Adventures of Berkeley East

21 September 2016 | Venice, Italy
18 September 2016 | Zadar to Rovinj, Croatia & Venice
03 September 2016
29 August 2016 | Opatija, Croatia
25 August 2016 | Biograd, Croatia
19 August 2016 | Dalmatia, Croatia
04 August 2016 | Dugi Otak, Croatia
29 July 2016 | Dalmatia, Croatia
22 July 2016 | Gargano Peninsula, Italy
21 July 2016 | Puglia, Italy
06 July 2016 | Brindisi, Italy
05 July 2016 | Othoni, Greece
31 May 2016 | Gulfs of Corinth and Patras, Greece
29 May 2016 | Pireaus, Greece
23 May 2016 | Serifos, Greece
18 May 2016 | Thira, Greece
16 May 2016 | Mykonos, Greece
10 May 2016

Living in the hood

21 September 2016 | Venice, Italy
We've been to Venice twice previously. Once before Berkeley East and again, four years ago, with BE. As we often say, we aren't good about going back to places, but Venice is one exception to the rule. We love that city.

And on our third visit, we were able to berth Berkeley East in a new marina just a short walk from the city through a local Venice neighborhood called Castello. The Castello neighborhood grew up around the Venetian Arsenal, the largest naval complex in Europe. It is the eastern-most district of Venice, encompassing several islands, including Sant'Elena, BE's new Italian home.

We spent a couple of weeks wandering in the hood, finding small shops and restaurants, and local sights, including the neighborhood church Sant'Elena, on our way into the city.

We explored during the day, and at night, and even ventured out before dawn to watch Venice come to life. We bought a valporetto (water bus) pass for when our feet were tired. We sat in parks and cafes and listened to music. We spent time in the outer islands. We shopped but bought nothing. We flew the drone. While we couldn't resist peeking at the most famous landmarks, there was no pressure to sightsee, as we had seen most everything before. It was as if we lived in Venice. And we thoroughly enjoyed every second of it.

Enjoying the evening in Piazza San Marco listening to music and admiring the views of St Mark's Basilica without crowds

Rush hour traffic in the canals

Enjoying sunrise over the Grand Canal

Visiting the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, our favorite Venetian church. The basilica is full of works of art including the giant monument to Titian

Visiting the Burano, a four island archipelago, known for its brightly colored buildings and lace

Touring the glass factories on the island of Murano

We often talk about what to do when we stop cruising, and one idea is to live in different places for a few months at a time, in order to become immersed in the local culture. We're making a list of destinations where we would like to do that. Venice is at the top of that list.

Two captains, two admirals and just one boat

18 September 2016 | Zadar to Rovinj, Croatia & Venice

Until last year, George and Trish owned "Gratitude," Berkeley East's slightly older fraternal twin. Gratitude was cast from the same mold as BE, the Hylas 54-foot raised salon, but she was a bit different. That's the beauty of Hylas Yachts, you get the benefits of the classic, proven, Hylas hull, but you can customize it in your own unique style.

We first met George and Trish about nine years ago when BE and Gratitude shared the same marina in Charleston, SC. Then we discovered that they lived just down the road from us in Charlotte. Over the years, we have shared many meals while trying to solve every possible boating challenge known to man.

When they decided to join us on Berkeley East in Croatia, we were a bit concerned that putting two Hylas captains, and two Hylas admirals, on just one Hylas yacht, would be one Hylas captain and one Hylas admiral too many. But what could have been individuals vying for control, turned out to be a cohesive team working together.

Our voyage began in Zadar, Croatia and culminated in Venice, Italy. It was a lot of water to cover in just eight days, but we knew that old salts like George and Trish would be up to the challenge. And they got the whole gamut of conditions, as we explored cities, towns, and islands, anchored, moored and docked, sailed and motored, in rain and sun. They were excellent guests, crew, and backup captain and admiral. Fun, adventurous friends with superb boat skills, who also cooked and cleaned! What more could we ask for?


Zadar is the oldest continuously inhabited, and fifth largest city in Croatia. Present-day Zadar serves as a historical center of the region, as well as a hub for super yachts like Berkeley East.


Croatia has over 1,000 islands and no boating holiday here would be complete without some time in beautiful, quiet anchorages for swimming and cooking.


A long day of motoring took us to a nice little cove on the island of Unije. While one of the larger islands in the Adriatic Sea, Unije only has 85 inhabitants and none of them were anywhere to be seen.

We turned North as we passed the lighthouse of Porer cliff which marks the southern cape of the Istrian peninsula. Built in 1833 it still has a permanent lighthouse crew and also has two apartments to rent.



Pula is one of Croatia's most authentic cities known for its impressive Roman ruins and lush coastline. The roman amphitheater constructed between 27 BC - 68 AD is used for gladiator shows and concerts. Unlike other local destinations, Pula has a thriving life apart from tourism. It is a vital shipbuilding complex, and has been an administrative center since ancient Roman times.


Veliki Brijun is the largest island in the Brijuni Islands archipelago and part of the Brijuni National Park. The island is perhaps best known as the luxurious summer residence of Josip Broz Tito, where for 30 years, he entertained foreign ministers, dignitaries and heads of state. We parked Berkeley East at the dock, and jumped in a golf cart to drove around the island.

Rovinj is one of the quaintest towns in Croatia, with pastel-painted houses clustered together on steep winding streets and topped by a Venetian bell tower. We felt like we were in Italy, especially when we discovered we had arrived at the start of a wine festival.


The long haul to Italy began with great wind for sailing and ended in a torrential downpour just in time for docking. But the reward was worth the effort, as a beautiful rainbow led the way to several days of sunshine in Venice.

Bees, bugs and butterflies

03 September 2016
Living on a boat means you are constantly exposed to the elements (sun, wind and insects), so you learn to deal with each one in your own way. When we first brought Berkeley East to Croatia, four years ago, we received multiple bee stings, and were introduced to several new varieties of bugs. So this time we came prepared with screens in the boat, repellant if necessary, and the deadly collection of fly swatters. We learned to look before grabbing anything, never swipe at a tickle, or itch, on the skin, and remain calm whenever the boat seemed under attack.

We made it through July and August with just one little sting, but were happy to see September arrive with cooler weather and fewer insects. Then came the butterflies. It is difficult to believe that butterflies and bees are classified in the same category. These little beauties are welcome visitors. And one day, anchored off the island of Rab, butterflies descended on BE, apparently in search of rose wine. We spent hours watching one butterfly try to get into the bottle, finally opting for a larger opening in a glass.

Rab Island is one of the greenest islands in the Adriatic. Covered with pine forests and beautiful sandy beaches, it is well known for its mild climate due to three ridges that protect the island from the cold winds of the Velebit mountains. The main city, Rab Town, is full of medieval buildings, built during the Venetian rule, which occurred since the 13th century.

We spent several days at different anchorages around the island, with few other vessels, but for a number of small German powerboats.

In 2012, Croatia was full of American-flagged boats. Croatian boat owners would register, and flag, their boats in the US in order to avoid the hefty government tax on pleasure craft. But when the country joined the European Union, boat owners were offered a one-time reduction in the tax, so Old Glory is seldom seen there now, which is why we were surprised to see an American-flagged boat one morning anchored nearby. A closer look revealed that we knew this catamaran “Finalmente” from years ago in Sicily. And this boat was not only full of Americans, it was full of Americans from California. Eight Americans from California on the island of Rab; what were the odds?

Vessel Name: Berkeley East
Vessel Make/Model: Hylas 54
Hailing Port: San Diego, CA
Crew: Larry & Mary Ivins
About: We quit our jobs in July of 2007 and began our adventure, sailing the US east coast in the summers and then spending our winters in the Caribbean. In 2010 we sailed across the Atlantic and will be cruising the Med for the next few years.
FAQ Q: Did you go to UC Berkeley? A: No. The name Berkeley East came from a ferry boat, "the Berkeley", that we met on over 30 years ago in San Diego. The East came as a result of seeing the boat being built in Taiwan. There was 30-foot Chinese symbol on the wall behind her during [...]
Berkeley East's Photos - Caribbean 1500 2008 (Main)
Photos for blog post
15 Photos
Created 2 August 2016
18 Photos
Created 17 May 2013
Extra pictures for Croatia
12 Photos
Created 5 September 2012
Venice June 2012
20 Photos
Created 12 July 2012
Tuscany trip summer 2011
30 Photos
Created 18 July 2011
Pictures from June 2011 - The Ligurian Coast of Italy
29 Photos
Created 29 June 2011
Wardrick Wells - Exuma Land and Sea Park May 2009
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Created 4 May 2009
6 Photos
Created 22 April 2009
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Created 21 April 2009
24 Photos
Created 19 April 2009
Pictures from our trip to Los Testigos, Venezuela - March 2009
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Created 11 April 2009
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Created 28 March 2009
Pics form the 2008 Caribbean 1500
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Created 26 November 2008
Octopuses Garden Highborne, Exuma Cay, Bahamas
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Created 22 May 2008
4 Photos
Created 22 April 2008
13 Photos
Created 28 January 2008
Chistmas 2007 in St Maarten with other crusiers and Mike and Linda (frends & meighbors from CA)
6 Photos
Created 28 January 2008
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Created 23 December 2007
5 Photos
Created 21 November 2007
3 Photos
Created 5 September 2007
4 Photos
Created 28 August 2007
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Created 28 August 2007
6 Photos
Created 22 July 2007
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Created 22 July 2007
In early July 2006 we made a quick from Sydney, Australia to Kaohsiung, Taiwan to check on the construction of our Hylas 54. She was a little behind schedule, but the build quality was excellent.
4 Photos
Created 22 July 2007
4 Photos
Created 17 July 2007
After 28 days aboard Sigrun Bolten from Taiwan, Berkeley East arrived in Port Everglades Florida. Mary and I helped unload her and motored up the river to be hauled and rigged. We where joined by our friends and next door neighbors (from CA), who were in Florida cruising from California to the Caribbean.
5 Photos
Created 17 July 2007

Profile & FAQs

Who: Larry & Mary Ivins
Port: San Diego, CA

Our travels


April 2016- Return to Didim Turkey

May 2016 - Cross the Aegean, through the Corinth canal to the Greek Ionian Islands

June 2016 - Greece - Ionian islands and Italy

July - September 2016 - Somewhere in Italy or Croatia

October 2016 - Somewhere in Italy then fly home to Charlotte

Berkeley East's Winter port 2016/2017 - Unknown