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 117: It Takes a Village

2021 Life Logs, Day 117: It Takes a Village
Date: Tuesday, April 27, 2021
Weather: Partly Sunny; High 58, Low, 45 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It is such a wonderful feeling to see friends step up to help when help is needed. Yesterday Anna, the mother of Jonah’s good friend Luke, took Jonah to soccer practice up near Hyannis. This evening the Keefe’s, Heather and Jed’s neighbors when they lived on Vidal Avenue volunteered to pick Jonah up and take him to Scouts. And tomorrow Grace, the mother of Sam’s good friend and school partner during Covid, has volunteered to pick up Sam and Jonah after their half day of school and take them home with her for the afternoon. Jed could have stayed home to do all of this, but that would have left Heather alone in Boston with Ollie. Or I could have done it all, allowing Jed the time to be with Heather and Ollie. But isn’t it wonderful the way people just pitch-in to help? Life can be done without the village, but it is so much nicer when everyone works together.

Ollie gets his PICC (Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter) line inserted tomorrow morning at 9 am. Once that procedure is done, Heather and Jed will get training in how to give Ollie the intravenous antibiotic infusions and how to flush the line at home. VNA (visiting nurses) will also come to their home for a couple of days making sure they have the process down. When Jed got home tonight, he said they expect Ollie to be released from the hospital late tomorrow afternoon and they hope to be home for a late dinner. Yippee!!! I know Heather and Ollie will be so glad to be home and spend tomorrow night in their own beds. And I know Jed will be glad that he doesn’t have to drive back and forth to Boston.

I spent my morning outside continuing garden clean-up and adding compost to the beds. Then from 2:45 onward, I was shuttling Sam from here to there. I have done no writing or proof-reading this week, but I plan to start my day doing that tomorrow. Mid-day I have an appointment to get the oil changed and tires rotated on my car. Then I’ll come home and do a little more gardening until it is time to pick up Sam and Jonah. Jonah has soccer practice tomorrow evening and during that time, I might co-opt Sam to help me spread compost on the raspberry plants and pound in some garden stakes to support them. Then we’ll all head to 43 Grasmere to welcome Ollie home.

2021 Life Logs, Day 116: Not the Week We Planned

2021 Life Logs, Day 116: Not the Week We Planned
Date: Monday, April 26, 2021
Weather: Sunny and Warmer; High 56, Low, 39 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Yesterday was not the day we planned and today it became apparent that this is not the week we planned. But there is some good news from Children’s Hospital regarding Ollie. The specialist that reviewed the lab tests told Heather this morning that there is no evidence that there are pockets of Lyme in Ollie’s body other than in his left knee. But the infection in that area is significant is going to require another month of a different antibiotic, Ceftriaxome, that has to be administered daily via IV. In order to do this from home, they have to anesthetize Ollie to insert a PICC line. Through this PICC line, Heather and Jed will administer the antibiotic for the next month. A VNA nurse will come to their home for the first two or three days to train them. But the hang up is that the hospital cannot schedule time for Ollie in an operating room until Wednesday morning. So, he and Heather are still there. Jed came home in the wee hours of the morning as it was after 2 am before Ollie was moved from ER to an actual room. He is being a trooper. He has learned one thing, however. He really doesn’t like needles! Only parents can visit and when Jed goes back tomorrow, he has to be Covid tested on site and wait for the results before seeing Ollie and giving Heather a couple of hours of time off. Just the Covid testing process can take 45 minutes to 2 to 3 hours. That, plus the drive up and back, will make for a full day for Jed. I had Sam and Jonah all day yesterday and overnight. Jed has them tonight and I will do after school deliveries to various activities tomorrow evening from 3 pm onward until Jed gets home. There are drum lessons, rowing practice, and a Scout meeting just tomorrow afternoon and evening. Busy boys!

It was a beautiful day and as I took Shadow for his walks today, I realized that the whole neighborhood has blossomed. Azaleas, tulip trees, tulips, daffodils, Shirley’s Japanese plum tree, and even the moss in my backyard are in bloom. I spent some time today working on getting my raised beds up and going, but I have lots more work to do.

Late this afternoon Heather sent a selfie of herself and Ollie enjoying a rooftop garden at the hospital. You can’t see her chai in the photo, but you can see Ollie’s half of a big M&M chocolate chip cookie. Heather is hiding her half which Ollie insisted she have. As Heather labeled that photo, things could be a lot worse. She is trying hard to make sure Ollie’s hospital experience is as positive as possible. Go Heather and Ollie!

2021 Life Logs, Day 115: Not the Day We Planned

2021 Life Logs, Day 115: Not the Day We Planned
Date: Sunday, April 25, 2021
Weather: Overcast and Rainy; High 49, Low,41 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Yesterday was such a beautiful day, but the weather forecast for today was rain. I planned to finish proofreading the latest chapter I completed on Thursday and the Goldstones planned a laid-back day. Then we were all going to meet at my house for dinner. But we make plans and then then life happens. I got a call from Heather around noon saying she had talked to Ollie’s orthopedic specialist for his swollen knee due to Lyme Disease. He wanted Heather and Jed to take Ollie to the ER at Children’s Hospital in Boston today. The labs from tests run last week had come back looking like there might be a secondary infection in his knee. That, along with a red rash that has appeared in the area at the base of both thumbs had him concerned. I volunteered to take Sam and Jonah so that both Heather and Jed could go with Ollie. They are still there and one or both of them will spend the night with O and meet with a team of specialists tomorrow. Sam and Jonah are tucked in for the night here. I will take them to school in the morning. When we talked to H, J, and O tonight at bedtime, Ollie was just getting to eat his first food since this morning. He does not appreciate all the needles but sounded in good spirits. He was still in a room in the ER, but Heather and Jed were hoping for a ‘real’ room for the night. The good news is that the ER team does not think he has a secondary infection. I hope to have even better news by this time tomorrow. Six weeks on Doxycycline has not done the trick. We are all hoping the Infectious Disease specialists at Children’s can work some magic.

2021 Life Logs, Day 114: First Soccer Saturday Since Fall 2019

2021 Life Logs, Day 114: First Soccer Saturday Since Fall 2019
Date: Saturday, April 24, 2021
Weather: Sunny, Winds Building; High 65, Low,46 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Most of my day was spent at the soccer field . . . for the first time since the fall of 2019. It was hard to believe that it has really been a year and half since the last soccer game. But, surprisingly, even with Covid ‘adjustments, today felt ‘almost’ normal. Only two adults were allowed per player and everyone, including the players, wore masks. Those of us on the side lines also used physical distancing. But since all of that seems normal these days, I hardly noticed. But what I did notice was how much all of the boys have changed in the last year and a half. They are all so much taller! Jonah has continued to practice and play some games this school year with a different league, but most of the boys have not played in a game since the fall of 2019. They are not really playing competitively this spring. The local Falmouth travel league has simply lumped the kids together by grade levels. The teams are large enough that they can divide in half and play against each other. So due to Covid, there is no traveling, but at least the kids get to play. Again, even that seems normal these days.

Ollie had a game at 9 am, Jonah at 10:30 am, and Sam at 1:30. I came home between Jonah’s game and Sam’s to walk with Shadow and grab some lunch. Then after Sam’s game, I hurried to a local plant nursery to buy a few more herbs and then headed home to walk with Shadow again. I spent an hour proofreading the first half of the latest chapter I completed in the Voyage of Windbird. Then I spent the rest of my evening listening to the audio presentations of the first day of the Food Revolution Network’s Spring 2021 Summit. Today’s topic was: How Food Can Change Your Life. The evidence becomes more obvious and convincing each year. We all need to be eating a plant-based diet. I am not there yet, but presentations I listened to this evening were very convincing. There are three hours of presentations each day, but I listened to only two from this first day of the Summit tonight. Dean Ornish, MD, the “father of lifestyle medicine,” gave critical insights on how the right diet and lifestyle can address chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer, and dementia. He reviewed the differences between preventing and reversing disease and shared some of the top insights he’s gleaned in forty plus years on the leading edge of the lifestyle medicine movement. I actually only listened to about half of his presentation. Not because I wasn’t interested, but because I had heard most of it before and because there just weren’t enough hours left in my day. But then I was riveted by the presentation of William Li, MD. He is brilliant and shared his stunning research on food and COVID-19 outcomes—all new information to me. He shared what to eat (and what not to eat!) if you want to build a healthy immune system. His book, “Eat to Beat Disease: The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself” is one that every household should have as a reference book. My copy is in large print and is about three inches thick and every single page is jam-packed with vital information. I would love to organize a study group focusing on Dr. Li’s work. Anyone want to join me?

2021 Life Logs, Day 113: Shopping with the Goldpebbles

2021 Life Logs, Day 113: Shopping with the Goldpebbles
Date: Friday, April 23, 2021
Weather: Mostly Sunny, Still Very Windy; High 54, Low,44 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Shopping with the Goldpebbles means going to Army-Navy surplus stores. We went to one in Hyannis, the Mass Bay Company, and then one across the bridge in Wareham called Go Bananas! The latter advertises as “a working man’s LL Bean” and the boys LOVED it. I only knew about the place from my friend Karen Baranowski. Sam, Jonah, and Ollie say, “Thank you Karen.”

Boys being boys, and being Boy Scouts, new knives for whittling and diddling were the first order of business. We found those at the Mass Bay Co. in Hyannis. Then we headed off-Cape to Wareham which should have taken half an hour. But there was construction at the Sagamore bridge, and it took us way over an hour sitting in bumper to bumper traffic when we got close to the bridge. It was a rude reminder of what summer traffic on the Cape is like—just a little early making it all the more painful. But the boys hung in there and they were glad they did because the loved the second surplus store. The one in Hyannis was neat and tidy. The one in Wareham was your more typical Army-Navy surplus, and they had way more ‘stuff’ the boys were interested in. When I look at Sam, I feel like he is twice the size he was last summer. I’m sure that is an exaggeration, but yesterday we found out that he certainly did not fit into to his life vest. So we were both glad to find one that fit. We did not find the camo pants or Carhartt overalls we were looking for, but in addition to Sam’s life vest, I got a new kayak paddle and new nets for catching critters at the beach. I have bought camo pants for the Goldpebbles at Costco in the past. But due to Covid, it has been so long since I have been there that they have all outgrown and worn out what they have—too many holes to pass down to a younger brother. And Jonah’s favorite camo jacket is two sizes too small for him. Maybe I’ll venture north to Costco next week to take a look.

2021 Life Logs, Day 112: Happy Earth Day 2021

2021 Life Logs, Day 112: Happy Earth Day 2021
Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Weather: Partly Cloudy, Windy, and COOL: High 47, Low, 36 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Earth Day 2021 was a cool one on Cape Cod. I had to get my winter coat and gloves back out for my morning walk with Shadow and even needed my winter hat for our late afternoon walk. I wanted to do some things outside for Earth Day but decided those things would just have to wait until it is warmer. I spent my day finishing Chapter 15 about Windbird’s time in American Samoa. Mark and I spent an entire month in Pago Pago Harbor on the main island of Tutuila. The island is unbelievably beautiful place on Planet Earth and we met some very special people there. So, writing about such a special place felt like a tribute to Mother Earth. Tomorrow I will be with the Goldpebbles. Then hopefully over the weekend I will have time to edit the chapter and move on to the next island group. But in writing about American Samoa, I have decided that I would love to go back and visit there again.

Last night I talked to Justin and gang in Puerto Rico. Justin sent a text that said, “Want to Skype? We can show you Ziggy’s new braces and my new stitches.” I responded, “New stitches for what. Let’s Skype now.” Thankfully the stitches were in Justin’s leg. He somehow got cut on broken glass while building a hay shed and needed six or seven stitches. But he is fine. Ziggy’s braces looked great. I could hardly tell he had them. The upper braces are white so you have to look hard to see them. The lower braces are silver and are mostly hidden by his lower lip. He has only had them for a day or two but is already getting used to the feel. Coco has taken over my birthday present for Ziggy, a basketball hoop. She has discovered that she loves ‘shooting hoops’.

Tonight I tuned in to a one hour WGBH Zoom presentation of Boston Talks—Our Earth. It was an Earth Day conversation. There were two guest speakers, Dr. John Rowden of the National Audubon Society and Dr. Heather Goldstone of the Woodwell Climate Research Center. Dr. Rowden spoke about the importance of planting native trees and plants to support bird life and Heather spoke about the climate change. She was asked to summarize the eight hours of today’s presentations by world leaders. I loved the way she did that in such a positive way. After listening to her, I felt positive about what we CAN do rather than feeling the total despair that I often experience when I think about how overwhelming the climate challenge is that faces the world. It was a positive way to end Earth Day 2021.

2021 Life Logs, Day 111: Work and Play with the Goldpebbles

2021 Life Logs, Day 111: Work and Play with the Goldpebbles
Date: Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Weather: Partly Cloudy, Windy, Very Little Rain; High 63, Low, 34 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was a work and play day with the Goldpebbles. I picked up Sam, Jonah, and Ollie late morning and brought them to the cottage. Play was first on the list. Jonah, who is not as much of a water baby as Sam and Ollie, took off on a scooter, while Sam and Ollie launched the kayaks for the first time this year. But because it was so windy, Sam tried to sail his kayak with his towel. When that didn’t work, Ollie came back to the dock to ask me if I could get him a stick and a piece of material. He wanted to try to sail his kayak. Sam yelled back to say, “Get two sticks.” So, I returned to the dock with a mop handle, a hefty garden stake, a table cloth, and some rope. Sam lashed the two poles together, found a way to tie on the tablecloth, and off they went. First Ollie and then Sam sailed their kayaks. I think it was as much fun to watch as it was doing it. They wanted to sail downwind but ended up sailing on a beam reach. But the important thing is that they sailed and had fun doing it!

Ollie is usually my worker, but we gave him a pass today as the work involved digging a trench to bury irrigation hose and hefting heavy bags of compost. He had to have the fluid drained from his knee again, so heavy work didn’t seem like the order of the day for him. But Sam dug the trenches and hefted bags of compost for Jonah who raked the piles of compost into my raised beds. We did some of this yesterday, but I realized I needed more compost. They did a great job. We had a late lunch that I picked up at Le Bonjour, went back outside to finish up the work, and then headed into town for Sam’s 3 pm hair cut appointment. Ollie and Jonah played on the library lawn while we waited for Sam and then we made our first visit of the year to the Dairy Queen. The boys had Blizzards which are like a milkshake and not as messy as a dripping cone, so we got back in the car and drove to Woods Hole. Sam and Jonah had decided that they would like to see the location of the bells and weathervanes in Woods Hole Library Scavenger Hunt. It was last year at this time that the four of us went to Woods Hole for Earth Day to take a photo wearing covid masks while sitting beside the life-sized bronze statue of environmentalist and writer Rachel Carson in Marina Park. We then took a ‘Sam requested’ circuitous route home through Quissett Harbor and then along the water into downtown Falmouth. Great afternoon!

2021 Life Logs, Day 110: An Outdoor Day

2021 Life Logs, Day 110: An Outdoor Day
Date: Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Weather: Another Beautiful Day; High 63, Low, 48 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was another outdoor day. No writing, but a lot of gardening. The weather was beautiful, so as the saying goes, “Make hay while the sun shines.” So, I did. Yesterday I went to the local feed and garden center to buy a carload of Dr. Nature’s Pot of Gold Organic Potting Soil for Heather and Jed’s deck garden. This morning, right after a six-week check-up with my chiropractor, I returned to Waquoit Feed and Garden Center and bought a carload of Coast of Maine compost for my gardens. The problem being that I could not get it out of my car. Common sense and my chiropractor both said, “Do not lift those heavy bags.” So, after Jed and the boys went to the driving range, they stopped by to unload the bags. While I was waiting for them, I spent my time cleaning out the raised beds. I’m hoping the Goldpebbles are returning tomorrow morning to help me with a few gardening tasks. This afternoon Ollie and I continued working on the irrigation system for the deck gardens at 43 Grasmere and we are just about finished. Ollie is a determined worker and in just two days, he has become very adept at putting the parts of an irrigation system together. And I made a trip to a local nursery this morning to buy some plants and more seeds. Maybe by week’s end, we’ll have the deck garden at Heather and Jed’s up and going as well as my raised beds.

My day ended watching the coverage of the guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial. Justice prevailed. The fact that we all knew George Floyd had been murdered by a police officer in those 9 minutes and 29 seconds that Derek Chauvin had his knee on his George Floyd’s neck was finally and officially recognized. Thanks to a very brave and technically savvy seventeen year old. Now we all have to champion a way to change our policing system so it works for all.

2021 Life Logs, Day 109: A Day of Deck Gardening

2021 Life Logs, Day 109: A Day of Deck Gardening
Date: Monday, April 19, 2021
Weather: Beautiful Day; High 63, Low, 44 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was the first day of Falmouth School spring vacation and what a beautiful day. The sun was shining, there was very little wind, and it was warm. Hurray! The plan was for me to arrive at the Goldstones around noon and have the boys help me fill the deck garden containers with potting soil that I was delivering. I did deliver the additional potting soil, but one boy was missing when I arrived and shortly thereafter, two boys were missing. And who could blame them? Sam got a call from two good friends that he hasn’t seen very much during the past coronavirus year. It was an invite to meet downtown to have lunch and then go knock about with a soccer ball. After their lunch, they stopped by the house to pick up a soccer ball on the way to the soccer field, and we lost Jonah as he was invited to join them. But Heather she played a little work “hooky” and spent time setting up the deck containers. She filled two containers and Ollie and I worked on the other two, using Heather’s expertise to finish the job. Then she did the planting.

When Sam and Jonah returned home, we lost Ollie. All three boys headed into the backyard to fire up their blacksmith shop. Last week Jonah found a U-shaped piece of metal that he wanted to straighten. Yesterday the boys used some curved concrete blocks to build a forge using a small shop vac as a bellows to provide the blowing air to keep the fire going. Jed worked with them to make sure it was safe, and they were successful in straightening the U-shaped half inch square metal rod. Every year when we go to the Barnstable County Fair, the boys always stop and watch the blacksmith. Their attention to detail paid off with this project and they were very proud of the result.

Jed is taking the boys to the driving range tomorrow morning and I will return tomorrow afternoon to complete installing the irrigation system on the deck. There are two vertical wall planters (and Heather ordered a third today), hanging plants, a four-shelf mini-greenhouse, and two elevated raised beds placed from one end of the very long deck to the other. I installed most of the irrigation system last year, but never finished the job. Jonah wants to help me finish it tomorrow. Then we will just sit back and watch things grow. It was really exciting to see all of this come together today.

2021 Life Logs, Day 108: More Writing, Thinking About Gardening

2021 Life Logs, Day 108: More Writing, Thinking About Gardening
Date: Sunday, April 18, 2021
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, Warmer; High 54, Low, 41 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

This is spring vacation week for Falmouth Public Schools, so I am hoping to spend time with the Goldpebbles. I had hoped to finish up my chapter on American Samoa today before taking some time off writing, but that did not happen. I tried, but I am just not quite there. We spent twenty-nine days at anchor in Pago Pago Harbor on the island of Tutuila in American Samoa. We spent eighteen days in Rarotonga, but four of those days were spent on a little side trip to Aitutaki. In French Polynesia, we never spent more than eight days in one anchorage. So, to this point in the Voyage of Windbird, we spent more time in American Samoa than any other place in the South Pacific. Because of that it is taking time to write the chapter. And it is a chapter that I really want to get right. I know how much it meant to Mark to revisit American Samoa after living there for two years in the 1960’s, so I will continue on—but not until after I have some fun with the Goldpebbles. Tomorrow we are going to spend the afternoon finally filling the deck planters that I brought as a housewarming gift with potting soil. They were supposed to be delivered last May but didn’t arrive until the fall. So, this will be the first growing season for the planters.

I wrote until almost 8 pm tonight and then had to stop and fix dinner for myself and Shadow. At 9 pm I watched ‘Ocean Crossing’ on Masterpiece Theater while I ate dinner and after that I started writing my log. But then I decided to stop and watch the Joshua Johnson show on MSNBC while I rode my exercise bike. I continue to log in my six miles each evening.

Joshua Johnson was the host of 1A on NPR, a national conversation program. It was the program that replaced the Diane Rehm Show. But then he was hired by MSNBC and does weekend evenings. He often has fascinating guests. Tonight, one guest was Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau who is best known as the villainous-turned-valiant knight Jaime Lannister in Game of Thrones. Tonight, he was talking about a new program, ‘Through Greenland’, which is about climate change. For the past few years, this actor, producer, and screen writer has been a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to create for awareness for climate change. Listening to him brought me right back around to what I had been writing about today. We had unusually extreme weather in the months we spent in the South Pacific in 2006. Today I wrote:

“Another couple that we knew from meeting them in French Polynesia came into Pago Pago Harbor (American Samoa) reporting on the extreme weather. George and Barbara of Gdansk out of Vancouver arrived after a rough trip from Suwarrow in the northern Cook Islands. They had heavy wind and rain for most of their passage. George said that wherever they sailed this year, the Convergence Zone followed them. Even though we had taken a different path to get to American Samoa, we felt the same way. We just could not shake that Convergence Zone. The South Pacific was having a turbulent season. They reported that in Suwarrow two boats were blown on the reef on a particularly stormy night. Both were recovered without significant damage, but it was a scary thought. We shared with them what Mark, the gentleman who ran the NOAA Observatory we had visited recently, had told us. He said that scientists were perplexed with what was happening. He confirmed what we thought. The weather in the South Pacific was not following normal patterns and the scientists he worked with believed it all had to do with global warming. He told us that many still did not want to believe there was such a thing, but as he said, “Something is making the ocean temperature warmer down here!” I think I would like to try to watch ‘Through Greenland’ this week in observance of Earth Day. Maybe I can convince the Goldpebbles to watch with me.