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

Land ho!

30 July 2018 | South West Corsica, France

It seemed like forever since we had been off Berkeley East. The weather conditions and our remote Corsica locales made leaving the boat very difficult. So when we saw a Mistral, and ten-foot seas in the forecast, we took BE into a marina at Ajaccio for some stability, and sushi.

Corsica is notorious for its Mistrals, a strong westerly wind that can reach speeds upwards of 50 knots. We met the Mistral seven years ago and got to know the ghastly storm intimately when she pinned us down at anchor for 10 days on the island's east coast. Not wanting to repeat that experience, we decided a dock would be a good place to hide.

The capital of Corsica, Ajaccio is the largest city on the island, home to some 70,000 people, famous as the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte. During the 1960s, Ajaccio experienced a population boom resulting in a massive number of modern buildings towering over the original town. It is an unattractive mix of old and new.

But the old port had protection from the Mistral and the city was just what we needed after many days of wind and waves in isolated coves. We spent three days provisioning, washing, eating out, walking, and entertaining ourselves with boats coming and going from the marina, crossing anchors, and trying to slip in after dark without paying. Ajaccio's ramshackle look and casual vibe grew on us.

The old cemetery of Ajaccio was a nice, albeit hot, 2.5-mile walk from Berkeley East along the coast and through the suburbs. An odd tourist attraction, but it is an interesting place to visit. Due to the area's rocky terrain, the cemetery tombs are actually above ground in little houses, each personalized with photos, flowers, candles and engravings. Like a tiny village, the cemetery has pathways and squares with statues of angels to watch over the precious residents. During World War II, the Germans bombed a large portion of the cemetery when they mistook it for a town.

When the gusts and swell abated, we headed south to Porto Pollo to meet up with our buddies the Sea Changes, they were heading north to the French Riviera and we were going south to Sardinia. We got to know the Sea Changes four years ago in Turkey and try hard every year to cross paths. The Med is a huge cruising ground; we seldom just happen upon boats that we know, so planning is key. And Porto Pollo, a very small seaside town, was the perfect place to spend a couple of days catching up with good friends.

The west coast of Corsica is rugged and beautiful, with wonderful little coves and beaches. But as we have learned, over and over, the wind and seas there can be very harsh, and protected bays are few; the risk of getting slammed by adverse conditions is high.

So with calm weather predicted for a few days, we decided not to tempt fate and proceeded to get within striking distance of the Straight of Bonifacio (another area notorious for its weather, currents, shoals, and other obstacles), and the short crossing to Sardinia.

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