GUNNAR SWANSON CROSSES THE ATLANTIC

2021-07-18
Every year, over 200 boats sail 2,700 nautical miles from Las Palmas, Gran Canary, to St. Lucia in the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC). Last year, Gunnar Swanson, Naos Yachts’ Beneteau Brand Ambassador, had the privilege of joining his customer, Jack Yeager, aboard Jack’s beautiful Beneteau Oceanis Yacht 62, “Phase 8.” The voyage was even more of a family affair because Jack and Gunnar were joined by Rob Wheeler, Naos’ longtime friend and Naos’ former Sailtime manager, Grant Walstrom.

The weather and wind during the voyage were superb, but when you’re at sea and limited only to the items that were brought on board before departure, sometimes you need to get creative with repairs. “Somehow the second spreader had punctured the spinnaker,” Gunnar recalled. “Bringing it down and trying to find the tear would have been an absolute nightmare, so we sent Grant up the mast to mark the second spreader on the spinnaker sock. Then we brought it down, cut the sock open at the mark and found the tear almost instantly. We patched it, raised it back up, and she was flying again in no time.”

Familiarity sometimes breeds contempt, but aboard the Oceanis Yacht 62, Gunnar and everyone else had an amazing experience. “The cockpit of the 62 is so comfortable,” Gunnar said. “There are so many places to feel comfortable and secure. Lots of boats might have one great spot, but the Yacht 62 has them everywhere. The time went so fast. Everyone was in good spirits, nobody wanted it to end. Three days out, we were already planning the next voyage. And as soon as we made it to St. Lucia, I said, ‘We should go sailing tomorrow!’”