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.
Today we did
some cleaning and relaxing. If the weather report is correct we should
have some light wind soon to start our trip to Australia. It looks like
a very slow but easy start. So we will see.
a few minutes ago with the satellite phone. Just wanted to let us
know that the crew enjoyed the day at the Port
Olry. They went snorkelling and saw many beautiful fish.
They went ashore and visited the village where they bought fresh produce
for the trip, including bananas and cucumbers. Michael said the water
was incredibly clear at this anchorage, much more so than at Oyster
Island. He could see the anchor on the bottom through 40 feet
of crystal clear, blue H2O.
may be leaving soon (Monday their time--as I write on Sunday, it's already
Monday for them) if the breeze picks up. There is not much wind in
the forecast, and the wind that is predicted will come at a point 100 miles
away, so if there is a breeze to get out of Vanuatu and closer to the better
wind, they will take it.
had a nice weekend,
Ahoy from Sharon
in Springfield, IL. St.
Louis Cardinals won the World Series last night, and since the s/v
spent several prepping years in St. Louis, I think the victory is a good
sign for its upcoming voyage : ) Below is news from the crew, who
just completed their first sail together as a team along the east coast
of Santo Island. -sg
We sailed a
total of 34 miles today. Megan and Tom did well. The new anchorage
is near Port
P.S. No internet
but the cell phones work (however, some sailors are out of minutes).