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.
Crew (Sharon and Michael) arrived early this morning in Amsterdam
and is just about ready to board the flight to Hamburg
after an eight-hour layover. Sharon is about to enjoy breakfast in
the attached photo. Alas, the water in the background is a picture
on the wall behind herónot quite the real thing. But the omelets
were delicious : )
18 No Entry
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...