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

“I’m sorry, but you have to leave.”

04 June 2018 | Cinque Terre, Italy



On our way to the famous Cinque Terre, we discovered Portovenere, a small jewel on the Gulf of The Poets. Despite being a UNESCO World Heritage site, this lovely seaside medieval town is often missed by the millions of international tourists that visit the area.






The Cinque Terre, is a historic, rugged section of coast on the Italian Riviera. Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore are five picturesque villages that, along with the stunning surrounding landscape, create the Cinque Terre National Park.




We had a plan to put Berkeley East on a mooring off Vernazza to enjoy the sight of the colorful town. Given that Cinque Terre is a national park, anchoring is prohibited but a small network of moorings has been installed for boats under 25 meters; BE is just under 17 meters.

We spotted the little white moorings in the distance; they looked more like seagulls than mooring balls strong enough to hold Berkeley East’s 36 tons. But this was probably by design, so as to not mar the beautiful seascape of Vernazza. We selected a mooring in the front and lined BE for the grab. We calculated the breeze, slowed the engine and glided up to the ball. It was like a well-performed ballet, everything went perfectly and we were secure in just moments.

Soon we heard an Italian voice, a man in a service boat was speaking very urgently. We quickly realized that he was telling us we had to move, that there was not enough space for the beautiful American boat. He directed us to another mooring ball on the outside. Our second, third and fourth attempts to capture two other mooring balls were not as pretty as the first, but we finally settled in with a wonderful vantage point of Vernazza.




Over the centuries, people have carefully built terraces on the vertical terrain in Cinque Terre, close to the sheer cliffs that overlook the sea. It is estimated to have taken about 200 years to construct the stonewall network that rambles through the five villages. Its total length is thought to be at least equal to that of the Great Wall of China.




Part of the charm of the Cinque Terre is the lack development. Paths, trains and boats connect the villages, and cars cannot reach them from the outside. In the past, the locals lived off vineyards and olive cultivation; today tourism is also a big commodity, so we weren’t surprised to see the constant stream of day-tripper boats. But being on the water, we were not impacted by the visitors on shore and we were looking forward to a peaceful afternoon afloat. Our tranquility was short lived with the arrival of Italian powerboats, large and small. It turned out that it was an Italian holiday and everyone was out on the water to appreciate the Cinque Terre.




By nightfall, Berkeley East was the only boat left, but for a few fishing skiffs. We enjoyed the sunset and a quiet night. As we were preparing to depart the next morning, the Guardia Costa pulled alongside BE and asked if we had a permit to be on the mooring. We said that we did not realize a permit was needed, but that we were leaving anyway. The Guardia Costa captain said, “No, impossible, you cannot leave” and then asked for our boat papers and passports. We fetched the papers and the Guardia Costa drove off, promising to be back. We wondered if we would end up in jail with Russian prostitutes. When they returned 30 minutes later, they asked us to sign a form, which essentially said that we did not have a permit to be on the mooring. We braced ourselves for the amount of the fine, but they simply gave us a copy from the official, triplicate form. We apologized for our ignorance, saying we just wanted to admire their lovely village. They all smiled, nodding their heads in agreement. And then the Guardia Costa captain said, “I’m sorry, but you have to leave.”
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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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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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