Gladlee of Guernsey
S/Y "Gladlee of Guernsey" was built in the Westerly yard at Waterlooville near Portsmouth in Hampshire in 1985. She is a Westerly Seahawk with an overall length of 10.26 metres (34 feet), centre cockpit, bilge keels and apparently sleeps 7!! The original owners decided to reverse the normal Westerly hull colours and opted for a dark blue hull with white boot-top. The family came from Guernsey with a surname of 'de Lee' and were left an inheritance by their aunt Gladys with which they bought the boat and named her "Gladlee" in remembrance. Julie Smart and previous partner Nigel Morley, bought her in 1989, sailing initially out of Ramsgate on the south east coast of England cruising the north coast of France, Belgium and Holland and south coast of England as far as the Scilly Islands and back. In 1991, after retiring they sailed her down to the Mediterranean. She sailed there for three years cruising the Greek Islands, Turkey, the Black Sea, the East Med Yacht Rally (EMYR) in 1994 and wintering for three consecutive years in Setur Marina, Antalya, Turkey. In 1996 they went down the Red Sea taking in countries such as Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, Yemen and Oman before venturing across the Indian Ocean, a passage of 12 days, to Kenya. Unfortunately after settling in to Kilifi Creek just north of Mombassa, Nigel became ill and died in September 1997.
"Gladlee" was looked after by Tony and Daphne Britchford in Kilifi at this time until Daphne's brother, Ken delivered her back up the Red Sea to Antalya. She stayed there for another eighteen months and got a bit of a refit with new rigging and the hull re-sprayed and many other jobs. She was then sailed in June 1999 to Levkas in the Ionian with Julie, Phil (Julie's brother) and George (a young cousin). Julie at this time was working in Libya and met Ron Hayton there, who came and sailed "Gladlee" from Levkas to Malta for his very first sailing adventure and later on, to Barcelona. "Gladlee" was layed up for nine months in Casteldefels just south of Barcelona while Ron and Julie went to work in Oman. After the job finished they returned to "Gladlee" in July 2001 and started cruising again full time and headed east via France, Corsica, Italy, Greece and finally Turkey and Kemer Marina for the winter. The next summer they cruised the Black Sea (2002) and the following one Croatia (2003). 2004 saw them married in Kemer Marina in March, doing the EMYR in May/June as crew on S/Cat "Vision" with Frank and Tari and then headed west to Mallorca. "Gladlee" was then put on a ship to Port Everglades in Florida, USA, where Ron and Julie picked her up mid-December. They stayed at Maule Lake Marina just north of Miami for a couple of months then cruised the Keys, West coast of Florida and then the Intracoastal Waterway up the east coast of America to Deltaville, Chesapeake Bay. She is now 20 years old and has over 40,000 miles under her belt and is still going strong.
In July, 2005 the boat was laid up in Deltaville Marina while Ron and Julie went back to Oman for Ron to resume his job with IOGS. Lots of work was carried out on the boat over the next couple of years. A short RV (recreation vehicle, motorhome) holiday in the US gave them ideas for the future. They stayed in Oman until January 2008. On leaving they joined Frank and Tari on S/Cat "Vision" in Trinidad and sailed with them up through the Caribbean to Puerto Rica. They flew up to Deltaville via Washington in April and re-commissioned "Gladlee" and sailed the Chesapeake Bay during the summer. During the autumn they sailed down to Florida and early 2009 cruised the Abacos in the Bahamas. In the spring they sailed back up the east coast of America but only as far as Beaufort in North Carolina where the Volvo engine finally gave up. A new engine was fitted in Town Creek Marina. Meanwhile they had bought an RV from Adrian and Jan (who had used it for a year) and started 'land-cruising'. Once the engine was fitted, the boat was taken to Schroeder's Yard in Deltaville and laid up again. In August they took the RV across the US to the west coast, spent the winter in the SW and then drove back to Virginia in the spring.
In May, 2010 the RV was stored in Richmond and they returned to Oman, Ron working for IOGS again. They stayed there two years this time. Meanwhile, Linda and Seamus bought half of the RV and went touring for eighteen months. Ron and Julie left Oman in May 2012 and went back to "Gladlee" in June and cruised the Bay for a couple of months. In September they laid the boat up again in Deltaville and then flew over to Los Angeles to meet up with Linda and Seamus, and took the RV back from them and land-cruised the SW in the winter. They gradually made their way up the west coast as the weather improved in the spring of 2013 eventually going through western Canada to Alaska in June. July and August saw them driving back to Virginia completing a 13,500 mile trip.
Both the RV and "Gladlee" were put up for sale and they sold in September and October 2013 respectively. In September Ron and Julie returned to the UK and ended up house-sitting in Pontefract, Yorkshire for the rest of the year. Then back to Wellingborough at the beginning of February 2014, a short holiday in Majorca to visit old friends, Hans and Gisela, and then boarded the ship "Grand Mediterraneo" in Southampton, mid-March to take them and their car to Cyprus where they will settle for the near future.
A table below showing "Gladlees'" milestones: