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.
Espiritu Santo Island, Vanuatu
15 deg 31.4102
S, 167 deg 09.8587 E
Today was great
day. Michael went first to the Cave
and then floated down the river. Mari went diving to see the ship
wreck. Michael is putting some more details together for tomorrow.
Have a nice
on a tour (Santo
Heritage Tours) along the east cost of Santo to see a plane wreck (B
17, I think) and some nice beaches and the Matevulu
Blue Hole (YouTube). For lunch the tour stopped at Oyster
Island Resort. It all was nice except it started raining in the
afternoon. The Blue Hole would have been nice for a swim but by then it
was raining. Oyster Island was a nice resort--a very low key nice area.
Mari went to
town with the hope to get some diving in. However we've both been struggling
with colds, and hers was was still not gone enough to dive. Maybe tomorrow.