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

It’s not drinking, it’s reminiscing

10 June 2018 | Bolgheri and Piedmonte, Italy

We were sitting on Berkeley East watching the sun set on yet another day in the Med, glass in hand, and there came a question, "What am I drinking?" The cryptic reply was, "Laughter and flowers." At that, we both smiled. And thus the conversation began, about our visit to the family winery in Gavi. Where a woman had quit her day job to become the winemaker when her mother no longer wished to fill the role. Where we talked about the wine and the region, but also about growing up in the Piedmonte in carefree days when no one wore a helmet while driving a scooter. Where Otto the dog waited patiently under a tree hoping to catch a bird. Where we laughed, and laughed at tales of family and winemaking. Where the winemaker's sister cooked lunch for us with flowers.

It's no secret that we collect and enjoy wine. During our cruising season, we seek out interesting wine regions to explore, unique wineries to visit, new varietals to taste so we can make purchases for BE's wine bilge. We make a point of poking around the historic towns, and wandering through the countryside. We take tours of the wineries, there always seems to be something different to learn. We try to meet the owners and winemakers to hear about their passion for the grape. Every bottle has a story.

Italy has twenty different wine regions, some of the oldest wine producing areas in the world. Etruscans and Greek colonists produced the fermented juice there long before the Romans started their own vineyards in the 2nd century BC. Viticulture and winemaking was abundant and very well structured, and it still is. There are currently about 350 official Italian wine varieties and well over a million winemakers.

We have been fortunate over the past few months to be cruising on Berkeley East near a few Italian wine regions that were new to us: Bolgheri, in western Tuscany, famous for Bordeaux-style wines; Gavi, in the southeastern Piedmonte, where wine made from Cortese grapes once exemplified Italian white wines; and Barbera, in the central Piedmonte, a red grape that is one of the most planted varieties in Italy.

While each region is rich with fascinating history, it was the uniqueness of every place, the personal stories, and the people, that really captured our attention. These are the things that will warm our hearts with every sip of every bottle.

Like the restaurant that was purpose built to showcase a vintner's award-winning wines paired with gourmet dishes. Or the producer that utilizes the techniques of biodynamic cultivation to develop wines that are richer in flavor. The estate that not only creates beautiful wines, it also displays stunning works of art. And the vineyard where a team of 12 women has cared for the vines for more than 20 years.

There was the accountant who joined a winery to satisfy his fervor for the grape. The lovely vineyard surrounded by poppy fields. And the intern working to earn his sommelier decree with a plan to go back to his hometown and help in his father's small restaurant.

And finally, there was the story of a man who had visited a winery every year for 20 years, taking home some of the best wines they made. This year, the man's son called to say that his father would not be coming to the winery, he had passed away. But the son had really called because he wanted to know about the wines that he found in his father's cellar. How long should he keep them? When should he drink them? Saddened that the man had not enjoyed the wines he had collected all those years, the winemaker's response to the son was very simple, "Do not wait; always drink the good wine."

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