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

Back In the USA!

27 May 2014 | Hampton Roads, VA
We finally are back in the USA. We weren't able to contact customs last night as we entered the Chesapeake Bay. It turns out we didn't have the right phone number. Instead we anchored at 1am just inside Hampton Roads near Norfolk and went to sleep. In the morning we called customs and explained to the officer that we had just arrived. We told him we had Local Boater Option cards and had filed a SVRS Float Plan online. The SVRS (Small Vessel Reporting System) is only supposed to work in Florida and Puerto Rico but we thought we’d mention it anyway. He was so excited. He said we were the first boaters he had ever checked-in that had the cards and had filed the float plan. Apparently, he had been trained on using the system here but had never had the chance. The great benefit of the SVRS system is that the customs agents don’t have to inspect your boat. We were cleared by phone and were saved all the time and hassle of being boarded.

The day was still young and since a cold front is moving into the Chesapeake Bay on Wednesday bringing north winds we realized that we should head for Annapolis right away. We had planned on staying in Hampton for a few days and heading north on Thursday but there was no point in battling headwinds all the way. So, we are now motor sailing up the bay in light southerly winds. We sailed wing-and-wing for most of the morning but the tide is against us and we were going too slow. We plan to go non-stop to Annapolis arriving sometime tomorrow morning. We did see a few warships and the Navy hovercraft seen in the picture above. Of course there were Navy fighter jets roaring overhead from time to time as well. Nothing like Norfolk to make you realize you are back in the USA.

We had a great trip back from the BVI. Most of it was good and even Donna feels like it was worth the discomfort we experienced for part of the trip. Being part of the Salty Dawg Rally was fun too. We made some great friends, several of which either live in Annapolis or will be passing through so we’ll see them again. Having the weather routing and the twice a day radio check-ins was good too. The main negative to the rally was the schedule. They say that the most dangerous piece of equipment on a sailboat is the calendar. If you don’t have the flexibility to wait for the right weather then you can make bad decisions. The rally mantra is that you should leave only when it is right to do so. However, the reality was that most of the boats had flown in additional crews to sail back with them so there really was very little flexibility on when they left. They didn't and wouldn't do anything dangerous but comfort can be important too. All in all, we were very happy we did the rally. Bill and Linda who organized the Salty Dawg Rally are wonderful people who work tirelessly to make everything go right.

Finally, I hope I haven’t bored everyone with my blogging. Don’t worry.. Donna will be back blogging now that we are back from the sea.
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
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45 Photos
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27 Photos
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To Be Added In the Near Future
1 Photo
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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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