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

A Few Miscellaneous Observations About Australia

06 September 2012 | Australia
(sorry no pictures, just observations)

I preface these remarks with the understanding that they are observations based on our experience of a small part of a big country; only from Mackay to Darwin or the state of Queensland and the Northern Territory.

First and foremost is that the people we encountered were all very nice and helpful. We have countless stories of people going out of their way to help us in any way they could.

The county side and vegetation reminds me of the hill country in Central Texas, but more exotic and tropical with some unique and beautiful sites.

Australia is a very expensive place. The cost of living there must exceed NY, CA, or most any other location. A few examples, in the US one does not pay for a small packet of ketchup for your French fries at a fast food restaurant like MacDonald's. However, in Australia, you are charged from $.50 to $2.00 for the same size small packet of "tomato sauce". And yes, I said tomato sauce. They don't have ketchup in Australia. They use a very sweet tomato sauce instead of ketchup.

The rest of the retail goods and services in Australia are equally expensive. Most anything we wanted to buy cost 2-3 times the price for the same product or service in the US. Some explain that the high cost of living here is due to an economic boom (aka bubble) spawned by huge mining export revenues. Australia has abundant mineral and coal fields and is exporting these resources to China and other countries in a major way. At one of the smaller ports we passed, more than 100 cargo ships per day where filled with coal bound for places like China. And that was just one of many such ports around the country. Because of the demand for people to support the mining and related industries, salaries are substantially higher than the US for many blue collar jobs. The starting salary for a miner is $150,000/year. The wait staffs in restaurants are paid $20+/hour base salary. People in engineering and other skilled trades are very respected for their skills and make very comfortable wages compared to the US. The high wages apparently fuel the high prices and high cost of living. So high in fact, that they have eliminated the use of the penny. A nickel is the lowest monetary denomination and the total cost of your bill is rounded up to the nearest nickel. Purchase anything with a credit card and a 1.5% surcharged is added on top of a foreign currency exchange fee added by your credit card company. This can be as much as 10%.

In Australia, you can buy many mixed drinks in a can in the mini market. The even have a Dark and Stormy in a can.

Though Australians speak English, in some parts of the country, one needs an interpreter to translate. Not just because the strong accents found in the northern part of the country can sound like a language unlike anything you have ever heard, but also because many items have different names than the US. They generally do not pronounce R's, much like a Bostonian accent. For example, the town of Cairns is pronounced "Cans" and here is pronounce "hea". Well "hea" is one for you... Wangi Falls, a place w visited, is pronounced "One Guy Falls". No matter what you are trying to communicate, there are very common, almost standard statements and words for every conversation. "G'day mate. How ya going? Ya, ya, ya. I reckon so. No worries. Cheers mate!" Say these words in every conversation and do it with a smile and you are speaking Australian pretty well. At least until you have to ask about an item with different name, for example, a crescent wrench is a "shifter". A silly person is a "Dag". Friends seeing a lot of each other are said to be "in each other's pockets". Raisins are called "Saltanas". A small bottle of beer is called a "stubby".

By the way, Australians don't drink Fosters beer. At least the Australians I encountered didn't like it. Once I was in a grocery store and picked up a 6 pack of Fosters and an Australian came over and suggested that I put the Fosters away and suggested several other brands that he called "real Australian beers for real Australians". I get the sense that Australians like their beer and take pride in it.

Australia has 20 million people and about the size of US. 90% of the people live within 100 km of the coast. I did not see a major highway that spanned the middle of the continent from east to west. The Northern Territory (NT) is not yet a state. Many in the territory seem to oppose statehood. NT and other locations are remote from the major metropolitan areas in the south east part of the country where most products are made or imported. It is typical for a store in Queensland or NT to be out of items and have to order them from Sydney and delivery usually takes a week. Everyone is used to that level of availability of goods.

Of all the countries we have visited, Australia is the country most like the States. The differences are special and fun. The best part is the friendliness and hospitality of the Australians. And it is hard to find a better cruising destination in the world than the Whitsunday Islands.
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