Welcome to The Voyage of Windbird . . . and Beyond.  My name is Judy Handley and I live on Cape Cod in Massachusetts.  For six years of my life, my husband Mark and I sailed around the world.  I documented that story, one day at a time, in this blog that was then just called The Voyage of Windbird.  Those daily logs from 2005 to 2011 tell the story of our circumnavigation.  While sailing, my daily logs were sent via Ham radio to the internet to appear on this blog spot each morning.  My son Justin made that happen, and to this day, I don’t understand the process.  But it was like magic.  I would sit in the cockpit each afternoon around 4 pm and summarize the day’s activities.  During the evening when the conditions were just right for sending radio emails, my husband would send the log.  The next morning my son, my daughter, other members of my family and good friends would read the news and know exactly where in the world we were and what fun we were having.  

After almost 6 years of traveling, we sailed into Woods Hole on Cape Cod.  We continued living aboard for the next five years and I wrote about that, adding ‘and Beyond’ to the title of the blog.  Then shortly before Mark’s death in 2016, we sold our beloved Windbird and my travel logs became land logs.  At this point, I had written a daily account for each and every day for 11 years.  I fully intended to end the blog at that point, but when I wrote that news in a log, I got many responses saying that I really needed to keep posting.  At the same time, I realized that I couldn’t stop writing.  Summarizing each day had become a permanent part of my life and I will probably continue writing until I can no longer.  These postings reflect the ordinary, and sometimes the extraordinary, days in my life and I would like to invite you to join me on my journey.

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!

2021 Life Logs, Day 33: Ant-Man and Arctic Meltdown

2021 Life Logs, Day 33: Ant-Man and Arctic Meltdown
Date: Tuesday, February 2, 2021
Weather: Overcast and Misty; High 35, Low 27 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

The day started with Punxsutawney Phil seeing his shadow. So . . . six more weeks of winter are predicted. I think we would have at least six more weeks of winter anyway. But hats off to the ground hog for letting us know.

Now to Ant-Man and the Arctic Meltdown. These two things are, of course, not related. One is a video involving quantum space and the other is the title of a New Bedford Whaling Museum Zoom presentation I attended tonight. I’ll begin with Ant-Man. I picked Ollie and Jonah up just after noon due to a school Early Release Day. I invited them here for a video afternoon and we watched Ant-Man and the Wasp, a superhero film based on the Marvel Comics characters. I enjoyed it more than I anticipated and actually want to go back and watch the original Ant-Man. Jonah and Ollie promised they would return to watch it with me. By the time I took them home, made a second trip to take Ollie his Chromebook that he forgot, and returned home to take Shadow for a twilight walk, it was time to eat dinner and get ready for the 7 pm Zoom presentation. Susie Klein, a good sailing friend, emailed me this morning inviting me to join her and her husband Jim tonight for a New Bedford Science Café Zoom presentation on arctic meltdown. The New Bedford Science Café series is sponsored by the New Bedford Whaling Museum and tonight’s presentation was made by Jennifer Francis, a Senior Scientist at the Woodwell Climate Research Center where Heather works. And Jennifer Francis is a friend of Susie and her husband Jim. So, I accepted the invitation and very much enjoyed it. Jennifer Francis was on her sailboat in the Virgin Islands which made me very jealous, but it also caused a few technical problems. Thankfully, those got worked out quickly and the show went on. Her presentation brought together global warming, sea-level rise, tropical storm, and extreme weather events and how they are all connected to the rapidly warming (and melting) Arctic. I loved the way Jennifer Francis used real life examples showing the impact each of us makes on this global crisis. My favorite example was one that claims that just one person flying from the East Coast to Europe is responsible for the melting of a piece of Arctic ice the size of a dining room table. That doesn’t seem like much until you add up the number of people traveling around the world. Our choices make a huge difference.

I made no progress on my writing project today, but I got a call from friend Alan Kanegsberg tonight with a tip that might speed up the project significantly. He suggested that I might make use of the dictation part of Word. I tried it and it works beautifully. I just press a button, speak, and my words appear in the document. I will try this tomorrow morning as I launch into the writing of Chapter 4 of The Voyage of Windbird and report tomorrow night on how it works for me.

2021 Life Logs, Day 32: Writing Through the Stormy Weather

2021 Life Logs, Day 32: Writing Through the Stormy Weather
Date: Monday, February 1, 2021
Weather: Rain, Snow, and Winds NE 25-30; High 35, Low 32 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It is dark outside and I have never heard so many bangs and clangs as the wind is blowing whatever around the cottage. We got more snow this morning than I expected, but then it started raining and snowing at the same time, so the ground is just covered in slush. The wind tonight is wicked and I am not looking forward to my next trip outside with Shadow. It will be a quick one! We did walk about a half mile this morning, maybe a little more, but then I headed back home because we were getting so wet. I picked Ollie up at noon due to an early release due to the weather, and once I took him home, I spent the rest of the afternoon writing. I got Chapter Three of the Voyage of Windbird written and will start the editing process tomorrow morning. There is another school early release tomorrow, this a planned one, so I will hope to edit in the morning, and start Chapter 4 in the afternoon. Either that, or I will ‘steal’ Jonah and Ollie and we will come here and have a movie afternoon while the wind continues to blow and the rain or snow continues to fall.

I spent an hour and half this morning attending a Lifetime Learning class on Zoom offered by the Friends of Snow Library in Orleans. Orleans is located in the ‘elbow’ of Cape Cod on the Outer Cape. Today was their first class of the winter season and the topic was “The Supreme Court in the Era of Its Conservative Majority.” I signed up for the class just to see how things were structured. I am presenting a ‘class’ for them on the Voyage of Windbird in late March. I enjoyed the lecture this morning and found that the structure is no different from other presentations I have made. So, I can now relax and wait for March 26 to roll around.

2021 Life Logs, Day 31: Sam’s Birthday Party

2021 Life Logs, Day 31: Sam’s Birthday Party
Date: Sunday, January 31, 2021
Weather: Sunny, Warming Up a Bit; High 27, Low 23 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

One of the positive things that has come out of the coronavirus pandemic is that we have all gotten more creative about how to get together with friends outside . . . even in frigid weather. Sam’s birthday was on the 21st and we had a family gathering, but the party with friends was today. Jed got permission to use the Trotting Park soccer field as the location for a rocket shoot. Sam loves shooting off model rockets and three of his best friends joined him today. We were all dressed for the weather and all masked. Because of the danger, Jed has to be the one setting the rockets on the launch pads, but the boys got to push the launch button. The first rocket was launched and retrieved and then the second rocket that was rated to go much higher was launched. We heard it blast off but almost immediately all of us lost sight of it. We searched the sky and searched the ground, but it was just GONE. Jed had planned on using that rocket for multiple launches, so a third rocket had to be built on the spot. Eventually we lost that rocket as well and everyone was getting cold, so the boys headed off to walk home along the powerline trail. Heather and Jed drove home to start a fire in the fire pit in the back yard and I headed off to check on Shadow and then pick up pizzas for the boys. I dropped the pizzas off at 5 pm and they had been outside since 2:00. Even with the fire, they were getting cold, but the plan was for parents to pick them up at 6 pm. I headed home with a smile on my face. If you had told me a year ago we would be having a four hour long birthday party outside with temps in the 20’s, I would have thought you were crazy. It is amazing what we can do when we imagine differently.

I hear there is snow storm barreling up the Eastern Seaboard but we are mostly going to have rain. The deep freeze we have been in for the past few days is thawing and we are going to get rain for the next two days. There might be some snow flurries overnight tonight, but by noon tomorrow it looks like it is just going to be wet. Sounds like perfect weather to stay inside and write. At least that’s my plan.

2021 Life Logs, Day 30: Keeping Busy on a Cold Winter Day

2021 Life Logs, Day 30: Keeping Busy on a Cold Winter Day
Date: Saturday, January 30, 2021
Weather: Sunny, Still Very Cold; High 21, Low 8 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

By noon today it was 18 degrees F outside, but it felt like 6 degrees F with the wind chill. The good news is it was bright and sunny and there was only half the wind we had yesterday. So that is an improvement. I put Shadow’s sweater on him and we did our normal morning walk. The only problem was that my eyes kept watering, causing my cheeks to feel like they were freezing. Still, it was great to be outside in the sunshine. And I loved walking down by the dock and seeing the beauty of the ice.

I spent the rest of the day alternating working on my new puzzle with editing and writing. My writing project is going slowly, but I am so excited to be back at it again. My puzzle working is also going slowly, and today I got sidetracked. I described the puzzle in a previous log–food and flowers arranged beautifully around my favorite food, artichokes. Today I was working on the apricots. As I was working I thought, are they apricots or peaches? The puzzle box has no information on it other than a sticker noting that it is a Galison 500 Piece Puzzle named Artichoke Floral. I Googled that and found out the puzzle is from a photo by foody photographer Sarah Phillips. I Googled her name and found out that she is on a mission to save ugly food. About that time, my weekly Misfits delivery of ‘ugly’ fruits and vegetables arrived. I should have taken a picture of the contents of the box before storing the items away because the food looked beautiful when I opening the box. I didn’t think of that until just now as I am writing this log, so maybe next week I will remember and share the photo with you. Like Sarah Phillips, Misfits is on a mission to save imperfect organic produce by buying it and selling it at a reduced price rather than letting it end up as food waste. I am so happy to be the recipient of all that ‘ugly’ produce while working a puzzle by a woman dedicating her life to saving ‘ugly’ food.

2021 Life Logs, Day 29: COLD

2021 Life Logs, Day 29: COLD
Date: Friday, January 29, 2021
Weather: Sunny, Windy, and COLD; High 20, Low 11 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

The high temperature for today was at midnight and it got progressively colder from there. It did get up to 16 degrees during the afternoon, but with the 18-20 mile per hour winds, it felt much colder. The high for tomorrow is forecast to be 21 degrees, and at least that will be in the afternoon. But the bottom line is that today was simply COLD. When Shadow and I walked this morning at 10 am, the temperature was 11 but with the wind chill it was -7. So we didn’t walk as far as usual. By Sunday, this cold snap should move on. But here is what I don’t get. I keep my thermostat set at 68 during the day and right now the thermostat registers that. But it definitely feels colder than usual. In fact, my nose and my hands are cold to the touch. Why is that? If anyone can explain that to me, please let me know.

I did spend my late morning and early afternoon working on my Voyage of Windbird writing project. When it was time to go get Ollie, I changed gears. I took Ollie home and put a laundry load in. I then came home and took Shadow for a second walk and then headed back to put my clothes in the dryer. I went to the grocery store while the clothes were drying and then went back to get my clothes and head home for dinner. Heather has been so busy the past couple of days that I haven’t seen her when I take Ollie home. But she did emerge from her bedroom/office just before I left. She was all dressed up, so I asked where she was going. She was making a Zoom presentation for the Peabody Essex Museum at 7 pm. That was only 45 minutes away, but I asked if I could still sign up. She hadn’t told anyone about the presentation because she wasn’t sure she was pleased with it. But I hurried home, signed up, and tuned in at 7 pm. The presentation was entitled The Tale of Two Crises—Climate Change and the Coronavirus Pandemic. She addressed the lessons learned from Covid-19 crisis that also apply to the climate crisis. I jotted down some quick notes, so hopefully my outline of her presentation is accurate. According to my notes, the lessons learned from the two crises are:

• Words Matter
• Flattening the Curve is Key
• Listen to the Science–We can’t embrace something we don’t understand.
• Federal Leadership is Critical, but . . .
• Individual Action is Necessary and Worthwhile.
• Data are Personal
• Our Current Systems Perpetuate Injustices
• Crises Offer Opportunities for Positive Change
• It’s Never Too Late . . . “The next best time is NOW.”

I am so glad I decided to do a laundry today and found about the presentation. I had never really thought about the lessons learned from these two major crises we are facing. It was a great presentation, very thought provoking.

2021 Life Logs, Day 28: The Writing Process

2021 Life Logs, Day 28: The Writing Process
Date: Thursday, January 28, 2021
Weather: Overcast with Periods of Wintry Mix; High 33, Low 10 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

The Writing Process . . . brainstorming, preparing, drafting, revising, proofreading. At least that is what I taught first graders to do. Now I am having to practice that process over and over with each chapter of my proposed book about the Voyage of Windbird. I find it was easier to teach the process than to do it myself! I was on a roll last winter and spring, but going by the dates on my revisions, April 20th was the last time I have touched my writing. With the nudge from Justin yesterday, I did dive in today. But it took all day to go back over the introduction and two chapters that I have already written. I still need to revise Chapter 2 and will start tomorrow with that. Chapter 3 is about preparing to sail around the world. I have outlined that chapter and will hopefully come up with a first draft tomorrow as well.

It is really cold outside and will remain that way until Monday. Tonight’s low will be 10 degrees F and it is only supposed to get up to 20 degrees tomorrow with 22 mile per hour winds from the north. Shadow and I walked today while a wintry mix was falling—ice, snow, and rain all at once—and we will walk tomorrow, cold or no cold. I will bundle up and wrangle him into his sweater even though he does not seem to be affected by the cold. Just the reverse. He loves it!

I have started a new jigsaw puzzle. Because of Shadow, I have had to go down to 500-piece puzzles that can fit on my dining room table along with my computer and a space left to eat. I used to work 1500-piece puzzles that fit on my large coffee table in the living room with extra pieces in a huge metal tray that sat beside me on the sofa. But Shadow eats the puzzle pieces unless they are up high. Anyway, the new puzzle was a Christmas gift from the Goldstones and is an artichoke floral on a black background. There are spinach leaves, arugula, kiwis, apricots, cherry tomatoes, pink alstroemeria (Peruvian lilies), and of course, artichokes. I get hungry when I spend time working on this puzzle. But I promise not to eat the pieces like my little furry friend!

2021 Life Logs, Day 27: A Good Day for the Environment

2021 Life Logs, Day 27: A Good Day for the Environment
Date: Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Weather: Snow Overnight, Cloudy Day; High 37, Low 29 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was a good day for the environment. President Biden declared the climate a national security priority and his executive order clearly establishes climate consideration as an essential element of U.S. foreign policy. He has ordered the establishment of a Civilian Climate Corp, he will host a Leaders’ Climate Summit this April on Earth Day, the order has set a date by which all federal vehicles will be electric, the order formally establishes the White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy led by the first-ever National Climate Advisor and Deputy Advisor, and so much more. The National Climate Advisor is a Boston native Gina McCarthy—born in Dorchester and raised in Canton. I heard her for the first time in an interview tonight. She said so many things that made so much sense, but I most liked this comment: “And for crying out loud, respect the science.” That seems to be the theme throughout all of the Biden-Harris agenda. They have only been in office for one week, but things are changing quickly. There is a lot of ‘dark’ news as well, but I am choosing to focus on the bright spots tonight.

Late last night when I went outside with Shadow, I was overcome by the beauty of the new fallen snow. Tree limbs were heavy with snow and it looked like a winter wonderland. If I didn’t have Shadow, I would never had been outside at midnight to enjoy that beauty. So thank you, Shadow. It snowed a little more overnight, but the temp was warm enough that the melting started early. We probably got about three inches of snow, and only a little is left. But COLD weather is coming that might preserve a bit of the white stuff. Tonight, the low will be 20 degrees F and tomorrow night the low will be 11 degrees . . . and the same for the next two nights. The daytime temps will be in the upper teens and twenties, and that is cold for me. I can remember when Mark and I lived in northern Minnesota there was always a celebration when the temp got above zero. I’m glad that is just a memory. I don’t need to experience that again. Nights in the 20’s and days in the 30’s with sunshine and little wind are fine with me. But anything colder is just not fun anymore.

Justin called this evening to catch up on what’s happening here and there. They are doing fine and thinking about letting Ziggy and Coco go back to school one day a week. The private school they were attending prior to Covid has special outdoors activities on Friday, so they are thinking that sounds like a safe re-entry. He also pushed me a bit on my writing project. I haven’t written anything since last April, so I promised to put that at the top of my To Do list. Therefore, tomorrow is writing day!

2021 Life Logs, Day 26: Lack of Focus

2021 Life Logs, Day 26: Lack of Focus
Date: Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Weather: Sunny AM, Snow PM; High 38, Low 31 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It is snowing outside and the world is white and beautiful. It started snowing at about 3 pm, so after I picked up Ollie and took him home, Shadow and I came home and played ball in the snow. Shadow really loves the snow. He puts his nose down and uses it like a snowplow, eating the snow as he plows. And when the snowflakes are big enough, he jumps in the air to catch individual snowflakes in his mouth. We had an audience as we played in the falling snow. Two swans watched us the whole time. WeatherUnderground forecasts 3 inches by morning. Shadow will love that. But then the temp is supposed to rise to 40 degrees and most of the snow will melt. So, I will build in time in the morning to make sure he gets plenty of snow time.

If I thought day one with nothing on my calendar was not very productive, day two was worse. I am finding it hard to focus. I have so many different things I need to do, that I just bounce from one thing to another, completing nothing. Tomorrow is a half day of school, so I’ll be picking up Ollie early. Maybe I’ll dedicate tomorrow to playing in the snow, making chicken bone broth from the chicken I roasted for dinner tonight, and write a To Do list. I know what I need to do without the list, but maybe that would help. Today I did finish the winter scene jigsaw puzzle I have been working on and I, more or less, got the mountain of paperwork that has accumulated filed. Unfortunatelty, it didn’t feel like much.

My favorite thought for the day: On the news tonight, I heard President Biden using the phrase, “a rising tide lifts all boats”. I had never heard that before, but evidently it was popularized by John Kennedy. Biden was using the phrase to promote the macro-economic theory that an improved general economy will benefit all of us. So, let’s all hope for a rising tide.

2021 Life Logs, Day 25: Days Are Just Too Short

2021 Life Logs, Day 25: Days Are Just Too Short
Date: Monday, January 25, 2021
Weather: Sunny; High 37, Low 24 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

This was day one with nothing on my calendar, so I had high hopes that I would get a lot done. And I did. But I wanted to do more. The days are just too short. I stop every weekday at 3 pm to go pick Ollie up after school and on many days we do something together and I end up not getting home until around 5:30 pm. That, plus preparing healthy meals, exercising, and walking and playing Shadow all take a big hunk of every day. But that is okay because every one of those things are important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. As I learned yesterday, when I don’t pick Ollie up after school, Shadow might be the only ‘person’ I see or talk to all day long. Dogs are great, but you need communication with humans here and there. Other things that fill my days are reading the New York Times ‘The Morning’ news round-up online every morning and working the NYT’s daily mini-crossword puzzle. And I work on my current jig saw puzzle here and there. And, and, and . . . but that still leaves about three hours to focus on projects. Today I split that time between filing end-of-the-year paperwork and researching information on something called a FODMAP diet for my sister. Isolation during Covid has been very hard on my sister and she has simply lost interest in doing the things necessary to keep her 87 year-old body healthy. I talk with her for an hour every other evening, sometimes every evening. But my tough love approach is not working. She has had gastrointestinal issues her entire life, but right now the problem is chronic. She wants the doctor to tell her what to eat to avoid this, but as you probably know, doctors don’t know a lot about nutrition. My primary care suggests eating a healthy diet, but it is up to me to figure out what that is for me. So, I suggested to my sister that she try a diet Mark’s oncologist suggested for him when he had bowel issues and was losing weight. I forgot to mention that my sister only weighs 80 pounds! It’s called a FODMAP diet. “FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols, which are short-chain carbohydrates (sugars) that the small intestine absorbs poorly and some people have digestive distress after eating them.” Basically, you stop eating certain foods, those foods that are high FODMAP foods. After two to six-weeks you slowly reintroduce high Fodmap foods one at a time to try and identify which ones are troublesome for you. Once you know that, you limit those foods permanently. But trying to get my sister to understand this over the phone has not gone well. Today I talked to the woman who comes in three afternoons a week to help my sister. She does the food shopping and talking to her was a real breakthrough. The low FODMAP diet requires eliminating processed foods, gluten, dairy, most beans, and certain vegetables and fruits. The first three of these, processed foods, gluten, and dairy are dietary irritants that anyone with serious health issues needs to contemplate eliminating. I am constantly beating the drum for eating a healthy diet, but most people just don’t want to hear that drum beat. So if you are not interested in upgrading your diet, there are lots of other things you can do to just feel better. I got an email from Well.org that listed the following six tips for a healthy mind, body, and spirit. And they promise that doing any of these things will help fight the Winter Blues that many experience this time of year.
1. Get Enough Sleep
2. Move More and Exercise Regularly
3. Listen to Music
4. Keep Learning
5. Make a Gratitude a Habit
6. Engage with Your Community

This afternoon after school. Ollie came home with me and helped clear more brush and briars out of the wooded area where Shadow and I walk. Little by little, he is making my late night and early morning outings with Shadow so much easier. I am constantly running into a low lying limb or a briar that catches my coat. Today Ollie also helped me finally get my redwood picnic table disassembled and put in the basement. So nice to have a willing worker.

2021 Life Logs, Day 24: Very, Very Quiet

2021 Life Logs, Day 24: Very, Very Quiet
Date: Sunday, January 24, 2021
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, Still Windy; High 32, Low 20 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It was a very, very quiet day around here. I didn’t see another person, not even on my long neighborhood walk with Shadow, and I didn’t talk to another person until just now when I called my sister for our daily check-in. I usually see Heather and family most every day, but I think we were both spending the day just catching up. January has been a busy month. First, we were all glued to our televisions watching the storming of the United States Capitol. Then we had the impeachment in the House, followed by the inauguration and the first days of the new administration. So, for people like me who follow the news closely, I have spent much of the month keeping track of happenings. January is also the month that many health and gardening docu-series are launched, and I have been watching those. These docu-series are rolled out, one program a day. But at the end of the series, there is always a weekend where all of the episodes are available one last time. That was this weekend, so I spent part of my day watching those episodes I had missed. And then there has been football. Because of my love of die-hard Cleveland Browns fans and Buffalo Bills fans, I have watched a couple of football games each weekend. Now it is down to the Kansas City Chiefs against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the Super Bowl. New England’s beloved Tom Brady is no longer a Patriot. He abandoned us to become a Buccaneer. Now he will be going to the Super Bowl (for the 10th time) with a new team. He is almost old enough to be the father of the quarterback for the Chiefs, a 25 year-old that is making football history of his own. So, the Super Bowl will be a match of quarterbacks and will be interesting to watch no matter who you are cheering on. But it looks like we have a break for a couple of weeks before the Senate impeachment trial and the Super Bowl. I have absolutely nothing on my calendar until Friday, February 6, when I take Shadow to the groomer. My goal is to use these next two weeks to truly catch up on the long list of things on my To Do list. Wish me luck.

I want to pass along a link to another opinion piece from The Guardian that Jo’s father sent to me this morning. It is interesting to read about the perceived impact Joe Biden’s election might make on British politics.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jan/24/hurrah-for-triumph-of-the-centrist-dad-but-dont-discount-joe-bidens-radicalism