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

The Final Farewell

15 September 2021

Berkeley East and crew have said "arrivederci" to Italy more times than we can recall. Sometimes out of necessity, often in search of a different country, or new adventure. But throughout the past 11 years, BE continually returned to wonderful Italia. And this year was no exception. While the season was brief due to COVID, we cruised in Italy for more than half the summer.

But we can only go back to the same places so many times. And the pandemic brought changes to our cruising life in the Med. There were many, many, many more boats out this year, anchorages were overcrowded, time ashore was limited, land travel was challenging. As much as we love sitting on Berkeley East bobbing at anchor, listening to music and reminiscing over a glass of wine, we miss exploring unfamiliar locales, discovering different customs, having fresh experiences. We carefully weighed all our options and with COVID restrictions tightening again, we knew we did not want to be locked out of Europe, and away from BE, as we were in 2020. So, one day, while bobbing at anchor, listening to music and reminiscing over a glass of wine, we made the very complex decision for Berkeley East to say one final goodbye to Italy, and make the long trip back to the United States.

This "Farewell Tour" began in Positano, one of Italy's most beautiful towns, and wound north through popular islands, little-known anchorages and famed towns, as the weather dictated. It was September and the fall season was becoming apparent. Timing was important, so Berkeley East moved nearly every day, sometimes all day.

We chose our stops carefully, hopscotching between mainland Italy and the Tuscan Archipelago based on wind, waves, provisioning requirements and the need to offload rubbish. Most people do not truly appreciate the convenience of weekly neighborhood garbage pickup unless they have navigated small islands, on a sailboat, where finding trash receptacles is often like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Like any worthwhile activity, there is the good and the bad, and as much as cruising in Italy can be spectacular, it can also be difficult. While most of our stops on this leg of our journey, (Positano, Procida, Elba, Santa Margherita, Portofino) were excellent, Santa Marinella was, not so much. Although it seemed perfect for the forecasted conditions, Santa Marinella turned out to be a horrible choice for anchoring overnight. At 2 am we were rousted from our bed with horns and bright lights by the Guardia Finanza, the financial arm of the Italian Coast Guard. We had heard that they were targeting non-EU boats, but BE had avoided their scrutiny to that point this season. They searched our boat papers and passports, and after 45 minutes asked us to sign something written in Italian, smiled and said not to worry; right. A few hours later, we were awoken to the sound of crashing waves. The surf was rolling in, we were anchored in very shallow water and Berkeley East was being pushed towards shore. Luckily, BE has a very big, heavy anchor that held tight, but getting the spade onboard with waves breaking over Berkeley East's bow, at very short intervals, was extremely stressful. We happily said goodbye to Santa Marinella.

As we moved north through Elba, the third largest and one of the most visited islands in Italy, it was as if we had been transported to another country. The towns were filled to the brim with tourists speaking Dutch and German, apparently Elba has become a hotspot for Northern European holidays. Clearly, the island was not adhering to the new COVID restrictions in Italy, but the visitors were happy, the Italian shop and restaurant owners were thrilled with the business. All seemed right with the world.

Continuing on, there was a night in Porto Venere, lunch off Vernazza in Cinque Terre, and a few days at one of our most beloved Italian towns, Santa Margherita.

We have anchored off Santa Margherita many times, Berkeley East being the only, or one of few, boats on the hook. But as in many other anchorages this year, the boats have multiplied, and the small harbor of Santa Margherita was jammed. Most of the people were very polite in finding space for their vessels, but when one boat anchored too close to Berkeley East, we asked them to move. They eventually did, but only after flipping us off and screaming some profanity. In 15 years of cruising, we have never experienced that sort of aggression. Hopefully it was just one idiot and not the new normal.

We were relieved to see that boat, and most of the other boats, leave the following morning. And for the next days, the bay in Santa Margherita was as we remembered, calm and uncrowded. We made many trips to town, enjoyed meals ashore, long walks to Portofino, sitting on BE bobbing and reminiscing, savoring our last moments aboard Berkeley East in this beautiful country.

As we lifted BE's anchor, we said a final farewell to Santa Margherita and set a course for Genova (Genoa), where we would prepare Berkeley East for her voyage home.

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