are the Grafs, Sharon and Michael, of Springfield, Illinois, proud owners
of the Larabeck, a 42-foot yacht. Sharon is an ethnomusicologist
at the University of Illinois at Springfield. Michael is an engineer who
can build or fix just about anything and who caught the sailing bug at
a very young age.
more about us --More about
got its name
the South Pacific is a big adventure and we spent years planning for it.
Read an in-depth
interview of Michael and Sharon about how our dream became a
left Florida in early May, 2010, sailing to the Panama Canal, the Galapagos
Islands, and our longest trek--3000 miles--to the Marquesas Islands! We
have meandered through French Polynesia, Niue, the Cook Islands, Tonga,
and the eastern shore of the north island New Zealand. We toured NZ's south
island by car with friends, then stayed in Auckland where Sharon researched
south pacific music and culture at the University of Auckland. In
late April, we returned to Tonga, spending the summer exploring it and
the islands of Fiji.
We flew back
to Springfield August 4, Sharon to resume teaching and Michael to consult
for his former employer. Michael returned to Fiji in September, sailing
with crew member Mari to Vanuatu.
From there, he and two new crew members, Megan and Tom, sailed to Ile
Huon and Chesterfield
Reef in northern New
Caledonia. They arrived in Bundaberg,
November 14. Michael spent the rest of November preparing the boat
to sell the Larabeck and has sold it to an Australian buyer. Michael
flew from Bundaberg to Chicago and drove home to Springfield December 16.
Stay tuned for more adventures.
yesterday afternoon safe and sound. We are going to celebrate Pat's
Birthday and Michael's homecoming, and anything else that comes to mind
at Lynn's house tonight. Michael and Sharon are flying to Hamburg
Germany tomorrow to visit his family in Luebeck
for the holidays.
Michael and Sharon
Michael landed in Chicago
this morning at 8 am CST and is now driving to Springfield. He said
everything was fine and he got all the gadgets and stuff he brought home
in suitcases through Customs with no trouble. Sharon in the meantime
is getting her grading done...
It's been a
challenging few weeks--as we were all sorry to see the Larabeck
reach its final destination under the Graf command. However, life
goes on, and we are excited to report that the Bavaria Caribic 42 (formerly
known as Larabeck) is under contract and will very likely have a
new owner to care for it by the New Year. And yes, Michael got on
a plane last night and is making a 30-some hour trip home via Bangkok,
Tokyo, and Chicago : )
In the meantime
Sharon has given two talks in Springfield about the trip, and just barely
began to scratch the surface of the interesting things to report on and
discuss about the trip. After the holidays, we are planning to revamp
our "Larabeck update page" and keep the information and ideas rolling.
We are dreaming about the next boat that will one day be called "Larabeck"
(how wonderful that dreams are free and yet so inspiring!!).