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 205: Sailing and A Full Moon

2021 Life Logs, Day 205: Sailing and A Full Moon
Date: Saturday, July 24, 2021
Weather: Beautiful Day; High Temp 79, Low 58 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Bruce and Jane Woodin invited me to go sailing with them this morning on L’Escargot. It was a gloriously beautiful morning, but there was very little wind. Sam Patterson was with us. He prides himself on being able to keep a sailboat going in light winds, so Bruce handed the tiller over to him. Sam kept us moving for quite a while, but then the wind totally disappeared.
We started the engine and headed for Quissett Harbor. It was the first time I have entered that beautiful harbor on a sailboat since the summer of 2015 and it brought back a flood of memories. Mark and I lived aboard Windbird in Quissett for two summers and loved it there. It is truly is a quintessential New England harbor. I heard from Sam and Dawn this week that the sale of Windbird to a new owner is official and the final papers will be signed on Friday of this next week. All I know about the new owner is that he is a young man named Toby from Texas who plans to sail Windbird around the world again. I told everyone aboard L’Escargot today that I feel like a mother whole daughter is getting divorced and remarried to someone who is going to take her far away. I just hope he treats her as she deserves.

I got sad news this evening. Doris, one of the aunties that lives next door, has been in the hospital since Monday and she had a stroke yesterday. The hospital was planning to release her this evening and her daughter Caroline was arranging for hospice to come into her home in Scituate. Doris is 102 and has lived a good life. We’ll just have to wait and see if she can survive this episode. Her sister, Shirley, is going to stay in her home next door to me until they see how Doris adjusts to the transfer. The two sisters have lived together since Shirley’s husband died in 2013, so naturally Shirley is going to want to be with Doris.

A bit of good news is tonight’s full moon. It is beautiful. And the other good news is the Olympics. I really enjoy watching each athlete achieve his or her personal best, regardless of the sport. In the 1970’s, Mark and I did not have a television. The first time I remember watching the Olympics obsessively was 1984. That was the year Mary Lou Retton from West Virginia became the first US woman to win a Gold Medal in the individual all-around gymnastic competition. Since then, with the exception of 2008 when Mark and I were sailing through Indonesia, I have enjoyed watching the Summer and Winter Olympics.

I talked to Justin, Jo, Ziggy, and Coco on a Skype video call this evening. It is the first time I have talked to them since they returned from England. The rainy season is in full swing in Puerto Rico, as is mango season. Wish I was there to enjoy those mangoes with them. They are adjusting to the tropics after a cooler than normal time in England. A friend gave Ziggy a keyboard this week, and he is learning play amazing quickly. I love talking with them, but I can’t wait to see them. It has been two years and that is just too long. This Friday is Coco’s birthday, so I’ll get another chance to talk with them then. And then I will get to see them when they come for Thanksgiving.

2021 Life Logs, Day 204: Beach and Olympics

2021 Life Logs, Day 204: Beach and Olympics
Date: Friday, July 23, 2021
Weather: Mix of Sun, Clouds, Even Some Rain; High Temp 79, Low 58 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

This afternoon I had only Jonah and Sam as Jed and Ollie were packing and getting ready to leave for a weekend of Scout camping. The weather was strange today and changed our plans a bit. We had a beautiful, sunny morning. Like yesterday, it was a tad cooler than the previous couple of days, but it was not too cool, not too hot, just right. Then when I packed the car to get ready for the beach, the clouds came in. By the time I got to Heather and Jed’s, the skies opened up and we had unexpected rain and distant thunder. The thunderstorm was short lived, but the sky remained cloudy, so Sam, Jonah, and I went to my house to lunch instead of heading straight to the beach. Then when the sun came out, we left for the beach. The breeze “refreshing” and we mostly sat in our beach chairs and looked at the water. When the boys did dive in, they came out almost immediately and said the water was freezing. Instead of waiting for Heather to join us after she finished her workday, we headed home. We’ve had a few good beach days this summer, but not as many as usual. Maybe the best is yet to come, but we only have one more week of Camp Oma before we have a two-week break. Sam and Jonah go to Scout camp for a week while Jed and Ollie go to Maine. Then Heather, Sam, and Jonah join them for a week or so and everyone one comes home, but at slightly different times. Who knows what the final two weeks of summer vacation will look like. We’ll just have to wait and see.

I have been watching the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics tonight. I love watching all of the different countries make their entrance. I thought Team USA looked like pirates tonight, but they certainly seemed excited and ready for the next two weeks. Go, USA! And I loved that after all of the countries entered, singers from around the world sang John Lennon’s Imagine. “ . . . and the world will be one.” Just imagine.

2021 Life Logs, Day 203: Another Maui Mat Afternoon

2021 Life Logs, Day 203: Another Maui Mat Afternoon
Date: Thursday, July 22, 2021
Weather: Sunny, Cooler; High Temp 78, Low 63 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

The difference between a high temperature in the mid-80’s versus a high temp in the 70’s feels so very different. I woke up early this morning and felt cold. I went into the living room where I had left a fan on to bring cool nighttime air into the house and found the fan temperature to be 66 degrees and the house temperature was about the same. I turned the fan off and went back to bed with a blanket. Today was beautiful with very little humidity. What a difference a few degrees make.

Verizon came early to deal with Shirley’s phone issues. Once that was done, I took Shadow for a long walk and before I knew it, it was time to go pick up the Goldpebbles. We stayed at their house for a bit while they played on the trampoline and then we came back to my house for lunch. We stopped at Jack and Bean Stalk and got lobster rolls. Yum!
After lunch, Sam launched the Maui mat and towed it behind his kayak to get it out to deeper water for Ollie, Jonah, and Lena to play. He then came back and spent his afternoon resting up for tonight’s foray to the County Fair while the other three played in the water for a couple of hours. Lara, Lena’s mom, took a kayak out to see how the kids were doing and she ended up towing the mat back while the kids swam back. After showers, they played table shuffleboard in the basement and then it was time to take them home to get ready for their night at the fair. I ran some errands in town and then came home to fix dinner and collapse. I’m not quite sure how sitting in a chair and watching kids play in the water is so exhausting, but that I am at the end of each afternoon.

2021 Life Logs, Day 202: Afternoon in the Eel River

2021 Life Logs, Day 202: Afternoon in the Eel River
Date: Wednesday, July 21, 2021
Weather: Mostly Sunny, but Hazy; High Temp 85, Low 63 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

This summer’s unpredictable weather was once again unpredictable. We were supposed to get late afternoon thunderstorms. But we did not. The Goldpebbles had planned to go to the County Fair tonight, but the weather report changed their minds. So the boys decided to come here for lunch.Then Sam launched the red kayak and pulled Ollie, Jonah, and neighbor Lena out to a mooring ball on the Maui mat (6 x 9 foot foam floating dock). They tied the mat to a mooring ball and played on the water for almost three hours. Sam came back and launched the Optima sailing dinghy that he then sailed out to the Maui mat and gave Lena and Ollie turns at sailing. Once they returned all the gear to the dock and got it put away, Lena’s dad, Andrew, invited them to go for a boat ride in his 25-foot Grady White motor boat. He planned to take them out two miles to Washburn Island, but they ended up going out into the Sound and across to Martha’s Vineyard and back. The boys were particularly impressed with how fast they could get there and really enjoyed the ride. Thank you, Andrew.

Tomorrow night will definitely be County Fair night, so the boys want to have a relaxed afternoon to save their energy for their night at the fair. Maybe we’ll just kayak and play on the Maui mat for an hour or two and then play table shuffleboard in the basement.

2021 Life Logs, Day 201: High Flyers

2021 Life Logs, Day 201: High Flyers
Date: Tuesday, July 20, 2021
Weather: Partly Sunny; High Temp 84, Low 69 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

My day started watching Jeff Bezos blast into outer space aboard New Shepard, Blue Origin’s first launch with citizen astronauts aboard. High flyers they were.
Then this afternoon Ollie, Jonah, and I went to a public library event called High Flying Dogs where dogs caught high flying frisbees. The trainer was so pleased that his dogs could run 35 miles an hour. He used a radar gun to record their speed. If those dogs were running 35 miles an hour, I’d say Shadow’s average speed is closer to 40 to 45 miles per hour. He is the fastest dog I have ever seen. I need to train him to catch a frisbee and go on the road.

Before the dog show, we had lunch on the library lawn, Jonah and Ollie played catch, and we walked across Main Street to buy pastries at the French bakery. Playing catch reminded the boys that they both need new baseball mitts, so we made a side trip to Walmart but came up empty. So, we bought socks and underwear instead! Then it was back downtown for the dog show. After the show, we went back to their house long enough to play a few rounds of trampoline soccer with Sam and then headed to my house to play croquet and table shuffleboard. Sam had a doctor appointment mid afternoon and was going to the County Fair with friends at 5 pm, so he only had a small window of time to spend with us. Thunderstorms are forecast for tomorrow afternoon, so we’ll probably have to do rainy day activities. We shall see.

2021 Life Logs, Day 200: Medical Issues

2021 Life Logs, Day 200: Medical Issues
Date: Monday, July 19, 2021
Weather: Mostly Cloudy; High Temp 78, Low 66 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

This weekend there was a bit of drama next door where the aunties live. Shirley is 96 and Doris is 102, so things are usually very quiet. But Friday night Fire and Rescue arrived. Doris had slid to the floor because her left leg just wasn’t responding. The helper on duty was not able to get her up without help, so she called for the EMTs. Saturday night the same thing happened. Then this morning Fire and Rescue returned for the third time. This time Doris was taken to the hospital but the only problem they found was a urinary tract infection. She was admitted and her daughter, along with Karen Baranowski, her niece, will decide on next steps. Getting old is not for sissies, but at 102, Doris takes only one medication and is mentally sharp. I’d say she’s had a good run.

Jed took Jonah to Hyannis late this morning to have two baby teeth extracted. They were just not wanting to come out and were causing the incoming adult teeth to come in crooked. Their Honda needed to go in for some minor repairs at Hyannis Honda, so I drove to Hyannis to pick up Jonah and Jed so they could leave the Honda there. Jonah had been given ‘happy gas’ and injected novocaine. He was fine, just lethargic. We didn’t get back home until after 2 o’clock. No one had eaten lunch, so the boys and I headed to my house for lunch. We had planned to either kayak or play croquet or table shuffleboard. But we all just crashed in the backyard until we got a call from Heather telling us Sam needed to come home for a tele-med appointment. He has a scratch on his shoulder, probably from Shadow or the kitties that is infected and this weekend he developed other spots on his side and the underside of his arm. The doctor decided that he needs to be seen in person, so that will happen tomorrow.

And then there is me. My left hip is giving me fits and causing me to limp. I don’t know what caused this, but I suspect it might be the fact that I have been eating things that I know cause inflammation in my arthritic bones. For two years I have avoided gluten and dairy, but this summer I have been eating ice cream and having hamburgers on buns, among other things. So, I must get back on the arthritis diet. I will also call my primary care to see if I should have imaging of my left hip so we can see if there is another issue.
Add to these issues the fact that Heather got attacked by a ground warps as she was working on landscaping in her front yard last evening and that my niece called this afternoon to tell me she was in the doctor’s office with my sister who has been dizzy and disoriented for a few days. Hopefully, none of these issues are serious. But definitely the focus today was on medical issues all around. So, I’m going to stop writing and get on my exercise bike. Maybe that will straighten out my hip issue!

2021 Life Logs, Day 199: Fun Sunday with Ollie

2021 Life Logs, Day 199: Fun Sunday with Ollie
Date: Sunday, July 18, 2021
Weather: Rain Overnight, Partly Sunny Day; High Temp 80, Low 69 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Jonah and Ollie spent the night last night. We got to bed late after watching a Red Sox versus Yankees game until it was ended due to rain, so we got a lazy start this morning. We didn’t eat breakfast until 10:30 and then Jonah had to get ready for Heather to pick him up to go get his second Covid vaccine. Ollie opted to stay here and we watched a YouTube video about building a creative luxury bamboo villa with primitive tools. It was an hour-long video, but it certainly kept my attention. Then we went down to the basement to play a couple of games of table shuffleboard. While playing, Ollie asked if he could look at his Uncle Justin’s primitive tools from West Africa. This was prompted by watching the video. I got out the box of tools Justin used to make a djembe drum and in that same box was a leather sheathed machete from Panama that went around the world on Windbird. The leather was brittle and the blade was very rusty. This prompted Ollie to ask if he could try to revive the machete which prompted me to get out all of my Dremels to see if any of them still worked. I knew I had attachments that would attack the rust and we found that two of the three Dremels worked just fine. Ollie set up a makeshift worktable using an old tire and some wood I was throwing away and he spent the next hour or more grinding away at the machete blade using me as his assistant. I have wanted to check out those Dremels for weeks and this gave me the perfect opportunity to have fun with Ollie and accomplish a goal of my own. We had left over beef burgers for lunch in the back yard. I sat at one of the tables and Ollie mostly ate his beef burger while lying in the hammock. Ollie refuses to call them hamburgers because he says there is absolutely no ham in them! Next, we played croquet and then I took him home. Ollie and I had a delightful afternoon together and Ollie seemed to really enjoy his personal time with Shadow. And when I took him home, we both enjoyed seeing the front yard improvements the rest of the Goldstones had been working on all afternoon.

I spent much of my evening on the phone catching up with family, but that did not go smoothly. Earlier in the day, Karen Baranowski had called me from New York and we kept getting cut off. She could hear me but I could not hear her. I assumed it was her connection on Long Island. But then tonight I had the same problem while talking to my sister. I called Heather for technical help and the same thing happened while talking to her. She could hear me, but I could not hear her. She texted and told me to reboot my phone. I did and all was well, but that was after a lot of frustration. So, lesson learned. When having a technical problem with a phone or a computer, the first troubleshooting activity is to reboot. Hopefully, that will solve the problem.

2021 Life Logs, Day 198: Two Goldpebbles Still Here

2021 Life Logs, Day 198: Two Goldpebbles Still Here
Date: Saturday, July 17, 2021
Weather: Overcast AM, Sunny PM, Hot; High Temp 86, Low 72 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was a hot one that continued the pattern of the last week—overcast, foggy mornings and sunny afternoons, getting sunnier earlier and earlier each day. But starting sometime during the night, it looks like we will get rain that will usher in a new pattern. This summer has been a potpourri of weather, with no pattern lasting very long. One week cool, the next one hot, one week rainy, the next one not. But I shouldn’t complain as we haven’t had the intense heat that some parts of the country are having. I’d just like sunny mornings that stay that way all day!

This morning Heather picked Jonah up to take him to his friend Luke’s birthday party and shortly after that, Jed picked up Ollie and Sam to take them to look at stone for a landscaping project at their house. While they were there, Sam looked at paving stone for me for the backyard. Recently I bought a tall table to go with the tall deck chairs that I had. The boys love having their own table for outside eating, but the tall chairs need a solid base for stability. So, I have been toying with ideas of how to achieve that without spending a lot of money. Pavers are not cheap, but they would provide the stability. The place they went to today was way more expensive that the place Jed and Ollie stopped at on their way back from Boston last week. The other place is going to get Jed’s order on Monday. I’m still debating what to do.

I spent part of my afternoon installing window fans. Until this week, it was too cool to worry about open windows and fans. But today’s heat convinced me that we might really have summer after all. Then I went shopping for food for dinner. I invited Heather and family for dinner and to play croquet. The kids set up a croquet course in Shirley’s side yard yesterday and they really wanted to invite Heather and Jed to play with them. Heather, Jed, and Ollie were going for a walk and a swim in a pond with friend Lynne Cherry, so we planned on a late dinner here. Lynne Cherry is a children’s book author illustrator of books with an environment theme. One of her books, The Great Kapok Tree, was always a favorite of my first-grade students. Just before they were married, Heather and Jed rented Lynne’s home in Woods Hole and their friendship has continued. Their walk and swim took longer than they planned, so we had an even later dinner and croquet game then planned, but it all worked out great. The insects finally drove us inside and the boys asked if they could watch tonight’s Red Sox versus Yankees baseball game. Heather said they could watch part of it and we were all amazed by the amount of rain falling in New York City tonight. At some point, Ollie and Jonah decided to spend the night again tonight. But Sam decided to go home to his own bed. I love having the boys here and will take who I can get when I can get them!

2021 Life Logs, Day 197: Goldpebble Overnight

2021 Life Logs, Day 197: Goldpebble Overnight
Date: Friday, July 16, 2021
Weather: Overcast AM, Sunny PM; High Temp 82, Low 69 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It was another overcast, foggy morning followed by a beautiful afternoon of sunshine. I picked up Sam, Jonah, and Ollie at 1pm and we headed to my house for lunch, a round of croquet, and Jonah and Ollie got in a few rounds of table shuffleboard.

Then it was off to the beach for the rest of the afternoon. When we got home, it was time for dinner. I put hamburgers on the grill and we ate outside. Our final foray was to Smitty’s for ice cream. It was almost 9 pm when we got there and it looked like everyone on Cape Cod was there. But Smitty himself was handing out the orders and he made sure things kept moving. The boys are now in bed and I will be soon. Jonah is going to a birthday party late morning tomorrow, but we hope to get in another game or two of croquet before he leaves.

2021 Life Logs, Day 196: Early Afternoon Sunshine

2021 Life Logs, Day 196: Early Afternoon Sunshine
Date: Thursday, July 15, 2021
Weather: Overcast AM, Sunny PM; High Temp 83, Low 69 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It is feeling a lot more like summer. The high temp was in the low 80’s today, making for a great afternoon at the beach. Because we are surrounded by water that is cooler than the current air temperature, we are getting foggy mornings. It takes the sun a couple of hours to burn off the fog, but that happened in the early afternoon today. Tomorrow looks like more of today, so the Goldpebbles and I will head to the beach again. The boys will come home with me and have dinner and maybe an overnight. At the least, they will spend the evening with me as Heather and Jed are going out for a Friday date night.