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

We are in the British Virgin Islands!

12 April 2014 | Benures Bay, Norman Island, British Virgin Islands
On Friday we were able to sail almost all the way from St John to Sopers Hole on the West End of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. It's a very busy place and they prefer for you to take a mooring ball there, although we did see a number of boats anchored. There weren't many mooring balls available but we managed to find one. We have come this far with the intention of going back to the Chesapeake Bay in May with a sailing rally (an organized group of boats all going the same direction) called The Salty Dawg Rally. Bill had met one of the originators of this rally when we were anchored in Bristol, Rhode Island two summers ago with our grandchildren. We knew they were anchored in Sopers Hole and we not only wanted to meet them again but we wanted to buy our Salty Dawg burgee (flag) which entitles us to all kinds of discounts in BVI.

Before we even checked in with Customs we went over to meet them. They are so full of knowledge about the area since they have lived here all winter for a number of years. They gave us lots of ideas on what to do, and they answered my number one question - where is the Laundromat?

They told us the Laundromat was quite a hike but we were up to it. No need though, as soon as we stepped our feet on the road an Islander stopped and picked us up. She dropped us off at the close Laundromat but as it turns out they had a plumbing problem and had no water. Ugh - no problem, they would drive us to the next Laundromat. I wasn't quite sure though, it was going to be a lot harder to walk back from there. We did manage to get the laundry done though and it was a nice enough experience. We started to walk back and not too far in to the walk an American woman who lives on the island stopped and drove us back. What luck we had! We took the laundry back to the boat and went to the Pussers restaurant and celebrated with drinks and conch fritters! Even better, we were invited back to the boat we had visited earlier in the day for dinner with other Salty Dawg participants. We had a very nice evening.

Today we went out for breakfast and then gave up our $30 a night mooring. We headed to some of the well known snorkeling spots. We motored over to The Indians but there were no moorings available and it was pretty rough anyhow. Then we went to The Caves and were lucky enough to find a mooring. These moorings are free but you can't spend the night on them. They are for snorkeling purposes only. We snorkeled The Caves, which you can see in the picture above, and had a great time. The snorkeling isn't as good as we have seen but the cave on the left was very cool. We went back and got a flashlight and watching the fish with the light made it extra exciting.

After that we went to our anchorage for the night. We are in Benures Bay near The Bight on Norman Island. We came in here and there were a number of boats already anchored but in a way we have not seen here before. We were confused. Most, but not all, of the boats were anchored with their sterns to the shore and tied off to a tree on the land. We knew this way of anchoring to be called a Mediterranean Moor. We had only done it once but we weren't sure why they were doing it here. There seemed to be plenty of room. We anchored kind of close to the land and then dinghyed over to a boat from Annapolis and asked what the story was. He told us that in the evening the boats swing wildly if you don't anchor that way and it also allows a lot more boats to anchor here. We decided to try it. It took us a while, and we aren't so sure we got it exactly right, but it looks like that is how we will sleep tonight. Every day a new experience!
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
34 Photos
Created 27 March 2014
22 Photos
Created 27 March 2014
14 Photos
Created 11 February 2014
45 Photos
Created 9 February 2014
27 Photos
Created 26 December 2013
To Be Added In the Near Future
1 Photo
Created 26 December 2013
28 Photos
Created 27 October 2013
39 Photos
Created 6 August 2013
19 Photos
Created 4 August 2013
22 Photos
Created 1 July 2013
27 Photos
Created 10 April 2013
18 Photos
Created 19 March 2013
20 Photos
Created 6 March 2013
44 Photos
Created 25 February 2013
12 Photos
Created 25 February 2013
27 Photos
Created 10 February 2013
14 Photos
Created 31 January 2013
25 Photos
Created 14 January 2013
22 Photos
Created 22 December 2012
18 Photos
Created 22 December 2012
21 Photos
Created 10 December 2012
19 Photos
Created 3 December 2012
16 Photos
Created 18 November 2012
15 Photos
Created 16 September 2012
15 Photos
Created 8 September 2012
20 Photos
Created 4 September 2012
24 Photos
Created 24 August 2012
17 Photos
Created 18 August 2012
20 Photos
Created 11 August 2012
22 Photos
Created 4 August 2012
20 Photos
Created 21 July 2012
21 Photos
Created 5 March 2012
1 Photo
Created 29 February 2012

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.

Site Statistics:
Site Meter