Adventures of Berkeley East

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
19 July 2018 | North West Corsica, France
12 July 2018 | Saint-Tropez, France
07 July 2018 | The French Riviera
25 June 2018 | Nice, France
22 June 2018 | Cap Ferrat, France
15 June 2018 | Lake Como, Italy
10 June 2018 | Bolgheri and Piedmonte, Italy
08 June 2018
04 June 2018 | Cinque Terre, Italy
27 May 2018 | Florence, Italy
23 May 2018 | Italy
17 May 2018 | Roma, Italy

Our little town

06 May 2018 | Umbria, Italy



Berkeley East has spent more time in Italy than any other country, including the United States. Given that Italia is a fairly small land, we find ourselves revisiting places, out of both necessity, and desire. And upon planning our trips to provision BE before setting sail, Umbria (just three hours by car) came to mind.






The only Italian region without either a coastline or a foreign border, Umbria is one of the country's most fertile expanses, often referred to as "the green heart of Italy." With rustic mountains, gorges and rivers in the east, rolling hills and emerald valleys in the west, the area is a scenic wonder and gastronomic paradise.






This was our third trip to Umbria, and "our little town" of Spello. We fell in love with the tiny hillside hamlet called Spello in 2011, and often talk about spending extended time there. We have a favorite restaurant, a favorite hotel, a favorite coffee shop, a favorite dish (truffle pasta) and favorite provisioning places nearby. While the constant change and newness of the cruising life is exciting, it can sometimes be a bit daunting and isolating, so there is comfort in the familiar.






Roberto and Luca at "Enoteca Properzio 2" greet us as if we are long lost friends. Whether they truly remember us, or not, is uncertain, but the enthusiastic welcome is appreciated. The proprietor of our hotel also acts as if he has been anxiously awaiting our return. The atmosphere and people of Spello give us that warm feeling of coming home.





We spent a few days getting reacquainted with the town and the area. And since this was a Berkeley East "provisioning" trip, we had to procure supplies, which required stops for Umbria's specialty products like truffles, faro, spicy sausage, figs, olive oil and of course, wine.






Visits to all of our favorite vineyards helped to secure grape juice and olive oil, and regional delicacies for the season. Again, the people all acted as if they remembered the American cruisers who often come to Umbria to fill their boat's wine bilge. One stop brought sadness as we learned of the passing of the winemaker who first introduced us to Umbrian wines during an all Italian/French spoken tasting. His wife continues the tradition, and kindly presented us with a magnum of our favorite blend upon our departure. At another small cellar, we chose a reserve wine that had just been bottled, but were told they could not sell it for months because it was not labeled. Our disappointment was lessened when they wrote on an unlabeled bottle and gifted it to us instead.






Even when exploring a new estate, we felt at home as the bottles were placed on the largest Lazy Susan (turntable) that we have ever seen. Anyone who has ever had wine at our house understands that sentiment.






With our provisioning complete, we decided to have one last look at Spello before returning to BE. So we asked the hotel owner for permission to fly the drone from his terrace, his granddaughter translating our request. He smiled broadly and nodded yes as he raised his arms as if he was shooting and said "POW!" laughing all the while. Then he gave us his card so we could send some drone pictures of his hotel, and asked when we would come back to Spello again.






Comments
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.
Extra:
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 [...]
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Chistmas 2007 in St Maarten with other crusiers and Mike and Linda (frends & meighbors from CA)
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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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Profile & FAQs

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

Our travels

Itinerary:

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