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 the
newest crew member, Mari, are now in Vanuatu,
and will sail 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.
Efate Island, Vanuatu
17 deg 44.1972
S, 168 deg 18.5159 E
We moved the
boat down wind so Michael can do more work on the teak
deck without sending dust to the neighbors. Also Michael had to fix the
sander. It quit working as soon he turned it on today. We will see if the
fix worked tomorrow.
As we reported
yesterday, we had a nice sail to Port
Vila. The wind was from the SW, which is unusual since most of the
time the trade winds blow from the SE. Not much wind and not much
swell equals smooth sailing and our speed was from 3 to 5 knots--just right
to arrive early in the morning. Once in Port
Vila we anchored and relaxed after the overnight sail. We also went
ashore for a walk along the waterfront.
started on some boat projects that he had planned to do in Fiji. We had
to leave Fiji ahead of schedule because Mari's visa was expiring, so we
will spend a little extra time here at Port
Vila instead. We also did some laundry and we had a local guy clean
the bottom of the boat.