This blog chronicles the adventures of the sailing vessel Moonraker. We just finished the second year of our cruising life. We explored the US East Coast from Maine to Florida, the Bahamas, Haiti, PR, and the Virgin Islands.

19 May 2016 | Port Annapolis Marina, Annapolis, MD
06 April 2016 | Port Annapolis Marina, Annapolis, MD
13 February 2016 | Port Annapolis Marina, Annapolis, MD
21 January 2016 | Port Annapolis Marina, Annapolis, MD
09 December 2015 | Port Annapolis Marina, Annapolis, MD
05 November 2015 | Annapolis, Maryland
22 October 2015 | Annapolis, Maryland
01 October 2015 | Annapolis, Maryland
14 August 2015 | Annapolis, Maryland
15 July 2015 | Annapolis, Maryland
08 June 2015 | Hillsmere Shores Marina, Annapolis, Maryland
26 May 2015 | Annapolis, Maryland
14 May 2015 | Annapolis, Maryland
09 March 2015 | Annapolis, Maryland
17 February 2015 | Annapolis, Maryland
08 January 2015 | Annapolis, Maryland
08 December 2014 | Annapolis, Maryland
31 October 2014 | Annapolis, Maryland
20 October 2014 | Annapolis, Maryland
04 October 2014 | Port Annapolis Marina, Annapolis, Maryland

Spending Time in a Marina

10 March 2013 | Spanish Wells Yacht Haven, Spanish Wells, Bahamas
The wind we were waiting for in Hatchet Bay never materialized but we spent several days there waiting for it. I knew it would probably happen, Bill decided we would have to go back to the cave with all the caving equipment that we carted with us and explore it beyond what we had done the first day. We had a good time, and got much dirtier. Good thing we brought a change of clothes or no one would have picked us up on the way back!

All the weather reports have been saying that it will be some time before we can head to the Abacos. They are in the northern part of the Bahamas and the direction of the swells is making it very difficult to head into the cuts to get to land. It's called a "rage" when the swell causes the waves to break across the opening. A lot of people who were heading there were staying put. We decided to get closer by going to Spanish Wells. Friday was a perfect sailing day. We have been listening to other sailors who have a ketch like we do and decided to try just sailing with our mizzen and two head sails. It worked great and we had a really pleasant sail. Bill decided we should practice "heaving to". That is when you back your sails so that you basically stay in one place with your sails up. It's a good thing to do when the water is rough and you just need a break. It worked well, and hopefully we will remember to use that when we need it.

We had to go through a cut that has a strong current so Bill timed it so we could go through at the most comfortable time. We got there a little early but we managed to get through with no issues at all. On the other side of the cut the wind was on our nose so we had to motor the rest of the way. Bill was weighing all the options, something he has to do a lot of these days. He decided we should treat ourselves by staying at a marina for a few days since it is very close to the town. Spanish Wells is the most civilized of all the Bahamian towns we have been to so far. It is very modern and we had heard it has the best supermarket.

The marina is very nice and there are a lot of nice cruisers here. The tide is relatively high and the docks are fixed so that means it's hard for me and my short legs to get off and on the boat sometimes. The other issue is that we didn't put enough fenders out and there was a bolt sticking out of one of the pilings. The first morning Bill woke up and the boat was heeled. That is not a good thing when you are on a dock. When he freed the boat the bolt got caught on the rub rail and caused some damage. Bill was able to hammer it back in, but it's another blemish on poor Moonraker.

We walked all around town and met up with a cruiser who owns a house here that we had met in South Carolina. He invited us to a happy hour at his house. Bill decided we should rent a golf cart and explore the island so we went to the happy hour in our golf cart. It was very informative, the cruisers there really knew their stuff. So now we are trying to figure out what and when we can move on. Tonight there is a pot luck dinner on the dock of the marina. We will probably learn even more there!
Vessel Name: Moonraker
Vessel Make/Model: Bayfield 40
Hailing Port: Annapolis, MD
Crew: Bill & Donna Shuman
This blog will record our adventures as we continue our new cruising life. This summer (2013) we plan to head north and explore the coasts of Maine and Nova Scotia. We will return to Annapolis in the fall for the SSCA GAM and then head south on the ICW to Florida. [...]
Moonraker was built in 1986 and had two owners before we bought her in 2005. After spending nearly two years on the hard making all the repairs and improvements that I had promised Donna we wouldn’t have to do if we bought her, we were finally ready to go sailing. For the next several years we [...]
Moonraker's Photos - Main
30 Photos
Created 17 February 2015
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To Be Added In the Near Future
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Who: Bill & Donna Shuman
Port: Annapolis, MD

Where in the World is Moonraker

Our Boat

Moonraker is a 1986 Bayfield 40 designed by the famous Ted Gozzard and built in Ontario, Canada. The rig is a cutter/ketch. Here are some of her specs:

LOA: 45 ft. 6 in.
LWL: 30 ft. 6 in.
Beam: 12 ft.
Draft: 4 ft. 11 in.
Displacement: 21,000 lbs.
Ballast: 8,200 lbs.
Sail Area: 1,009 sq. ft.

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