sam, but I didn’t go back down to get photos. While we doing all of this, a new skateboard was delivered and Sam was so very anxious to try it out. He did take it out on the street for a couple of runs and then we packed it in my car, along with the second skateboard, so we could go to the skatepark later if the weather improved. Somehow, all of this took about two hours and it was way past lunch time when we headed to my house. On the way home, I stopped at Wicked n’ Wood to pick up ribs for lunch. This is a summer-only roadside BBQ place, a trailer with a great wood smoker that is open only on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and sometimes Thursday. But today it was closed with the ‘Gone Fishing’ sign. I had promised the boys this take-out treat, but since they were closed, I suggested we go across the street and try the take-out at Le Bon Jour. This is a tiny little take-out place run by some young men from Senegal. Friends have recommended it, but I had never tried it. Much of the menu is Mexican, which seems inconsistent with the French Name, but the Senegal is French and the young men speak French and English. The menu allows a build-your-own burrito, so that is what Sam and Ollie ordered. Jonah decided that he would make his own burrito when we got to my house, so I went along with that idea for myself. The service was fast and efficient, and according to Sam and Ollie, the burritos were delicious. Sam was able to get both steak and braised lamb in his burrito and he was in heaven. I got to taste enough to know that the spicing is delicious, so this place will be added to the Goldstone take-out list. I’ll return to order their gumbo. Just reading about it made me hungry.

After eating lunch, we decided to watch a Harry Potter movie which took the rest of the afternoon. After the movie, Jonah and Sam headed out to the street with the skateboards and Shadow on a leash. It appears that Shadow enjoys skateboarding with Sam and is strong enough to pull him up the gentile hill. I went out to watch the show but unfortunately didn’t have a camera with me to catch the action. I’ll definitely follow along with a camera the next time as it is quite a sight!