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
a lot of things going on today; the details of cave and river trip will
come soon, and with pictures, so get ready.
Today we went to Customs and Immigration to take Mari off the crew list.
Mari and I have decided that we spent a lot time together and need a change.
There are no bad feelings, it's just time to move on.
Mari is flying
back to Fiji and I will sail in north Vanuatu till the end of the month.
Then I'll sail the Larabeck to Bundaberg,
Australia via the north end of New
Caledonia. I am looking for crew. If anybody out there would like to
join me for the last month on this South Pacific sail please let me or
I want to thank
Mari for her help sailing and crewing Larabeck for the last month
and I wish her lots of good and safe dives.
This is the
last time I'm writing my bit to the daily mail and just wanted to have
a few words before heading to new adventures. It's been a great trip and
I have lots of good memories of it. I learned a little bit about sailing,
saw some awesome places that I maybe wouldn't have visited otherwise and
in general had lots of fun. I also want to thank Michael and Sharon for
giving me this opportunity to sail and crew Larabeck and I wish
Michael good winds on his journey to Australia!
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.