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

First leg of circumnavigation is behind us

15 January 2012 | 9 42.9'N:78 28.1'W, Ten miles from San Blas Archipelago Panama
Again they said that this leg of the trip was one of the more challenging and I hope they are right. But the good news is that we managed the 20 foot waves and 40+ knot winds very well. At Last really demonstrated her capabilities in heavy weather sailing. She was very stable no matter what mother nature threw at her. The crew did just as well. Many thanks to Joel Chadwick for his major contributions. He is going to a university in Wales GB to be a mega yacht captain. I know he will certainly achieve his goal and make a fine captain as well. We will enjoy being at anchor tonight and watch the sun set in a calm bay. I could not wish for a better birthday present (because Janet tells me that is all I am getting for my birthday). We will update the blog again after we catch up on our sleep.

Surfing by South America

12 January 2012 | 13 10'N:72 09'W, 50 miles off the coast of Venezuela
At this moment, I am ecstatic that we picked up another crew person before we left St. Lucia. Joel Chadwick works for the World Cruising Club, is from Wales and is currently taking a year off from University. He was given the opportunity to sail to the San Blas Islands instead of flying there if he could find a member of the fleet who would be willing to take him along. We met Joel when he did our safety inspection on the boat and we offered to have him sail along with us. We have quickly learned that Joel is a very experienced sailor and a huge help on the boat.

Mark is sleeping right now, I am blogging and Joel is sailing the boat in 15 foot waves and 25 - 33 knot winds. We have reefed the jib and the main sail and are going about 7 - 8 knots. Last night we hit over 10 knots at one point and today we hit 11.5 knots surfing down a 15+ foot wave. There is a very strong current pushing us due to the ocean water being funneled around the tip of South America. The boat is rolling around quite a bit as the following seas are coming up behind us and causing us to "surf" down the waves. It will be another two days in these difficult seas. We understand that this is probably one of the worse passages on the round the world trip. It is tolerable but somewhat uncomfortable at times.

With three crew on board, life at sea seems to be a bit more manageable. We each have a three hour shift followed by six hours off shift. You tend to get much more sleep than with the four hours on and four hours off that we did on the way to Tortola. The three hour shift seems to go by much more quickly than the four hour shifts. Much of the day all three of us are up which makes the passage much more social. Every third night you only have one shift during the evening so the rest of the time you can sleep while it is dark out.

We have had quite a few laughs during the trip already. Mark had an unexpected visitor in the cockpit the other night. It was pitch dark and Joel and I were both sleeping when all of a sudden Mark yelled, "Expletives, expletives..., there is something in the cockpit." Joel and I quickly went above deck as Mark was trying to avoid the rather large flying fish (eight inches or so) that had miraculously found its way into the cockpit. Joel bravely picked the fish up and tossed it back into the water.

This is the only fish we have caught despite reading the book that Tony and Eileen gave to us - Salt Water Fishing Made Easy. Twice yesterday we were reeling in a fish and it got away. At the time the boat was going over 8 knots and we were not inclined to slow down so there was a tremendous amount of pressure on the reel and the fish. We are determined to try again once the conditions settle down. Joel kept talking about cooking a fish on the barbie and I threatened not to prepare anything for dinner to motivate my fishermen. Mark became quite concerned when it was dinner time and they had no fish to eat. Luckily, I had a backup plan for dinner.

We received our handicap ratings before we left St. Lucia. Although this is a pleasure trip, they do give out small and silly rewards for winning different legs of the trip. Our boat is ranked 23rd out of the 28 boats currently on the trip. We are clearly a cruising yacht not a racing yacht. At this point, as long as there are five boats behind us we think we are doing quite well. One boat has lost their auto pilot and another has broken their boom vang. We are grateful that nothing has gone wrong as of yet. We do speak with the other boats twice per day over the SSB radio. We check in and give our position. They also have a question of the day like what books are people reading on board or what are they most looking forward to once getting to San Blas. It is very reassuring to have so much support around you. It is also very exciting when we plot everyone else's positions while eating breakfast to learn where we are in relation to the other boats.

We should be at sea for another four or five days so we are at about the halfway point of this trip. Please remember that you can chart our current location through the World Cruising Club's website at We are equipped with a GPS transponder for the next sixteen months so you can see our current position at any time.

Yes, this is really happening

09 January 2012 | 14 49'N:63 55'E, Leaving St Lucia
We left St Lucia Sunday 1/8/12 at noon local time (11 am est) for Panama. Start of the passage was quite the site to see. More than 30 sail boats sailing in close formation for a few hours past the starting line.

We are fortunate to have one of the staff of the World Arc, Joel, join us for this leg to panama. Though he is young, he is quite an experienced sailor. This will make the downwind passage to Panama all the more enjoyable. We expect the 1100 mile trip to take about 7 days. Weather for at least the first half of the trip is forecasted to be comfortable.

You can follow our position and the rest of the fleet by clicking on the link on the left side of the page for the World ARC.

The World ARC Check In - (Is this really happening?)

02 January 2012 | Rodney Bay Marina, St. Lucia
We had our week of fun in the sun, and a special week it was, thanks to Tony and Eileen. Now it is time to get back to the more serious side of this trip and prepare for the next big passage to Panama.

We checked in today with the World ARC office. The rally includes thirty-three boats from 14 different countries. USA, Great Britain, and Germany top the list at eight, six and five boats respectively. This is the biggest fleet ever for the World ARC. There are 11 other boats who, like At Last, will be will double handed or sailing with just two people aboard. The boats range in size from 38 feet to 67 feet. We are right in the middle of the pack at 49 feet. Two of the boats have children on board, both two girls ranging in age from six to ten. A handful of people like us have taken a break from work to do the trip while many more are retired. Surprising to me, quite a few boats have all male crew and the wives will be joining the men for different times during the fifteen months we are at sea. How do these men do it? I cannot imagine having Mark go without me! Although my guess is that by the end of the trip I would be willing to forgo the three week passages and meet up with him at the next tropical island! Also surprising, there are a handful of boats that will be meeting us at some other port along the trip, mostly in Australia. Many of these boats started a previous World ARC and left the trip to spend a year or two in the New Zealand/Australia area and will be rejoining the trip to make the return. Oh, if we only didn't have to return to work!!!

We wanted to let everyone know that we had our swim platform fixed by a fantastic carpenter, Tyson. We also had two gentlemen refinish our teak. Mark just did not have the time and they did a fantastic job. It was 1/3 of the price we would have paid in the United States.

Best of all, Tony and Mark installed the companion way doors which Mark had purchased prior to leaving the States. Mark said that without Tony it would have taken him at least twice the time and at least twice the amount of frustration.

We will spend the rest of the week doing other needed maintenance projects and getting the boat ready for our trip to Panama. From what we have already heard, the trip to Panama may be the most challenging of the trip including the Caribbean 1500. We will be leaving on Sunday at noon for a seven day trip to the San Blas Islands located just off the coast of Panama. Once there, our good friend Andrea will be joining us for the transit through the Panama Canal. We will begin the canal transit on January 26th. We are really excited about this portion of the trip! This adventure is starting to get real. We will update the blog again before we leave and along the way.

Happy New Year’s from the Edge Restaurant

31 December 2011 | Rodney Bay, St. Lucia
After all of our crazy adventures in St. Lucia, no one minded when we had a lazy Saturday on the boat. We got dressed for a special New Year's Eve at The Edge Restaurant, one of the best if not the best restaurant on the island. Chef Bobo who runs the restaurant is an award winning chef who owns three restaurants in St. Lucia. We ate at all three! There was a special menu for New Year's which came complete with a pre dessert - a basil cheesecake. Tony and Eileen enjoyed this the most. I had an appetizer of duck and my main course was sushi - I surprised even myself. There were fireworks on the beach and tons of people walking the streets to get there but we opted for a quieter New Year's celebration back on the boat. Actually, we were all asleep by midnight if the truth be known.

The next day, Tony and Eileen left. We are incredibly grateful to them for being the first guests to join us on our travels. We love you both very much and are thrilled with all we were able to do together. It was a magical week and I only cried a little bit after you left. We cannot believe we never took you out sailing. I guess you will have to come to Australia to go sailing!
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