Adventures of Berkeley East

21 October 2021
05 October 2021 | Genoa, Italy
15 September 2021
26 July 2021 | Caprera, Italy
22 July 2021 | Balearic Islands, Spain
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

The road less traveled

13 August 2018 | Northern Sardinia, Italy
We discovered long ago that our GPS has a mind of its own, always selecting the shortest route and assuming we can travel at ridiculous speeds. Consequently, we are often led along narrow, winding roads through hilltop towns and over mountains, rather than being directed to the much faster highway. While frustrating, the slower scenic route occasionally makes for a more interesting trip. Sometimes it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.

We decided to escape the crowds on the water for a bit and tour some of Sardinia by land. With more than 1,000 miles of coastline, Sardinia is the second-largest island in Italy, and the entire Mediterranean Sea, surpassed only by Sicily. It would take months to really see Sardinia by boat, weeks to fully appreciate the island via automobile.

Given that it was August and marina rates were the highest we have ever seen, putting Berkeley East on a dock for an extended time was not an option. Even if we had a boat load of cash, it was the principle. The Sardinia marinas are just marinas. And the island is just an island. Sardinia has been designated a place for the rich and famous to see and be seen in August, and that has driven costs up astronomically. It is a case of whatever the market will bear, so marinas (and other businesses) have “special” rates for August. So with protest, we parked Berkeley East at a dock and set out to see as much as we could of Northern Sardinia, in just one day; a daunting task especially with our meandering GPS tour guide.

Our excursion began in Galtelli, a medieval village built of stone that sits on a high plain at the foot of Mount Tuttavista. It was nearly deserted but for the remnants of the festival from the day before. We knew little of the town; its history tells a story of religious devotion, the destination of pilgrims that trek up the mountain to contemplate upon a majestic bronze statue of Christ. Galtelli is thought to be one of the best-preserved towns in Sardinia.

Winding past olive groves and grape vines, 1,000-foot mountains in the distance, we arrived in the town of Oliena. Set in the shadow of magnificent Monte Corrasi, we imagined Oliena was equally as impressive. Stepping out of the car, dilapidated was our first thought. But as we literally got lost among the crumbling buildings, we found an alluring town where residents decorate their homes with murals.

During the 1960s and 70s, Sardinians began expressing themselves with the unusual art form of painting murals on buildings. It became a means to tell different stories about the people, the history, the struggles, and the politics. The walls of small Sardinia towns became a special, beautiful way to communicate.

Plans to explore the larger city of Nuoro were interrupted by weather. A drastic thunderstorm shrouded the town, the downpour dampening our enthusiasm to discover what some call “Atene sarda” (Sardinian Athens), a cultural center of the island. When we asked a local if the weather was typical in Nuoro, her response was “it is today.”

Our route to Alghero took an unexpected, but not surprising, turn when our trusty GPS took us over the mountains rather than around them. The twisting path wove through the hilltop town of Bottidda, the GPS arrow pointing to spaces that sometimes resembled pedestrian walkways more than roads. Our thoughts instantly flashed back to a small Greek island when we found ourselves driving down steps, where no car should have ever gone. We exercised extreme caution and managed to navigate only on streets, passing a fantastic castle and more murals.

The cliff-top road provided gorgeous views and ambled through an enchanting forest with albino donkeys. As we turned around, racing back for a photo of the little white creatures, our GPS shouted that we were going the wrong way. A shock to us, we had been driving on a one-way road. Sadly, no donkey pics.

Dropping out of the mountains into the valley, we came across Torralba and The Nuragic Palace of Santu Antine. The mysterious Nuragic civilization developed between the Bronze Age and the Iron Age. The ancient towers made of stone, called nuraghe, have become the symbol of Sardinia. More than 7,000 nuraghes have been found on the island.

Finally, we arrived in Alghero, one of Sardinia’s most popular seaside resort towns. Encircled by ancient walls, it is known for its cobblestoned old center and Catalan influence. While we had seen few tourists much of the day, Alghero was alive with visitors, and its enormous marina was full.

This is where we wished we had packed a bag and booked a hotel. Trying to see so much Sardinia in a day is exhausting. But Berkeley East was running up a huge tab at the marina, so off we went with a plan to sail south, hopeful that the road leading back to BE was very straight and very flat.
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