Adventures of Berkeley East

05 June 2022
30 January 2022 | Ft. Lauderdale, FL
16 November 2021
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

Navigating a pandemic

30 March 2020 | Lake Norman, NC

We awoke to a calendar item: "Lufthansa Flight 429 to Munich / Barcelona departs 6:30 pm." Obviously, that flight was cancelled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, but the notice on our phones was a stark reminder of how quickly things have changed.

Just a few weeks ago, we were managing all our house, doctor and financial meetings in anticipation of being away, on Berkeley East, for many months. Boat parts and supplies were laid out on the bedroom floor in "must go" piles, along with a "would be nice if there is room" stack. Sea trial appointments were set for Berkeley East upon our return so necessary engine parts could be ordered and shipped before the Easter holiday break. Travel plans were being made for our long-awaited exploration of Spain's Basque Country. Dinner discussions were almost always about where we should sail in 2020.

The fact is, we were pretty certain we would be delayed going back to BE this year. We had been following the Coronavirus spread in Italy, were cautiously watching the situation developing in Spain, and wondering what would happen in the US; while we were hopeful, we were also realistic.

The news we heard from our friends in the EU prompted us to begin social distancing sooner than many. While others went to restaurants, bars and gatherings, we stayed home; we couldn't risk getting sick in the off chance that we were able to make our flight to Spain. But we are lucky because our years on Berkeley East have helped train us for isolation. Long passages alone, weeks without stepping foot on land, traveling in countries where we could not communicate, we know how to occupy ourselves without going crazy.

We cannot count how many times we have heard someone say that the boat is the best place to be in circumstances like this, "you can just sail away," is often the comment. While that sounds like the perfect solution, it is a complicated one in cases of emergency.

We left Berkeley East five months ago, buttoned up, in the water, in Barcelona, Spain, before COVID-19 was even on the radar. All of BE's systems are shut down, and there is no food, water, wine, or toilet paper on board. While Costco delivers most of our needs to the front door here in North Carolina, provisioning in Barcelona requires multiple trips to multiple markets, on foot, with our trusty shopping trolley. And finding toilet paper for BE's marine toilets in Europe is next to impossible unless we are willing to pay ridiculous prices at super yacht stores. Fortunately, a purchasing error some 13 years ago left Berkeley East flush in TP, so it has never been a problem until the last of it was used in October. Who knew there would be a worldwide shortage of toilet paper? Several rolls of "Scott One-Ply" are currently in the "must go to the boat" heap upstairs.

As painful as it is to leave BE sitting alone in Barcelona, we know that we are far better off here, at home, with grocery delivery and good healthcare if needed, than we would be if we were quarantined on Berkeley East amid Spain's own healthcare crisis. And we are very thankful for that.

So while we stay home and wait for the curve to flatten, between jigsaw puzzles, some very chilly water ski runs, and Face Time happy hours with friends, we are reviewing the options for Berkeley East this year.

Over the winter, we developed three possible cruising plans: 1) take BE north to England and the Baltic Sea; 2) sail back across the Atlantic to the Caribbean; 3) spend one last season in the Mediterranean. While Option 1 (sailing to the UK and the Baltic) was winning our hearts pre-COVID-19, at this point, Option 3 (staying in the Med) is looking like the only real possibility. That said, at the present time, many marinas and ports throughout the Med are closed, and yachts from Italy and Spain are being refused entry to those that are open. We have no idea how that might change in the coming weeks, or months. But we are hopeful that we will be back aboard BE soon, and will spend time revisiting some of our favorite European locales. Then again, considering that Berkeley East is in Spain, and her crew will have come from the most infected country in the world, we are prepared for just about anything. BE may just have to change the spelling of her name and remain in Spain for some time - su nombre es "Berkeley Este."

We hope all our friends throughout the world are safe and healthy.

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