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 312: Field Trip to Edward Gorey House

2019 Life Logs, Day 312: Field Trip to Edward Gorey House
Date: Friday, November 8, 2019
Weather: Sunny, Windy, Cold; High 49, Low 25 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

At 8 Strawberry Lane on the Yarmouthport Common is a 200 year-old sea captain’s home. It was purchased in 1979 by eccentric American author, illustrator, playwright, and set and costume designer, Edward Gorey.He was known for his “arch humor and gothic sensibility” and lived and worked out of the house in Yarmouthport until his death in 2000. After his death, the house became a museum that is dedicated to sharing Gorey’s life and work with the public. And today the Newcomer’s Teacher Group toured the home. I have to admit that I had never heard of Edward Gorey, but when I went to pick up Sam this morning and take him to his before-school Environmental Club meeting, I got a complete overview. When I told Sam where I was going today, he beamed and started telling me everything he knew about Gorey and his work. And he knew a lot. His art class studied Gorey at the beginning of the school year and after a great deal of detail, Sam summarized by saying, “Basically, his work was ‘gorey’. No pun intended.” Sam also told me that Gorey’s illustration were all black and white drawings, that his writing was nonsensical, that he was a man of habit that ate the same thing at the same restaurant every day, and that he had at least 17 cats. Sam also told me about Gorey’s alphabet book where 26 children meet their untimely deaths. He gave me a very concise and accurate pre-tour in the 10 minutes it took us to drive from home to school. Well done, Sam! But still, I was taken back a bit when at the start of the tour there were the legs of doll peaking out from under a rug. That was George from The Gashlycrumb Tinies book. “G is for GEORGE smothered under the rug.” But then I realized why Sam was so taken with Gorey. The alphabet book appeals to middle school humor the way Dr. Seuss books appeal to very young children. Gorey was quite accomplished. He won a Tony Award for his Broadway production of Dracula, did the animated drawings that were used to introduce Masterpiece Theatre’s Mystery! series, and wrote more than a hundred books. After the tour, we had a great lunch at Oliver’s and Plank’s Tavern.

When I got home from the field trip, I went to work rearranging the small bedroom that Ollie claims to make room for a puppy play area. We are all going to meet the puppy on Sunday and and I think I will be bringing him home next weekend. Lots to do and learn to get ready! And as the temperature continued to plunge during the day, it reminded me that I needed to get the storm windows for the big windows in the living room in place. I went to the basement to get them, but came up empty handed. I can’t find them anywhere. Heather and boys came over to help me look, but they couldn’t find them either. Where or where did I put them? We gave up the search and went out to dinner. No cooking today!

2019 Life Logs, Day 311: Shopping Day

2019 Life Logs, Day 311: Shopping Day
Date: Thursday, November 7, 2019
Weather: Overcast, Rain Late; High 64, Low 32 degrees F
Location: Back Home at The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

After I got the Pebbles off to school this morning, I headed off on a hunt and kill shopping trip. I wanted to get a few items from IKEA that I will need for the puppy, I wanted to check the New Balance Outlet which is almost next door to IKEA for a pair of sneakers for serious walks/hiking, and as long as I was in the neighborhood, I planned to stop by Costco. I did all of that and then I needed to get to a Trader Joe’s. I was in charge of dinner for the Goldpebbles tonight and they requested chicken nuggets from Trader Joe’s, the only ones they will eat. I Googled for a Trader Joe’s near me and found that if I drove home via Route 3, there was a Trader Joe’s about a mile from one of the exits just north of Plymouth in a town called Hanover. I got there, found the chicken nuggets, and found friend Jane Woodin who was also shopping there. At Costco, I had seen two other Falmouth friends. Lots of people must have had the same shopping idea for today. Missions accomplished, I headed home, did a few more garden jobs and then headed to Heather’s to relieve the after-school sitter and fix dinner. All three boys were totally cooperative on task both this morning and this evening. Sam and Ollie helped me find the shut-off valves in the basement for the outside faucets and they got the water shut off in anticipation of freezing weather. Tonight is supposed to reach 32 degrees F, but tomorrow night is supposed to dip into the 20’s. I think we are ready now.

Tomorrow I am going on a Newcomer’s Teacher Group field trip, but first I will head back to Heather’s to pick Sam up at 7 am and deliver him to school for an Environmental Club meeting. He is working on trying to get solar panels on the school. I am so proud of him for the way he is assuming leadership roles at school and in Scouts. Go, Sam!

2019 Life Logs, Day 310: Overnight at the Goldstones

2019 Life Logs, Day 310: Overnight at the Goldstones
Date: Wednesday, November 6, 2019
Weather: Overcast and Rainy; High 53, Low 37 degrees F
Location: At Home with Heather and the Goldpebbles, East Falmouth, MA

Tonight was a reversal. Usually the Goldpebbles spend the night with me, but tonight I am staying over at their house. Jed is in England and Heather has to leave the house just after 5 am tomorrow morning to be on the air for fundraising at 5:30 am. I told her only crazy people are up listening to the radio at that time of the morning! Rather than get up at 4:30 to come over here in the morning, I decided to just spend the night. Sam leaves for school at 6:55 am as he has Jazz Band before school tomorrow. Jonah leaves at 7:40 am, and then Ollie doesn’t have to leave until 8:50 am. I’ll be exhausted by 9 am.
I just finished writing this log and then hit some key that caused red squiggly lines to appear and no matter what I did I couldn’t get out of Word or save the log. I had to do a hard shutdown, and when I turned the computer back on, there was no sign of the log. Since I have to get up before 6am tomorrow morning, I am going to bed and will finish writing and sending this tomorrow morning.

Well, it is morning and everyone got off to school just fine. I finished canning my latest batch of chicken mineral broth this morning and now I am off for a day of shopping. Yesterday I spent time getting ready for cold weather.

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I hate putting the gardens ‘to bed’ for the winter as they are still producing food, but tomorrow the high temperature is going to be in the 30’s and tomorrow night we will get a hard frost. So the drip irrigation systems I installed at Heather’s and at my house had to be disconnected, hoses disconnected, and the outside water supplies turned off. That’s done, so I’m ready for cold weather??? Not really. I’m never ready for cold weather. I also took Ollie to his violin lesson yesterday. I haven’t been to a lesson since August, and I was very pleasantly surprised by how much his playing has improved. I really love listening to him play violin and Sam and Jonah rock out on the drums and bass guitar. So much fun.

2019 Life Logs, Day 309: Good Day for a Movie

2019 Life Logs, Day 309: Good Day for a Movie
Date: Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Weather: Overcast and Rainy; High 67, Low 42 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Overcast and rainy sums up today’s weather and the weather made it a good day to go to a movie. I have wanted to go to see “Judy”, the film about the last months of Judy Garland’s life, but just had not made the time. I think this might be the last week it will be in local theaters, so I took advantage of the rainy afternoon to go. Not an uplifting story, but certainly worth watching. Renee Zellweger’s performance as Judy Garland was spectacular. Judy Garland was one of a kind and I really didn’t think anyone could capture her persona. But about half-way through the film, I honestly started believing I was really watching Judy Garland. Garland’s life story is tragic, but most of us will remember an innocent 16 year-old Judy Garland singing ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ in the 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz.” Mark had two favorite singers, Emmylou Harris and . . . Judy Garland. I often wondered if it was due to Mark’s obsession with Judy Garland and her signature song that he was able to fulfil all of his life’s big dreams. “Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue and the dreams that you dare to dream, really do come true . . . Birds fly over the rainbow, why then, of why can’t I?”

Otherwise, I spent my day researching the best way to train a puppy. The breeder uses the Avidog system, so I did a lot of reading about that today. It looks like I might get to meet the little guy on Saturday. I talked to my niece in Nashville today, a true dog lover, and told her I am getting a puppy. She immediately said I should name him Willie after Willie Nelson. Mark loved Judy Garland. I have always loved Willie Nelson. If you have a better suggestion for a name, let me know!

2019 Life Logs, Day 308: Jerusalem Artichokes and Mah Jong

2019 Life Logs, Day 308: Jerusalem Artichokes and Mah Jong
Date: Monday, November 4, 2019
Weather: Partly Sunny; High 56, Low 46 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

After going to the gym for a pilates class, I spent a couple of hours running errands. Then, I came home and started digging holes in which to plant the Jerusalem Artichokes transplants I got from Bruce and Jane Woodin yesterday. I dug a line of 20 holes parallel to the driveway and put in what looked like sticks with roots. I won’t know until spring if they will thrive in the sandy soil, but I sure hope so. I love the beautiful yellow flowers these plants produce in the late summer and fall. If my transplants survive, I’ll also enjoy eating the healthy tubers these plants produce. I have a few more to plant once I cut down some small trees. I think the transplants will survive for a few days while I figure out how to get these trees cut down.

This evening I went to a Mah Jong class. Christina Brodie from Newcomers found two other people who wanted to learn, but she needed one more. Last week she asked me to join the group and I reluctantly said yes. I have never been much of a game player, but I know it is good for your brain, so I decided to do it. The instructor is really good. That, plus the fact that I got an amazing set of tiles for my first game, allowed me to be the winner of tonight. It was definitely beginner’s luck, not skill, but it was fun. I’ll definitely continue the lessons for six weeks and made a decision then as to whether I want to join a group.

I made a big decision today. I have been considering getting a Labradoodle puppy for quite some time, but the right puppy had just not come along. I sent in my deposit on a chocolate and white parti (part white, part chocolate) male puppy today. In a few days I will get to meet him to make a final, final decision, and if all goes well, he’ll be my housemate by mid-November. Very exciting!

2019 Life Logs, Day 307: Women at Sea Presentation

2019 Life Logs, Day 307: Women at Sea Presentation
Date: Sunday, November 3, 2019
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 59, Low 35 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It was early to rise in The Cottage this morning. Heather and Ollie were off to go to a running class while I got ready for the day. After running class, Heather, Ollie, and I went out to breakfast and then I took off for Chatham to have lunch with Barbara Semple and then attend her Women at Sea presentation.
When I gave my Voyage of Windbird presentation to the Chatham Harwich Newcomers group in the spring, Barbara was in the audience and came up to introduce herself afterwards. She explained that her Aunt Frances Brastow Amesbury from Rockport, Maine, had sailed with her husband, Captain Stanley Amesbury, in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s during the China Trade years. When Frances died, Barbara and her brother were given many of the artifacts from Frances’ days at sea on the Bark Adolph Obrig and the Ship William H. Macy. One of the artifacts was Frances’ diary, and in recent years Barbara has spent many hours pouring through the years of diary entries to write the story of Frances. The Women at Sea presentation comes out of those years of writing and now Barbara is starting to present it to various organizations here on the Cape. When I met her in April, she invited me to today’s presentation, so I put it on my calendar.

Barbara and her husband Paul live in a home overlooking the Nantucket Sound in Chatham. I arrived there for lunch and found the views from their dining room table absolutely breathtaking. And while having lunch, I discovered that Paul and Barbara had moved to their current retirement home from Hopkinton, New Hampshire. Hopkinton is right next to Concord and we discovered that we know many people in common. What a small world!

After the presentation, I drove to Bruce and Jane Woodin’s to dig up some Jerusalem Artichoke roots to transplant. I was late getting there and Bruce and Jane had a big bag of roots all ready for me to take home. With the time change, it was almost dark, so instead of heading home to plant right away, I stayed and had Happy Hour with them.

It was a great weekend. I loved having Ollie and Heather spent Friday and Saturday nights with me. It was a special treat. And when I got home this evening, I called to check-in and found that Jed, Sam, and Jonah had a great weekend at the Scout Turkey Shoot camp-out. Jed leaves for England for five days on Tuesday and I will be spending parts of Wednesday and Thursday helping with childcare in his absence. Heather has a 14-hour workday on Thursday. I’ll spend the night there on Wednesday so I will be there when Heather leaves at 5:30 am. I’ll get the boys off to school and then return after school to get dinner for the boys and get them into bed. Heather’s public radio station is trying to do all of their fall fund raising in one long day. Sure hope their efforts are successful.

2019 Life Logs, Day 306: Soccer Play-offs and Another Overnight

2019 Life Logs, Day 306: Soccer Play-offs and Another Overnight
Date: Saturday, November 2, 2019
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 55, Low 37 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It was a beautiful day. It was on the chilly side, but the sun was shining and there was no wind. Ollie slept in this morning, giving Heather a little quiet time. When he got up, he and Heather read for a bit and then it was time for Ollie to eat breakfast and for Heather to go for a run. Once she got home, Ollie and I played a game of Rummikub and then it was time to get them home and for me to travel to South Dennis for Jonah’s soccer play-off game or games.

If his team won the first game, then they would play for their division championship right after. So off I went while Heather and Ollie went to his soccer game. In Jonah’s soccer play-offs, the teams ranked number 1 and number 4 played first. When I arrived, that game had just ended with the number one team winning 9-0.
Then the 2nd and 3rd placed teams played and Jonah’s s won. Jed was actually able to escape from the Boy Scout camp-out to attend the first game, and once they won, he made the decision to stay for the final. Jonah’s team played hard, but the first place team won the game. They had a fabulous goalie and I know that Jonah was frustrated that two of his best goal attempts of the season were foiled by that goalie. But it was a well fought game and the coach was extremely pleased that the team had made it to the finals.

After the game, Jonah and Jed headed back to Scout camp and I headed home, making a stop at Whole Foods in Hyannis. Heather and Ollie decided to spend the night again tonight and I was able to buy wild Pacific salmon for Heather and I and little neck clams for Ollie for dinner. We also had red, white, and purple baby potatoes the size of marbles that were delicious, along with Brussels sprouts and salad. Ollie called it a feast, and Heather and I agreed. And the wonderful thing was that dinner took almost no time to fix. That’s the kind of feast I like! After dinner we played another game of Rummikub, a game of Trouble, and then a game of Apples to Apples. During the Apples to Apples game, we all laughed until we were nearly in tears. It was a wonderful day and a wonderful evening.

Heather and Ollie went to bed early as they plan to go running with a running class at 7:15 in the morning. It is the night that we set our clocks back and gain an extra hour of sleep, but going to a class at 7:15 am seems mighty early to me. They will return here after the class and then we are going out to breakfast. After breakfast, I head back out Cape to where I was today—not for a soccer game, but for a presentation called “Women at Sea” about women who sailed with their husbands on whaling ships.

2019 Life Logs, Day 305: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

2019 Life Logs, Day 305: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
Date: Friday, November 1, 2019
Weather: Mostly Sunny, Windy AM; High 72, Low 35 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Good grief, you can’t have Halloween without watching “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.” So, tonight Heather and Ollie came over for dinner and we watched the movie that we watch every year. Like Linus, I am a believer in the Great Pumpkin and also in Santa Claus, leprechauns on Saint Patrick’s Day, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. And I always enjoy watching Charlie Brown. So it was a good evening. Heather and Ollie are spending the night here while Jed, Sam, and Jonah are away at a Scout camp-out. Jonah and two other Scouts on his soccer team will be picked up from Scout camp by the designated delivery parents who will take them to their 1:30 pm soccer play-off game. If they win, they have the final game at 3 pm.. and then back to the Scout camp-out. Heather will go with Ollie to his 1:30 pm soccer game and I will travel to Yarmouth to watch Jonah’s game. If his team wins, Heather will then come for the final. So, I’m designating tomorrow as crazy soccer day.

2019 Life Logs, Day 304: Halloween 2019

2019 Life Logs, Day 304: Halloween 2019
Date: Thursday, October 31, 2019
Weather: Rain Early, Then Cloudy, Then Windy; High 73, Low 51 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Halloween 2019 was warm and balmy here on Cape Cod. We expected pouring rain all day and evening, but the rain ended by noon and the southerly winds blew in the warmth. No coats were needed for Trick or Treating tonight. Even with the wind, it felt like a warm summer evening.

When I arrived at the Goldstones, Sam and his friend Ethan were setting up the fog and light machines and getting the skeleton head that emits spooky sounds ready to greet Trick or Treaters. As the sun set, they turned on the candles in the jack-o-lanterns and Heather made up Vampire Ollie’s face.

Sam and Ethan headed out early, followed by Wizard Jed, Baseball Player Joey, Rosie the Riveter Molly, and Vampire Ollie. I dawned my black cat ears and joined Witch Heather in handing out the candy. I thought I was going to be handing out candy with Sam, but since I last talked to him, he decided that he’s not too old to go Trick or Treating after all.

And what a haul of candy the boys returned with. I didn’t talk to Justin and family today, but I did get to see a photo of Ziggy and Coco dressed in their costumes on Facebook. Coco was dressed as a female Robin Hood and Ziggy had on his scientist lab coat and BIG glasses.

2019 Life Logs, Day 303:  Day Down Under

2019 Life Logs, Day 303:  Day Down Under
Date:  Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Weather:  Mostly Cloudy with Some Drizzle; High 68, Low 59 degrees F
Location:  At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

No.  I didn’t travel to Australia today.  But I did spend my day Down Under.  The morning was spent in my basement doing a little organizing and the afternoon was spent in Heather’s basement doing the same.  And the benefit for me was that while working in Heather and Jed’s basement, I did my laundry.  So, it was a win for all.  On Wednesdays, I pick Ollie up from school and deliver him to his violin lesson where Heather meets us and takes over.  But I really enjoy the car ride into town with Ollie.  Today he went on a field trip to the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.  This is only about 2 miles from here, but I have never explored there.  Ollie gave me a very detailed and enthusiastic description.  He obviously had a wonderful time and convinced me that I need to go there soon.  This morning Jonah headed to the National Seashore with his class for a couple of days, so I didn’t get to see him this afternoon.  But I did get to see Sam and we found that we were both dressed in burgundy long sleeve shirts with a dark-blue collared shirt underneath.  I learned that Sam is running for Student Council and I love his platform.  He wants to get healthier food served in the school cafeteria.  Go, Sam!