Adventures of Berkeley East

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
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

The City of Art

27 May 2018 | Florence, Italy

It has been said that, “If Italy were the Mona Lisa, Florence would be her smile.” For centuries, poets, writers and painters have flocked to Firenze, the City of Art, to study legendary masterpieces while seeking inspiration to create new ones. And as Berkeley East passed near Italy’s cultural capital, we knew we had to go and soak up the sights, sounds and smells of this city of dreams.

Naturally, Florence is full of tourists. The landmark city attracts more than a million visitors each year. They arrive in droves from all over the world, on planes, trains, buses and even small American boats. And they come for good reason: Florence is fascinating. Where else can one stroll the same pedestrian paths walked by Michelangelo, Leonardo, and Botticelli?

Like much of Italy, we had been to Florence before. Years ago, we had a culture-filled four days with best friends there, literally running from one museum to the next. It was incredible. The entire city is a shrine to the Renaissance with galleries, monuments, frescoes and churches at every turn; the cobblestone streets radiate history.

On this visit, we took a slightly slower pace, skipping the Uffizi and Accademia to ramble through less traveled areas where we were transported back in time. We studied the famous Duomo in every light; with a morning coffee, an afternoon gelato, a midnight aperitif, and it never disappointed. We tried on stylish Firenze leather jackets. We browsed stone shops displaying recreations of our favorite statues. We ate the famed Firenze beef, La Bistecca. We watched excited sightseers snap selfies, and record their guided tours to share with others at home.

But there was also a climbing theme to our days in Florence. Up into the hills to the Piazzlae Micheangelo for the panoramas, 412 steps to the top of the Duomo for the rooftop views, and another 400 paces through the narrow staircase of Giotto’s Bell Tower to peer across the metropolis through chicken wire. And ultimately, the three flights to our air-conditioned hotel room to flee the midday heat.

We are not typically “tour” people, but it was the only way our spur-of-the-moment planning would allow us to climb Il Duomo di Firenze (Florence Cathedral). The basilica is one of Italy's most formidable churches, and the largest brick dome ever constructed.

Our tour group was small, and it got even smaller as we ascended the Duomo. Part way up, a woman asked if it was possible to go back, she did not feel up to continuing. When our guide said there was indeed an escape, several others jumped at the opportunity to descend. We were surprised, as the tour description clearly explained the conditions of the climb. But in the end, it was obvious that they had made the attempt because it was something that a loved one wanted to do. The loved ones continued on, thrilled when they made it to the top, and perhaps even more elated at the effort that others, with a fear of heights, had made on their behalf. Like Florence, it was a beautiful thing.

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
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
11 Photos
Created 4 May 2009
6 Photos
Created 22 April 2009
20 Photos
Created 21 April 2009
24 Photos
Created 19 April 2009
Pictures from our trip to Los Testigos, Venezuela - March 2009
5 Photos
Created 11 April 2009
4 Photos
Created 28 March 2009
Pics form the 2008 Caribbean 1500
No Photos
Created 26 November 2008
Octopuses Garden Highborne, Exuma Cay, Bahamas
15 Photos
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
5 Photos
Created 23 December 2007
5 Photos
Created 21 November 2007
3 Photos
Created 5 September 2007
4 Photos
Created 28 August 2007
7 Photos
Created 28 August 2007
6 Photos
Created 22 July 2007
10 Photos
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


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