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 7

22 May 2014 | 360 miles southwest of Bermuda
After 20 hours of great sailing, the wind started to die again. We decided to just motor all last night with only our main up. Now we have only about four knots of wind but it is starting to turn to the west as expected. In a few hours we should be flying along in 15-20 knots of wind. We purposely sailed and motored more to the west than our direct course would dictate. This puts us in a better position to take advantage of the coming west south-west winds to sail right where we need to go. We are also taking advantage of the very calm conditions this morning to transfer some of the fuel from our cans to the tank. We carry 57 gallons of diesel fuel in our fuel tank and another 20 gallons on deck in 5 gallon cans lashed to our rail. It wouldn't be fun to transfer these cans in rough conditions so we're doing it now.

I have written about all the wonderful things we are experiencing but it�'s not a stress free trip. Between the sea sickness early in the trip and the lack of sleep from getting used to the three hours on and three hours off schedule, tempers have flared a number of times. Yesterday when we were putting up our whisker pole was definitely one of those times. The whisker pole is a great piece of equipment. It projects out from the mast and holds the jib out so it stays full of wind. It's used when we are sailing downwind (with the wind right behind us). The main is on one side and the jib on the other. This is called "wing and wing". The whisker pole is complicated to rig. It seems like we always get something wrong. It's usually a line in the wrong place or something stuck. This would be stressful at anchor but add the fact that the boat is rolling from side to side and it really gets scary. Every step is agonizingly slow. It's like working underwater. Yesterday it wasn't going well and I got very angry at the whisker pole and Donna. I felt very bad about yelling and apologized profusely. I am trying very hard to make this offshore trip work for us. There are some improvements we can do to the boat to make it easier to get around when the boat is moving, we can get better at some of the tasks (like putting up that damn whisker pole), but in the end we just need to get used to the motion and discomfort and see the offshore trips as an interesting experience that gets us to amazing places. It's not easy but I think it will work out.

Anyway, it's another beautiful day at sea. We must be getting closer to land. We saw two big ships last night and this morning. We hadn't seen anything at all for the last five days.

We are now 360 miles southwest of Bermuda and about 590 miles from 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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