Adventures of Berkeley East

26 July 2021 | Caprera, Italy
22 July 2021 | Balearic Islands, Spain
01 July 2021
09 August 2020
30 March 2020 | Lake Norman, NC
31 October 2019 | Barcelona, Spain
30 September 2019 | Mallorca, Spain
15 September 2019 | Sardinia, Italy
08 September 2019 | Pantelleria, Italy
31 August 2019 | Favignana, Italy
22 August 2019 | Vulcano, Italy
17 August 2019 | Charlotte, NC and Gaeta, Italy
12 July 2019
12 September 2018 | Cala del Core Ponza, Italy
22 August 2018 | North East Sardinia
13 August 2018 | Northern Sardinia, Italy
10 August 2018 | La Maddalenas, Sardinia Italy
30 July 2018 | South West Corsica, France

2010 Recap – Our Third Year of Cruising.

24 March 2011
Our adventure has turned out to be even more than we expected in many ways.
In the summer of 2009, after returning from the Caribbean and Venezuela, we developed our plan for the next few years. While we had enjoyed the last two years of island life in the Caribbean, we were looking for something new and different. Our choices boiled down to the Western Caribbean (Panama, Honduras, Mexico, and Belize), the South Pacific (Tahiti, Fiji, New Zealand, Australia) or the Mediterranean Sea (Spain, France, Italy, Greece). In the end, the Mediterranean won out because it offered something more than beautiful islands and white sand beaches. So the plan was set, we would sail to the Caribbean in November 2009 and then cross the Atlantic and spend the next few summers cruising around the "Med".

But things don't always go as planned, and in late 2009 we canceled our winter trip to the Caribbean. While this was a disappointment, it gave us more time to prepare for sailing across the Atlantic and having Berkeley East away from the US for an extended period. In May 2010 we began our trip leaving from Hampton, Virginia and finishing the season in Barcelona, Spain.

Highlights of 2010:

The Atlantic Crossing - It took just over 45 days with 19 days at sea and was broken into three separate legs:
• Virginia to Bermuda - 3 ½ days of beautiful sailing.
• 10 Days in Bermuda preparing the boat, enjoying the rum and meeting up with fellow cruisers.
• Bermuda to Horta, Azores - 1,900 Nautical Miles in just over 10 days with five days of gale force winds.
• Cruising the Azores Islands- 13 days
• Azores to Portugal - What was anticipated to be a leisurely sail turned into the toughest passage of the crossing, beating into the wind and seas for five days.
• ARC Europe - We crossed the Atlantic with 22 other boats as part of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, making many new friends.
• Berkeley East placed third in the Bermuda to Azores leg and first in the Azores to Portugal leg.

Touring Portugal - We spent a month in Portugal and drove thorough the country visiting towns, villages, churches, monasteries and wineries.

Six weeks in the Balearic Islands hanging with friends.

Touring Spain - Seville, Barcelona, Madrid, Cadiz, Tarragona, Rioja, Priorate

All in all, we sailed over 5,000 nautical miles.

Everyone asks about the Trans-Atlantic passage, and yes it was exciting, challenging and even scary. We had rough weather a lot of the time, even more than was expected, crossing the Atlantic Ocean in the wrong direction. While there were other boats in the rally, we rarely saw any of them while at sea. One of the rally boats sunk, everyone on board was rescued. We were on our own, thousands of mile from assistance. But it was all worth it! We felt a great sense of pride and accomplishment when we arrived on the other side of the ocean. While Berkeley East is a fairly large sailboat, she feels very small in the middle of the ocean.
We learned that Berkeley East is more durable than we are. While she pushed through difficult conditions without a problem, we wore out. The longest part of the passage took a little over 10 days, and was 1,900 nautical miles. We were impressed by the stamina and courage of the other rally participants in smaller, less comfortable boats, some of which spent up to 19 days on the same passage.

Portugal and Spain were everything we expected and more. We spent a month recovering from the passage and touring Portugal. From there it was off to Spain, through the Strait of Gibraltar, with a quick visit to Morocco. The Southern Mediterranean coast of Spain was a disappointment, like we were told it would be. There was little wind to sail, so we did a lot of motoring and it was full of hi-rise vacation resorts for Europeans from colder climates.
The Balearic Islands (Ibiza, Menorca and Majorca) and the rest of Spain were great. We met up with old friends and cruisers we had met in the Caribbean, enjoyed touring the island and just relaxing out in beautiful calas (coves).
We arrived in Barcelona in September and spent a month enjoying the city, visiting Madrid and touring some Spanish wine regions (Rioja and Priorat).

There is more information about our travels in previous blog entries for each area.

We left Berkeley East in the Port Vell Marina, Barcelona for the winter.
With 2010 firmly behind us, the plan for 2011 is starting to take shape, but like any of our plans it can, and will, change at any moment. No large ocean crossings or passages this year. We will be sailing along the coast of Mediterranean Europe and ending in Turkey. Everyone asks why Turkey? The answer is that it is a beautiful country, wonderful cruising ground, and it is not part of the European Union. After 18 months in the European Union we can be required to pay a Value Added Tax of 18% - 20% of Berkeley East's value. Since we do not plan to stay in the Mediterranean indefinitely, we will move in and out of the European Union as required in order to meet the 18-month limitation. Other non-EU options like Tunisia, Libya and Egypt are not very comfortable for us at this time, so Croatia or Turkey are our best bets. We selected Turkey as it is as far east as we plan to go. From there, we will work our way back west for the next few years.

The 2011 plan looks like this:

April - Return to Barcelona, prep Berkeley East for the season and tour Spain

May - French Riviera and Monaco

June - Corsica and Sardinia, possibly Elba (North Tuscan Islands)

July - Sicily, Aeolian Islands and Southern Italy

August - Greece

September - Greece, Cyclades Islands and Dodecanese Islands

October 1st - arrive Turkey and store Berkeley East for the winter

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)
Street art from our 2019 stay in Barcelona
25 Photos
Created 7 November 2019
Photos for blog post
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Created 2 August 2016
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Extra pictures for Croatia
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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
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Created 29 June 2011
Wardrick Wells - Exuma Land and Sea Park May 2009
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Pictures from our trip to Los Testigos, Venezuela - March 2009
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Pics form the 2008 Caribbean 1500
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Octopuses Garden Highborne, Exuma Cay, Bahamas
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Created 22 May 2008
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Created 28 January 2008
Chistmas 2007 in St Maarten with other crusiers and Mike and Linda (frends & meighbors from CA)
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Created 28 January 2008
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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.
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Created 22 July 2007
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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.
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Created 17 July 2007

Profile & FAQs

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

Our travels


July 2019- Return to Gaeta, Italy

August 2019 - Gaeta to Sicily, Tunisia and Sardinia

September 2019 - The Spanish Balearic Islands

October 2019 -Barcelona Spain

November 2019 - Charlotte, NC