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. We are now at the Chesterfield
Reef. Our 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.
We had a great
day at Chesterfield
including a potluck on the island with sailors from the other 8 sailboats
anchored here. It looks like most of us are getting ready to leave on Friday
morning to sail to Bundaberg.
Not yet, still
have to write the email. At around 1:00 AM we rolled up the foresail and
put the 2nd reef into the mainsail. We were sailing too fast. Without slowing
down we would have arrived at Chesterfield before sunrise. With the sail
changes we arrived at the reef around 7:00 AM. Inside the reef we
sailed 7 miles to our final anchorage. By the time we were anchored
it was 9:00 AM. In the morning we relaxed and in the afternoon we went
to one of the Island belonging to Les
Trois Ilots du Mouillage. It was a bit windy but the sun was
out and we had a great time.