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

Chesapeake Bound - Day 4

19 May 2014 | 470 miles north of BVI
Yes.. the title did change.. Our plan was to go to Bermuda to avoid some of the unfavorable weather some of the boats in the rally expected by heading straight to the Chesapeake from the BVI. We hoped to spend a few days there and have a weather window of favorable winds and experience a great sail all the way to the Chesapeake. I emailed our weather router, Chris Parker, last night and asked about what we would see if we changed course for the Chesapeake now and what the weather would look like if we went to Bermuda first and waited a few days. The answer was kind of a wash. If we changed course for the Chesapeake we would have light winds for a couple of days then great sailing for a day, another day of motoring and then sailing the rest of the way. If we went to Bermuda first then we'd have the same couple of days of motoring just to get there. The trip home would also be half motoring as well. So we are now on our way to the Chesapeake Bay. We should arrive in Hampton, VA on Monday the 26th.

Of course, the weather could change but I don't think we'd change our new plan unless it became a safety issue. Chris Parker is the Â"weather godÂ" of the Caribbean and Bahamas. His weather forecasting and routing is provided free as part of the rally but we also subscribe to his services separately. He is really good and very straight forward in his forecasts. He tells you how it is although a bit on the conservative side. Here is an example from his forecast email from Saturday:

"Meanwhile...for areas N of about 30N the forecast is so uncertain for Wed21-Fri23 that a monkey could throw darts at a dartboard and end up with is good of forecast as anyone. "

Last evening our wind dropped significantly and, except for a few hours last night, we have been motor sailing (using the engine with the sails up). We briefly tried our spinnaker sail but the wind wasn't right and after 45 minutes of effort to get it set we just took it down and turned the engine on again. On the plus side, our batteries are 100% charged and we ran our watermaker and have a full tank of water. After breakfast this morning we will have nice hot showers, our first since we left the BVI!

So.. we are now 470 miles north of BVI and have about 890 miles to go to the Chesapeake Bay.
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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