Sailing At Last

This is the tale of our journey to fulfill a passion of learning to sail and a dream to circumnavigate. Welcome Aboard At Last!

Profile of At Last and the Gorrell's

Who: Mark & Janet Gorrell
Port: Wickford, RI USA

Our Current Position

19 December 2013 | Westerly, RI
17 July 2013 | Mystic Shipyard, Mystic, CT
14 June 2013 | Summit North Marina, Bear, Delaware
04 June 2013 | Point Lookout Marina, Ridge, Maryland
21 May 2013 | Dunedin Municipal Marina, Dunedin, Florida
05 May 2013 | Bahia Mar Yachting Center, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
27 April 2013 | 22 56.8'N:073 02.0'W, Nearing the Exumas & Bahamas
23 April 2013 | 18 25'N:064 50'W, The BVI
13 April 2013 | Rodney Bay, St. Lucia
08 April 2013 | Admiralty Bay, Port Elizabeth, Bequia
04 April 2013 | Tobago Cays and Mustique, Grenadines
29 March 2013 | Port Louis Marina, St. George, Grenada
15 March 2013 | Port Louis Marina, St. George, Grenada
06 March 2013 | Between Salvador, Brazil and St. George, Grenada
05 March 2013 | Port Louis Marina, St. George's Harbor, Grenada
17 February 2013 | Terminal Nautico, Salvador, Brazil
04 February 2013 | 153 miles from Salvador Brazil, Atlantic Ocean
30 January 2013 | Island of St. Helena, Atlantic Ocean
29 January 2013 | 14 36.9'S:22 37.3'W, On the way to Brazil
20 January 2013 | 15 55.55'S:005 43.58'W, Jamestown, St. Helena

Animals and more animals everywhere

21 February 2012 | Bahia Baquerizo Moreno, Isla San Cristobal, Galapagos, Ecuador
Within an hour of getting to San Cristobal, our boat was boarded by four customs, immigration, health and tourism officials along with our hired agent representative. Our agent worked with us to develop our travel plan and logged this plan with the authorities. The health agent inspected every drawer and cabinet in the galley of the boat. They confiscated our oranges but there were no other issues. They are concerned about fruit flies entering the islands. The inspection lasted about 30 minutes and saved us hours of time if we had to individually visit each authority ourselves. Being part of the World ARC certainly has its benefits when entering places with complicated traveling issues. It is essential to have an agent representative to organize the officials and cut through the red tape. If not, it can take days to check into the Galapagos and you have to stay on the boat until the process is completed. We met some other boaters who can attest to this.

We suggest you Google the Galapagos for more info but these islands are made from volcanoes and have an abundant and diverse animal population. Unless you have been here it is hard to describe. The islands were discovered in 1835 when the young scientist, Charles Darwin, arrived aboard the HMS Beagle. After returning to England he later published his evolution theory based on natural selection which he based on many of the samples he took back with him from the Galapagos Islands.

The authorities are very concerned about controlling the impact of tourism on the ecology while maintaining an adequate economy for the local population. Gas is subsidized on the island to the locals at $1 per gallon. We pay $5. On many of the islands a non-residents cannot buy gas. There are 8 major islands in the Galapagos. Only 4 are inhabited and can be visited by boaters and you can leave your boat at only one port on each of those islands. Your travel from island to island is closely monitored by the customs officials and you have to file a travel plan with them and check in and out of each island with the port captain to get a clearance form called a Zarpe allowing you to go to the next port. You must also purchase a tourist permit for $110/person to visit any of the national parks. And all the sites to be seen are national parks. In addition, you must hire a nationally certified guide and arrange for transportation to visit many of the sites. The cost of most of the tours can be $50 to $100 per person.

There are sea lions and iguanas all over town in San Cristobal. You have to watch where you sit because the sea lions leave a mess or you may be under a pelican sitting on an arch or tree who could mess on you. Many of the World Arc boats had close encounters with sea lions. Most days we had one or two on our swim platform. One boat had seven in their cockpit one morning while another had two on their bimini. It was interesting to see the methods people used to deter the sea lions. Chairs were common tools used to block access.

While we were in San Cristobal we took several tours to see the sights of the island. We took a trip to five finger rock which is a frigate bird colony, then snorkeled in Isla Lobos bay with sea lions, sea turtles, iguanas, and sea rays and then snorkeled at Kicker Rock with sharks. And when we say we snorkeled with these animals we mean that they were often less than five feet away from us. The small sea lions were particularly fun because you almost felt like they were playing with you. Mark did get a little too close to one large adult sea lion who did not want to play but rather wanted to move Mark along and move Mark did - rather quickly.

Another day we took two cabs with 14 people total from the World Arc to visit the volcano and the tortoise breeding center. The Galapagos have quite a few tortoise breeding centers as a result of the tortoises almost being brought to the point of extinction on the island. Unfortunately, it was a rainy day near the volcano and we all got soaking wet (the taxis were pickup trucks and half of us were in the back of the truck). We visited the tortoise farm in the pouring rain which caused the tortoises to go and hide. We did get brought to a local family's farm, Comedor La Amancay, for lunch by our taxi drivers and had a very fresh meal made only from things they produced on the farm. They only served meals on Sundays and catered to family gatherings of the local people. They were thrilled to have "tourists" join them. The food was delicious and many of us ate several things that we had never eaten before. It was an incredible experience. When we got back to the boat, we discovered that it had never rained at the boat while we had spent the entire tour in the pouring rain.

We tried desperately to get internet access throughout our stay in San Cristobal but we were very unsuccessful. We would get internet for a few minutes and then lose it despite sitting in what was called an internet café. It was terribly frustrating. I continue to eat a lot of fish and I am actually getting to the point of enjoying it. Mark has improved his Spanish speaking immensely because he has been getting a lot of practice repeating phrases over and over everywhere we go.

Dos grande cervesas por favor!!

We tried to leave San Cristobal on Monday but had difficulty picking up our laundry. Most of the stores are closed for siesta from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Also, while we were in San Cristobal they had their annual celebration of their independence from Columbia which lasted for three days during which time many stores, banks and other services were closed. This gave a whole new meaning to the term "island time."

We finally did leave on Tuesday 2/21 for a 60 nm trip to Floreana. There was no wind and we motored the entire way there. We arrived as the sun was starting to go down with plans to stay overnight and head to Isabella the next morning. Mark had quite a shock in the morning when he found a rather large sea lion in our cockpit. For some reason we had dismantled our sea lion deterrent system which was basically multiple fenders on the swim platform and across the steps onto the back of the boat. Well, sea lions are smelly and messy and they shed worse than any dog. Mark spent much of the morning cleaning up sea lion hair and sea lion oil off the cushions in the cockpit and the deck. As a result of this, Mark no longer cares how cute I think the sea lions are they are not welcome on our boat at all!

We have posted more pictures of the passage to the Galapagos and our time in San Cristobal on the photo gallery.
Vessel Name: At Last
Vessel Make/Model: Island Packet 465-02
Hailing Port: Wickford, RI USA
Crew: Mark & Janet Gorrell
Hi, We have been sailing for more than twelve years, chartering in the BVI, Leeward Islands, Chesapeake, and Florida. We completed many US Sailing certifications. We have been saling At Last for the last four years in New England between Nantucket and NYC. Mark has crewed on deliveries to St. [...]
For those of you who know Mark, you would agree that he is a very conservative and risk adverse person and one who suffers terribly from motion sickness. So, you must be wondering how he could give up the security of a wonderful job to sail around the world, especially in this economy. Well, [...]
Home Page:
At Last's Photos - Main
Back in the US and heading home
1 Photo | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 3 June 2013
Our time in Marigot Bay, Rodney Bay and other photo albums commemorating our trip
1 Photo | 4 Sub-Albums
Created 19 April 2013
Stops in Grenada and the Grenadines
1 Photo | 4 Sub-Albums
Created 28 March 2013
Carnival and Old Town in Salvador
25 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 17 February 2013
Photos of this unique and friendly island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean
18 Photos
Created 16 February 2013
The pictures from our stops in Richard's Bay, Durban, St. Francis and Cape Town.
1 Photo | 4 Sub-Albums
Created 14 December 2012
Halloween party and a visit to a volcano
21 Photos
Created 23 November 2012
Our time in Mauritius
46 Photos
Created 23 November 2012
Our visit to the atoll of Cocos Keeling, Australia
23 Photos
Created 21 October 2012
35 Photos
Created 18 September 2012
Our time in Mackay, Cairns and Darwin Australia
1 Photo | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 5 September 2012
Our time in Port Resolution, Dillon's Bay and Port Vila
43 Photos
Created 17 July 2012
Our time in Denarau and Musket Cove, Fiji
20 Photos
Created 6 July 2012
Our visit to Vava'u Tonga
56 Photos
Created 21 June 2012
The Islands of Suwarrow and American Samoa
27 Photos
Created 8 June 2012
1 Photo | 4 Sub-Albums
Created 29 April 2012
26 Photos
Created 29 April 2012
This gallery include the passage from the Galapagos and photos from Hiva-Oa, Oa-Pou and Nuku Hiva
1 Photo | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 11 April 2012
These are pictures of the passage to the Galapagos and our experience on the islands of San Cristobal, Isabella and Santa Cruz
2 Photos | 4 Sub-Albums
Created 2 March 2012
Here are photos of the passage to Panama, the San Blas Islands, the transit through the canal and events yet to come.
11 Photos | 6 Sub-Albums
Created 22 January 2012
A compendium of pix of our various excursions around St Lucia
5 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 6 January 2012
These are pictures from the last of the Leeward Islands.
25 Photos
Created 19 December 2011
Photos of Terre-De-Haut, an island part of Les Saintes southeast of Guadeloupe.
13 Photos
Created 18 December 2011
Here are more photos of English Harbour taken form At Last as we left Antigua for Guadeloupe
10 Photos
Created 16 December 2011
These are the pictures of our passage from Antigua through our stay on Guadeloupe
28 Photos
Created 16 December 2011
These are photos of Admiral Nelson's Dockyard and our trek to the top of Shirley Heights overlooking English Harbor
42 Photos
Created 13 December 2011
Here are some photos of the islands as we were leaving Nevis, passing Montserrat and arriving at Antigua. A pleasant 50 mile motor sail into 10 knot head winds. I took a nap for 90 minutes. Blogging keeps me up late at night.
15 Photos
Created 13 December 2011
Pictures of Nevis
14 Photos
Created 11 December 2011
These are pix of Saba, Statia and St Kitts as we passed by them to sail to Nevis
18 Photos
Created 11 December 2011
Pictures of his homes and yacht on the island as we passed headed for Anguilla
11 Photos
Created 5 December 2011
7 Photos
Created 2 December 2011
Some of the photos of the passage that hit the cutting room floor
27 Photos
Created 22 November 2011
These are pictures of some of the results of the recent outfitting for the trip
8 Photos
Created 19 October 2011
These were taken last year sailing in Long Island Sound by Yacht-Shots. My colleagues at Baystate Health were kind enough to have three copies of one these photos printed and framed for me as a going away gift. A large one for home, one for the boat and one for my desk. Very Special!
7 Photos
Created 19 October 2011
This is a compilation of photos taken over the first four years of cruising on At Last in Naragansett Bay and Long Island Sound with close friends, family and the Cruising Club of New England, a wonderful group of sailors.
55 Photos
Created 1 October 2011
At Last is painted in January of 2008
4 Photos
Created 1 October 2011
At last is delivered, commissioned and has its maiden voyage just in time to be in the 2007 Newport Boat Show
6 Photos
Created 1 October 2011
These are pictures of the layout of the IP 465 and the interior of At Last
12 Photos
Created 1 October 2011

Profile of At Last and the Gorrell's

Who: Mark & Janet Gorrell
Port: Wickford, RI USA

Our Current Position