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

Arrived Hampton VA

03 November 2011 | Blue Water Yachting Center Hampton VA
I know that this blog is a little overdue. Janet and I have been very busy. I suppose it will be that way till we arrive in Tortola. I hope that's when the leisure part of this adventure starts.

The sail from Montauk was a very good shake down for the boat and for us. Janet was a wonder woman. She sailed the boat by herself at night, alone, for the first time and was just great. She also prepared the meals. We did four hour shifts, with one of us sleeping while the other was sailing At Last.

The trip was a bit challenging but generally the weather was helping us. The wind, waves and current pushed us almost the entire way. We were making more than 8 knots over ground much of the time (which is good for At Last). We did run into a bad storm in the middle of the night off the coast of Delaware and we lost time trying to divert around the worst of the storm cells. Spending Halloween on a boat in a thunder storm on a pitch black night 20 miles off the Delaware coast was less scary than the thought of 18 inches of snow and the power outages back home due to the Nor' Easter.

The worst part of the passage was entering Chesapeake Bay. Twenty knot head winds opposed a 2 knot current and the result was 10' breaking waves over the bow. It was like riding a bucking bronco for three hours. We landed at our slip at Blue Water Yachting Center at 5:30 pm on Tuesday, almost exactly 48 hours after leaving Montauk Yacht Club. The most amazing aspect of the passage was that Mark did not toss his cookies.

Yesterday we checked in with the Caribbean 1500 Rally office and attended a Gulf Stream crossing seminar. The Rally safety inspector spent two hours on our boat going over every aspect of safety equipment and preparations. He said we were "as close as they come to being perfect." We have three minor things to address. This should be good news for our families to hear. Oh, and the crew will probably appreciate this too.

The crew - my brother Chris and sailing buds Andy and Bruce - arrive today and tomorrow. And, most important, Janet's parents arrive on Friday to support the effort. They all will be helping with many remaining preparations.

All of the comments posted to the blog and emails are much appreciated! The weather window still looks good for our scheduled departure for Tortola at noon on Monday. We should post again just before departure with crew photos.

Wild ride at the dock

30 October 2011
still blowing 30-35knts in Montauk
Hello everyone;
Though it was a rock & roll night, we weathered the record breaking Nor' Easter last night with no problems. We had several moments with winds over 40kts. Thank goodness for sea sickness meds. No snow here. I am glad of that because I threw away our snow shovel before we left East Longmeadow.

The Gale warning ends at 14:00 today and that's when we depart Montauk for a straight shot to Hampton VA.

Weathering the Weather

29 October 2011 | Montauk Yacht Club
Mark, its bad weather
It is 7:00 pm and we are tied to a slip in Montauk. Wind is sustaining upper 30knts and a minute ago it gusted to 45knts. We have 12 dock lines on the boat. The wind has been hitting us broad side from the east/NE since 11 am. The boat is heeling up to 10 degs. We are watching the news and see that East Longmeadow Mass is supposed to get up to 18in of snow.

So some questions for the sailors out there:
Have you ever had to gimbal the stove to make dinner while on a slip?
Have you ever had to use a lee cloth to sleep while in a slip?

The winds are forecasted to move to the north as they increase to 50knts by midnight. The boat is facing due north so the ride may better and safer the rest of the night.

Next post tomorrow morning. Maybe with pictures of the snow.

Can't wait for the Caribbean.

At Last has left Wickford Marina

28 October 2011 | Montauk LI
Well we are on our way. We spent the last two days stocking the boat with food. I think we have enough food on board for the entire trip but Janet, the provisioner, tells me it is only a three month supply.

There was ice on the boat this morning. I should have thought there would be ice on the dock as well. Stepping off the boat I did the splits with one foot on the boat and one on the dock. Not pretty. Not a good sign.

Having a cold start for the trip was reassurance that we will enjoy heading south. But having to contend with a Nor'easter on the second day of our trip is not a good sign again. NOAA predicts 40-50 kt winds and 10-13' waves in our path starting Saturday morning. So we played it safe and went to Montauk Long Island to ride out the storm. Montauk Yacht club is totally deserted of boats. We will leave on Sunday afternoon after the winds slow down just enough and head straight for Hampton, 330 nm and fifty hours starting off in 30kt winds from the north and 8' seas. Should be a great break in passage. ETA Hampton VA by late Tuesday, a day later than planned.
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