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 September 1. He and two
new crew members, Megan and Tom, have left Vanuatu
en route to New
Caledonia and Australia
where Michael will sell the boat. Stay tuned for more adventures.
We send daily
updates (via SailMail) and photos
when we find internet. We hope you enjoy following our journey.
Not much luck
with the wind today. We spent most of the day sailing / drifting at 1.5
to 2.5 knots (the current is around 1 knot). At 7PM we started motoring.
Based on the weather report, we should see some wind around 5 AM (we will
see...). If we do not have wind in morning we will not reach Ile Huon tomorrow.
So stay tuned.
P.S.: We did
some more swimming in the wide open ocean and we had a nice sunset over
with good wind and boat speed; it looked like we could make Ile Huon by
tomorrow afternoon. Now the wind has slowed down and we are only going
2 to 3 knots. This means our arrival at Ile Huon will be Friday.
Everybody is doing fine.