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 212: Boston to Charlotte

2022 Life Logs, Day 212: Boston to Charlotte
Date: Sunday, July 31, 2022
Weather: Falmouth Sunny, Charlotte Cloudy; High 82/88, Low 69/72 degrees
Location: At Home in The Fairfield Inn, Mooresville, NC

My day started in East Falmouth and ended in Mooresville, North Carolina where my sister Patsy and her daughter and son-in-law, Jennifer and Bill, live. I also have a nephew Tommy and his wife Marilou who live in nearby Huntersville. Mooresville and Huntersville are north of Charlotte in the Lake Norman area, but you fly into Charlotte. It is a two-and-a-half hour flight to Charlotte from Boston, but basically it took me all day to get here. I got up and got Shadow packed and off to Meghan and Sheri’s for the week. Then I came home to do the last few things and get my suitcase and backpack in the car and headed to Heather and Jed’s. Heather and Jed were scurrying around getting ready to head to Maine, and Jonah and Sam were packing to head to Camp Yawgoog in Rhode Island. I delivered a few boat things I thought they might need and then Jed drove me to the Falmouth bus station so I could catch the 1:15 to Boston Logan. At the airport, after checking my bag and going through security, I treated myself to a crab cake, a Greek salad, and a cup of clam chowder at Legal Sea Foods (sounds like I thought I might never eat again) before boarding the plane. Then just before sunset, my nephew Tommy picked me up at the airport and took me to Jennifer and Bill’s. Getting here really was an all-day affair.

Jennifer is in at-home hospice care, and for now Bill is providing the care. My niece Janet, Jennifer’s sister, is here from Nashville helping this week, and starting Tuesday, Bill will be getting part-time home health care help. Bill loaned me Jennifer’s car for this week so that I can drive between the hotel, my sister’s assisted living facility, and Jennifer and Bill’s. My goal is to spend time with Jennifer and my sister and make sure my sister’s medical and financial affairs are in order before I leave. Wish me luck!

2022 Life Logs, Day 211: Happy 10th Birthday to Coco

2022 Life Logs, Day 211: Happy 10th Birthday to Coco
Date: Saturday, July 30, 2022
Weather: Partly Sunny, Not as Humid; High 87, Low 63 degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

My youngest grandchild (4 months younger than Ollie) and my only granddaughter turned 10 today. Happy Birthday, Coco Annabelle. Ziggy created a a beautiful birthday cake for his sister, and the family was going to the opening day of a town fair in Hazlemere, the town where Jo’s parents live. This morning I got to see and talk to Coco on Skype. Justin and family are wrapping up their month-long visit with Jo’s family in England. I ‘borrowed’ some of the photos Jo has posted on Facebook and am sharing a couple of my favorites here. That girl has style!

I leave for Mooresville, North Carolina, just north of Charlotte, tomorrow afternoon. I take Shadow to Meghan and Sheri’s at 10:30 am and then take a few boat-related items to Heather and Jed before hopping on the bus to Boston Logan. The next log will be from the Fairfield Inn in Mooresville. Until then . . .

2022 Life Logs, Day 210: Travels Hither and Yon

2022 Life Logs, Day 210: Travels Hither and Yon
Date: Friday, July 29, 2022
Weather: Partly Sunny and Humid, Still a Nice Breeze; High 88, Low 69 degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was a take-it-easy day, in preparation for a few days of traveling hither and yon. I drove into town to say goodbye to Heather, Jed, Ollie, and Jonah. They left this afternoon for an overnight trip to Vermont. Heather’s good friends from her high school days at St. Paul’s School are gathering this weekend. It is the first time in years that all of them could make it, so she really wanted to go. They will return tomorrow afternoon and then leave again on Sunday for Maine after they get Sam and Jonah off for a week at Scout camp. Heather, Jed, and Ollie will launch Eider on Monday and sail her to Boothbay. Once they get the boat settled in Boothbay, they will return here for the weekend and pick up Sam and Ollie from camp. Then all of them return to Maine for a couple of days at Grammy Marti’s and then all of them will sail Eider to Buzzards Bay.

While they are doing all of this, I have made spur of the moment plans to fly to Charlotte, North Carolina. I leave on Sunday, day after tomorrow, and will return the next Saturday. My niece who lives in the Charlotte area has cancer and is no longer able to assist her mother, my sister, with her financial and medical affairs. My sister is 89 and lives alone in an assisted living facility. My niece is only 62 years-old and it is devastating watching her battle the dreaded ‘C’ disease. She had to have emergency brain surgery about three weeks ago, was sent home, had to return to the hospital, and is now back home again. But she is not able to walk and has to have round-the-clock assistance. So, this is not a happy trip. I just hope it will be a productive one.

I did have a happy evening with Sam. Since he works, he was not able to go to Vermont with the rest of the family. I bought sushi for us to have for dinner after he got home from work and then left him to spend the night alone. I could hardly do this, but he is growing up, and I have to accept that. But it really does seem just like yesterday that he came to Thailand with his parents to visit Oma and Granddad aboard Windbird for his second birthday. One of my most precious life memories is from that trip. During his time aboard Windbird, he decided that he was captain. We were out in the dinghy and Sam thought Granddad, the real captain, was going the wrong way. Granddad let him take over the helm and I got the photo of him pointing the way for his Granddad. That’s our Sam!

2022 Life Logs, Day 209: Biking on Martha’s Vineyard and Chappaquiddick

2022 Life Logs, Day 209: Biking on Martha’s Vineyard and Chappaquiddick
Date: Thursday, July 28, 2022
Weather: Sunny and Humid, Nice Breeze; High 84, Low 77 degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Sam doesn’t work on Thursdays, so all three Goldpebbles and myself took off on our bicycles this morning and headed for the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard. Our plan was to take the in-town Falmouth Island Queen to Oak Bluffs, but when we got there the 10:30 ferry was full. We would have to wait until noon. I called Jed to tell him our plans were changed, and he suggested that he could drive Ollie and I to Woods Hole for the 11:05 ferry. Jonah and Sam are way faster than me on a bike, so they would ride their bikes and meet us there. Our cars will only hold two bikes and the van was in the shop. So, we decided to give this plan a try. It worked (Thank you, Jed.) and we were in Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard before noon. With slow-poke me and water stops, the six mile ride to Edgartown took an hour and a half. But we made it! We had lunch just off Main Street at the Rosewater Market and then headed to the waterfront to take the ferry across to Chappaquiddick. We wanted to bike the three miles to East Beach, but after two miles, I checked the time and suggested we go back to Chappaquiddick Beach near the ferry. We did and that was the best decision of the day. The boys loved the beach. Beautiful sailboats were anchored off the beach and there was only one person who had brought his dinghy to shore. We had the beach all to ourselves and all three boys decided this is now their favorite beach. But all good things must come to an end. We dried off, got back on our bikes, and took the ferry back to Edgartown. We rode to the bus to speed up our return to Oaks Bluff, but the busses only hold three bikes. So Sam rode back and was waiting at the ferry terminal to head back to Falmouth when we got there. He made the six miles in just over 15 minutes. Oh, to be young again! I was just elated that I was able to make the twelve mile biking day still in one piece. But slow or fast, we all had a great day. Unfortunately, I took almost no photos. I was too busy pedaling to worry about pictures.

2022 Life Logs, Day 208: Beautiful Summer Day

2022 Life Logs, Day 208: Beautiful Summer Day
Date: Wednesday, July 27, 2022
Weather: Sunny; High 83, Low 68 degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It was a beautiful summer day—sunny, but not too hot. I picked Sam up after rowing this morning and hurried him home so he could get to work by 10 am. Then Jonah and Ollie came home with me and spent their afternoon kayaking and jumping in the water from the Maui mat. Ollie decided to try kayaking while standing up. Must be time for a paddle board.

2022 Life Logs, Day 207: Afternoon Sail on L ‘Escargot

2022 Life Logs, Day 207: Afternoon Sail on L ‘Escargot
Date: Tuesday, July 26, 2022
Weather: Partly Cloudy, Cooler, Afternoon Wind; High 83, Low 60 degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

After days of having the window fans running constantly to fight the heat and humidity, I just now had to turn off the fan because I felt chilly. Yes, chilly at 74 degrees F. But with the fan off, I am fine.

Around noon I went to Heather and Jed’s to see what the boys would like to do this afternoon. As I got out of the car, near-by neighbor, Sam Patterson, walked by with his little dog, Wickett. Sam is the sailing partner of Bruce and Jane Woodin on their sailboat L’ Escargot and Sam was looking for crew to go out with him this afternoon. He asked if I would like to go and invited the Goldpebbles. I went inside to check and emerged with only Ollie. Sam doesn’t work on Tuesdays, but he had rowed for two hours early in the morning and then done some vigorous cycling, so he wanted to do nothing. Jonah just wanted to veg out, but Ollie was excited to go sailing. So off we went. Ollie has not really sailed except in his Opti since he was three years old as far as I know, but he seemed to know just what to do. He stayed on the dock to release the lines and then jumped aboard like a pro. He watched Sam as we motored out of the harbor, listened carefully to Sam’s description of the best way to navigate with shallow areas on either side of us, keeping the red buoys to port (left) on our way out. It was blowing hard and was a little rough outside, but Ollie didn’t even blink. His job was to hold Wickett on our way out to Cleveland Light and then Sam let Ollie take the tiller all the way home. He is a steady helmsman and did a great job. It was a fun afternoon. So, thanks, Sam Patterson, for the invitation. Ollie and I had a great time.

2022 Life Logs, Day 206: Happy 85th Birthday to Friend Olivia White
Date: Monday, July 25, 2022
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, Windy, Hot and Humid; High 81, Low 66 degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Tonight, was the monthly gathering of my dining-in group and we celebrated (one day early) the 85th birthday of one of our members, Olivia White. Olivia is a good friend and an amazing person. Her role as a community leader is invaluable to all of us, and it so special to have her as a personal friend. Happy birthday, Olivia!

Dinner tonight was great—all vegetarian!!! Thank you, Karen and Peter Baranowski. Dinner started with a tomato, cucumber, and watermelon gazpacho topped with Rose of Sharon blossoms, followed by stuffed zucchini, sautéed mushrooms, and corn on the cob, and ended with a chocolate birthday cake for Olivia.

This morning Sam returned from Martha’s Vineyard with a big bag of quahog clams. Then this afternoon Heather, Jed, and Ollie returned from Maine. Ollie enjoyed his weekend working on getting Eider ready to sail south. Next week, Sam and Jonah will be in Scout Camp. Ollie has another pottery camp, but I think he is going to take a rain check and go with Heather and Jed to sail Eider from Brooklin, Maine to Boothbay. I don’t think I will get to ‘meet’ Eider until they sail her down her the following week. Can’t wait.

2022 Life Logs, Day 205: Day of Rest After Saying Farewell to Lynne

2022 Life Logs, Day 205: Day of Rest After Saying Farewell to Lynne
Date: Sunday, July 24, 2022
Weather: Still Sunny, Still Hot; High 88, Low 75 degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Bruce and Jane Woodin invited Lynne and I over for coffee this morning. I took Shadow and he loved sitting on Bruce’s lap. Bruce and Jane are getting their house painted, and what is done so far looks great. We enjoyed the coffee and conversation on their deck, and then Lynne headed on to visit with a friend who lives north and west of Albany, New York. After feeding the cats and guinea pig at Heather and Jed’s, I headed home and basically enjoyed doing nothing for the remainder of the day. Shadow and I were lonely without Lynne and hope she will visit again before heading back to New Zealand in October. Heather and Jed will return from Maine tomorrow. I know they got a lot of boat cleaning done, but I will look forward to hearing more about Eider when they get home.

2022 Life Logs, Day 204: The Hot Days Continue

2022 Life Logs, Day 204: The Hot Days Continue
Date: Saturday, July 23, 2022
Weather: Sunny, Still Hot; High 92, Low 71 degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

The hot weather continues. It was 92 F today but felt like 96 according to WeatherUnderground. One way or the other, it was hot. There was a breeze, however, so sitting in the shade in the breeze felt great. Lynne, Shadow, and I went for a 2.5 to 3 mile hike at Quashnet River this morning. I knew the path would be mostly shady, and it was, so not as hot as hiking in full sun. At one point there is path down to the river. We took it and Shadow enjoyed a cool drink from the river. There was not another soul out hiking, so Shadow got to run free. He loved it. We returned home for lunch and then went over to Olga’s to check on the tomatoes I planted there. I have totally ignored them for three weeks. They need more water and need to be weeded, but they are surviving. When we returned home, we went down by the dock to sit in the shade and breeze to read. And finally, we went to Heather and Jed’s to do a laundry, go to the grocery store, and get Sam off to Martha’s Vineyard to spend tomorrow and Monday with friend Robert. He worked until 5 pm and had to wait for folks who returned their bike rentals late. Then he had to have some work done on his bike. By the time he got home, we barely got to Woods Hole in time for the 6:30 pm ferry. It was a stretch, but we made it. Lynne and I then returned home with spanakopita and a Greek salad for dinner from a Limani, a local Greek restaurant. Tomorrow morning we go to have coffee with Bruce and Jane Woodin, then she is off to visit a friend in the lakes region in New York state. She is out on a walk in the dark with Shadow right now, so I am going to sign off so we can have our last ‘chat’ before she leaves tomorrow.

2022 Life Logs, Day 203: Fun with Lynne, Ollie, and Jonah

2022 Life Logs, Day 203: Fun with Lynne, Ollie, and Jonah
Date: Friday, July 22, 2022
Weather: Sunny, Still Hot; High 89, Low 70 degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It was another fun day with Lynne, Ollie, and Jonah. Lynne and I started the day by taking Shadow on a walk at Quissett Harbor and out to The Knob. Beautiful. Then we drove to Woods Hole to hear Bruce Woodin playing with his music group, Noon Tunes. Jonah and Ollie had been hanging out at home during the morning, so we picked them up on our way home from Woods Hole. They decided it was time to launch the Maui pad, so they paddled it out to deeper water using the kayaks and jumped in and played in the water on this very hot afternoon. Lynne and I sat in the shade and read and watched them play. At 4:30, we drove a wet Ollie and Jonah to Menauhant Beach to meet Heather and Jed. Then Lynne and I went to Karen and Peter Baranowski’s for Happy Hour. Lynne had met Karen on a previous visit but had never met Peter. She thought she was a tall woman until she stood next to Peter!