Adventures of Berkeley East

05 June 2022
30 January 2022 | Ft. Lauderdale, FL
16 November 2021
21 October 2021
05 October 2021 | Genoa, Italy
15 September 2021
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

The friendliest people in Greece

18 May 2014 | Chios, Greece
Berkeley East rolled some 45 miles from Ikaria to Mesta Port on the island of Chios. It was uncomfortable to say the least, but then again, we've had much worse. The cruising guide said that construction of a dock was underway here, but we weren't prepared for the enormous concrete structure filling the east side of the cove. It was too big for Berkeley East. It was too big for anything but a large fishing boat and could easily accommodate a cruise ship, yet it was empty and looked as if it had never been used.

We anchored in the center of the cove and looked at the sleepy little village on shore. A few houses, three tavernas and the cargo ship dock; that was it. But it was calm for a good nights sleep. In the morning, we decided to walk over the hill to Mesta, one of the historic villages of Chios. We knew it wasn't far, but had no idea where to begin, so we asked at the first taverna and was given an enthusiastic pointing down the road. Everyone we passed, smiled and pointed us in the right direction.

Local fisherman preparing his boat in Limenas (Mesta Port)

It was a beautiful walk to Mesta, for a lunch of zuchinni fritters and catfish. People were so friendly, we felt like we lived there.

On the walk back, we decided we should stay and see the island, so we went back to the taverna to inquire about the bus to Chios Town to rent a car. They were closing, hosing down the patio, but a man stopped what he was doing, came to talk, took two chairs off a table, told us to sit and went off to make us some coffee. He came back to tell us that the bus does not run on Saturday, but he had a friend who would take us. About 45 minutes later we had two cups of Greek coffee and pastry in front of us. And when we tried to pay, they all smiled and said no. We tried again and they smiled and said no.

We arranged to have a car delivered to us in the harbor and at 10:00 pm, a man showed up with a new, very clean little car. We sat at a table on the waterfront to do the paperwork, and he spent more time telling us where to go, what to visit, how to be careful and offering us help any time we needed it, even when we were at sea.

The man from the rental car company pointed out the importance of using the handbrake and leaving the transmission in gear.

As we drove around the island the next day, the smiles, directions and good nature continued. In the villages, at the petrol station, in the Vodaphone store where the clerk kept his customers waiting and waiting, as he gave us information and inquired about our travels, while the customers simply waited, smiling patiently.

The island was beautiful with many small inlets for anchoring.

There are 20 "mastic" villages on the island known for their unique architecture and a resin / gum that was the basis for paints, cosmetics and medicines. Today it is used to produce chewing gum, liquor and tooth paste. We managed to see six of the villages, each had its own unique characteristics.

The village of Pyrgi is unique because of the geometric patterns scraped into the outer walls of all of the buildings

The ghost town of Anavatos is integrated into the cliffs. During the Ottoman invasion, it is said that many of the women and children jumped from the village to their death to avoid being captured.

Chios Town, less than five miles from Turkey, is a modern, vibrant town. The wharf was lined with cafes full of locals drinking coffee and ouzo.

After a lunch of Slovakia and Calamari, we were served desert - ice cream bars and Mastic liquor.

Hidden in a valley west of Chios Town is the monastery of NeaMoni with well-preserved frescos and mosaics. During the Ottoman invasion, many Chians fled to the monastery for protection, only to be slaughtered. At the entrance to the monastery is a cabinet displaying the skulls of some of the brutally murdered monks and locals.

Just south of the villages is the Cave of Olympi, full of stalactites and stalagmites

In general, we have found extremely friendly people in Greece, but the people on Chios are definitely the friendliest Greeks we've met, so far. Actually, they are probably the friendliest people we've ever met.

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
18 Photos
Created 17 May 2013
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
29 Photos
Created 29 June 2011
Wardrick Wells - Exuma Land and Sea Park May 2009
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Created 4 May 2009
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Created 22 April 2009
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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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Octopuses Garden � Highborne, Exuma Cay, Bahamas
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Created 22 May 2008
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13 Photos
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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Created 23 December 2007
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Created 5 September 2007
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Created 28 August 2007
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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.
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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.
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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