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.
turns in to a routine on board. We are using the 6 hour shifts
just as I was doing with Sharon. My shift times are: 1:00 AM to 7:AM then
1:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Mari is doing the six hour periods in between these.
had about 5 minutes of rain and the rest of the time it was cloudy and
sometimes the sun or moon was shining. The wind was from 12 to 20 knots.
We have one reef in the main and the foresail is reefed
to about 85%. With this setup we do not need adjust the sail when the wind
peeks at 20 knots. I expect that we will have to slow down the boat
before we arrive in Vanuatu
to avoid arriving in the dark.
Here is our
position 19deg21.96S 172deg52.42E wind 15knots 140deg COG 235 SOG
from Larabeck Crew M&M
the Wide Open Ocean,
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.