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.
interview of Michael and Sharon about how the Larabeck dream
became a reality.
got its name
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 Fiji.
to Springfield in August to resume teaching. Michael and the Larabeck's
newest crew member, Mari, will sail from Fiji to Vanuatu,
Caledonia and Australia
where he will sell the boat.