Adventures of Berkeley East

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
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

The Woody Watch

19 July 2018 | North West Corsica, France
We had not stepped foot on land in four days, but as we pulled Berkeley East into the small bay outside Calvi, Corsica, we spotted the beach café on shore and smiled at the thought of some time on terra firma. We made sure BE's hook was dug in and she had room to swing, and began our after-anchor routine when we noticed the 60-foot powerboat "Woody" anchoring in the front of the cove. By the time we were ready to launch the dinghy to go ashore, Woody seemed to be getting closer. We waited, and watched, Woody was definitely inching towards Berkeley East, its anchor obviously dragging; and we could see no signs of life on board.

Four days earlier, we made the 15-hour crossing to Corsica from the French Riviera. We found a large, beautiful bay just before sunset and formed a plan to spend the next day there, walking on the beach, perhaps a meal on shore. But an unusual south, very hot, dry, gusty wind developed; consequently, time was spent on board Berkeley East instead.

The evening weather forecast showed south and west winds building the next day, so we moved around to Calvi for protection and hoped to enjoy some time in town before, and after, the blow. But the prediction wasn't accurate and north winds arrived almost immediately, followed by south, then west with gusts over 40 knots, and finally a severe downpour. It was a very freakish weather pattern, even for windy Corsica. But BE was badly in need of a wash so there was an upside to the madness.

We figured a good nights rest and then land time the next morning. At one a.m. we were awakened by a violent roll of Berkeley East, the wash from a passing freighter we thought. But after several more rolls side to side, then crashes fore to aft, it was clear that an unexpected vast swell had worked its way into the anchorage. Beyond uncomfortable, the waves continued into daylight, when we made a speedy departure for calmer waters, where we encountered "Woody."

After watching Woody drag closer and closer, we knew we had no choice but to move Berkeley East out of striking distance. By this time, Woody was over BE's anchor so we had to back away, pulling the anchor into clear water. We settled into another spot and once again began "The Woody Watch." We decided that we would call CROSS (the French Coast Guard) if Woody got too close to the rocks, or drifted out of the anchorage all together. We were about to make that call, when a dinghy casually approached Woody, a man and woman boarding the craft. Within five minutes, they had moved Woody back to where she started, dropped the anchor and were in their dinghy headed to shore.

Some might think that anchoring just requires tossing the hook into the water until it hits the bottom, but there is actually a science, and a bit of an art, to anchoring properly. We typically take 15 or more minutes to set Berkeley East's anchor, sometimes longer, and we often set multiple times until we are comfortable and confidant. Clearly, the people on Woody had a different anchoring technique, "drop and drift." We have a friend named Woody, and know a dog called Woody, but we have never seen a boat with that moniker. We wondered if perhaps the name "Woody" was actually a description of the vessel's captain, meaning a "bonehead."

We watched as Woody began to wander again, still dreaming of time on the beach in the a.m. The morning forecast brought news that conditions were good to move south, so off we went, leaving the beach café and Woody behind.

Fours hours later, Berkeley East was pounding, waves breaking over her bow and bimini, and into the cockpit. We decided that the current weather forecasts in Corsica could not be trusted, and found a calm cove to spend the night, then continued to make our way south as the wind and sea allowed. After three more days, we still had not walked on solid ground.

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