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, a small isle in northern New
Caledonia. Next stop is 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.
Tom from all Larabeck land and sea members. Megan made a great
pizza for his birthday.
The wind turned
on by 5:30 AM as promised by the weather report. It was a nice day;
we were sailing with no notable swell and 8 to 10 knots wind almost on
the nose. SOG was 5 to 6 knots. We anchored at IIe Huon this afternoon
around 5 PM.
There are lots
on the island and we could see some giant
turtles work their way up the beach to lay their eggs in the sand.
All this we saw from the Larabeck. Tomorrow we will check out the
island by foot.
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