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!

2017 Life Logs, Day 212: End of the ‘Blue’ Month on Cape Cod

2017 Life Logs, Day 212: End of the ‘Blue’ Month on Cape Cod
Date: Monday, July 31, 2017
Weather: Beautiful, Sunny Day; High 78, Low 64 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

I’m having a really hard time believing that today is that last day of July, but those beautiful blue hydrangeas that adorn The Studio property are fading. And that tells me that Cape Cod’s ‘blue’ month has come to an end. Hydrangeas and Cape Cod are synonymous and they are in their glory during the month of July, as are the lavender plants that add another touch of blue. All are fading into August, but I am hoping this is not signaling the end of summer. With our slow start on summer weather, I’m hoping for a warmer than normal August and September.

Camp Oma was in full swing today with a return to swim lessons at Falmouth Heights Beach. The boys swore they didn’t want to go, but after a week away from lessons, both Sam and Jonah shone. Their skills have improved greatly this summer and today Jonah actually got that bushy head of hair under the water multiple times. And Ollie did a lot of swimming and floating and swears that tomorrow he’ll get his head underwater as well. I’ll call this success! We stayed at the beach longer than planned as the boys were enjoying a beach baseball game with friends. After the game, we headed back into the water for one more swim and then we headed to my place for showers and lunch. It was 2:30 pm before we finally headed to the Goldstone’s. Jed finished building the shed last week and Heather was taking the afternoon to paint. The boys wanted to help, so we spent the latter part of the afternoon painting. All three boys pitched in and they did a great job. I left shortly after 5 pm and Sam was still working with his mom to complete the job. The shed kit came with primer paint on the outside walls, but Heather had hoped to get two coats of paint on top of that. One gallon of paint only did one coat, so she’ll have to make a return trip to Home Depot for more paint for that second coat.

When I got home, I got a call from Justin saying things were crazy at Finca Maravilla after the afternoon delivery of my birthday presents for Coco. I sent roller skates for her and for Ziggy and after arrival, they had immediately put them on and were learning to skate in the living room. In typical Coco style, she had no clothes on, so what I got to see on Skype video was naked roller skating at its finest. There was lots of giggling and squeals, so I think both Ziggy and Coco enjoyed the skates. Coco’s main present from me was a slack line, so I’ll have to check in on another afternoon and see the kids in action on that.

2017 Life Logs, Day 211: Happy 5th Birthday to Coco

2017 Life Logs, Day 211: Happy 5th Birthday to Coco
Date: Sunday, July 30, 2017
Weather: Overcast; High 75, Low 57 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

After four boy grandchildren, along came the one and only Coco. She turned five today and if I had to pick one word to describe her, it would be spirited. She has a spark in those eyes and a smile that just doesn’t quit. And she’s been this way since birth.

09 Beautiful, Sweet, Smiley Baby Coco Annabelle

I got to see Coco and Ziggy via Skype video this evening after Coco’s birthday party. We had a family birthday party in West Virginia and then Coco had a party with her family in England. Today she had a party with her friends in Puerto Rico and my gifts to her will arrive tomorrow, so she will have yet another birthday celebration. Happy birthday, Coco!

I went for an early morning bike ride with the Newcomers biking group, went to the grocery store, and then came home and spent a quiet day cooking and making a little progress on editing and organizing photos. I am months behind now, but once the summer is over, I’ll have time to catch up. Tomorrow morning it is back to the beach for swim lessons for the Goldpebbles. The weather was beautiful today and is supposed to be that way all week, so Camp Oma will focus on beach activities.

2017 Life Logs, Day 210: Happy 80th Birthday to Olivia

2017 Life Logs, Day 210: Happy 80th Birthday to Olivia
Date: Friday, July 29, 2017
Weather: Overcast; High 68, Low 59 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

It was an overcast and cool day here, but the bright spot in the afternoon was attending Olivia White’s 80th birthday celebration. Olivia is an inspiration to all who know her. Her compassion, her enthusiasm for all that life has to offer, and her energy level outshines us all. Happy birthday, Olivia!

2017 Life Logs, Day 209: Friday with the Goldpebbles

2017 Life Logs, Day 209: Friday with the Goldpebbles
Date: Friday, July 28, 2017
Weather: Beautiful, Sunny Day; High 82, Low 65 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

It was a gorgeous day here on the Cape, a perfect beach day, but the boys and I decided to skip the beach and just hang out. Sam and Jonah had their last morning of fort building camp which ended with a water battle between forts. They loved it. Ollie and I stayed home and canned chicken mineral broth and cleaned house. He really wanted to help, so I taught him how to use a jar lifter and a magnetic jar lid lifter. He loved learning how to use the kitchen tools and he also helped me mop the wood floors. But he spent the rest of his morning just messing about quietly. When he is alone without his brothers, he is easiest kid in the world to keep because he simply stays busy all on his own. But when you add the two brothers, he is a little more challenging, as he tries constantly to assert his authority to keep his head afloat with two older brothers. When he is in this mode, we call him King Oliver. I much prefer the mellow Ollie, but I fully understand why he has to work so hard to maintain his place in the pack of three.

At noon, we went to pick up Sam and Jonah and stopped at my house for lunch. After lunch, we headed to the Goldstones. We made a stop to recycle cans and bottles and then when we got home, I finished canning the chicken broth, Sam cut the grass, and Ollie and Jonah cleaned the inside and outside of my car. I paid them to do this instead of taking it to the carwash and they did a fantastic job with very little supervision. Sam had to go to a neighbor’s house to water plants while they are out of town, so we all went and helped out. Actually, I sat on the deck and took photos of butterflies in the backyard while Jonah and Ollie helped out. Then we treated ourselves to a Smitty’s ice cream cone before heading back to my place for the night. Heather had to be at work at 6 am this morning and she had to work late tonight hosting an affair, so I invited the boys to spend the night with me. We had a wonderful walk on the boat docks while our artichokes boiled for the required 45 minutes. From the dock, Jonah spotted a boat in the yard he wanted to inspect and when we got there, the boys were most impressed that this speedboat had three, yes THREE, 350 hp motors. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that much power on a small boat before. We had movie night while eating our artichokes, but we took time out to watch the sunset from the deck. It was a great day and lovely evening with my little guys.

2017 Life Logs, Day 208: Mid-day Bike Ride and Lunch in Woods Hole

2017 Life Logs, Day 208: Mid-day Bike Ride and Lunch in Woods Hole
Date: Thursday, July 27, 2017
Weather: Overcast with Constant Threat of Rain; High 71, Low 65 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Sam and Jonah spent their morning at fort building camp and Ollie and I played school. He loves to write and I spent some time with him practicing the easiest way to form letters. We had recess, art class, science class, and writing class and Ollie would have gone on and on, but we had to stop so we could go pick up Sam and Jonah at noon. We then met Heather at the bike path and rode back to Woods Hole with her. Since she is working late in the evenings this week with fund raising, she wanted to take time in the middle of the day to be with the boys. Jed joined us in Woods Hole for lunch at the Woods Hole Market and then Heather and Jed returned to work. The boys and I had planned to head directly to Stoney Beach for the afternoon, but instead we spent the entire afternoon under a cloud that constantly threatened rain. We decided to stop at the park in Woods Hole to play while we waited to see what the weather might do. When we got there, there were friends of the boys playing, so they joined in and had a great time. It sprinkled and stopped and then sprinkled and stopped again. Eventually we decided to go to the beach, but when we got there, one of Sam’s friends saw us getting out of the car and told us to get back in. He was freezing and said it was much too cold to enjoy the water with the absence of sun and the strong winds. Sam and Ollie decided to brave it anyway, but they were back in the car within minutes and we headed to my house. At 5 pm, I was supposed to deliver the boys to Surf Drive Beach for a dinner picnic with friends of Ollie’s from the Woods Hole Daycare. But Jed sent a text saying that was cancelled due to the threat of rain and that an alternate playtime at the downtown playground was planned instead. I delivered the boys there to meet up with Jed and then I headed to Walmart and the grocery store to do a little shopping to prepare for tomorrow night.

Tomorrow is that last day of the fort building camp and we will spend the afternoon at Heather and Jed’s just playing and doing some chores. Heather has a work engagement tomorrow night and Jed is going with her, so the boys are going to spend the night with me. No big plans, just hopefully a relaxed day and evening enjoying summer.

2017 Life Logs, Day 207: AM at Peterson Farm; PM at Wood Neck

2017 Life Logs, Day 207: AM at Peterson Farm; PM at Wood Neck
Date: Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Weather: Clear and Sunny; High 75, Low 60 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

This morning Sam and Jonah went to their fort building camp and Ollie and I went to a Buzzards Bay Coalition Field and Farm workshop. This workshop took place at Peterson Farm which is on Falmouth conservation land. It is a place we have visited many, many times as until this winter/spring, there have been resident sheep and a llama in residence. Each spring we would go see the baby lambs and we loved watching them grow. The flock was sizable and they kept the farm well-trimmed. Unfortunately, the woman who owned the animals moved to western Massachusetts and took the llama and sheep with her. So, this morning when Ollie and I arrived, it was a bit of a shock to see the fields overtaken by tall grass and weeds. But that was great for the purpose of this workshop. We were looking for critters that live in fields and there were lots of those—mostly bees, wasps, grasshoppers, and butterflies. That was enough to keep the interest of the little ones. Ollie took a fishing net we had in the back of the car in the hopes of catching some insects. At one point, he had the net over his own head, so I had to ask the name of what he just caught! Ollie was as interested in all the different kinds of weeds lining the path we were on than he was the insects, and he pointed out some really interesting plants that I totally missed. I was not able to get a good photo of the beautiful Monarchs and Painted Lady butterflies we saw, but I did get a photo of one Monarch that was hiding behind a milkweed plant. We had a little time to kill after the workshop before picking up Sam and Jonah, so we went to Highfield Hall to take a little walk . . . always a delight.

At noon, Ollie and I picked up Sam and Jonah and went to my place for lunch. Since all of us had spent our morning stomping about in the woods and tall grass, we shed our clothes at the front door and did full tick checks before getting dressed in our bathing suits. The threat of disease from tick bites just get scarier and scarier, so we try to be as careful as possible. We then switched into beach gear and headed to Wood Neck. There was a line of cars waiting to get in as the parking lot was totally full. I assumed the boys would want to turn around go to another beach, but there were adamant that we wait and hope for a parking place. I told them we would wait for 20 minutes before leaving, but after 15 minutes, the gate keeper let us in. Our parking spot was right inside the entrance and far from where we wanted to go, but the boys didn’t let that dampen their spirits. I gave them their boogie boards and sent them out in the water to make their way to Lazy River. I walked along on the beach and loved watching them gallop like wild ponies through the water. Lazy River is how the water from the marsh behind the beach makes its way out to sea. Low tide was at 4:30 this afternoon, so the water was rushing out when we arrived. Sam, Jonah, and Ollie has agreed that they would spend their beach time today jumping waves and riding Lazy River, not exploring the marsh. And they had a great time. But just before dead low tide, they all decided to walk all the way to the back of the marsh to see how many crabs we could see. We were especially interested in the horseshoe crabs. We saw only one, but she was the biggest horseshoe crab any of us has ever seen and she looked absolutely GoPro in its waterproof case to get photos of our finds. We also found a spider crab that allowed me to carry him around for a bit. He wasn’t large, but I was surprised at how strong his legs were. And we saw lots of large green crabs. We also observed lots of sand pipers and other small water birds feasting in the mud flats. It was another spectacular day with the Goldpebbles.

It is public radio pledge week here, so Heather went to work this morning before the boys got up and had to be on the air until 7 pm tonight. She has to do the same tomorrow, so she asked if we could do a mid-day meet up with her tomorrow. The boys were very excited about that. So Heather is going to bike from Woods Hole (where she works) to Falmouth to pick up Sam and Jonah after fort building camp. Ollie and I will meet up with them and all of us will bike back to Woods Hole with her. After we have lunch, Heather will head back to work and the boys and I will head to Stoney Beach in Woods Hole. We’ll either take the trolley back to Falmouth or hitch a ride with Jed.

2017 Life Logs, Day 206: Visit to the National Marine Life Center

2017 Life Logs, Day 206: Visit to the National Marine Life Center
Date: Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Weather: Partly Sunny, Chilly Wind from the N; High 62, Low 56 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Some days don’t go as planned, but still they end up to be fantastic . . . and today was one of those days. Sam and Jonah went to their fort building camp in the morning and I was to pick Ollie up in Woods Hole as he had a dentist appointment at 9 am. I didn’t know about this until late yesterday, so when I found out I cancelled our registration to do the inflatable humpback whale at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History this morning. Then when I got up this morning, I got a text from Heather saying she had arranged an afternoon play date for Jonah and that Jed was going to pick up Sam from fort building so I could still go to the Museum of Natural History with Ollie. Long story short, I arranged a new reservation for 11:15 (the only time available) to do the inflatable humpback whale, but when the dental appointment took longer than expected and traffic interfered, I had to call and cancel that reservation. I left a message begging for a later time, but when Ollie and I were well on our way, I got a call back telling me that there was just no room for us today. Ollie was very disappointed, but he was a true trooper. I had to think fast to come up with an alternative activity, and when I ran it by him, he was all in. We changed direction and went to the National Marine Life Center in Buzzards Bay. I had hoped we would be able to see their newest seal pups, but when we go there I found out the only viewing is through a live camera. This center takes in seals and turtles that need some sort of rehabilitation and gets them ready to release into the wild. The highlight of day was ‘adopting’ a baby harbor seal named Rachel Carseal (word play on the name of scientist Rachel Carsen). Our contribution will help provide the food and supplies needed to keep Rachel Carseal healthy until she can be released. In addition to our adoption, Ollie really enjoyed the other activities at this center. We worked wooden seal and whale puzzles,participated in a scavenger hunt,watched the seals and turtles via live cam, and made the decision to ‘adopt’ a seal in honor of the recent loss of LuSeal and Bumper, the harbor seals at the Woods Hole Aquarium. We still don’t know the cause of the sudden deaths of LuSeal and Bumper, but we know we will miss them so very much. Now we will follow the growth of our newly adopted harbor seal, Rachel Carseal, until her release back into the wild.

2017 Life Logs, Day 205: Rainy Monday

2017 Life Logs, Day 205: Rainy Monday
Date: Monday, July 24, 2017
Weather: Overcast with Rain All Day, Wind from the NE; High 68, Low 60 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Here in the harbor, the wind is still gusting from the north and northeast and it feels downright chilly. The rain has stopped, but tomorrow will still be overcast with the north winds. It will not be until Wednesday that the wind switches back to the southern sector and things will warm up again. So for now, we are back to long sleeves. Heather dropped Sam and Jonah off for their first day of fort building camp this morning and I picked Ollie and his bicycle up and headed to the daycare summer camp so he could ride in their mini-Mass challenge. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the email saying this had been cancelled for this morning, but Ollie still wanted to bike. We went to pick up my bike and we rode the bike path in drizzle and then pouring rain. But he loved it! We then picked Sam and Jonah up at noon and came back to my place for lunch and a movie. Heather and Jed are hoping they will have time in Oslo, Norway, to stop at the Kon-Tiki Museum, so I wanted the boys to see the Kon-Tiki movie. The original Kon-Tiki raft is on display in that museum. All three boys were riveted to the movie, so it was a great rainy day activity. . . and a little bit of history. Jonah called it an ‘educational experience’.

2017 Life Logs, Day 204: Bike Ride to Woods Hole

2017 Life Logs, Day 204: Bike Ride to Woods Hole
Date: Sunday, July 23, 2017
Weather: Partly Cloudy; High 71, Low 63 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

My day started with a lazy morning at home where I even took time to watch the bumble bees on the bushes outside my dining room windows. Then I met the Goldstones for a bike ride to Woods Hole. We left at noon but didn’t get back to our starting point until 4:30 pm. As Heather said, we made a vacation day out of it. Jed had to go to work to feed the fish that are used for research in his lab and he took the boys with him. This gave Heather and I a chance to poke around in the two specialty shops in town. We found all sorts of lovely things, but one shop had the most beautiful pottery serving dishes shaped like oysters and mussels. We then went to the Captain Kidd for a late lunch. The only outside seating was in what they call the lounging area and it was just perfect. Instead of sitting at a table, you sit on lounging furniture around low tables. It was perfect with the kids and we all really enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere. When we left we had to wait for the Eel Pond Bridge to open and the incoming boat was Pax and Tim and their two boys, Sebastian and Fofie. These are really good friends of Heather and Jed’s, so naturally the boys wanted to run and play together for a bit. We then enjoyed our 4-mile ride back to the parking area and I even snuck in a photo shoot of one of the nests of osprey on the way. There seem to be multiple babies in many of the nests. So as Heather said today, a long, cool, wet spring must be good for osprey production! When we got back, I took Jed, Ollie, and Jonah home while Heather took Sam to do the weekly grocery shopping. I came home and had a long conversation with a third cousin that just contacted me through Ancestry.com. He and his wife life near Fort Myers Beach, so I think we will get to meet we all go to Florida for Thanksgiving.

I found out today that this next week is going to be a bit different than I thought. The camp that Sam and Jonah are attending is only half day, not all day, so Ollie and I will only have our mornings together. But that is fine. Ollie is all excited about classes I signed him up for on two of the mornings. On Wednesday we will go to a Field and Farm class at Peterson Farm and on Friday we do a Fairy House workshop at Highfield Hall. And tomorrow morning we go to see his friends at the Woods Hole Daycare Center summer camp. So, here we go into another week of summer fun.

2017 Life Logs, Day 203: Do Nothing Day

2017 Life Logs, Day 203: Do Nothing Day
Date: Saturday, July 22, 2017
Weather: Partly Cloudy, Hot and Humid; High 80, Low 64 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

The calendar says this was Saturday, but I say it was ‘Do Nothing Day’. It is the very first day since I returned from my family gathering in West Virginia in June that I have had a whole day with nothing that had to be done. So, I took full advantage and did absolutely nothing . . . and it feels great! I do have a couple of confessions–I did go to the gym for Zumba class and I did have a nice long phone conversation with Ed and Lynne Kirwin. And tonight I’ll call my sister to check-in with her. But that’s it.