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 115—Trip to Foxboro

2018 Life Logs, Day 115—Trip to Foxboro
Date: Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Weather: Rain All Day; High Temp 52, Low 48 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Foxboro, Massachusetts, is most widely known as the home of Gillette Stadium, the home stadium for the New England Patriots. And in the same complex there is a Mass General Hospital and Brigham and Womens Hospital outreach medical center. That medical center was our destination today. I picked up Jane Woodin this morning and we headed just a bit north of Foxboro to do some shopping at the Wrentham Outlet Mall prior to Jane’s 1:15 pm appointment to have a back ablation. We had a successful shopping outing and then headed to Foxboro. When I dropped off Jane, I headed to a nearby Lowe’s to buy supplies for waxing the floors at the cottage. In the time it took me to do that and to grab a quick salad for lunch, Jane’s ablation was completed and we headed home. She has had this procedure done before and each time it gives her relief from her back pain for a number of months. Hopefully this one will be as successful as the ones in the past. I delivered Jane home and my next stop was the cottage. I waxed the floors and headed home. Tomorrow morning I will return to do a second coat of wax and then come home to pack. I looked at my calendar this afternoon and saw that I paid to attend a special presentation on gardens tomorrow morning, but I’ll have to skip that one. I will only have three hours to pack before I need to head back to the cottage to meet with the owner, Shirley, to sign the lease. Busy days! Sure will be glad when this move is completed.

2018 Life Logs, Day 114—Making Progress

2018 Life Logs, Day 114—Making Progress
Date: Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Weather: One More Beautiful Day; High Temp 58, Low 46 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Step by step, I am making progress in getting the cottage ready to move into and in packing up things here. It is s-l-o-w, but it is happening. When I left the cottage this evening, I moved everything out of the living, dining, kitchen, and hallway spaces so that tomorrow I can apply a sealant on the flooring. I will put on the first coat tomorrow evening when I return from taking friend Jane Woodin north towards Boston for a back ablation. This is an in and out procedure and we should be home no later than 5 pm which gives me plenty of time to apply the sealant. If the floor needs a second coat, that will happen Thursday morning, and then I will spend the remainder of the day packing.

Detta and I made a good dent in packing, but there is still plenty left to do. I have run out of boxes, so I am going to have to purchase boxes on Thursday. I also meet with Shirley Wiedemann, the owner of the cottage, on Thursday afternoon to sign the lease. She has to come to Falmouth for a doctor appointment and will meet me at the cottage before heading back to Scituate. But in between all that, I will pack, pack, pack.

I truly enjoyed having Detta visit and so much appreciate all the work she did. I am so grateful for the friendship we share. She gave me a card with the perfect words, “Friends are the family you choose with your heart.” I am so grateful that we chose each other and I feel blessed to have Detta, and so many other good friends.

2018 Life Logs, Day 113—A Ray of Sunshine

2018 Life Logs, Day 113—A Ray of Sunshine
Date: Monday, April 23, 2018
Weather: Another Beautiful Day; High Temp 59, Low 45 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

It is already afternoon on Tuesday and I am just now writing yesterday’s log. It was a busy day and evening and spending time with Detta was more important than writing about it. She has gone home now, thus the time to write now.

Detta’s visit was like a ray of sunshine. She is such an upbeat person and always comes laden with gifts, this time belated gifts for my birthday and house warming gifts for my move to the cottage. As I sit here writing, I am looking at a beautiful pot of yellow mini narcissus that she brought, I just packed up the lovely new placements and linen napkins she gave me, and I can’t wait to go to Home Depot to spend the gift certificate. Detta is a very special friend and she definitely spoils me. I am a very lucky person to have a good friend like her.

On Tuesday, she insisted on putting a fresh coat of paint on the living and dining area of the cottage while I continued cleaning the bedrooms. If you ever a need a painter, hire Detta. She uses no tape and her trim job is better than any professional. Now when you enter the cottage, you are greeted with the beauty of freshly painted walls. Thank you, thank you, Detta. When we drove to the cottage early in the morning, we went with a car full of boxes. We got those unloaded and I managed to find a closet shelf for the picture albums so I could unpack those boxes and bring them home to fill again.

I had to leave Detta just after 3 pm to go pick up Jonah and Ollie . . . and Leo . . . and Kadyn . . . and Molly and Joey. I looked like the Pied Piper as we walked home. Molly and Joey live next door and just needed to stay until 4:15 when their mom got home from work. She often picks up Jonah and Ollie for Heather, so it is a great reciprocal arrangement. Kadyn comes home with Jonah on Mondays and they go to soccer practice together. And Leo just needed an adult to pick him up. He is in fourth grade and can walk home on his own, but the school requires an adult to pick up children. The kids had snacks and played in the backyard. The Huggle Pod (hanging tent) that I got Ollie for Christmas was hung this weekend and the kids love it. Jed also hung the big ball-type boat fenders and they swing on those. And, of course, Jonah and Kadyn spent their time playing sports. This time it was basketball. At 4:45 pm, I loaded J, O, and Kadyn in the car to get the boys to soccer practice and then Ollie and I headed home. Heather was in Boston and got home just after we arrived. I then headed back to the cottage with an invitation from Heather for Detta and I to come back for dinner. I hadn’t had time to think about dinner, so it was a very welcome invitation. Thank you, Heather. Jed, Jonah, and Sam left soccer practice and went straight to Scouts, so they did not join us. But Ollie enjoyed introducing his guinea pig, Zuzu, to Detta, and sharing all sorts of stories. Detta and I then went home and packed more books (still not done with book packing), and then I insisted we just sit and visit for a bit. We haven’t been together for months, so there was enough catching up to do to keep us up past midnight.

2018 Life Logs, Day 112—Bees, Birthday Brunch, Detta’s Arrival

2018 Life Logs, Day 112—Bees, Birthday Brunch, Detta’s Arrival
Date: Sunday, April 22, 2018
Weather: Beautiful Day; High Temp 52, Low 37 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA
Happy Earth Day! I was up at 6:45, getting ready to head to the Boston area. It is now 1 am on Monday, and I am just getting ready to wrap up a full day. But it was a good one. I did my part for the earth by driving north and east of Boston to Peabody to pick up bees for Heather. By the time I got them home in the late afternoon, she had to calm them down with a little sugar water, but hopefully they are fine. After picking up the bees, I headed west to the town of Westford to attend a birthday brunch for my sister-in-law, Sue. This was her 84th and she is still going strong. Three of her four children were there with their families. The brunch was fabulous and it was great to visit. Sue and Brad live in Florida and are flying home on Tuesday. But I am really hoping they will be able to come down to visit when they return in August. Happy Birthday to Sue, my niece Candi, and Candi’s granddaughter Hailey.

Once I got home, I got ready for the arrival of my good friend Detta Porat. She was a bit delayed by an accident, but once she got here, we drove to the cottage for sundowners. We then headed home to have dinner and pack, pack, pack. We filled all the boxes I have here, so will have to return to Heather and Jed’s tomorrow to get more. We plan to put in a full day of cleaning and painting tomorrow and then pack more boxes tomorrow night. Detta leaves on Tuesday morning, but I think the packing will continue until Sunday when the movers arrive.

2018 Life Logs, Day 111—All Work with a Little Play

2018 Life Logs, Day 111—All Work with a Little Play
Date: Saturday, April 21, 2018
Weather: Sunny and Cool; High Temp 52, Low 37 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

I am tired tonight. Heather met me at the cottage at 9:30 this morning and we cleaned until 12:30. We took a little break to go see Sam’s soccer game and then at 2 pm we returned to continue the work . . . scrubbing floors, climbing to clean windows. Heather had three extra kids are her house this afternoon and they were all staying for dinner and two were spending the night. So late afternoon, she had to leave to go get dinner for the crew. But I stayed into the evening and continued the cleaning. Then I put away the dishes and pots and pans we packed up on Thursday night. Was that really just two nights ago? Seems like many days ago. Anyway, I am exhausted and must get to bed. Early tomorrow morning I travel to the Boston area. Heather’s bees arrive tomorrow morning in Peabody (just north of Boston), so I am going to go pick them up and then drive back to Westford for the birthday brunch for my sister-in-law and niece. I’m hoping to find a parking spot in the shade so the bees won’t be too hot sitting in the car while I attend the brunch. But I can go out and check on them and will head home immediately after we eat and visit for a bit. Then tomorrow evening my good friend Detta Porat arrives. She is coming down from New Hampshire to help get the cottage ready for the move. Can’t wait to see her.

2018 Life Logs, Day 110—Turtles, Little Boys, and Birds

2018 Life Logs, Day 110—Turtles, Little Boys, and Birds
Date: Friday, April 20, 2018
Weather: Sunny and Cool; High Temp 52, Low 35 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

What do turtles, little boys, and birds have in common? The answer is . . . me. I had wonderful experiences with all three today. I met Sam, Jonah, and Ollie in Woods Hole this morning to watch the documentary film called “Saving Sea Turtles: Preventing Extinction.” Much of this film was shot here on Cape Cod because late each fall many endangered Kemp’s Ridley turtles that are cold-stunned wash up on the Cape Cod Bay side of the Cape. These turtles belong in the warmer waters of the Gulf of Mexico but get caught in currents that bring them north. When the northern summer ends and the water starts to get a bit chilly, they try to make their way back south. But because of the Cape Cod hook that forms the Cape Cod Bay, they swim in and can’t find their way. When it gets really chilly, they suffer hypothermia and get washed ashore. Over the years, a group of volunteers have been trained in how to pick them up off the beaches and get them to the Wellfleet Audubon, who in turns transports them to a facility run by the New England Aquarium. There the turtles are nursed back to health and then released back into the wild when the waters warm a bit in the spring. But in the fall of 2014, an unprecedented number of turtles were recovered and needed help. Facilities up and down the East Coast had to work together to save as many of the recovered 1,242 endangered turtles as possible. That story was the basis of the film. The boys have met the man that heads up the Wellfleet Audubon who was in the film. And last August, we participated in the release of eight Kemp’s Ridley turtles that were rehabilitated and released by the National Marine Life Center. Ollie and I have even had a tour of the Marine Life Center’s hospital for seals and turtles. These personal experiences enriched the content of the film for the boy. So, that was the turtle part of my day. I then spent the afternoon messing about with the Goldpebbles—climbing their favorite tree in Woods Hole, playing soccer at the park in Woods Hole, having lunch at Oma’s, and then going to the public library to participate in a scavenger hunt. Actually, just Ollie, with some help from Jonah, did the scavenger hunt, while Sam and Jonah curled up on a sofa and read. Ollie made some puppets of characters from the books associated with the scavenger hunt. It was just a lovely, peaceful hour in the library. So, that was the ‘little boys’ part of my day. Now we get to the birds. I took the boys home and then headed to the cottage to do some cleaning. It was late afternoon, the sun was shining, and the sound of birds was overwhelming as I got out of the car and went into the cottage. Before starting to work, I grabbed a sparkling water out of the refrigerator and headed down to a concrete patio on the adjacent property where I have located one of my little glass deck tables with chairs. It is a perfect viewing area and I just sat there and enjoyed. An egret was mucking about in the marsh, geese and ducks were swimming in the river, tiny birds of some sort were in the brush in front of me and were very brazen. They would look right at me and hop towards me before flying away. What a peaceful place. Unfortunately, I needed to get to work, but the nature break with the birds was very special. So, that was the bird part of my day. A good day. Tomorrow is all about cleaning the cottage, but maybe I’ll take a couple of bird watching nature breaks along the way.

2018 Life Logs, Day 109—Cleaning, Packing, and Grandkid Care

2018 Life Logs, Day 109—Cleaning, Packing, and Grandkid Care
Date: Thursday, April 19, 2018
Weather: Rainy Day; High Temp 42, Low 34 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

A great deal of today was spent cleaning the cottage and packing for the move. Jed kept the boys until 1:15 when I picked up Ollie. He was playing on the public library lawn, observing our town turkeys that were hanging out there. Ollie and I stayed and watched the turkeys and then headed to my place so I could get some lunch while Jed took Jonah and Sam to the dentist to have their teeth cleaned. Then Ollie and I headed to Woods Hole to pick up S & J. But we only came home with Sam. Jed invited Jonah to stay and have some ‘lab time’ with daddy. Ollie and Sam played while I prepped dinner, and then Heather arrived and the packing frenzy began. Once Jed arrived, he took over getting dinner ready while Heather and I continued to pack. I now have lots of plastic bins that I can deliver to the cottage, but before doing that, I need to complete the cleaning. So, the race is on.

Tomorrow morning I meet the boys in Woods Hole for another Woods Hole Oceanograpic sponsored film. In the morning we watch ‘Saving Sea Turtles: Preventing Extinction’. Last summer we adopted a Rachel Carseal and got to see her successful release back into the sea. So I am really looking forward to seeing this film and learning more about our turtle friends. After the film, I will then take the boys home with me. We’ll have lunch and then at some point in the afternoon, Jed will come home to take over child care and I’ll head back to the cottage to continue cleaning. Heather has offered to come help with the cleaning on Saturday and that will be so helpful. Thank you, Heather. Jonah has a soccer game mid-day, so we might have to take a break to see the game. Then on Sunday I head to the Boston area to celebrate my niece’s 60th and my sister-in-law’s 84th. Plenty to keep me busy

2018 Life Logs, Day 108—Ten-Day Countdown

2018 Life Logs, Day 108—Ten-Day Countdown
Date: Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Weather: Mostly Sunny and Still Windy; High Temp 47, Low 39 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Jed stayed home with the boys this morning while I contacted movers and looked more seriously at new flooring for the cottage. I was successful on the first count. I will be moving on Sunday, April 29. So tomorrow starts the ten-day count down. On the issue of new flooring, it was just too ambitious on my part to think I could get this done before moving in. So, the move will be made and changes in flooring will require moving furniture around. I am disappointed, but maybe I can learn to live with an ugly army green tile floor . . . or find creative ways of covering it up. I am not a fan of carpeting, but I will search for area rugs for now.

I spent the afternoon with the Sam, Jonah, and Ollie. It was a sunny day which convinced them it was warm. I thought otherwise, but they played outside all afternoon in shorts and barefeet. Well, Sam and Jonah did that. Because Ollie seems to be getting a cold, Jed asked him to leave on his long pants and shoes. The boys had an outdoor picnic and played baseball. Sure signs of spring. Then at 4 pm, we got ready to head to the soccer field. Sam’s team that Jed coaches had a visiting coach this afternoon and Jonah joined in. Ollie rode his bicycle at the field, racing back and forth, up a hill and back down again, for 30 straight minutes, and then he wanted to come to my house and ride in the long parking lot next door. He convinced me that I needed to get my bike and ride with him, which I did, but the wind on the harbor was fierce. We did that for another 30 minutes and then headed home to get dinner. Ollie was exhausted and as soon as dinner was over, he went to the sofa and fell fast asleep. I only regretted that I couldn’t curl up with him. I was exhausted from fighting the wind all day.

Tomorrow I will head to the cottage early and do some cleaning and then meet Jed and boys in Woods Hole in the early afternoon. Sam and Jonah have another dentist appointment, this time for cleaning. Then I’ll head home with the boys while Jed goes to work. Unfortunately, tomorrow looks like another rainy day, so afternoon play will probably be inside.

2018 Life Logs, Day 107—Moving Sooner Rather Than Later

2018 Life Logs, Day 107—Moving Sooner Rather Than Later
Date: Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Weather: Mix of Sun and Clouds Plus Wind; High Temp 47, Low 35 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Ouch! I finally heard back from my current landlord saying that moving out by May 1st would be “perfect” but that if that is hardship, I have until May 15. I will spend tomorrow morning contacting movers to see if a May 1 move is possible, but one way or another, I need to get moving!

I spent today with Jonah and Ollie. Sam went to work with his dad to work on his science project. The question Sam has been exploring is whether microwaves affect the growth of E. coli bacteria and he needed the equipment in his dad’s lab to do this. So while Sam and Jed were in Woods Hole conducting experiments, Jonah, Ollie, and I stayed at home and played. Then in the afternoon, we packed up our bicycles and drove to the bike path. We hopped on our bikes and rode against the chilly wind to Woods Hole. Sam and Jonah had mid-afternoon dental check-ups. Our bike ride was only a couple of miles, but all three of us had ‘rubber’ legs when we arrived. We rode fast and being our first bike ride of any length since the fall, we felt it. After the dental appointments, we all went to Coffee O and had a sweet treat just to celebrate the afternoon. Then Sam and Jed went back to the lab and Ollie, Jonah, and I did our return bike trip. When we got back to the car, parked at Trunk River, the boys had to do the requisite walking on rocks that line the river. It is super shallow, so even if they fell in, they would have been fine. But they were successful, and very happy about it, and then we headed home.
Tomorrow morning Jed will stay with the boys while I make calls to moving companies and s research on flooring options for the cottage. Then I will have the boys for the afternoon and early evening. Heather will end two very long work days tomorrow evening and I think Thursday and Friday she will be back to normal hours.

I was very saddened tonight to learn of the death of Barbara Bush. I didn’t fully appreciate her being until I read her memoir a few years ago. It is one of my all-time favorite books. Being a 1970’s liberated woman, I had always looked at her as a not so independent woman. She never had a career and spent her whole life as a wife and mother. But in reading her book, I learned that her life choices had been just as liberated as mine, just in a different way. We had way more in common than not, and I learned so much from reading about her life. She was a rock, a pillar of strength—an amazing woman. And if you haven’t read her memoir, I highly recommend that you do.

2018 Life Logs, Day 106—Patriots’ Day

2018 Life Logs, Day 106—Patriots’ Day
Date: Monday, April 16, 2018
Weather: Overcast with Buckets of Rain; High Temp 53, Low 40 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

The third Monday of April is Patriots’ Day in Massachusetts. This is an official state holiday commemorating the first battles of the American Revolution in Lexington and Concord. The observance of this holiday began in the 1960’s, but the Boston Marathon which is run on the same day, began in 1897. This day is also the beginning of the spring school vacation week here in Falmouth. So today was a big day. Jonah, Ollie, and I began our day attending a Woods Hole Oceanographic sponsored film, “The March of the Penguins.” This was shown in the auditorium in Redfield, the building in which Jed works. He and Sam were in Jed’s lab working on a school science project while we watched the film. A block away, Heather was at work in her office. The film was about Emperor penguins and their annual march inland, away from the sea, to where they mate and raise their young. It was beautifully presented, and who doesn’t love penguins? After the film, a penguin scientist shared his research with us and answered questions. Great way to start the week. Then we all converged on the Captain Kidd for lunch. After lunch, we all headed to the cottage, the little house that I will soon occupy. I wanted to get Heather and Jed’s opinion on just how hard it would be to lay wood laminate flooring. They have done this and their input was very helpful. Unfortunately, it will be harder and more time consuming that I had hoped. So, I am going to look into other alternatives. Stay tuned on that one.

It was a rainy, rainy day here, but that doesn’t stop little boys. While Heather, Jed, and I were in the cottage discussing flooring, the boys were exploring. They tromped through the woods next to the cottage and down to the water where they found a little peninsula that is dry at high tide. And, of course, they insisted on taking all of us on a tour. We all went to the dock where I can keep a small boat and kayaks. I wanted Jed to check the integrity of the dock, but boys are also very useful in that department. They jump, leap, and shake everything making sure it is secure. But we had a visitor today . . . a swan who watched every move we made. Later when we walked out on the peninsula, I saw the reason why the swan was so ‘watchful’. I saw a second swan sitting on what looked like a nest just across from the dock. I think our visitor was a male watching over things. It will be interesting to watch this couple in the next few weeks.

Jonah and Ollie then went home with me for the rest of the afternoon. As we walked from the parking area to my apartment, it was pouring rain and Jonah was singing, “Singin’ in the Rain.” He loves watching snipits from old musicals on YouTube and this is one of his favorites. So, he insisted that we get an umbrella. We did and then he assigned roles to Ollie and I and he staged a full production in the yard. By this time, it was really pouring rain, but I played my role as the policeman from the movie scene. A guy who lives here walked by us and asked me what in the world we were doing. I simply replied, “Singing in the Rain.” And he replied, “Good day for that.”