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.
16 deg 48.9000
S, 167 deg 58.6259 E,
wind 17 knots
at 100 deg, waves 4
to 6 ft, no
noticeable swell (there is an
SOG 5.2 knots,
COG 340 deg.
had more wind at 20 to 24 knots and some bigger waves. We are expecting
the wind to slow down more until we get by the island east of here (Epi
Island). We will see.
is well on board. Oh, that's right, we caught a barracuda.
We had a long
day today. We went to customs to get a cruising permit for Espiritu
Santo Island. Most people just call this island "Santo." Also
filled the grooves on the teak deck with caulking. We did laundry
and shopping, and finally went for dinner. Mari tried the flying
fox (fruit bat).
will get up early to sail to Santo.
It is an overnight trip--if the wind is good we can make it all the way;
if not we can stop somewhere or sail through a second night. We will keep