We are Mark and Judy Handley. We have been writing about our experiences on this website for almost eleven years now. For six of those years, we were sailing around the world on our 42-foot sailboat, Windbird. During those six years and the five years since our circumnavigation, we have posted a log almost daily. We lived aboard all of those years and loved every minute. But we have now sold Windbird and are living in a harbourside apartment in the town of Falmouth, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod. The website title has been tweaked just a bit to reflect our new status, “The Voyage of Windbird . . . and Beyond.” We decided not to change things totally because we want to leave the three and a half thousand daily logs and all of the accompanying photos on the website for anyone who might be interested. But for those who would like to continue to follow the current “Voyage of Windbird”, her new owners have a website that will chronicle the adventures. We are proud to introduce you to Sam and Dawn Weigel whose blog “Weigels on the Water” can be found at: http://wotwater.blogspot.com/

NOTE: Due to Google upgrading Picasa to Google Photos, many of our old photos are now broken.  We are actively working on fixing this – thanks for your patience!

2018 Life Logs, Day 212—Fabulous Beach Day

2018 Life Logs, Day 212—Fabulous Beach Day
Date: Tuesday, July 31, 2018
Weather: Gorgeous, Sunny Day; High 81, Low 65 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It has been a busy few days . . . so busy that I am just now posting logs for today and the last two days. I wrote the logs, but just didn’t have time to send them.

Rex and Diana left early this morning. We said our farewells and then I was off for a day of Camp Oma. We went to Jonah’s swim lesson and enjoyed the low tide at Menauhant Beach on the sandbar. We were having such a good time but couldn’t stay as Ollie had an 11:30 am dentist appointment in Woods Hole. We left, promising that tomorrow morning we will spend the entire morning playing at Menauhant. While waiting for Ollie to return from his dental appointment, Sam, Jonah, and I bought lunch for all of us at the Woods Hole Market. Once Ollie was back with us, we took our lunch to the Bell Tower on the far side of Eel Pond and enjoyed a picnic lunch in the lovely Bell Tower gardens. Then it was on to Wood Neck Beach and Little Sippewissett Marsh. Neighbors, Cole and Leo and their mother Jeanne, joined us for the afternoon. The boys were in the water for a full four hours and had a wonderful time. At one point in the afternoon, a team arrived from the Woods Hole Science Aquarium to lead interested kids to join staff member in collecting specimens from the marsh. Jonah and Leo joined them and returned with crabs, eels, pipefish, and a couple of different kinds of small fish. While they did that, Cole and Sam spent time on the beach side of Wood Neck and Ollie spent all of his time practicing his new swimming skills. Heather joined us late in the afternoon which was special treat for the boys. It was an incredibly beautiful day making it perfect for beach time in one of the most beautiful spots on earth.

2018 Life Logs, Day 211—Happy Birthday to Coco

2018 Life Logs, Day 211—Happy Birthday to Coco
Date: Monday, July 30, 2018
Weather: Mostly Sunny Early, Overcast Late; High 82, Low 64 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Yesterday, my youngest grandchild, Coco Annabelle, celebrated her sixth birthday with friends. But today was her actual birth date and we had a Skype call where her Goldstone cousins and I sang happy birthday to her. Coco is such a happy child who brings so much joy to the world. Happy birthday, Coco!!!

My nephew Rex and his wife Diana are still visiting so I balanced the day between Camp Oma and visiting with Rex and Diana. After swim lessons, the Goldpebbles and I picked them up and headed to Woods Hole to have lunch at Quick’s Hole Taqueria. Rex has a quest to eat lobster as many ways as possible, so today we added lobster tacos and lobster quesadilla. While in Maine he had steamed lobster, lobster bisque, seafood stew with lobster, lobster roll, scallop casserole with lobster, and three other lobster dishes. In one vacation week he has had lobster ten different ways. Go, Rex! While in Woods Hole, we visited Jed’s lab and then headed to Menauhant Beach. Unfortunately, by the time we got there it was overcast, so we didn’t stay long. We ended our day at Heather and Jed’s where we had clam chowder and salad for dinner. I steamed the big clams from our huge Sunday clamming expedition and prepped the other ingredients for Heather who made the chowder. It was absolutely delicious. What a special treat! Thank you, Heather.

Rex and Diana will be heading home to West Virginia in the morning. It has been wonderful to have them here. Time together is always too short, but I cherish whatever time I have with family.

2018 Life Logs, Day 210—Rex and Diana Arrive

2018 Life Logs, Day 210—Rex and Diana Arrive
Date: Sunday, July 29, 2018
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 84, Low 67 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

My nephew Rex and his wife Diana arrived today. They just spent a vacation week in Southwest Harbor in Maine with friends and are on their way back home to West Virginia. They will just be here a couple of days, but I always enjoy their visits. This afternoon Rex and I went clamming. Friend, Peter Baranowski, went with us and with his expert advice, we made quite a haul. Rex had never been clamming and he was quite good at it. We had five dozen small clams for dinner and tomorrow we will steam the larger clams to make clam chowder. Tonight Heather and family joined us for dinner. We had steak kabobs, local corn, salad from my garden, all topped off with strawberry rhubarb pie. Love summer food!

2018 Life Logs, Day 209—A Day All to Myself

2018 Life Logs, Day 209—A Day All to Myself
Date: Saturday, July 28, 2018
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, Some Rain; High 82, Low 67 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I spent a day to myself catching up on paperwork, doing some gardening, cleaning the house, grocery shopping, and getting ready for my nephew Rex and his wife Diana to arrive for a short visit. And then I spent my evening watching a movie. Not my normal day, but it was a delightful change of pace.

2018 Life Logs, Day 208—Art and Science Walk at Highfield Hall

2018 Life Logs, Day 208—Art and Science Walk at Highfield Hall
Date: Friday, July 27, 2018
Weather: Sunny and Warm; High 84, Low 69 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Fridays are free of any lessons or sports practice, so I have been thinking of them as Free Fridays. So, it is the one day of the week when the boys don’t have to be whisked out the door to swim lessons. They enjoy a slow start to the day, playing games and just relaxing. But today we decided to take an afternoon walk at Highfield Fall with Heather and Jed. Highfield Hall is an historic site here in Falmouth and serves as a cultural center for the community. This summer they offer an Art and Science Walk. There are 12 science-related art pieces scattered around the Highfield Hall grounds to be discovered in a scavenger hunt manner. It was so special that Heather and Jed could join us and I think everyone enjoyed the walk. Heather, Ollie, and I really enjoyed a stainless steel sculpture named Pollinate. We imagined that we saw a very busy bee pollinating a flower. Then that flower became a bird. When Jonah joined us, he said he saw a dog. Then we moved to the cast bronze botanical fainting couch. The twenty-six letters of the alphabet that form the chair are each imprinted with plant textures. For instance, A is for Acer (maple tree), B is for Begonia, and C is for Comptonia (sweetfern). Our favorite was K for Krasheninnikovia which is winterfat. None of us had any idea what that might me, but we all loved the word. I looked it up tonight and it is a type of amaranth. The special thing was that there was a map showing where many of the plants were located on the property. We visited the main garden where we enjoyed watching funnel web spiders and just enjoyed the beauty. We enjoyed seeing Pangea which is a glass mooring ball and as we walked in the woods adjacent to the property we discovered Migration, a terra cotta sculpture of migrating fish, Tumblestar which was steel sea stars painted with acrylic paint where everyone did their best to look like a sea star, and a rope main lift line from Alvin. It was biggest rope I have ever seen in my life and very heavy! Finally the Chimes and Musical Instruments made of anodized aluminum. The boys, as well as Heather and Jed, loved playing the instruments which made such beautiful sounds.
Heather had to return to work and Jed headed home to work on the upstairs bathroom project. Sam went with Jed, but Ollie, Jonah, and I drove downtown get a shellfish permit so we can go clamming. That ended up to be a frustrating experience as I was told that I do not exist in the city data-base. Since I know that I pay excise tax and that I have bought permits for the beach and the city dump in the past few months, I found it very frustrating that they could not find my name today. I finally asked that they look under Mark’s name, and there I was a secondary listing. Since this has not been a problem in the past two years since Mark’s death, Jonah decided the problem arose when I moved in May. He might be right, but it is something I need to deal with through Motor Vehicles according the woman at City Hall. Frustrating! But we got the permit and traveled on to the French bakery to get a treat for the Goldstones to enjoy after dinner tonight or in the morning. And then before returning home, we went to Smitty’s to get an ice cream treat to celebrate the half-way point of summer. The Goldpebbles, plus myself and Heather and Jed, can hardly believe that this ten-week summer is half over. It has gone by so quickly, but in our celebration this afternoon, we pledged to enjoy each day as we move forward and to do our best to slow-down time.

2018 Life Logs, Day 207—Free and Easy Day

2018 Life Logs, Day 207—Free and Easy Day
Date: Thursday, July 26, 2018
Weather: Rain Early, Partly Cloud Day; High 79, Low 68 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It rained overnight and was quite dreary this morning, so the Goldpebbles talked me into skipping swim lessons. Of course, as soon as we made the decision, the sun popped out, but it was only temporary. The rest of the day was partly cloudy and we did have one more little stint of rain. The boys basically spent most of the day inside. We had a few chess tournaments, wrote summer book reports, practiced drum, guitar, and violin, and just generally had a low key, free and easy day. It has been at least 25 years since I have played chess, and I was never very good at it, but I surprised myself with how quickly the rules of the game returned. I didn’t win against Sam, but I gave him a run for his money. We have no big plans for tomorrow, so we will just see how the day develops.

2018 Life Logs, Day 206—Getting Back to ‘Normal’

2018 Life Logs, Day 206—Getting Back to ‘Normal’
Date: Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Weather: Partly Cloudy with Strong S Winds; High 82, Low 73 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

After a wonderful week with Justin and family, the Goldpebbles and I continued to work toward getting back to normal summer days today. Actually, after we returned from swim lessons, the boys did more work than in a normal today. But they seemed to enjoy it. They finished pulling the grass between the flat stones in the front yard walkway and then they cleaned the guinea pig cage. It was hot and humid and I let them have double popsicle treats as a reward for their work, That gain gained points for me! Tomorrow will probably be more of the same, depending on the weather. There was a threat of thunderstorms this afternoon. That didn’t happen, but the threat will continue into tomorrow. The garden and the grass are begging for rain.

2018 Life Logs, Day 205—The Wonderful Having of Family and Friends

2018 Life Logs, Day 205—The Wonderful Having of Family and Friends
Date: Tuesday, July 24, 2018
Weather: Sunny, Warm and Humid; High 84, Low 70 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It was a wonderful week of family fun with Justin, Jo, Ziggy, and Coco, but at 2 am this morning, they were whisked away to Logan Airport in Boston and on home to Puerto Rico. After being away from home for five weeks, the Handley-Hunts were understandably anxious to get home. They flew out of Logan at 5 am going to Newark, NJ, and then on to San Juan. The flights were all on time and they arrived in San Juan just after noon. Ziggy and Coco were tired babies when they arrived and Justin sent photos of them fast asleep mid-day in the van that would drive them the two-plus hours home to Rincon. Having all five grandchildren together for a full week was just so wonderful and I will cherish the memories until we are all together again. There was a definite feeling of emptiness this morning, but life goes on and I had a lovely, relaxed day with the Goldpebbles. After swim lessons we returned a bike that Ziggy used while he was here to friends Peter and Karen Baranowski. We came away with four-plus dozen clams that Peter dug yesterday, popsicles for the three boys, and a dinner invitation for me tonight. Wonderful friends. Dinner was delightful and it helped bridge the feeling of emptiness here at home. Thank you, Karen and Peter.

If you follow this blog, you know that in almost thirteen years I have hardly missed a day of posting. But I was having so much fun this past week that I missed posting more than one log. We had a change of plans yesterday and did not go to the Cape Cod Inflatable Park. Instead we went to the opening day of the Barnstable County Fair. The kids had an incredibly fun time riding ride after ride after ride. Stay tuned and I’ll fill in the missing logs over the next few days. Now to Justin, Jo, Ziggy, and Coco . . . we all miss you but are so happy to know that you made it home safely.

2018 Life Logs, Day 203—A Day at Heather and Jed’s

2018 Life Logs, Day 203—A Day at Heather and Jed’s
Date: Sunday, July 22, 2018
Weather: Overcast, Threat of Rain All Day; High 78, Low 71 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

We spent the entire day at Heather and Jed’s beginning early this morning. Justin, Jo, Ziggy, Coco, and I went over for breakfast and spent the day there. We inherited a few more kids for the day, Molly and Joey from next door, and Ariel from across the street. So we had eight kids in total. Coco was so excited to have girls to play with after being with the four boys all week. Ariel is a year younger than Coco but they played together so nicely, as if they had been friends for years. Ariel even stayed to have dinner with us and then went home reluctantly. There were lots of hugs and a hope that they will see each other one more time before Coco goes home in the wee hours of Tuesday morning.

It was a full-time job today preparing food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Add in time to do the laundry and that is how I spent my day. I picked a batch of basil from my garden this morning and Jed used that to make pesto for dinner. I also picked a batch of arugula to add to our lunch salads. Heather picked kale from her garden and we had that for dinner. This is prime garden time and we are enjoying the fresh greens. The kids watched Peter Rabbit in the morning after breakfast and then spent most of the rest of the day outside. There was a little indoor game playing and lots of biking. We interrupted the playing mid-afternoon for a walk to get ice cream at Smitty’s and everyone certainly enjoyed that. While at Smitty’s I attempted to get a photo of the whole family, a task that is harder than it seems it should be. Somehow little boys just don’t won’t to cooperate. It seems nearly impossible to get the Fab 5 to pose for a picture. But later when back at Heather’s, Justin made another attempt and we did a decent photo of all of us. I have photos of Heather’s family and photos of Justin’s family, but I don’t think I have ever taken a photo of the ten of us together. Now I have one which made me a very happy Oma.

Tomorrow is our last day together as Justin and family fly home to Puerto Rico early on Tuesday morning. They have to be at Logan in Boston for a 5 am flight to Newark and then on from there to Puerto Rico. Tomorrow we plan a family outing in the afternoon to the Cape Cod Inflatable Park to celebrate Coco’s birthday a little early. She will turn six on July 30, but we want to have a little birthday fun tomorrow while she is here with us.

2018 Life Logs, Day 201—Bike Trip to Woods Hole

2018 Life Logs, Day 201—Bike Trip to Woods Hole
Date: Friday, July 20, 2018
Weather: Sunny; High 79, Low 59 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today the Fab 5 agreed to bike to Woods Hole. Ziggy wanted to visit the aquarium, so we biked there on the bike path from Depot Street downtown. This required renting a trailer for Coco to ride in as she can only bike with training wheels and has never gone any distance. There are no bike paths where Justin and family live in Puerto Rico and the roads are narrow and winding which does not lend to learning to bike. So. our ride today was a special treat for Ziggy and Coco. Before we headed to Woods Hole in the afternoon, the grandkids had another morning of playing together. There was more kayaking and playing in the sandbox, but the new thing today was the discovery of the basement as a place to play. They have named themselves the Bacon Bandits and the tribe went underground. They scavenged the basement and came up with a ‘desk’ for each bandit and a desk lamp for each. Very creative. And after their tribal dances and hoops and yells, they actually sat at their desks and read. Interesting tribe!

Heather rode her bike to Woods Hole this morning so she could join us in the afternoon. That left us one bike short, but then it became apparent that someone needed to drive to drive the van loaded with beach gear, so I volunteered for that. I stopped at points along the way to cheer on the riders. Everyone seemed to enjoy the bike ride and picnic lunch on the lawn on the hill next to WCAI where Heather works. There is a huge tree there that the kids love to climb in, so after climbing, we visited the aquarium. The touch tank is always popular as are the sea horses. But just as much fun is sitting outside and looking at sea life in the water. After the aquarium, it was on to Stoney Beach. We ended the day at Heather’s where we grilled the grass-fed sirloin and huge shiitake mushrooms we got at the Farmer’s Market yesterday. Grass-fed beef can be tough, but we marinated this all day and it was delicious. The Boy Scouts built a fire in the fire pit and the final treat of the day was roasted marshmallows.

Each night two of the Goldpebbles have been sleeping over and I pick the other one up in the morning before Heather heads to work. Last night Ollie and Sam spent the night and Coco wanted to sleep in my bed with Ollie and me. It was a bit crowded, but we got lots of snuggle time. Tonight, Sam and Jonah came home with us. Jonah decided to sleep on the floor in the room with Coco and Ziggy and Sam opted for the sofa. So, I am in my bed all alone and had better stop writing and get to bed to enjoy it while it’s all mine.