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 293: Bath Day for Shadow

2021 Life Logs, Day 293: Bath Day for Shadow
Date: Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Weather: Sunny and Warm; High Temp 71, Low Temp 55 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

As planned, I spent a great deal of my day bathing and grooming Shadow. He doesn’t look like he does when he comes home from Pampered Paws, but he is clean. With a little more brushing, he will look just fine, and I will have saved the $80 to $90 the groomer charges. So I’ll call that a productive day.

Tomorrow morning, I am off to Truro on the Outer Cape to see the seals at High Head Beach. Two other women from the Newcomers Singles Group are going with me. I don’t know them, but I look forward to having company on this trip. The weather forecast is encouraging. Sunshine and a high temperature on 70 degrees like today. Tomorrow evening I am having an informal dinner with Bruce and Jane Wooden. Jane has knee replacement surgery on Tuesday and tomorrow evening is my last chance to see her to wish her luck.

Then on Friday morning, Shadow and I head to New Hampshire for an overnight stay. I’m hoping there are still colorful leaves on the trees there, but I might be too late. We never really get a very colorful fall here, but this year even the oak tree leaves are not turning brown. They are still a bright green.

Lastly, I just heard Senator Angus King, a long time Independent from Maine and a politician I have always respected, say something that literally brought tears to my eyes. He said he see our democracy in its most fragile state since 1860. Lots of people have been saying that for months and I believe that is true, but it really hit hard to him say this. He feels we have to do something to protect voting rights as the Republications are not even willing to discuss it. I really don’t know what each of us can do, but I know we all have to wake up, face the dire truth of the situation, and find a way to do something.

2021 Life Logs, Day 292: Car Oil Change, School Early Release, Laundry, Soccer

2021 Life Logs, Day 292: Car Oil Change, School Early Release, Laundry, Soccer
Date: Tuesday, October 19, 2021
Weather: Another Cool and Beautiful Day; High Temp 59, Low Temp 55 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

My day was all over the place today. I started by taking my car in for an oil change. I used to go to the drive-thru at Jiffy Lube. Now I go to Sullivan Tire for most of my car maintenance, but it means I have to go and wait about an hour to get an oil change. That done, it was home to walk with Shadow and then back to town to pick Ollie up. It was an Early Release Day for all students, but only Ollie needs to be picked up. He wanted to play on the playground for half an hour, so I sat in the sun and read while he played. Once I took him home, I put a laundry load in the washer and then made sure all three boys had lunch. Peter Baranowski gave me a container of his homemade clam chowder yesterday for Ollie. Ollie loves chowder and says the best he has ever had was at Legal Sea Foods in Boston, with chowder from the Fisherman’s View here on the Cape a very close second. But Peter’s chowder got a 10 out of 10 from Ollie. Yummy!

Jed came home to get Ollie and take him to a 2 pm dentist appointment in Woods Hole. Heather got home just before they left, and we went over the schedule for the rest of the afternoon. I took Sam to the high school at 2:30 to meet with teammates before a 4 pm soccer game. He has been out most of the season with an ankle injury. Then last Friday he wrenched his knee on the same leg as the weak ankle. Ouch. But he was able to practice yesterday and really hoped to play some in today’s game. Heather and Jed had to go to a parent-teacher conference at Ollie’s school and then I suggested that they both go to Sam’s game. I would take Jonah to his soccer practice at the Cape Cod Academy which is about 30 minutes away. This meant that I would not get home until after 7 pm, so I switched the laundry and went home to play ball with Shadow before taking Jonah to practice. The day was a lot of back and forth for me, but that is life with three active boys. Sam only got to play for 9 minutes, not as much time as he would have liked, but it was great that Heather, Jed, and Ollie were there to support him. While Jonah was at soccer practice, I went to get pizza for him to eat on the way home. We got home just in time for him to get ready to go with the whole family to a Scout Court of Honor. I took a deep breath, gathered my laundry, and headed home.

It was a good day, but I am looking forward to a quieter day tomorrow. It is bath day for Shadow which basically takes all day. I shampoo him, let him dry a little, take him for a long walk (hopefully in the sunshine) to dry out, and then I spend the rest of the day, a little at a time, brushing out his coat. I am taking him to New Hampshire to visit with friends this weekend and I want him to look his best. Unfortunately, the dog groomer couldn’t fit him in, so I’ll do what I can.

2021 Life Logs, Day 291: Beautiful Weather

2021 Life Logs, Day 291: Beautiful Weather
Date: Monday, October 18, 2021
Weather: Cool, Windy, and Beautiful; High Temp 58, Low Temp 47 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

“Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day.” Those famous Rogers and Hammerstein lyrics are from the musical Oklahoma in a song about a beautiful summer day. But those words keep looping through my head day after day this fall on Cape Cod. We have had some rainy days, some stormy days, and some cloudy and dreary days, but overall, it has been warm and beautiful. At least that is the way I see it. Today’s high was only in the 50’s and it was windy. But in the sunshine, it felt great. I had an early morning dental cleaning and then came home and took Shadow for a lovely, long walk. I forced myself to come inside and start the editing process on the book chapters I have already written about The Voyage of Windbird. I was enjoying that, but the sunshine finally got to me. I headed outside with my sunglasses, my book, a cup of tea, and Shadow. I also took the Chuck It and a tennis ball to play with Shadow. We sat down by the water playing ball and during Shadow’s ‘rest periods’, I read. Somebody has to do it. Right? Might as well be me. I spent my early evening doing some house cleaning and cooking and that brings me to the end of another beautiful day on Cape Cod.

2021 Life Logs, Day 290: Trip to the Cape Cod Museum of History

2021 Life Logs, Day 290: Trip to the Cape Cod Museum of History
Date: Sunday, October 17, 2021
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High Temp 66, Low Temp 52 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

The trip to the Cape Cod Museum of History this morning felt more like a trip through history, specifically the history of the Goldpebbles. Ollie was the only Goldpebble with us today as Sam and Jonah were walking the three miles out of Sandy Neck where they camped this weekend. Time marches on, but as Heather, Jed, Ollie, and I walked the museum trail out to the beach, a flood of memories went through my head. I first took Sam and Jonah to the Museum of History in the summer of 2013. Sam was six and Jonah was four. Ollie was only one and didn’t come with us that summer. But Heather and Jed took the boys that fall and Heather took a photo of Ollie sitting in the dune grass. She could not resist taking the same picture today. She posted those photos on Facebook and simply said, “Time flies.” It was the summer of 2014 when Mark and I started taking all three boys and I spent part of this evening looking through photos of our trips to the museum over the years. I loved the one of the three boys crossing the marsh in 2014. They were such tiny little explorers.

We usually plan trips to walk the trail out to the beach from the museum at low tide. That wasn’t possible today and it was high tide. We expected it to look different, but we were a little surprised when we got the marsh, and the walkway was underwater. Heather, Jed, and Ollie all had on long pants, but they rolled them up. Thankfully, I wore my trusty Columbia capris that can easily be pushed up. With pants rolled or pushed up, we took our shoes off and headed across. Ollie got a piggyback ride part of the way and from his higher perch, he spotted two beautiful Great Blue Herons. The marsh looked very much like fall with yellowing marsh grass and pickleweed that has turned red. We took a new-to-us trail that follows Paine’s Creek and when we emerged from the Upland Forest there was a staircase leading down to the dunes and beach. Once on the beach, I was amazed at how different it looks at high tide. No mud flats were to be seen. There was just a narrow beach backed by dunes and lots of seagulls that Ollie delighted in chasing.

I did not take Shadow with me today. A Concord Yacht Club friend whose brother lives in the area sent me an email letting me know that the museum does not allow dogs on the trail. She pointed out that there is a trail from a nearby park that connects to the museum trail. I could have taken Shadow and done that trail. Thanks, Gretchen. I will definitely try that next time. But since Ollie and I decided to stay and tour the museum, I was glad I didn’t have the dog with me today. Heather and Jed had to go pick up Jonah and Sam while Ollie and I enjoyed our favorite things in the museum. Ollie loves getting in the shark cage and looking wide eyed. We watched the honeybees in their glass case hive and then we went downstairs to the aquarium. We have always loved the Clearnose Skate that seems to be watching us. And today a pufferfish took an interest in us as well. Neither of us remembered seeing the humpback whale skull. Impressive. And it always fun to check out the moon jelly tank and the huge lobsters. We ended our adventure in the gift shop and then stopped to have clam chowder on the way home. Perfect day.

2021 Life Logs, Day 289: Ollie’s Soccer Game; Planning Afternoon

2021 Life Logs, Day 289: Ollie’s Soccer Game; Planning Afternoon
Date: Saturday, October 16, 2021
Weather: Mostly Cloudy; High Temp 73, Low Temp 55 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Life moves so fast that there are times when you need to take a day to step back, look ahead, and do a little planning. So, after Ollie’s soccer game this morning, I spent the rest of the day thinking and planning. Justin called last night, and we talked for a long time about their upcoming visit here for Thanksgiving and our planned visit to Puerto Rico during school vacation week next April. Since both visits involve me, Justin and family, and Heather and family, planning for food, lodging, and activities can get a little complicated. What are we going to eat? Where are we going to stay? What are we going to do? I figure if I start coming up with ideas now and share them, that will give everyone else a chance to give feedback so I can tweek the plans. But in order to come up with plans, I first have to ‘survey’ everyone and get some idea of their expectations. I worked mostly on food today. Jo and Ziggy both avoid gluten and dairy, but there are a few exceptions made on special occasions. Jo sent me guidelines for that today. Jed has certain food allergies, Heather is trying to eat a mostly vegetarian diet, and Sam really only eats meat. I avoid gluten and dairy in general, but I don’t have the severe reactions that Jo and Ziggy have. You get the picture. Planning three meals a day for six days that meet everyone’s needs is a little tricky. Since it has been over two years since we have seen each other, we certainly don’t want to spend our time together wrangling over what we are going to eat! That needs to be done ahead of time. Heather has been working on this as well and she and Jed have ordered the turkey for Thanksgiving. Everyone will eat turkey, some more than others, but at one decision has been made. We will have turkey for Thanksgiving. I got a good start on planning today and will continue in the coming weeks. We have time, but somehow, I feel like Thanksgiving will be here before we know it. And ready or not, I can’t wait! Two years (because of Covid) is too long.

Soccer at Ollie’s age level is so much fun to watch because the kids are having so much fun. The kids are rotated around constantly so they are playing different positions, so there are no superstars in any one position. But Ollie is enjoying being goalie so much that his coach let him be in that position for most of the game today. He was obviously very proud of that fact because at the end of the game he came over to me to ask if I noticed that he got to play goalie for most of the game. I assured him that I noticed, and he grinned from ear to ear. I am going to be out of town next Friday and Saturday and will miss his game, but soccer continues on into November so there will be more games to enjoy before the season ends.

2021 Life Logs, Day 288: Long Walk, Then Running Errands in Town

2021 Life Logs, Day 288: Long Walk, Then Running Errands in Town
Date: Friday, October 15, 2021
Weather: Cloudy and Cooler; High Temp 65, Low Temp 61 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

This morning I went for a long walk with friend Kate Eldred. We walked from the Shining Sea Bike Path parking lot on Old Dock Road in West Falmouth to Chapaquoit Beach. That was the first mile. Then we walked the paths through the marsh, which is also a bird sanctuary, crossed the road to Chapaquoit Beach, walked up and down the beach, and then walked the mile back to our cars. The sun broke through near the end of our walk and we had to shed our jackets. It was a great walk that Shadow thoroughly enjoyed Kate and I talked and talked. It was almost 1 pm when I got home, and I spent the next hour and a half recovering while having lunch. Unfortunately, that burst of sunshine was short-lived and it was a cloudy afternoon. But since I was running errands in town, I guess it didn’t matter that there was no sunshine.

I stopped by Heather and Jed’s while running errands. They were getting ready to take Jonah and Sam to Sandy Neck on the north shore of the Cape for a weekend of Scout camping and then have dinner at Fisherman’s View on the canal. I will go to Ollie’s soccer game at 9 am tomorrow morning and then on Sunday morning, Heather, Ollie, and I (and maybe Jed if he can change his plans) will go for a morning walk up on the north shore at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster before picking up Sam and Jonah at Sandy Neck around noon. The walk through the marsh and wooded areas between the museum and the beach is delightful. I’m looking forward to that. Unfortunately, I don’t think dogs are allowed so Shadow will have to stay at home.

2021 Life Logs, Day 287: Taking Care of Business

2021 Life Logs, Day 287: Taking Care of Business
Date: Thursday, October 14, 2021
Weather: Sunny and Warm, Again; High Temp 73, Low Temp 56 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

All spring I was furiously writing away every day. Then summer hit and I was busy with the Goldpebbles. There was a break in August, but I spent that visiting with friends. When the Goldpebbles returned to school, I thought things would slow down. They didn’t. Finally, this week, I have had a couple of really quiet days. I spent today taking care of business matters that I should have attended to months or weeks ago. The weather was so beautiful that I even enjoyed the better part of my afternoon on the phone with Comcast. I sat patiently thinking happy thoughts while the agent on the other end spent eons of time reviewing my comcast billing record. Normally, I would have been aggravated, but I just didn’t let that happen.

What I did accomplish today was to spend a couple of hours continuing to catch up on email communication and going through a pile of things that needed to be filed away. Then, after months of not getting a $700 refund from Mass Saves from the purchase of a new on-demand hot water tank, I called and found out that the check was sent to my PO box in June. Did I throw it away or just not receive it? I don’t know, but they will send another. Next there were two hours being on hold and then wrangling with Comcast trying to figure out why my bill has increased by $70 in one year. One deal ended and the price went up. I got another deal and that deal ended and the price went up. There are no deals currently available. So, I either pay the almost $200 a month for basic cable TV and internet, or I don’t have television or internet. I’ll pay. I did a very little bit of gardening, went to the hardware store, and enjoyed time with Shadow. It was another glorious day even if it was spent just taking care of business.

Tonight, I went to a Falmouth Newcomers General Meeting. The speaker was Dr. Wayne Walker, the Carbon Program Director for Woodwell Climate Research Center. He gave us a great overview of the relationship of global forests, the importance of the carbon they store, the loss of carbon through deforestation and forest degradation, the efforts being made to collect data on this, and then the translation of the data into climate solutions. That is a lot to cover in less than hour, but he did a masterful job of making the science understandable by using real life examples that we could relate to. He came to Woodwell to do his post-doc and never left. He has spent much of the last twelve years gathering data on the trees of the Amazon basin and the role the indigenous peoples there have in holding the line on deforestation on the lands where they live. His passion for his work was contagious. He left me wanting to learn more about what is happening in the Amazon and wondering what I can do as an individual to support the important work to reverse deforestation. He made it quite clear that we need those trees!

2021 Life Logs, Day 286: A Quiet Day at Home

2021 Life Logs, Day 286: A Quiet Day at Home
Date: Wednesday, October 13, 2021
Weather: Sunny and Warm, Again; High Temp 71, Low Temp 59 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It was another beautiful day in the neighborhood. Glorious, glorious October weather. I was out early for an 8 am annual dermatology check-up and then returned to spend a quiet day at home. Shadow and I walked, played ball, and gardened. Well, Shadow doesn’t really help me garden. He just watches while basking in the sunshine. I spread some organic fertilizer around the veggie seedlings I planted over the weekend. But before I could do that, I had to remove the blanket of acorns. It is full time job these days to keep the acorns out of the raised beds. I have never seen as many acorns as we have this year.

I spent some time reading to prepare for my Public Policy group Zoom meeting and I did some research on Alzheimer’s for my niece that has a very rare kind of Alzheimer’s called Post Cortical Atrophy. Only 4 percent of the people with Alzheimer’s have this type. But it is also possible that this is not Alzheimer’s at all. The onset is much younger, beginning at age 50, and affects a different part of the brain. Medical researchers are still trying to figure this out.

The topic for my Public Policy group was coastal resiliency–how it is being impacted by climate change and what can be done about it. Our presenter was the Natural Resources Manager at the Cape Cod Commission. We continue to meet via Zoom, and this was a great first meeting.

Tomorrow should be another quiet day at home, and I look forward to it.

2021 Life Logs, Day 285: Book Club, More Cranberry Harvest, Dining-in with Friends

2021 Life Logs, Day 285: Book Club, More Cranberry Harvest, Dining-in with Friends
Date: Tuesday, October 12, 2021
Weather: Sunny and Warm; High Temp 70, Low Temp 54 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

My book club met this morning. On the way, I drove by the bogs. The workers were finishing up the harvest of the bogs on the north side of the road that they started yesterday and were just getting ready to start harvesting on the south side. After the book club meeting, I drove back by the bogs and stopped to take more photos. A cranberry harvest is just so colorful that is hard to resist taking too many photos.

Shadow and I walked and gardened this afternoon until it was time for me to go meet with my Dining-in Group. This evening we met at the Baranowski’s for a feast. We started with Indian pakora as an appetizer thanks to Terry and Olivia. Peter then served clam chowder that he made from clams he dug over the weekend. The entrée was Polish golumpki or golabki which is meat-stuffed cabbage rolls. Karen also made oven-baked potato latkes that we slathered with sour cream and the homemade applesauce I brought. Midge added homemade bread. Then after dinner, Karen brought out one of her well-loved carrot cakes in honor of Jane’s birthday. The B-day was last Friday, but Jane celebrates for at least a full week and she loves Karen’s carrot cake. Everything was delicious. And needless to say, I feel like a stuffed cabbage roll!

2021 Life Logs, Day 284: Surprise Cranberry Harvest

2021 Life Logs, Day 284: Surprise Cranberry Harvest
Date: Monday, October 11, 2021
Weather: Mostly Sunny, Warmer; High Temp 71, Low Temp 56 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

The plan for the day was to have a quiet morning making granola for Heather and then go with the Goldstones to pick cranberries in a dry, wild cranberry bog. After that, we planned to go for a nice long walk. Not all of that happened, but that was the plan. Another plan for today was for Jed to take Andrew and Lily, the Dearman’s fourteen-year-old that wants to become a scientist, to Woods Hole to tour the Smith dock. They knew they could not get aboard the scientific research vessel, the Atlantis, that is currently docked there, but at least they would get to see it up close. That part of the plan happened. While Andrew and Lily were gone, the other two Dearman children, Charlie and Lena, came over to say farewell as they were headed home to Larchmont, New York as soon as Andrew and Lily returned. I was in the basement when Charlie and Lena. When I came up, I invited Charlie and Lena inside and Lena immediately started admiring my sea shells on display in the living room. I asked if she would like to take a quick look at all of the shells I collected while sailing around the world and she very enthusiastically said yes. So, we all went down to the basement. While Lena looked through the bins of shells, Charlie and I played a game of table shuffleboard. I won despite the fact that Charlie is amazingly accurate in knocking off most of my pucks. We were having a great time when we heard Shadow bark and figured someone had come to retrieve them. It was Lily to tell them it was time to get on the road. I have grown very fond of the whole family and I’ll look forward to their next visit.

I got back to making granola and got most of it baked by the time Heather sent a text saying they were headed to the dry bogs to pick cranberries. It was later than planned but that was because Jonah had to go to Urgent Care to have his ear checked this morning. Last night the kids thought it would be great fun to throw apples from Shirley’s apple tree at each other. It was not a good idea as Jonah got a really hard hit right on his ear. He spent the rest of the evening with an ice pack on it and this morning it was painful. The doctor saw no serious damage but said his ear drum was very red indicating an infection. Heather and Jed seem to think the redness is probably inflammation from the hit rather than an infection. But whatever, when he got home from the clinic, he took a nap. They waited until he woke up to go cranberry picking.

I took off with Shadow to meet them at the dry bog. On the way, I drove by the cranberry bogs close to where they used to live. I have been driving by those bogs daily for the last two weeks to try and catch the fall harvest. I did not expect that they would be harvesting on a holiday, but they were, and I just had to stop and watch. I sent a text to Heather explaining that I would be still be coming to pick cranberries, but I would be delayed.

I absolutely love watching the cranberry harvests and today was no exception. I took some photos and realized the harvesting machines were nearing the end of their work, so I decided to go see if Sam, Jonah, and Ollie would like to come watch for a bit. They did want to, so we left Heather and Jed to pick Thanksgiving cranberries. Long story short, we did not go for a long walk. But we enjoyed watching the harvest and then stopping at Tony Andrew’s to buy more little pumpkins. When we went to get the big pumpkins last weekend, in addition to the large pumpkins, the boys bought one little pumpkin for them and one for me. Then this weekend when Heather brought in the plants from a display ladder on the front porch, she and the boys decided they wanted to keep the ladder on the porch and decorate it with tiny pumpkins. We bought fifteen tiny pumpkins and what I call a ‘Big Ugly’ pumpkin for Heather. It looks like it has peanuts glued to it. Heather had expressed a desire for one when we were there last weekend, but they had none then.

The boys and I agreed that this October has been more fun than any we can remember and we are going to continue to decorate for Halloween and enjoy every minute of it. Heather and Jed’s home has two front entrances and both of those are decorated with pumpkins. Their front yard has a pumpkin display with a bale of straw and colorful mums and the steps up to my front door are decorated with pumpkins. Hopefully, we are done with pumpkins!