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 9

24 May 2014 | 420 miles west of Bermuda
We are getting close... Sometime late tomorrow we should reach the Gulf Stream. Our weather router, Chris Parker, has been right on with his forecast and advice. Crossing the stream can be a challenge and it can be dangerous in the wrong conditions. Even though it's pretty wild right now, we should have mild conditions when we get there. Chris set up a "gate" for us to go through. He gave us two points (using latitude and longitude) that define our gate. We can cross anywhere along that line and head straight north to cross the stream. This gate is the best spot to cross for the location of the Gulf Stream (which is changing all the time) and for where we are trying to get to.

After heaving-to for breakfast yesterday we got underway again. The wind was still pretty strong (over 20 knots) so we had a brisk sail. Around noon it started to reduce in speed. By 5pm it was down to 10-12 knots and we were sailing with all our sails up. Just before it got dark the wind had picked up a bit and we decided to put a double reef in our main. Chris had said there would be squalls north of us and we didn't want to be caught in one with the full main up. As I explained before, it's not much fun to reef the main in the dark on a heaving deck so we usually reef before settling in for the night. Last night was nice. We sailed along all night at about 5 knots in 15 knots of wind. This morning, at daybreak, the wind suddenly picked up to the high 20�'s. I think we were on the edge of a squall but there wasn't any rain with the wind. We quickly reefed the mizzen and jib and the boat handled it perfectly. The ride got very settled and we sailed along nicely even though it was blowing 27 knots outside.

Chris has been saying for a couple of days that this southwest wind would start turning towards the north and that's exactly what it's doing this morning. We'll ride it the best we can to get toward our gate changing our course as it shifts and eventually tacking. Later today or tonight the wind will die completely and we will likely be motoring again. Oh well... charging our batteries and less boat motion all sound good. Plus, our engine makes hot water too so we can have showers. It's been getting a bit rank in here. We need them!

We are now at the same latitude as Bermuda, 420 miles to our east and about 340 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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