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

Whew, looks like we made it!

13 April 2013 | Rodney Bay, St. Lucia
Final Awards Dinner

Our time in Marigot Bay and Rodney Bay in St. Lucia was full of fun and celebrations. It was also an emotional time as we began to contemplate the enormity of what we had accomplished and to bid farewell to all of the incredible people who joined us on this journey.

First up in Marigot Bay was a welcome BBQ mixed with a night of karaoke - the event was curiously called a baraoke. The fleet had been apart since our landing in Grenada so it was a wonderful start to our celebrations. It was at least the third time that we did some karaoke (Bali and American Samoa being noteworthy in my mind). I assure you our singing did not improve over time. I sang "You've lost that loving feeling" to Mark with a fantastic group of backup singers while Mark sang "Addicted to Love" with a similar reinforcements. We really need to work on our acts. A great time was had by everyone!

The rest of the time in Marigot Bay was spent socializing with the fleet. We had several lunches with Steve (s/v Southern Cross) and will dearly miss those impromptu lunches where we sit and talk for hours. We sat with Anastasia and Brizo for the dinner in Marigot Bay and I couldn't help but think about all that we have shared with them over the past 15 months. We have watched Kathryn and Audrey grow up into such incredible young women - to think that they are circumnavigators at ages 11 and 8.

As we left Marigot Bay, we began the parade of sail to Rodney Bay. Twenty boats participated in the parade of sail - quite a feat to get all of us lined up in the right order! Sixteen of the twenty boats completed the entire circumnavigation from St. Lucia back again to St. Lucia, while the other five boats had joined us somewhere along the way. It was well publicized that we were having this parade so there were many boats that joined us along the route and then others on shore waving and congratulating us. When we passed a very large cruise ship there were hundreds of people waving to us from the various decks of the boat. We waved back enthusiastically, feeling like local celebrities. Our good friends from Australia on Spirit of Alcides did a fantastic job leading the parade. We had a "finish line" where Rally Control member Suzana took our picture and gave us a hearty congratulation as we became circumnavigators. I cried as would be expected from me and Mark hugged me so tightly. As we told Andrew Bishop, director of World Cruising Club, the biggest highlight from our trip was completing the circumnavigation safely, the boat and ourselves all being in one piece. Truly, that is the big accomplishment. As we pulled into Rodney Bay Marina, we docked the boat and felt an incredible sense of relief. We were back, all was well.

After all the boats had tucked into their slips, there was quite a celebration on the dock. Lots of hugs and congratulations. We were quickly moved to a pool side welcome reception at the Ocean Club which is part of the marina. We all had a rum punch and yummy h'orderves. Being poolside, spunky Caroline (s/v Peat Smoke) suggested that the World Arc women take a dip in the pool fully clothed. It took me about three seconds to take off my watch and get in the pool. In the next half an hour just about everyone was game and the antics were fantastic. As each new person decided to join us in the pool there were shouts of encouragement and yells of congratulations. It was a perfect way to celebrate our accomplishment. Once all had settled down, Rally Control took this amazing picture of the soaking wet lot of us.

After cooling off in the pool for quite a bit, people started to return to their boats to get dried off and dressed up for the final dinner at the Royal Rex hotel. We had our welcome dinner at the same place 15 months ago before we left St. Lucia. Returning led to many a discussion of our fond memories of the humble beginnings of our trip. The dinner was fantastic and we enjoyed watching each boat step up to receive their recognition. Paul (aka Rally Control) introduced each boat with some memorable tales from our time together. At Last was the boat who always had diet coke and Bisquick on board (Paul is also a BIG fan of diet coke). We were also remembered for our stellar fourth place honorable mention for the longest leg from Cape Town to Brazil. We received a plaque, a bottle of rum (what finish would be complete without it?), certificates commemorating our circumnavigation and a wonderful book filled with photos. Each boat submitted five of their favorite photos from the trip to Rally Control but we were unaware of the fantastic keepsake that the photos would transform into.

This map shows the route that we followed over the course of the last 15 months. Whenever we look at a map of the world or spin a globe, we are struck by how far we have come. According to the World Arc statistics we have traveled about 26,000 miles in those fifteen months and visited 17 different countries. When I look at the map all I can see are the long distances over the vast oceans. Our longest passage was for 21 days across the Pacific Ocean from the Galapagos Islands to the Marquesas Islands (2,980 nm). The second longest trip was 16 days from Salvador, Brazil to St. George, Grenada (2,546 nm). Despite completing our circumnavigation, we still have about 3,200 nm to go. This will bring our grand total of miles for the entire time we have been away to over 30,000 miles. And remember we have traveled these miles going on average 6.3 knots (7.56 miles per hour). As Steve (s/v Southern Cross) so eloquently put - one wave at a time.

The World Arc boats dressed for the celebration

Now that the World ARC is over, we do not have the yellow brick tracking system for you to follow our progress via the World Cruising website. But we will update our location on the blog several times per week so you can track us using Google Earth via our blog site. Just click on "Our Current Position" which is located on the left hand side of the blog's home page.

Mark spent much time having some much needed work done on the boat upon arriving in St. Lucia. Two men who worked on the teak before we left St. Lucia were on the dock to greet us when we arrived. They were happy to help clean our hull which had caked on salt which needed to be removed with vinegar and some elbow grease. Joseph helped us get the stainless polished which took him almost two complete days. Considering that we only put 5,000 nautical miles on the boat in the five years before we left the trip; adding 26,000+ miles in the past year and a half has definitely aged the boat. But we still get many compliments on the beauty of At Last and she is in great shape with no major problems throughout this trip. This is a real testament to the quality that Island Packet builds into their yachts. And when I had any questions and issues regarding our boat systems, Island Packet Yachts were very responsive and helpful. They certainly deserve the fine reputation they have for outstanding service.

Mark wants to blog about the list of problems the fleet had so that other potential circumnavigators can prepare their boats well for what they might experience. If anyone has questions to ask us about the WARC, our preparations, anything, please send us an email via this web site and we will be happy to reply. We may post the questions (anonymously) and our responses on the blog after we arrive in Tampa. We want to help others share this dream.

As our time in St. Lucia winds down, we have said many tearful good byes to people we will never forget. What we have shared with the fleet over the past 15 months has bound us to each other for life. Mark and I are still overwhelmed by our accomplishment. I think it will take a long time to fully understand the impact this trip has had on us, our views and how it has undoubtedly changed forever the course of our lives. Mark and I certainly have not integrated the words brave or adventurous into how we would describe ourselves. We will need to work on that for a while. Mainly, we feel we are so fortunate that we were able to do this and we are thankful that we are safe and sound. We also feel incredibly lucky to have had so much support from our family and friends. You have sustained us on this journey.

Now we are starting another great adventure. That is returning to the states, and deciding what we want to do with the rest of our lives. Should Mark return to a similar job he used to have for 30+ years or start a new career? Where will I be working? Where should we live? How should we live, what kind of life style do we want? These are the questions we are asking ourselves now. As we make our way to Florida and then back to New England, we will continue to post to this blog and share the answers to these questions as they come to us. Our home coming there will be quite the experience for us in many ways. So, stay tuned.
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