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!

2022 Life Logs, Day 28: Winter Storm Kenan

2022 Life Logs, Day 28: Winter Storm Kenan
Date: Friday, January 28, 2022
Weather: Overcast; High Temp 36, Low Temp 30 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

This day was spent getting ready for the Blizzard of 2022 which has been named Winter Storm Kenan. Then I had dinner with Heather and family, and they talked about other winter storms of the past few years. There was the Blizzard of 2013, Winter Storm Nemo, in February of that year and the Blizzard of 2015, Winter Storm Juno, in late January of 2015. That is the storm the boys remember so vividly as it dumped three feet of snow. That March Heather sent us a photo of the boys standing on an iced over Buzzards Bay.

01 Jonah, Sam, and Ollie on the Ice in Buzzards Bay (yesterday)

I kept saying that I didn’t remember experiencing that much snow and ice since Mark and I landed here in 2011. Then I realized that we sailed to South Carolina for the winter of 2013, and we were in the Bahamas in March of 2015. Lucky me. But I guess I can’t duck out of this one as it has now officially begun. I was outside with Shadow at 9 pm and all was calm, but just now when I looked outside, the ground is already white.

Today I went out to buy small propane cannisters for my Little Buddy propane heater. I fired it up and it still works. If I lose power, I’ll use that heater during the day to keep warm, but it would be too dangerous to leave it on all night. Mark and I used it on Windbird during the two winters we did spend living aboard here on Cape Cod. It did a good job of keeping Windbird warm. The heater can be used indoors as long as there is good ventilation. The windows in the cottage leak like a sieve, so I’ll call that good ventilation. I took my Honda 2000 generator to Heather and Jed. This will be there first blizzard without a wood fireplace, so if their power goes out, hopefully the generator still works and can power a heater for them. That generator has not been used for seven years, so I bought some oil (and what turned out to be the wrong new spark plug) and Jed and Sam were working on getting it going when I left there.

In case we lose power, food is cooked and in the refrigerator, all the water containers are topped up, flashlights and headlamps have new batteries, and my snow shovel is just outside the front door ready to be put to use. Heather sent me home with a pair of snowshoes in case I need them to take Shadow for his walks tomorrow. I’m as ready as I am going to be for the Blizzard of 2022.

2022 Life Logs, Day 27: Laundry Day

2022 Life Logs, Day 27: Laundry Day
Date: Thursday, January 27, 2022
Weather: Sunny and Cold; High Temp 29, Low Temp 24 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

The temperature was 10 degrees F this morning when I woke up to find there was a power outage. Almost immediately, I got a text from Heather saying their power was out and Jed reported there was no power in Woods Hole. I don’t know what was going on, but in about 10 minutes the power was back on. Good to have power when the temperature is that low. Cold as it was, it was beautiful outside. There was not a cloud in the sky, the sun was shining, and early this morning there was no wind, so Shadow and I took an early morning walk. Then I headed into town to Heather and Jed’s to do laundry. I had my clothes, plus sheets, and all the towels that were a result of Shadow’s bath yesterday. It took almost three hours, but I took my computer and wrote while I was waiting. When I got home I took Shadow for another walk, but it wasn’t as delightful because the wind was blowing. But we walked and played ball. Then I came inside and finished Chapter 17 about our time in the Vava’u Group of islands in northern Tonga. Then I started on the final chapter of year one of the Voyage of Windbird that will end in New Zealand. Hallelujah! I should finish that in a day or two or three and then start the editing process for book one before starting to write about the middle years of the voyage. And when that is done, I’ll write book three of the trilogy about the final leg of the voyage through the Indian Ocean, around the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, and back home. Lots of writing to be done. Maybe by 2024 I’ll be finished!

Tomorrow I will spend time preparing for the coming storm or blizzard or whatever it ends up to be here on the Cape. I watched the Weather Channel long enough this evening to hear that there has not been a blizzard warning in New York City for four years. That made me ask, “Technically, what is a blizzard?” In looking up the answer to that question I learned that the last blizzard in NYC was on January 23, 2016. Maybe there was a blizzard warning in 2018 or maybe I misunderstood what they were saying on the Weather Channel. Whatever, it has been six years since there was a blizzard in the city. I saw one definition of a blizzard that stated, “A blizzard is a snowstorm on steroids.” That prompted another question. What does that mean? What I found was that a blizzard must:
1. Have sustained winds or frequent gusts of 35 mph or greater.
2. Have considerable falling and/or blowing snow that reduces visibility to under a quarter of a mile.
3. Lastly, a blizzard must have the first two conditions for at least three consecutive hours.

I sure hope Cape Cod is just getting a snowstorm. At this point, the forecast is for snow to begin late tomorrow night, snow throughout the night, dump an inch of snow every hour from 6 am to 3 pm on Saturday, and then continue snowing until 10 pm. The winds of 30 to 35 mph are forecast to happen from 10 pm tomorrow night until 6 pm Saturday morning. But even during the day on Saturday, the winds are forecast to be in the upper 20’s going down into the teens by 1 am on Sunday morning. Sounds like it could meet the definition of a blizzard. Whatever, just taking Shadow out for a pee on Saturday sounds like no fun at all! He loves falling snow, but not snow blowing sideways.

2022 Life Logs, Day 26: Shadow Gets a Bath

2022 Life Logs, Day 26: Shadow Gets a Bath
Date: Wednesday, January 26, 2022
Weather: Sunny, but Colder; High Temp 28, Low Temp 10 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It has taken me twenty-six days of this new year to realize that I have been using 2021 in the date line for all logs written this year. What a pain to go back and change them all, but I don’t want to be a year a behind!

This was hair day. I showered and washed my hair and then got into the bathtub with Shadow to wash his hair. Shadow has a very soft fleece coat of hair that has to be cut several times a year by a groomer. It is an expensive proposition and someday I might learn to do it myself. For now, I pay the money and he goes to the doggy beauty shop. But since it is winter, I am letting his hair grow. This means I have to bathe him once a month. The bathing is no problem, but he will not tolerate me using the hair dryer, so he is a wet pet all day on bath day. I go through more towels on this day than I do in two months for myself. One thing leads to another. Tomorrow I will have to do laundry. This week, Tuesday was visiting and shopping day, Wednesday bath day, and Thursday will be laundry day. And every day is writing day. I spend two, three, four, sometimes more hours a day writing. I’m still not out of Tonga, but I’m still hoping to be finished with the eighteen chapters of book one by the end of next week. Anyone want to make a bet?

2022 Life Logs, Day 25: Visiting the Kanegsbergs and Costco

2022 Life Logs, Day 25: Visiting the Kanegsbergs and Costco
Date: Tuesday, January 25, 2022
Weather: Dreary, but Warmer; High Temp 42, Low Temp 18 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Looks like our choice for weather these days either overcast and dreary but a little warmer or sunny and COLD. Today we had the former. Tomorrow and the next day we get the latter. And then on Friday night it is supposed to start snowing and could snow all night and all day Saturday. The current forecast is for 14 inches. It has been a long time since we have had that much snow. Today at the Kanegsberg, they showed me their snow gauge in the side yard. It went up to 24 inches and I made some comment about not needing a snow gauge for that much snow these days. But then they told me they had 10 inches last week. When I looked around, I could see all the piles of snow from the snowplow still in place. As I stated yesterday, it is indeed winter.

Alan and Helaine are doing great and love living in their beautiful cottage at Newbridge on the Charles in Dedham. What Newbridge calls a cottage is not my view of a cottage. Alan and Helaine live in a spacious two bedroom, two bathroom home. The guest bathroom is as big as my dining area. I live in a cottage! They use one of their bedrooms for Alan’s office, and have a full living room, dining room, kitchen, and laundry room, plus a spacious two-car garage. Newbridge is a retirement community with everything from independent living in cottages, villas, and apartments to assisted living and memory care assisted living. The 162-acre campus is beautiful, but the thing I think is so special about living there is the plethora of activities. Alan and Helaine seem to have a full schedule of all sorts of cultural and social activities. I must sound like an ad for Newbridge, but it is just that every time I visit them I am so happy to find them so happy in such a lovely environment. We spent time talking today about grandchildren. Their only grandchild, Torston, graduates from high school this spring Reno, Nevada. Alan and Helaine flew to Renco during the holidays and will return for graduation in June. Hard to believe these grandkids grow up so quickly.

I thought my stop at Costco would be quick as I just needed a few things, but I was in there for an hour. I was so excited to find Dowdle jigsaw puzzle for way less than half of what I have paid for them in the past. I bought one featuring Stockholm and another featuring Prague. Such fun puzzles to work.

Back to writing tomorrow. Sounds like a perfect activity for a cold day.

2022 Life Logs, Day 24: Definitely Winter

2022 Life Logs, Day 24: Definitely Winter
Date: Monday, January 24, 2022
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High Temp 33, Low Temp 28 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

When I took Shadow out before going to bed last night, it was snowing ever so lightly. This morning when we went out, the world was white, but just barely. There was just enough snow to mostly cover the ground, but not the road. Still, Shadow was a happy puppy. He loves nothing more than to skim his nose through the snow, eating it as he goes along. When I checked the weather for the next ten days, it looks like cold temps and some snow on Friday going into Saturday morning. It is definitely winter.

I started a new puzzle today. This one is a scene from Florence, Italy. I made progress on my chapter about Windbird’s time in Tonga, and I took Ollie and Jonah to guitar/bass lessons and then Ollie to Scouts. That was it for my day. Tomorrow I head north to see my friends Alan and Helaine Kanegsberg and to pick up a few items at Costco. I was going to have lunch with my niece, but her husband had an exposure to someone whose wife just tested positive for Covid, so we called off lunch tomorrow. Hopefully we can get together sometime in the next few weeks.

2022 Life Logs, Day 23: Dinner with My Dining-in Group

2022 Life Logs, Day 23: Dinner with My Dining-in Group
Date: Sunday, January 23, 2022
Weather: Partly Sunny; High Temp 34, Low Temp 24 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Last week my neighbor Shirley told me that soon the winter robins would come to eat all the berries on her huge holly tree. This morning I looked out the window, and there they were. There were so many flying about, and one flew right into my front window about that time. He made quite a thunk, but flew away as if he was fine, maybe just a little headache. When I took a walk with Shadow, it pained me to watch the robins bathing in the icy mud puddles. It is just too cold for water play! They still have lots of berries to eat so I think they will be around for a few more days.

Our dining-in group met at the Bruce and Jane Woodins tonight and had a wonderful dinner. The sun was setting as I drove to the Woodins, and the sky was lit up with pinks and oranges. It was so beautiful I had to stop at Bourne Farm on the way to take a picture. Karen and Peter arrived after I did, and I got a real kick out of Jane taking Karen’s long-haired beaver coat and wrapping it around herself with quite a flair. Jane was meant for Hollywood. And as I said, the dinner was delicious. Karen and Peter brought the appetizer, I brought vegetable soup for our first course, Bruce and Jane provided the main course of roast beef and roasted potatoes, and Terry and Olivia brought a really tasty cauliflower casserole. Yum. And dinner was topped off with brownies and ice cream ala Midge. Because different people are traveling at different times in the next three months, we won’t have another dinner until late April. That seems so far away, but I know it will be here before we know it.

2022 Life Logs, Day 22: Another Birthday Celebration

2022 Life Logs, Day 22: Another Birthday Celebration
Date: Saturday, January 22, 2022
Weather: A Tiny Bit of Snow Flurries; High Temp 29, Low Temp 23 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was my friend Karen Baranowski’s birthday and the female half of our dining-in group took her out to lunch. This is something we started about five years ago with just three of us who knew each other prior to the formation of the dining-in group and then it just grew. It is a lovely to look forward to a birthday lunch each year with friends and today was no exception. Happy Birthday, Karen.

I continued my writing today and had a chuckle when I went out to lunch and ordered a double cheeseburger as big as the one Mark and I had in Tonga. I had been writing about it just before I left for lunch. Until today, I thought Tonga had the tallest, most impossible to eat burgers in the world. But today at Eli’s Tavern, I had one even bigger. I had checked out the menu online ahead of time and was all set to order a warm kale salad. But they had changed the menu and there was no salad on it that I wanted. In fact, there was really no appetizing veggie alternatives. Everyone else was ordering burgers, so I just went along. Here’s what I wrote in 2006 about cheeseburgers in Tonga: “Here a cheeseburger at the most expensive restaurant costs $15.00 Tongan which is $7.50US. But a cheeseburger here is about 6 inches high with layers of Canadian Bacon, cucumbers, green pepper, and tomato, in addition to the hamburger, and it comes with a huge helping of home fries. Not particular healthy, but lots of food.” The cheeseburger today cost more than twice what the ones in Tonga did in 2006, but it was at least 6 inches high. No Canadian Bacon, but onions, lettuce, and tomato. I ate the whole thing and have spent the rest of the day absolutely stuffed. Big is not always best!

2022 Life Logs, Day 21: Happy Birthday to My Grandson Sam

2022 Life Logs, Day 21: Happy Birthday to My Grandson Sam
Date: Friday, January 21, 2022
Weather: Light Covering of Snow; High Temp 25, Low Temp 22 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Samuel Ellery Goldstone was the first of my five grandchildren and today he celebrated his 15th birthday. Happy birthday to my handsome, intelligent, talented, witty, and loving grandson. He towers over me these days, but still gives hugs. I thought it was interesting that when I started my writing today, I came across the very first time I ‘met’ Sam. Mark and I were preparing to leave Samoa for Tonga on Saturday, September 30, 2006, and we made one last trip into town to check our email and send Heather a happy birthday message at an internet café. While doing so, we received an email from Heather with an attachment. It was an ultrasound image of Sam in utero. I was so excited to ‘meet’ my first grandchild. He looks quite different fifteen years later. Happy birthday, Sam!

When Shadow and I got up this morning, I was surprised to see that the ground was white (just barely) with snow. At one point a few days ago, the forecast called for three inches of snow today. Then the forecast changed and indicated that any precipitation would be mostly rain. I was delighted to see the snow, as was Shadow. The only thing I did today rather than playing outside in the snow and writing was to finish the 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle Heather gave me for Christmas. It is a puzzle of about sixty family photos and was so much to work.

Tonight, I went to Heather and Jed’s for Sam’s birthday dinner. We had one of his favorites, meat pie, with potatoes, a salad, and a poppyseed birthday cake. After dinner, I was given a Monty Python crash course. Heather and Jed have both always loved Monty Python and now the kids do as well. I have a lot to learn. I always thought Monty Python was a person. At least now I know it was the name of the British comedy troupe, not an individual. I’ve never watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail, so now I must do that.

2022 Life Logs, Day 20: Tonga in the News

2022 Life Logs, Day 20: Tonga in the News
Date: Thursday, January 20, 2022
Weather: Cloudy with Icy Rain and a Tad of Snow; High Temp 44, Low Temp 23 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

As I am sure you are aware, five days ago, a “once in a millenium” underwater volcano erupted near the largest island in the Kingdom of Tonga doing what is reported as ‘significant damage’. And already when I turned the radio on in my car today, I heard a report on NPR about ‘rebuilding Tonga’. You know you just aren’t a very good person when hearing good news like ‘rebuilding’ makes you feel like someone just punched you in the gut. Don’t get me wrong. I am glad that New Zealand and relief effort groups are moving quickly. But five days after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, I had just learned that my son and his family were alive because there was little if any communication with the island. What I had heard for five days was the US government downplaying the severity of what happened on the island of Puerto Rico. Thirteen days after Maria hit, our president made excuses saying, “The response and recovery effort probably has never been seen for something like this. This is an island surrounded by water. Big water. Ocean water.” Well, Tonga is an island nation surrounded by ‘big water’ but good neighbor New Zealand is sending two Navy ships that will arrive there in three days after leaving New Zealand later this week. I will admit that the distance from New Zealand to Tonga is about 600 miles shorter than from the US to Puerto Rico, but I will bet that when those ships arrive, they will bring more than paper towels to the 100,000 people of Tonga. We couldn’t even manage to get tarps to the 3.3 million people in Puerto Rico to cover their roofless homes and prevent further water damage. It is reported that least 100 homes across the islands of Tonga have been damaged and at least 50 completely destroyed. Maria hit more than 786,000 homes in Puerto Rico, causing minor damage to some and completely sweeping away others. And this doesn’t even address the number of lives lost. It breaks my heart that we did not stand by Puerto Rico in her time of desperate need. I could go on and on, but I’ll end my ramp here and hope that we, the people of the United States of America, never let anything like that happen again. We need to elect good people to lead our country like the people of New Zealand did when they chose Jacinda Arden as their Prime Minister. And speaking of good people, this morning I read a guest opinion article in the New York Times by our national poet, Amanda Gorman. I highly recommend you read it. You can find it here: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/20/opinion/amanda-gorman-poem-inauguration.html?campaign_id=9&emc=edit_nn_20220120&instance_id=50806&nl=the-morning&regi_id=99411509&segment_id=80225&te=1&user_id=df242d437bb6ffa5b9baeb94d90223b1

I finished Chapter 16 of The Voyage of Windbird this afternoon. That chapter was about Samoa and tomorrow I will be headed on to Tonga. Yes, Tonga, found its way into my life for the second time today. While Mark and I were in Samoa, there was an underwater earthquake about half-way between Samoa and Tonga. It was a 6.7 on the scale but was 27 miles below the surface of the sea and did not trigger a tsunami. Also, there was a volcanic eruption in northern Tonga two months prior while we were in American Samoa and we were warned to avoid the huge pumice field that was floating between Tonga and Fiji as we headed onward. Thankfully, we did not encounter that pumice field in our travels to Tonga. More about that trip tomorrow.

2022 Life Logs, Day 19: Done and Begun

2022 Life Logs, Day 19: Done and Begun
Date: Wednesday, January 19, 2022
Weather: Sun Trying to Break Through Clouds, Windy; High Temp 54, Low Temp 42 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Photo project . . . DONE. Long walk with Shadow . . . DONE. Huge batch of chicken broth . . . DONE. Writing project . . . BEGUN. It was a successful day! I even spent over an hour talking to family members that I haven’t talked to for quite some time and worked on my jigsaw puzzle. But I buckled down and finished that photo project that I have been working on for two years. I am so glad to have it done. And I really enjoyed getting back into my Voyage of Windbird writing project. Tomorrow I’ll finish Chapter 16 that I began last spring and head on to Tonga and then New Zealand to end the first year of Windbird’s voyage. In my mind, the project is a trilogy with year one the first book. It will feel good to get that much done. I have no idea if I will ever really publish, but I am determined to get the three books written.

The weather was not as delightful today as I had hoped. The high temp did get into the 50’s by mid-afternoon, but it just didn’t feel that warm. The wind was coming from the south, but it was an icy wind like what usually comes from the north. Shadow and I took a longer walk than usual and the sun really tried to break through the clouds. But I was not warm enough to tempt me to stay outside.