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 need for speed

22 August 2018 | North East Sardinia
It is a well-known fact that the Italians love fast cars. Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, peddle to the metal, 0 to 60 in three seconds. That fierce passion transfers to boats as well. Italian-made yachts like Azimut and Pershing can reach speeds over 25 knots, which doesn't sound very thrilling but on a boat it is flying.

The La Maddalena Archipelago and Sardinia are just a few miles apart; it doesn't take long to travel from one to the other. A boat like Berkeley East can sail from the islands to mainland Sardinia in about an hour, and we typically transit at seven knots. So one would expect the area to be a tranquil space, with vessels gliding about at a leisurely pace. We came to call it the Tyrrhenian Sea Speedway.

We learned very quickly that when moving, even a short distance, we needed to button BE up tight, hatches and portholes closed, everything below deck stowed. The Italian power boaters (actually French and Brits as well) know one speed and that is lightening. Boats would converge on Berkeley East full throttle, their wakes rolling BE side-to-side, throwing huge waves over her bow. All hands needed to be available; all we could do was hang on for the ride.

We hadn't planned to be in Sardinia in August. We know from experience that the month is high season in every way, high traffic, high cost, and high temperatures. Our intent was to visit the island in early July, before the major onslaught of Europeans on holiday. But family business required that we stay close to big cities for services not found elsewhere, so we once again found ourselves in the thick of the insanity.

We decided to embrace the chaos and continued traveling south to explore more of the main island of Sardinia. Having reconciled ourselves with the obscene August rates (we can't take it with us), we hoped to find a protected marina for Berkeley East so we could take a road trip in the south. We also thought that perhaps we would discover a less crowded, more peaceful atmosphere.

But dodging speedboats quickly turned into weaving through parking lots of superyachts, hundreds of them, their tenders zipping through the anchorages. The luxurious vessels were amazing; the atmosphere was unruly.

Considered the capital of Sardinia's Costa Smeralda, Porto Cervo is a town with just a few hundred year-round residents. In the summer, it transforms into a playground for the ultra rich, purpose built for international elite tourism and the luxury yachting set.

Around the corner, Cala di Volpe houses one of the world's most exclusive, and most expensive hotels, the bay filled with moorings for grandiose watercraft.

There were fewer mega yachts further south, but the anchorages were still treated as aquatic raceways. We came to keep one hand anchored to the boat at all times. Adding to the turmoil was very unsettled weather, thunderstorms with 50-knot winds and four-foot waves. We put our harnesses and tethers on for the first time this season, at anchor.

Fortunately, in between the weather and the boat traffic, we found some bright, peaceful moments, the island of Tavorlara providing a beautiful backdrop to several of them.

The island is actually more of a rock, a limestone massif three miles long and 0.6 miles wide, with steep cliffs plummeting into the water. Its highest point, Monte Cannone, is 1,854 feet above sea level.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, a tiny kingdom was set up on the island of Tavorlara. Today, a NATO base occupies one-half of the island, a few houses and a restaurant sit on the other side. The restaurant owner still maintains that the island is the kingdom of his family, although the Italian authorities disagree with that claim.

After waiting several days for good weather in the south, we saw a Mistral in the forecast and came to the conclusion that staying in Sardinia was not meant to be; exploring the south part of the island would have to wait until next spring during a less congested, less costly, perhaps a more weather-friendly time. We quickly charted a course for Ponza.

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