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!

2024 Life Logs, Day 102: A Little of This and That

2024 Life Logs, Day 102: A Little of This and That
Date: Thursday, April 11, 2024
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, Periods of Rain ; High Temp 57, Low 46 degrees F
Location: At Home on Lakeview Avenue, Falmouth, MA

A long walk with Shadow, physical therapy, trips to the grocery store, cooking, Ollie’s art show at Morse Pond School, spending the evening with Sam and Ollie while Heather and Jed went to Harwich to see Jonah perform in the All Cape Jazz Band … that was my day. We did not get to see all of the art at the Morse Pond Art Show as Heather and Jed had to leave to get to Harwich for the All Cape Jazz Band concert, but Ollie did get to show us his paper mâché snorkeler and his poster featuring things that important to him. I loved that ‘energy’ was one of those things.

When we went home, I fixed baby back ribs, roasted potatoes, and salad for dinner. It was nice having a quiet evening with Sam and Ollie. Also, I got good news from my physical therapist this morning. He is going to release me a little early from back PT because I have progressed so quickly. I will continue through next week and after that just do the exercises he has prescribed at home. I’ll have two weeks off prior to the knee surgery, two weeks of in-home PT after the surgery, and then back to PT at the Falmouth Hospital the first of June through most of July. I am already looking forward to a PT free August.

2024 Life Logs, Day 101: Life 101

2024 Life Logs, Day 101: Life 101
Date: Wednesday, April 10, 2024
Weather: Partly Sunny ; High Temp 51, Low 44 degrees F
Location: At Home on Lakeview Avenue, Falmouth, MA

Day 101 of 2024 was textbook life as usual—busy. I had an early morning Encore Board meeting, a working lunch with Christina Brodie followed by another Encore related meeting, went to the grocery store for the first time in what seems like weeks, then finally arrived at home mid-afternoon. I had a couple of hours before going out to dinner with Bruce Woodin and Midge Frieswyk, so I spent that time getting caught up writing my logs for the past three days and playing outside with Shadow. Bruce took Midge and I out to dinner this evening to thank us for taking care of his plants this winter while he and Jane were away. We ate at Eli’s Tavern at the Coonemessett Inn. I had a baked cod dish that was delicious. Thank you, Bruce!

2024 Life Logs, Day 100: Back Down to Earth

2024 Life Logs, Day 100: Back Down to Earth
Date: Tuesday, April 9, 2024
Weather: Sunny and Warm; High Temp 62, Low 41 degrees F
Location: At Home on Lakeview Avenue, Falmouth, MA

It was almost midnight when we reached Cape Cod early this morning and stopped at the Woodin’s to pick up Shadow. Thankfully, Bruce is a night owl. Since we were in my car, I dropped off Heather, Sam, and Jonah, unpacked the back of the car, and headed home. So it was late when Shadow and I tucked in for the night, but we were up and out walking by 8 am. I had a late morning book club meeting, came home to play outside in the sunshine with Shadow, and before I knew it, it was time to take Ollie to saxophone lesson and then to soccer practice. In the time interval between the two, I went home to play fetch with Shadow. After soccer practice, Ollie’s day was not over. Heather picked him up and took him to his Scout meeting. I went back to the Woodin’s to pick up Shadow’s day bed as there was no room in the car last night. Then I headed home, downloaded photos from the eclipse, prepared for tomorrow morning’s Encore Board meeting, and then called it a night. So today it was back down to earth, back to a normal schedule, after the incredible eclipse experience.

2024 Life Logs, Day 99: In the Path of Totality

2024 Life Logs, Day 99: In the Path of Totality
Date: Monday, April 8, 2024
Weather: Gorgeous Day, Not a Cloud in the Sky; High Temp 55, Low 40 degrees F
Location: Rangeley, Maine, Then Back Home on Lakeview Avenue, Falmouth, MA

What a very special day in the life. Driving to the path of totality was definitely worth it. We drove two and a half hours north and west of Portland, Maine, to the small mountain town of Rangeley. There was snow in Portland left over from the last storm, and as we drove into the mountains, the white landscape backed by a beautiful blue sky with absolutely no clouds was stunning. When we were about 30 minutes out of Rangeley, we started seeing watch parties along the road. Everyone was in a festive mood. Jed and Ollie had arrived earlier with Jed’s Aunt Carol and they had found a perfect place for us to settle in and watch the ‘show’.

We were on the side of Dallas Hill overlooking Lake Rangeley with mountains in the distance. Just the view alone was gorgeous. We were parked across the street from the Rangeley Region Fitness Center on a construction site for some new homes. The young couple owning the one home that is completed allowed us and some other folks to park there. We didn’t know the other people, but as I learned, a watch party is fun group experience. There was food and music and joy in the air. Around 2:30 pm we saw the tiniest indentation in the bottom right of the sun. Little by little over the next hour, that indentation became bigger and bigger until only a crescent moon-shaped piece of the sun was visible.

You could see the look of wonder on everyone’s faces as they watched. As the moon slowly covered the sun, the light in our world dimmed and we had to put our coats back on as we could feel the chill.

The watch party continued with someone’s great play list airing loud enough for all to hear. Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire brought smiles and when Total Eclipse of My Heart played, Heather was jumping up and down with joy.

The light got dimmer and dimmer and then someone announced that the music would stop for a few minutes during the totality. We watched through our glasses as the crescent of sunlight became a sliver, and then the magic happened. The sky turned a dark blue, the moon totally covered the sun with a halo of white light surrounding the black moon, and the horizon turned orange as if it was sunset. Our world was so quiet you felt like you could hear the person next to you holding their breath. It was truly a moment of amazement … and then the light returned. But those few moments where you felt the world at peace will forever stay with me.

2024 Life Logs, Day 98: Sunday Soccer and Off to Maine

2024 Life Logs, Day 98: Sunday Soccer and Off to Maine
Date: Sunday, April 7, 2024
Weather: Partly Sunny, Windy; High Temp 47, Low 29 degrees F
Location: With Heather, Sam, and Jonah at the Fairfield Inn, Scarborough, Maine

I spent my morning getting ready for the trip to Maine to see the total eclipse. I packed Shadow up and took him to Bruce and Jane Woodin’s. They had graciously offered to keep him for me, but when I got there, I discovered that Jane’s older sister Ann had passed away during the night. Jane already had a flight scheduled for tomorrow to go down to Tallahassee and check on Ann, so she is sticking with that plan. I felt terrible leaving Shadow with them under the circumstances, but they insisted. Jane didn’t let me know ahead of time as she knew I would never have left Shadow with them. She will be leaving at 8 am, but Bruce is not flying down with her at this time. So, Bruce was fine with keeping Shadow until I return late tomorrow night. My heart is with Jane and her family.

After getting Shadow settled, I headed back home. Heather was in Hyannis at Jonah’s soccer game, a tie, and when they returned home, the three of us headed to Taunton to see Sam’s soccer game, a 4-1 win. Sam rode to Taunton with a friend as we were not going to be able to get him there on time. Jed and Ollie had already left for Bethel, Maine, to stay with Jed’s Aunt Carol. After Sam’s soccer game, the four of us drove to a Fairfield Inn in Portland, Maine for the night. We didn’t get here until after 10 pm, so we all just went to bed. We have a lot of driving tomorrow and hope to get a good night’s sleep.

2024 Life Logs, Day 97: Happy 15th Birthday to Ziggy

2024 Life Logs, Day 97: Happy 15th Birthday to Ziggy
Date: Saturday, April 6, 2024
Weather: Sunny, Cloudy, Rainy, Windy; High Temp 42, Low 36 degrees F
Location: At Home on Lakeview Avenue, Falmouth MA

Ziggy Milo Handley was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico 15 years ago tomorrow. He had his birthday party today, and since I am going to be traveling tomorrow night, I am sending my birthday wishes a few hours early. Justin sent a picture of Ziggy at the bowling alley with friends. Ziggy was smiling so I am assuming he was having a great time. Happy birthday, Ziggy!

Today, I challenged my back, and it let me know it wasn’t happy. All I did was walk a mile, come home to do the exercises my physical therapist has me doing daily, and then stripped my bed to wash the sheets. The latter was the challenge. I worked slowly and carefully, but by the time I finished the laundry and started making the bed, my back was too tired to continue without a rest. It has been more than two and a half months since my surgery, but obviously I still need to proceed slowly. I think the back exhaustion was a combination of bed making and one of the exercises the therapist added yesterday. He now has me doing bridges which require lying flat on the floor, feet planted with knees bent, and then raising your back off the floor. I will miss my Monday appointment, so it will be Thursday before I have PT again. I am going to stop doing bridges until I see him again.

The other challenge today was the weather. It wasn’t horrible, but it just couldn’t make up its mind. It was sunny early, then it got cloudy. Later the rain started. Then it stopped and the sun came out for a bit. Then clouds and rain again, with the north wind blowing the whole day making it feel colder than it was. Just yucky.

So why will I be traveling tomorrow night and miss my PT appointment on Monday morning? Eclipse mania is the answer. I mentioned this earlier in the week, and now the time has come. My wonderful friends, Bruce and Jane Woodin, will keep Shadow for me, so I am all set to leave mid-afternoon tomorrow when we head off Cape for Sam’s soccer game. I thought Jonah’s game tomorrow was also off Cape, but it is earlier in the afternoon in Hyannis. If you don’t hear from me again until Tuesday, no worries. I will be in a car tomorrow evening after the soccer game driving to Portland, Maine, and in a car on Monday evening making my way back home. More than likely I will head straight to bed when we get home late Monday night. Sending logs will have to wait until Tuesday.

2024 Life Logs, Day 96: Sunshine, Exercise, and a Visit from a Friend

2024 Life Logs, Day 96: Sunshine, Exercise, and a Visit from a Friend
Date:  Friday, April 5, 2024
Weather:  Sunshine Mixed with Cloudy Periods, Still Windy; High Temp 44, Low 37 degrees F
Location:  At Home on Lakeview Avenue, Falmouth MA

Growing up in West Virginia, my mother always said that spring couldn’t come until we had an Easter storm.  Well, I’m hoping the storm that came in on Wednesday through Thursday (and the wind that is still with us) was our Cape Cod Easter storm for this year.  Starting Monday, it looks like we will have more spring-like temps.  We can always hope.

Waking up to sunshine has become a rarity, but it was shining brightly this morning.  I went to PT, came home to pick up Shadow, drove to pick up my walking friend, Olga Mitchell, and off we went to the Coonemessett River for a walk.  We walked 1.5 miles today and had a wonderful conversation with a gentleman from U Mass Amherst.  There was a small group of people working in the river.  We knew the annual herring run was nearing, so we stopped to watch to see what they were doing.  This nice man, in waders, walked through the water quite a distance to come talk with us.  He explained that they were putting in the equipment to count the herring once they start running.  Today’s crew came from MIT, U Mass Dartmouth, and Woodwell Climate Research Center.

They work with the Coonemessett River Trust to track the herring which are one indicator of the ecological integrity of the restored area.  Alewife and blueback herring will soon come in the from the ocean and migrate upstream in Cape Cod’s little rivers, like the Coonemessett, to lay their eggs in freshwater ponds.  Olga and I plan to walk part of the Coonemessett Greenway Heritage Trail at least once a week during April and early May to see if we might catch a glimpse of the herring.

On my way home, I drove my Menauhant Beach and just sat there for a bit to stare at the ocean.  I does need my ocean time every so often.  When I finally got home, I had lunch, read the Falmouth Enterprise I picked up on the way home, and then got a phone call from Andrew Dearman.  He and his family from New York were my ‘visiting’ neighbors when I lived in the cottage.  He stores his boat at his vacation home here and was in town to get it ready to tow back to New York tomorrow.  We caught up on all the family news.  The most exciting news is that Andrew and Laura’s daughter just got accepted into Tufts University.  It was one of her top two choices.  I am so happy for her.

2024 Life Logs, Day 95: Happy 17th Anniversary to Justin and Jo

2024 Life Logs, Day 95: Happy 17th Anniversary to Justin and Jo
Date: Thursday, April 4, 2024
Weather: Cloudy, Windy, Misty Rain; High Temp 44, Low 34 degrees F
Location: At Home on Lakeview Avenue, Falmouth MA

Justin and Jo have been married 17 years today. Unbelievable. I hope they had a wonderful day. Earlier Jo sent some photos of a cave in the mountains where they camped recently. It reminded me of just how beautiful it is in Puerto Rico.

Justin and Jo have carved out their little piece of paradise on the almost two acres of land they call Finca Maravilla. Ziggy will be 15 this weekend and Coco will be 12 in July. Happy anniversary, Justin and Jo!

I have been freezing all day long. Right now, it is 38 degrees F outside, but Wunderground says it feels like 38. The wind roared all last evening, overnight, and into today. It sure doesn’t feel like spring. But it was a good day for spending the afternoon with friends inside. Two other couples and I have formed an informal group that today we named the Vegan Lunch Bunch. The five of us are interested in exploring becoming vegans. Vegans don’t eat fish or any animal products.  I am just not there yet, but it is interesting to explore. For these lunches, the person who hosts makes the main dish and the others bring a salad and a dessert. Today we met at my house, and we had my newest favorite soup, a mushroom and spinach combination along with spinach and potato pakora made with chickpea flour and fried. This was only our second meeting and somehow both times we have managed to talk away the whole afternoon. Already, we are learning so much from each other while having great conversations about food and life.

2024 Life Logs, Day 94: Heather’s Meet the Candidate Event

2024 Life Logs, Day 94: Heather’s Meet the Candidate Event
Date: Wednesday, April 3, 2024
Weather: Cloudy, Rainy, Windy; High Temp 43, Low 39 degrees F
Location: At Home on Lakeview Avenue, Falmouth MA

On this rainy, stormy night over a hundred people came out for Heather’s Meet the Candidate event.

It was a wonderful mix of young, middle, and older Falmouth voters. Thanks to Bruce Woodin for the panoramic photol.The event was at Aquatic Brewing. I had never been there, but it was a great place for people to mix and mingle. Heather sat on the bar to give a short talk outlining the issues that are central to her campaign. It was definitely one of those proud parent moments. Vote Heather Goldstone for Select Board!

2024 Life Logs, Day 93: April Showers Moving In

2024 Life Logs, Day 93: April Showers Moving In
Date: Tuesday, April 2, 2024
Weather: Cloudy, Rain Starting Late PM; High Temp 48, Low 39 degrees F
Location: At Home on Lakeview Avenue, Falmouth MA

I had big plans for taking the day off and just reading. But that didn’t happen. I have fallen behind on returning emails and spent most of my day doing that. And I’m still not done. Maybe tomorrow?

Heather has invited me to join them on a trip north on Sunday and Monday to be in a location where we can experience the total solar eclipse. Ollie and Jed are going to Bethel, Maine on Sunday and the Heather, Sam, Jonah, and I would head north for soccer games on Sunday and probably stay in hotel in Portland as Sam’s game is a night game. We will meet up with Jed and Ollie on Monday morning and head about 30 minutes north of Bethel to the ‘path of totality’ for the mid-afternoon eclipse. Then we start the 4 to 5 hour drive home. It will be a very long day, but since there is not another total eclipse that can be seen in the United States until 2044, we are going for it. At least, this is the plan as of now. The boys will miss a day of school, but hopefully this will be memorable educational experience for them.

Tomorrow evening is Heather’s Meet the Candidate night. Unfortunately, it looks like it is going to be raining, but I am hopeful that people will brave the rain to meet her and show their support.