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

Sailing to Rum Cay

19 February 2014 | Port Nelson, Rum Cay, Bahamas
We did end up seeing a number of turtles on our dinghy ride up the creek at Conception Island. The only problem was that as soon as a turtle saw us he swam away as fast as he could. We ended up anchoring near the end of the creek and just sitting there watching for the turtles. We didn’t see any really close up and we got no pictures at all.

When we got back to the boat and stowed the dinghy in the davits we headed for Rum Cay. There was plenty of wind and it was in the right direction! It was pretty rough though. Lots of waves and lots of water rushing over the rails of the boat. It was actually pretty cold too. I was too lazy, or too unmotivated to go down below and find some warmer clothes to put on so I was cold all day long. We were able to sail all the way to the anchorage in Port Nelson. There were a couple of boats there that we had seen before but they have kids on board so we didn’t really socialize with them at all. It was a relatively rolly anchorage so Bill set the bridle up again to turn the boat into the swell.

The next day we dinghyed into the beach. We pulled the dinghy up on the very soft sand and thought we would probably have done better using our dinghy wheels. There was a dock there but it didn’t look very welcoming. There was no ladder anywhere and it seemed impossible to climb on to or off of if the tide was too low. You can see the scene I just painted in the picture above. We think this picture shows all the beautiful colors of the Bahamas. That is our dinghy on the beach.

We always like to walk around the town and see what there is to see, but in these southern Family Islands, as they are called, there really hasn’t been much to see. Port Nelson is no different. There is Kaye’s bar and restaurant not far from the dock so we went there to check it out. It seemed OK but the owner, Delores (Kaye is the daughter she named the place after), told us she didn’t serve lunch, only dinner, and we needed reservations. We told her we would come back and let her know. We knew there was an abandoned marina up the road where they allow you to use the slips and dock space for free. We decided to go check that out. It was a relatively long walk but when we got there we found the two boats we were anchored with at Port Howe in Cat Island with the four young guys on them. We hung out and talked to them for awhile until we saw another sailboat coming in to the marina. Bill was considering moving our boat over there too because it would be a lot calmer and he thought we would be staying for a number of days. I wasn’t so sure because one of the young guys is quite interesting and chatty and I wasn’t sure I was up for that for a couple of days. The boat coming in had some cruisers from New Zealand on it. We went over to say hello and we talked to them for a bit. We mentioned the dinner at the restaurant and they jumped right on that so we decided to join them.

Dinner is at a specific time, 6:00PM. Delores sets the table for the number of people coming and she serves dinner family style. She makes lots of food, this time it was fish – Wahoo – and lots of vegetables, salad and bread. There were four other people besides us and our new Kiwi cruising friends and it was a very nice dinner.

We had come back from the boat for dinner and this time we brought our dinghy wheels. It was still light on the way to dinner but that didn’t stop us from hitting a coral head with our dinghy engine. We were lucky though and there was no damage, just a loud, terrifying sound! The wheels made our life much easier on the beach. The ride back in the dark was no trouble at all. This time there was only two boats in the anchorage. We didn’t have a problem figuring out which one was ours. We even remembered our flashlight!
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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