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 Great Stay in Washington, DC

14 June 2013 | Summit North Marina, Bear, Delaware
Before we left the mouth of the Potomac, we had a lovely dinner with several other boaters - Jim, Valerie, Chris and Dan. We enjoyed a very interesting dinner at a local restaurant with a colorful waiter. The food was all fresh, locally caught fish prepared to your liking. The other two couples were from Mount Vernon Yacht Club and they told us they would call one of their members to let them know we were on our way to Mount Vernon. Maybe someone could take a picture of At Last in front of Mt. Vernon. We finished dinner and enjoyed drinks on At Last. It was all great fun but resulted in a challenge when we needed to get up early the next morning to begin our journey to Washington, DC.

We left Point Lookout Marina at 7:00 am the next morning and motored our way up the Potomac. As it was getting dark, we anchored directly across from Mount Vernon which is perched on top of a hill overlooking the Potomac. We had a quiet and peaceful night at anchor and motored the boat over to Mount Vernon the next morning so we could get a good picture. Suddenly, over the VHF radio, Mount Vernon was hailing us. We soon found out that the dock master, Bob, had been called by Jim and was expecting us. He had reserved a spot on the dock for us so we could tie up and visit Mount Vernon.

We had a great visit to Mount Vernon and were amazed by the new Education Center and Museum which was built in 2006. We certainly learned quite a bit of information we never knew about George Washington. We wish we could have even stayed longer but Washington DC was beckoning. We will be forever grateful to Jim who called Bob to make arrangements for visit to Mount Vernon. And especially to Bob for such a gracious welcome. Mount Vernon is a well maintained and interesting historical site, a very special place that should be on everyone's cruising plans.

From Mount Vernon, we made our way up to the Capital Yacht Club in Washington, DC. We were warmly greeted on the dock by three gentlemen from the yacht club. We were quickly settled and encouraged to join everyone at the yacht club for happy hour. We happily complied. We checked in with the marina office and received a tour of the facilities. Great laundry, kitchen with coffee brewing all day, excellent book exchange, ice (which we took advantage of since our freezer has been acting up), a beautiful bar, and multiple restaurants within walking distance - who could ask for more.

At the bar, we were greeted by Rob the bartender. I was told that a cosmopolitan was one of his signature drinks so I ordered one. Now, for those of you who have had drinks on At Last, you are probably aware that Mark makes a killer cosmopolitan. I was a bit reticent to try Rob's cosmopolitan given my allegiance to Mark's magic recipe. Well, I am afraid to say that Rob makes an unforgettable cosmopolitan. I thought about watching Rob make the cosmopolitan in order to replicate it but instead I just gave in to the magic of it all. The drink even had a darker red color at the bottom of the glass - very nice touch.

We thoroughly enjoyed talking with everyone at the yacht club. We even had the Asian restaurant next door deliver food to the bar which we were able to eat at the bar. After dinner, a man came up to us and asked us if we were Mark and Janet from At Last. We said we were and he replied that he had been following our blog for the past two years. We recognized his name, Dana, in that we had exchanged emails several times in the past. The meeting led to a tour of At Last and a lengthy conversation on the boat about everything involving the World Arc given that Dana planned on following in our footsteps. We were thrilled to share our experiences and to help him achieve what we have achieved.

We had very little time in DC but took a day to do some sightseeing. The National Mall was about a ten minute walk from the marina - so convenient. After receiving some good advice, we decided to take the day and go on a tour of the city on a Segway. We had a great time although Mark will tell you he never quite got the hang of it. Once he actually drove over himself, not quite a hit and run because he kept hold of the Segway as it was trying to get away. Our guide, David, was very enthusiastic and knew all the little tidbits and interesting anecdotes that made the trip fun and interesting. I was thrilled to see all of the memorials, building, and statues. If only we had time to go to all of the museums. We definitely would love to find a way to return to the Capital Yacht Club and spend a proper amount of time visiting our fine Capital.

While in DC we did rent a car to attend several parties. We drove to Annapolis to visit the crew of s/v Brizo who were celebrating their circumnavigation. We then drove to Yonkers, NY to help celebrate my niece Emma's graduation from high school. It was great to see my brother and his family again. I cried like a baby when I saw how much my nieces and nephew have grown. I am so proud of them all!

When we left DC, we passed a US Coast Guard boat and Mark waved to them. You could see the light bulbs go off in their heads and they immediately turned around and approached us asking when the last time our boat was inspected by the Coast Guard. Well, it had been a while so they boarded our boat as we were underway which reminded us of picking up our pilot guides when we went through the Panama Canal. They stayed on our boat for about thirty minutes. One gentleman filled out a rather lengthy form about our boat inspection while another gentleman spent the time with Mark down below. He inspected the boat thoroughly and we passed the inspection! Of note was their inspection of how our holding tank was secured to prevent waste from going overboard, signs posted regarding no oil in the bilge and how to dispose of trash, Coast Guard rules of the road and regulations book, PFDs, US Coast Guard documentation number posted on the boat, inspection of the fire extinguishers, the bilge, etc. The officers who boarded the boat were very polite and respectful. We were happy to go through the inspection and although we have never needed the Coast Guard we are grateful they are out there just in case. The weather for the next several days kept the Coast Guard busy, I'm sure. If Mark could do it all over again, he thinks he would have joined the Coast Guard.

As we proceeded down the Potomac we began to receive gale warnings on the barometer and severe weather warnings on our Sirius weather connected to the chart plotter. We had a conference with another boat (from Australia) that was motoring along with us and we decided to anchor at the next anchorage. We had good holding in sand along a beach and spent the next few hours preparing the boat for a severe storm including tornado warnings. I made dinner and we ate in the cockpit as the storm blew in. It didn't amount to much which, oddly enough, feels somewhat disappointing after you put so much work into preparing the boat. Gratefully, we got a good night sleep and set out the next morning.

We continued on our way up the Chesapeake Bay to the C & D Canal the next day. We did motor through the night which was necessary given the cargo traffic, fishing boats, bridges and many buoys. We had the binoculars out most of the night watching for anything that might get in our way. I think we both gave a sigh of relief when the sun came up. We stopped the next day at Summit North Marina to visit our friend Steve (s/v Southern Cross) who participated in the World Arc with us. We arrived around lunch time so we all went to the restaurant at the marina. One beer led to two and suddenly we decided to spend the night. We had such a fantastic lunch that we returned to the restaurant for dinner after a brief nap late in the afternoon. When we came back in the evening after dinner, our boat had run aground at the dock. We were at low tide and the depth gauge 4.8 feet (we draw 5 feet). We could do little to resolve the issue so we called it a night. The next morning we moved the boat to the other end of the dock we were on and found another foot of water. With our full keel though, we think that at least part of the boat was still sitting in the mud. We again needed to prepare the boat for severe thunder storms predicted for the day with possible tornadoes, hail and winds up to 70 mph. Since returning to the United States we have been amazed with all of the bad weather we encountered from Florida to the Mid Atlantic. Again, the storms didn't amount to much and but we had prepared the boat for the worst.

The weather is still a bit difficult and we are now debating which day to leave. We are so close yet we still feel so far away... It should take us about two days to get home (300 nm) once we leave here. We are anxious to be on our way to get back to New England and get settled. But we still need to be cautious about the weather because the large storms have churned up the waves in the Atlantic and the wind is against us for at least another day. We don't want to take any unnecessary chances pushing the envelope and risk having a problem on the last leg of our journey. Hopefully it will be uneventful!

We are planning on landing in Mystic, Connecticut which we will be calling home for the summer, hopefully even longer. It is one of our favorite places in New England and we are so happy to have found a slip at Mystic Shipyard. We are looking forward to getting settled on the dock, meeting the others around us, and seeing all of our friends and family again!
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