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 is now
and will sail to New
Caledonia and Australia
where he 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.
15 deg 22.2683
S & 167 deg 11.4350 E
and Megan (M&M), went to the Blue Hole this morning by dinghy. It is
a great trip following the river to the Blue Hole. There was no rain today
so we spent quite some time there. In the afternoon we went snorkeling
on the outside of an island next to Oyster Island. That was fun too...just
a another day in paradise.
The second crew member, Tom, is on the way from Port Vila. He should arrive
I made it home
safely from Richmond yesterday. I'm happy to hear the the Larabeck
has found crew and is now back to exploring the exciting Vanuatu land/seascape.
It's a beautiful fall day here in Springfield, a different kind of paradise...
I found crew
and it looks like a fun tip to Australia is in the works. More details
in the next couple days.
Ahoy too from
Sharon, who is on her way home from the College
Music Society conference (Richmond,
VA) today. It was good to visit with colleagues from across the
country. Also had time to meet with textbook reps and found a few
suitable choices for a music theory course she is developing at UIS.
took a trip to the Atlantic ocean to see the water. It wasn't as
blue as the South Pacific, but there were many sailboats out on some of
the inland waters that were beautiful to watch. Also went to the
Museum near Hampton. It was too big to see everything, but I
did see an interesting exhibit on the recovery of parts of the Civil
boat, the USS
Monitor, which sunk off Cape
Hatteras over 100 years ago...and much more.