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

To Rally or Not to Rally

14 May 2014 | Sopers Hole, Tortola, British Virgin Islands
We have spent the last three days in Sopers Hole on Tortola. It is the final gathering place of the Salty Dawg Rally, the group of boats we are travelling north with starting tomorrow. For the past three days we have been gathering on the upper deck of the Pusser’s Restaurant here for our weather briefings with Chris Parker. The briefings were done over a webinar and quite honestly it was a major challenge to get enough bandwidth to fully appreciate them. Bill has been watching the weather in lots of different ways for the past few weeks, hoping to learn more about the best way to keep us safe on our trip home. Along with the weather briefings and his own research it didn't seem like the planned departure date of tomorrow was going to be that great for us.

The current weather report says good sailing the next three days, then a day of storms, then five or more days of no wind at all. We don’t have enough fuel to motor for five or more days. Other reports that Bill had found said that starting May 24th the weather would be perfect for a straight sail to the Chesapeake Bay. Most of the people in the rally are leaving tomorrow, a couple even left today. We went back and forth a couple of times wondering if we should just say goodbye to the rally and wait for the good weather on the 24th. Finally we decided that we would leave tomorrow and take a detour to Bermuda, wait there the couple of days until the weather changed, and then sail home. From what we hear the wind might be better to take us to the Delaware Bay than the Chesapeake Bay but either way we can get back to Annapolis eventually.

We've been busy getting the boat ready for the offshore passage. Bill cleaned the bottom and inspected the rigging. He fixed a couple of problems we had high up on the masts. You can see him on our mizzen mast in the picture above. I have been busy making sure we have food to eat. I have about fourteen frozen, vacuum packed dinners that we only need to put in the pressure cooker for five minutes before eating. No microwave on board our boat! There is plenty of chocolate and more cookies than you can believe waiting to be eaten. Another couple who are going on the rally with us has picked this passage to stop eating sugar. There is no way we would even attempt that. I’m thinking the more sugar consumed the smoother the passage will be.

At this point we are so very ready to leave. Tomorrow morning we check out of BVI and then stow our dinghy and off we go. We will post a couple of ways to track our progress but we hope to make regular updates to the blog while underway via our SSB radio. We are both nervous, excited, and ready!
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
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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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