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, will sail to Vanuatu,
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.
COG 242, SOG
6 to 7.5 knots
We made good
progress except this morning when the wind almost quit. Now the wind is
around 16 knots at 140deg (on
the beam). There is some rain in the distance but we have been dry
so far. The boat and the crew are doing well. Here is our position.
18deg32.0571S and 175deg03.4748E. COG 242, SOG 6 to 7.5 knots. The waves
are less than 4 ft and the swell is about 6 to 10 ft high and far apart.
This all means smooth sailing.
M & M
with the Larabeck Crew before they sailed out of Skype
range. They checked out of Fiji in Lautoka
today and are now heading for the Port
of Anelghowhat on the island of Aneityum
(location: 20d 14.273s, 169d 46.623e). They have a COG of 207m
into 253d true wind at 8.7 knots. Larabeck SOG is 5.3 knots
and is currently using auxilliary (motor) power. At the moment, they
have to motor in order to clear a major reef. Michael expects to
be able to put the sails up in the near future. Better winds for
sailing are forecast in the next 24 hours.
Update on the coffee search: Advice given at the Chilli
Tree Cafe was that it could be found in Nadi
but not Lautoka....
They broke down and bought instant