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
We 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
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
a brief email from Michael that indicated a picture had been attached,
but alas there was no picture. This is probably a circumstance of
the less than perfect internet connection the Larabeck is enjoying
at the remote Oyster Island anchorage. The picture was supposed to
be of Tom walking in the water in the Milllenium
Cave, to which the Larabeckers trecked yesterday. Michael
had been in the cave previously, and wanted to show it to Megan and Tom.
The gang is spending time getting to know one another and the Larabeck
itself before setting out to sea. Hopefully the picture will arrive
with the next update.
in Springfield, IL (still many beautiful fall colors here)
Today we had
relaxed morning and the afternoon we went back to the Blue
Hole for a swim and to show it to Tom. Tom is the crew member
who arrived yesterday.
Michael, Megan & Tom
this is Sharon.
in this morning with a report for me to send out. He said that yesterday
he went to the customs office and successfully put Megan on the crew list.
She was also able to get a visa for Australia online, and I think he said
she has a work permit too. From what I understand, Tom arrived today
and they will get him on the crew list tomorrow.
In the mean
time I (Sharon) have learned a little bit about the two new crew.
Megan comes from a
sailing family and even has a tattoo of her father's sailboat.
She plans to sail around the world solo on her own boat, one day.
Michael joked that he volunteered to be crew for this journey, but seeing
as it is going to be a solo flight, he doesn't think he will be chosen
for the position ( ^ ; Tom is a 20 year old airplane
pilot and a surfer--he's got his 6 foot board with him on his travels.
Though he does not have as much sailing experience as Megan or Michael,
he certainly should be familiar with navigation and weather from his aeronautical