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

Brain Surgery!!

22 October 2015 | Annapolis, Maryland
By now you have figured out that nothing stays stable or easy for us. We were feeling pretty good about the boat. Moonraker is looking really good and we even got her away from the dock three times and at anchor for two nights this month. First we went out on our own for an afternoon for a little shake down cruise where we discovered our starter battery was dead, among other less crucial issues. Then we spent the following weekend where we took four teenagers with us overnight back and forth to the Rhode River. First our two grandsons that live in Rockville and then our two nieces that live in Philadelphia. We all had a great weekend, and except for forgetting a very crucial can opener and an unfortunate broken part on the dinghy engine all went wonderfully. With just a little more work the boat would be ready to go cruising again.

The next weekend we spent both evenings having dinner with friends and family, getting our social events out of the way before heading south. We were having dinner with our kids and their families on Sunday night when Bill noticed that his left pinky finger was dragging and definitely not functioning properly. When he quietly checked it out further he noticed that a couple of fingers on his left hand weren’t working. We didn’t want to alarm anyone so we just left quickly and checked with our local hospital on the way home to see if we needed to get to the closest hospital or not. Their assessment was no – it was probably just a pinched nerve. We went home and went to bed and when Bill woke up the next morning and sat down to stretch, his left arm cramped up completely for about a minute and then went completely dead. I was dialing 911 immediately and before you knew it there was an ambulance in front of our house. Bill’s arm was already starting to recover but he still got a ride to the hospital in the ambulance. Luckily a first – and hopefully a last – for us.

Long story short – they did an MRI of Bill’s brain at the local emergency room and unfortunately discovered a tumor in his brain. Undoubtedly another metastasis of his melanoma, one we’ve been dreading. This was Monday. Wednesday we went to Johns Hopkins and met with a radiation oncologist and a neurosurgeon and together with our melanoma oncologist they all decided that Bill had had a seizure and that tumor needed to come out and fast.

So…we spent all day today at Johns Hopkins getting pre-surgery testing for Bill’s brain surgery early tomorrow morning. They did a high resolution MRI where they put these markers on Bill’s head, as you can see in the picture above. He got more than a few stares walking around the huge Hopkins hospital center looking like that.

Apparently brain surgery is no big deal anymore. It doesn’t hurt that the tumor is right on the surface of the brain. The doctor is quite confident all will be fine. Bill will be in the hospital 2-3 days. Hopefully it will fix the weakness he still has in his left hand. This will be followed up with more radiation and then back to the immunotherapy he’s been getting for now. With all this going on we’ve decided that this is not a good time to move back on the boat. We are still hoping to go south but we are pretty certain it’s not going to happen. Maybe we’ll be all set for Maine in June!
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
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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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