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 26: Fun Day with Jonah and Ollie

2019 Life Logs, Day 26: Fun Day with Jonah and Ollie
Date: Saturday, January 26, 2019
Weather: Another Beautiful, Sunny Day; High 33, Low 24 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It was a fun day with Jonah and Ollie. The temperature was barely above freezing, but it was sunny and felt a little warmer than that. The boys came home from their overnight next door around 11 am and reported that they had a great time. But it was obvious that a good night’s sleep was not part of the great time. Ollie was uncharacteristically grumpy and Jonah was just tired. He and Joey slept on the living room floor and shared an air mattress and blankets. Evidently there was a constant battle for the blankets and Jonah lost, leaving him very cold. He said he kept waking up because he was so cold, so tonight I made sure he has plenty of blankets. Hopefully a good night’s rest tonight will make-up for last night.

Since Ollie was so grumpy, I decided to arrange a playdate for Jonah so he didn’t have to argue with Ollie all day. In the afternoon, Jonah went to play with his friend Luke and I took Ollie to the school playground that is across from the public library where he managed to play all by himself and have a great time. He had on camouflage pants and a matching shirt, so he decided that the playground was the perfect place for Army training. Everything became an obstacle course and he ran and played, with me for an audience, for over an hour. Then we went into the library to check-out a 3 pm children’s program about China. Originally Ollie wanted to go as he really wants to go to China to see the Panda ‘kindergarten’ at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. But when he saw that the ‘presentation’ was really just doing art projects, he chose to search for books about pandas and play with the wooden trains. While searching for panda books, I saw a book on display entitled “Spirals” which invited me to read it. My love of spirals in nature runs deep. Nautilus shells and fern fiddle heads are my very favorites, so I decided to share this with Jonah and Ollie and get a couple of books explaining the math that creates these spirals. Ollie and I then walked over to Main Street to get a hot chocolate to drink while reading about pandas. When we finished, we got a hot chocolate to go for Jonah, picked him up, and returned to the Goldstones to play outside with Molly and Joey for the last half-hou of daylight. Then we traveled on to my house for the night. I fixed dinner while Jonah listened to music and Ollie took a very long hot bath. After dinner we read about spirals in nature and pandas. I was very excited when the book explaining that the pattern that produces spirals in nature are the result of Fibonacci numbers was of great interest to Jonah. He loved holding my very favorite nautilus shell while reading about it and that led to a conversation about the architectural spirals in the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. Ollie was tuned into this conversation, but he was also busy telling Jonah and I more facts about pandas than either of us had ever thought about. It was a fun evening.

2019 Life Logs, Day 25: The Three R’s Reimagined

2019 Life Logs, Day 25: The Three R’s Reimagined
Date: Friday, January 25, 2019
Weather: Beautiful, Sunny Day; High 40, Low 22 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It was a beautiful, sunny day. I went to the gym to put in my time on the recumbent bike to keep my bad knee in motion, came home and worked at getting caught up on mail, both snail mail and email correspondence, picked Jonah and Ollie up after school and spent a couple of hours with them, and then tonight went to a Falmouth Forum, a Marine Biological Lab (MBL) presentation. These presentations happen about once a month from September to May and are always interesting, but tonight’s topic impacts all of us and really hit home. The presenter, Dr. Kara Lavender Law, is a research professor at the Sea Education Association (SEA). The topic was “Ocean Plastics Pollution: From Sources to Solutions.” The production of plastics has skyrocketed since 1950 and the impact on marine organisms and habitats, as well as the impact on humans, has skyrocketed as well. Dr. Law did a fantastic job of leading the audience to the bottom line solution which is that each of us needs to do our part to curb our dependence on plastics, for our own health and for the health of every living organism. I have been trying to do this for a few years now and it really is not easy. Plastics are so pervasive in our lives that it seems almost impossible. But if you go back to the Three R’s, not Reading, ‘Riting, and ‘Rithmetic’, but Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, you can make inroads. Reimagine these Three R’s in as many ways as you can. My recommendation for starting this process is to avoid buying foods in plastic containers. Start with simple things like buying nut butters in glass jars, olive oil in glass containers. It is a tiny start, but every plastic container not purchased makes a statement to those who package our food, and that is so important. I have one really bad habit that I will work on next. When I am traveling, I love to stop at Dunkin’ Donuts and buy a decaf coffee. I no longer drink coffee at home, but when I’m driving, it is an old habit. Dunkin’ hot coffee comes in Styrofoam (worse than plastic?) and the cold coffee comes in huge single-use plastic containers with a plastic straw. After tonight’s presentation, I decided to halt that habit. One of my foodie gurus says to carry four stainless steel travel mugs in your car. That way when you get the urge for that drink, have them put it in one of your mugs. The reason for four is that you will surely forget to take the mug in the house to be washed, so the next time you get the urge for a coffee, you’ll have another clean mug. And then another and another. By the time you have used all four, surely you’ll remember to take them in the house, wash them, and restock!

Heather and Jed got a late start this afternoon on their weekend away in Provincetown. Just as Heather got her program for next week ‘in the can’, President Trump decided that he was going to reopen the government. A good thing in every way, except for Heather. Part of her program was about the government shutdown, so she had to go back and make significant changes. That took almost two hours and delayed their take-off, but I think they got out of town in time to get to Provincetown, check-in, change clothes, and make it for their 6:30 pm dinner reservation. After such a rushed beginning, I sure hope the rest of their weekend is relaxing and wonderful. Jonah, Ollie, and I delivered Sam’s huge camping backpack to him at a friend’s home and then the friend’s parents were to take Sam and friend Nolan to meet up with the Scout troop. After the drop-off of the backpack, I took Jonah and Ollie back home and sent them next door where they are spending the night. I’ll head over there mid-morning and will then have Ollie and Jonah until Sunday evening. I’m looking forward to a fun weekend with the boys.

2019 Life Logs, Day 24: Lunch in Rhode Island; Dinner Back in Falmouth, MA

2019 Life Logs, Day 24: Lunch in Rhode Island; Dinner Back in Falmouth, MA
Date: Thursday, January 24, 2019
Weather: Another REALLY Rainy, Windy Day; High 55, Low 28 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It was the kind of weather day that makes one want to curl up in a warm corner and read the day away. It rained all day and into the evening and there were periods of gale force winds. But I had made plans to meet my good friends from Concord, NH, Alan and Helaine Kanesgberg, just south of Providence, Rhode Island for lunch. So off I went into the rain this morning. They were traveling down from New Hampshire to a marine consignment shop in North Kingstown to get rid of the last of their boat items as they sold Atlantis this fall. I wanted to check out the marine consignment shop, just for old time sake, so I met them there and then we moved on to lunch. It was well worth the rainy drive to catch up on life’s happenings with good friends. After lunch, we headed home, and I made a stop at Whole Foods in Providence to get a couple of items that I can only find at Whole Foods. While browsing the fresh veggie section, I spotted the most beautiful artichokes I have seen for many months. I bought six and will prepare them for a Sunday night dinner with the Goldstones. Heather and Jed are taking advantage of their Christmas present from the ‘mothers’ this weekend. Marti, Jed’s mom, and I went together to give Heather and Jed a weekend in Provincetown. I will stay with the Goldpebbles minus one as Sam is away on a Scout campout weekend. And I only have Ollie and Jonah Saturday and Sunday as they are doing an overnight with the Keefe’s next door tomorrow night. I will miss having Sam with us, but I’m sure that Jonah, Ollie, and I can find all sorts of wonderful ways to spend our time together.

Tonight I had a dinner with the Newcomers group called Women in Newcomers (WIN). This group just keeps growing and tonight there were about 25 of us. The dinner was at Estia, the same Greek restaurant where I had lunch on Tuesday for Karen Baranowski’s birthday. And I ordered the same thing tonight. I once again had Spanakopita (Greek spinach pie) and Dolmadakia (rolled grape leaves with rice and beef) with feta cheese, olives, and a wonderful Greek salad. Yum, yum. And it was great to catch up with old friends and meet a few new ones. And the best news of the day was that the rain ended before we left the restaurant! Tomorrow is forecast to be sunny, so I am looking forward to that.

2019 Life Logs, Day 23: Jonah’s 4th Grade Concert

2019 Life Logs, Day 23: Jonah’s 4th Grade Concert
Date: Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Weather: Overcast and Even Warmer; High 48, Low 45 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

The highlight of the day was Jonah’s 4th grade concert tonight. There was singing, xylophone playing, and a song featuring some students playing the ukulele. The students really love the music teacher, Mr. Charles. And I always enjoy his explanations to the audience of what he is hoping the students are learning in the way each song is done. This is Jonah’s last year at East Falmouth and he looked so handsome tonight in a dress shirt and vest. He was standing beside Molly, the little girl next door who is like a sister, and I had to take a deep breath to keep from tearing up as I watched them, looking so grown up. After the concert, the Goldpebbles headed outside and immediately climbed a tree. What else would little boys do?

It was overcast today and the swans that have been flying up the Eel River that I can see while working on my computer at the dining room table were not so active. On sunny days, they spend a lot of time flying up the river and then floating back down which keeps me entertained. But today it was the geese that were flying and floating, along with the little buffleheads, small sea ducks, that visit here from Canada in the winter. I walked down to the water to try and get a photo, but the buffleheads are very skiddish and flew further downstream as I got closer. I zoomed in a got a photo from afar, but I’ll keep trying to get some close-ups. The weather continues to bing-bong all over the place. The temperature varies wildly from day to day. Tomorrow it will be in the 50’s with rain for my day trip to Rhode Island to meet up with friends Alan and Helaine Kanesgberg for lunch. Looking forward to that.

2019 Life Logs, Day 22: Lunch with Friends

2019 Life Logs, Day 22: Lunch with Friends
Date: Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Weather: Sunny and Much Warmer; High 28, Low 19 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I had an early lunch date with friends to celebrate Karen Baranowski’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Karen. We met at a restaurant that opened recently in Falmouth called Estia. It is a Greek restaurant featuring traditional Greek food with a modern twist. We all enjoyed our lunch choices and the chance to be together. We ate and talked our way into the afternoon and finally dispersed as we all had other afternoon activities. Tuesday is my day to pick Jonah and Ollie up after school, so after a visit to the hardware store and a trip home to check on things, I headed to the school. The reason for going home to check on things was that when I woke up this morning, the indoor temperature was down to 52 degrees. Chilly!!! The furnace was running non-stop but just couldn’t keep up with the cold temps and windy conditions. I went home just to make sure the furnace was still working. It was, but the super cold, very windy conditions we have had since Sunday night had simply stretched the capacity of my little furnace. And especially so since I have really done no winter weather-proofing. You could feel the breeze coming in around the back door and this morning when I checked the new door installed in the basement, I found that there was an inch of space at the bottom of the door creating a breezeway. When Jed got home this evening, he went to the hardware store and bought weather stripping and came over to tighten up the back door and started on the basement door but ran out of stripping. Now that I know what to buy and how to do it, I will complete that job tomorrow. I also borrowed a couple of electric heaters stored in Heather and Jed’s basement to use the next time the temps go into the deep freeze. But tonight, everything is back to normal. So, no worries. I’m not going to freeze to death. I’ll just hope we don’t get many days below 20 for the rest of the winter.

2019 Life Logs, Day 21: Happy 12th Birthday to Sam

2019 Life Logs, Day 21: Happy 12th Birthday to Sam
Date: Monday, January 21, 2019
Weather: Sunny and COLD; High 10, Low 6 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Cold as it was today with a high of 10 degrees F that felt even colder with the wind chill. My look out into the world was very frosty this morning as my windows were etched with frozen designs. But even with the bitter cold, the Goldstones went for a walk on a trail in the nearby Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. This is only a couple of miles from my house and mid-afternoon Heather came knocking on my front door with Jonah. He had refused to wear layers of clothing and got too cold, so she brought him here and went back for the others. Jonah helped me make hot chocolate for them and then while they were here, Sam opened his birthday present from me. A longboard-type skateboard has been on his list of wants for a bit, so that is what I got him for his birthday. He seemed very pleased and was anxious to get home to try it out. Then this evening, I went to the Goldstones for a family birthday dinner. It had already been quite an exciting birthday weekend, but the family dinner was very special. Sam opened his last gifts, a hatchet for Boy Scout camping trips from Jed and his presents from Grammy Marti. And he had rare steak for dinner, his very favorite food in the whole wide world. I think after a weekend of birthday fun, he was a very happy birthday boy.

2019 Life Logs, Day 20: Go, Patriots!

2019 Life Logs, Day 20: Go, Patriots!
Date: Sunday, January 20, 2019
Weather: Rain, Rain, Rain; High 52, Low 7 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Normally the weather today would have been mentioned in the title of this log as the ‘highlight’ of the day, but the Patriots win over the Kansas City Chiefs topped even the very strange weather. The buzz here was that the Chiefs would definitely win the game, but the Patriots persisted and in overtime won the AFC Championship and their place in Super Bowl LIII. I was kidsitting last night so Heather and Jed could go out to dinner and the boys and I made the executive decision to watch the whole game (not just the first half as instructed). And it was a good decision, as we all had a great time. As the game began, Sam and I declared that we thought the Patriots would win even though that was not what most people were saying. Jonah made no projection. He just put his energy into directing every Patriot play and Ollie spent a great deal of time drawing a Patriot logo and then making a sign he held throughout the game. Go, Patriots! Sam also made a couple of creative signs. He made one that said OF-then a drawing of a picket fence and one that that said DE-and a drawing of a fence. He had great fun holding those up during the game. Near the end of the game when the Patriots had to make a touchdown to stay in the game, Sam and I literally had to leave the room as we just could no longer stand to watch if they didn’t score. But as soon as we left the room, the Patriots scored. When the game went in to overtime, it was well past bedtime for little boys, but there was no way we were not going to watch. As soon as the game was over, we celebrated, and then the three boys went to sleep on the couch. They all looked out the window just before going to sleep to see that breathtakingly beautiful full moon and they were hoping to get up to see the total eclipse just before midnight. While waiting for Heather and Jed to get home, I watched as slowly the shadow of the earth started moving across the moon. At first it looked like someone took a bite out of it, then more and more, until there was just a crescent left. That’s when Heather and Jed got home and we tried to wake the boys. But only Sam stirred a bit, looked up and said “uh-huh” and went right back to sleep. By the time I got home, I got to see that Blood Red Wolf Moon totally eclipsed in a clear sky. Because it was so clear, the reddish tinge the full moon takes on during a total eclipse was quite dramatic. I do hope Sam does remember the little bit of the eclipse that he saw as the clock rang in his 12th birthday at midnight with that magnificent total eclipse. What a lovely birthday present!

It started raining during the night and continued steadily all day. I did the afternoon indoor soccer runs, taking Jonah to play at 2 pm and going back to get Sam for a 4 pm game. People at the Community Center were saying we had gotten 4 inches of rain. I can’t seem to find the official recorded amount, but let’s just say it was a lot of rain with the temperature in the 50’s. Strange for this time of year. And by morning the temperature will drop into the single digits. Winter in New England.

2019 Life Logs, Day 19: Sam’s 12th Birthday Party

2019 Life Logs, Day 19: Sam’s 12th Birthday Party
Date: Saturday, January 19, 2019
Weather: Overcast with Snow; High 36, Low 34 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today I attended the Upper Cape Cod Women’s March, came home and canned chicken mineral broth, made and froze meat balls, and then spent my evening with attending Sam’s 12th birthday party. Oh my, how the years fly by. Mark and I were home from New Zealand for Sam’s birth in 2007 and then home again from Australia for Sam’s first birthday party.

It is just hard to for me to believe that was twelve years ago. But, believe it or not, it was. This 12th birthday party was held at Ryan’s Amusements in downtown Falmouth which is a candlestick bowling alley and arcade, followed by an overnight at the Goldstones. Two of the boys Sam invited he has known since preschool but the other three are new friends he has met at Morse Pond since going there for 5th and 6th grade. They all seemed to have such a good time bowling, playing arcade games, and just being together. It was wonderful to see Sam so happy. We came home to have cake and open presents from the friends. We get to do all of all over again on Monday when we will have a family dinner, cake, and open family presents on Sam’s actual birthday. But tonight Heather, Ollie, and I left the ‘big’ boys to watch a Star Wars movie and spend the night with Jed while the three of us came to my house to spend the night. There was just enough snow when we got home that we were able to make snow ice cream which Ollie thoroughly enjoyed and we watched a much shorter ‘movie’ of Ollie’s choice, a Wild Kratt’s special edition. Poor Jed. I have a feeling there won’t be much sleeping happening there tonight.

Tomorrow’s weather looks really outrageous with a forecast for a high of 51 degrees F and a low of 8 with tons of rain before the temps plunge. Of course, if the rain continues when the temperature plunges, it could mean snow or ice. We are also supposed to have 40 mile per hour winds. I’ve prepared for a temporary power outage, just in case, but if we should lose power for any length of time while the temps are in the single digits, I will go to Heather’s where they will have warmth from the fireplace. This is our first winter storm of any consequence, and it is surely a strange one.

2019 Life Logs, Day 18: Dining at The White House

2019 Life Logs, Day 18: Dining at The White House
Date: Friday, January 18, 2019
Weather: Mix of Sun, Clouds, Fog, and Mist; High 41, Low 25 degrees F .
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

Definitely the highlight of today was dining at The White House. Our dining-in group met this evening at Terry and Olivia White’s home which we now refer to as The White House. They always put on a fantastic spread of Indian food. The evening started with Terry’s delicious pakoras which he makes with potatoes and spinach coated in a chickpea flour batter and deep fried. So yummy. Olivia’s raita always gets the most beautiful dish award, and it was also delicious, as were all of the dishes.

I spent my day making chicken mineral broth and going to the gym to put in my time on the recumbent bike. I now have Spotify on my phone so I could listen to music while biking which made the riding so much more pleasant. I was listening to a mix of music Jonah put together for me. I had to laugh when the last song was Highway to Hell by AC/DC. Grandkids do keep you young! The big news of the day is the coming storm. Sunday is forecast to be rainy here with the temperature in the 40’s. But then when the sun goes down, the temperature will begin a plunge and go down to 7 degrees F by the early hours of Monday morning. The fear is ice build up as the temperature plunges. Of course, this could all change by Sunday, but it seems prudent to get ready for a power outage, just in case.

2019 Life Logs, Day 17: A Day of Unplanned Events

2019 Life Logs, Day 17: A Day of Unplanned Events
Date: Thursday, January 17, 2019
Weather: Sunny; High 31, Low 22 degrees F .
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Some days go as planned. Some don’t. Today was a day of unplanned events for me . . . all fun. I decided this morning that today should be the day I return to the gym. I have avoided it since returning home from Tennessee as my knee has been, at best, tenuous. But I went for it this morning and all went well. A friend that I met at the gym two years ago, Linda Onthank, was there for the class this morning, and afterwards, she invited me to meet her at Starbucks for coffee and conversation. Somehow, we talked our way into the afternoon, and after running a couple of errands, it was almost 1 o’clock before I got home. It was then time for lunch and while I was fixing that I saw that the ‘aunties’ return home. My neighbor and landlord is Shirley Wiedemann. She and her sister Doris live next door (which is just across the drive-way) in Shirley’s home part of the time and at Doris’ home near Boston when they are not here. Due to health issues, they have not been here since August, so it was great to see them return today. I call them the ‘aunties’ because they are the aunts of my good friend Karen Baranowski and soon after the ‘aunties’ arrived, Peter and Karen come to visit with them. I continued with my plan for today which was to roast an organic chicken so I can make my magic chicken mineral broth tomorrow. I got it in the oven and a little later Karen knocked on the door. She walked over to say hello and said she and Peter were headed to the hospital to get a shingles vaccine. I have been trying to get a shingles vaccine since August of 2017, but due to my procrastination, a change in the kind of vaccine given, and then a shortage of the new vaccine, I have been unsuccessful in my attempts. So, my eyes lit up when Karen said the Falmouth Hospital got a shipment of the vaccine this morning. I said I’d make sure to go tomorrow and we said our goodbyes. Then Karen knocked on the door again and invited me to go with them. Why not? I was still dressed in my workout clothes, but I turned off the oven and took off as I was. It took almost two hours for the three of us to get the vaccine, but we did it and afterwards Peter and Karen brought me home. I turned the oven back on to continue to roast that chicken and put in some root vegetables for dinner. Then I called Heather to check on details for Sam’s birthday this weekend and she invited me to come over to hear Ollie practice playing scales on his violin. Again, I turned off the oven and took off. Oh, my. Little Ollie is taking his violin lessons so seriously and he is just too cute to watch. He holds the violin just perfectly, concentrates so completely, and looks to mama for direction. After playing the scales, he very carefully named each part of the violin for me. Then he went into the den and played the same scale on the piano explaining to me that anything you can play on the violin you can play on the piano. Unplanned, but such a precious moment. Finally, I returned home and turned the oven on once again. I did have that chicken and roasted root veggies for dinner and I am still sitting here in my workout clothes from the gym this morning. Tomorrow, I’ll make sure I get dressed early in the day! Some days don’t go as planned, but sometimes unplanned is good.