Born 1957 in Birmingham, British author Neil Hawkesford has always been lured by the sea.
At the age of 17, he joined the Royal Navy where he served 3 years work- ing as a Survival Equipment Specialist.
After leaving the Navy he worked in South Africa as a Parachute Technician be- fore returning to the UK to ‘settle down’.
Things didn’t work out, so he returned to sea, living on an 18ft sailboat and working as yacht delivery crew.
After losing his boat Neil once again tried to live a ‘normal’ life. Once again things didn’t work out.
Two failed relationships later and in the depths of depression, he made a life- changing decision.
He decided to build a 38ft Wharram catamaran, make her his home and get back to the sea.
It took 8 years of work but in June 2014 ‘Gleda’ was launched.
Neil hasn’t slept on land since and now lives as a ‘Sea Gypsy’ with his partner Gail.