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.
Port of Anelghowhat,
N, 97° 23' W, Yankton, SD
N, 96° 55' W
note: No entry today, but Sharon reports that all is well on the Larabeck.
In an attempt
to rival the dashing adventures of M&M on the Larabeck, Sharon
and her sister Jeannie drove to Vermillion,
South Dakota yesterday on a musical field trip. Today [Friday]
we visited the National Music Museum
on the University
of South Dakota campus. We were lucky enough to be there on the
day that a special brownbag concert took place featuring "Traditional Wind-Powered
Music" by multi-instrumental Laura
MacKenzie. She played a variety of flutes, whistles, bagpipes,
and a concertina. It was great. She really convinced us that sailboats
aren't the only thing that can make good use of wind!
After the concert
we toured the museum. They have a fantastic collection which is well
organized for public display, including portable tour-guide mini-computers
that played music samples and showed videos. We were excited to see
a slit drum from Ambrym
Island,Vanuatu, which is not too far north of where the Larabeck
is currently anchored. You can see
it on the museumís excellent website.
this morning by around 7 AM Vanuatu
time--that's one hour off from Fiji. ½ hour later Bert and
Ingie on s/y Boree arrived--we met them several times before on
our trip: Tonga to NZ, and in Fiji. During our visit with them,
Customs showed up in a one tree canoe (dugout),
and not much later we were done with Customs. Tomorrow we will see
Quarantine and on Tuesday we will see Immigration.
In the afternoon
we walked thru to the town (village) and went for a walk on
the beach. More details tomorrow.
Here is our
Position 20deg 14.3477S 169deg 46.7515E