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  • Writer's pictureTiago Bertalot

2022 Season Explained

Updated: Jan 3, 2023

What's up sailors? At Trouble Maker, this year we sailed through 5 countries and we have lot's to tell!

La Bella Italia

We spent a delightful winter in the boot country visiting many small towns! We rented a motorhome and drove through Calabria and Sicily visiting villages, touristic parks and we even climbed the Etna volcano, where we faced a snowstorm!

Me and Manu in the snowstorm at Etna

If you are ever going to spend the winter somewhere in Europe, Italy is a good destination, especially in the south! If you want to know more, visit Christmas Abord a Sailboat

The 2022 season started on the 14th of April when we left Brindisi in Italy for a 24 hour crossing to Croatia. We were on board the sailboat Rainbow's End a Beneteau 393 owned by our friends Paola and Rodrigo, which we would sail side by side for all the rest of the season.

Croatia

How to talk about Croatia without feeling homesick? - It's where we bought our first, and second ocean capable boats and it's where we feel right at home! We learned to navigate between Buras - strong katabatic winds - and calms. Croatia is the place we will have in our memories forever!

We finally left Rainbow’s End on the 5th of May and after spending 21 days hosted was time to take care of our new - for us - boat, the Bavaria 44 which we named again Trouble Maker! Our second ocean capable sailboat is bigger and more comfortable than we ever imagined!

Rainbow's End (background) stopped on english way with the "new" Trouble Maker

In 2022 we went to places we hadn't visited before like Nečujam, Bobovišća, Lastovo and others we wanted to go one last time like Hvar, Vis, Marina, Split…. we also spent Giovanni's birthday with our friends from Brindisi Melany and Michael from the sailboat Talaria, they teached kids to do their own pizza!

It was in 2022 that we also received our first Onboard Experience, No Trouble family. It was 6 great and very inspiring days for all of us with birthdays, dives and lots of fun! We were apprehensive about what it would be like to have a family on board and in the end we found out that it couldn't have been better!

We left Croatia on June 5 and after the check-out procedures in Cavtat we joined the sailboats Norwegian Lady II and Rainbow’s End to bound south on a daytime navigation to Montenegro.

Montenegro

We entered the Bay of Kotor pushed by a delicious west wind and with sails up we arrived at Porto Montenegro for our check in. Once all the bureaucracy was finished we went to anchor close by and rest. Next morning on a easy ride we visited Tivat which is a modern and charming city. We took many walks there despite the very strong heat.

Next few days we had a bad weather forecasted with strong winds and thunder. We seek for a anchorage near the island of Stradioti and despite the rain and wind we didn't have any problems. Months later, a friend's sailboat was struck by lightning at the same place and suffered extensive damage.

June 9, 2022, we wouldn't see rain again for a few months!

Still with the wind at more than 30 knots (almost 55km/h) we left to the luxurious Marina Lazure where we met another family for the Onboard Experience, No Trouble. We stocked up together to continue our adventure with a super excited new crew! Once again, we loved hostering people and the week went way too fast!

In Montenegro we visited Bigovo, Blue Cave, Kotor (where we climbed 1,200 steps to the top of a castle), Morinj and Risan. All beautiful with sunny days and no more rain that we would only find again months later in Greece. We left our crew at Tivat by dinghy and started our journey south.

We arrived in Budva Bay and as expected, we had 3 days with katabatic winds of 50+ knots (more than 93km/h) During the first night we dragged and ended up near another sailboat, at the first sun light we moved and while doing the re-anchor manoeuvre our dinghy capsized and the outboard sunk in the salty water, what an adventure and what a farewell to Montenegro! On the morning of the 19th of June we said goodbye to continue on a journey of more than 30 hours sailing along Albania coast to Corfu, Greece!

Greece

We arrived in Corfu with sails up and fresh winds! We immediately noticed the differences and with many boats everywhere we had to be much more carefully! On the 20th of June we dropped anchor in the bay of Corfu under protection of the "Old Fort" and very tired after sailing overnight we slept for many hours despite the discomfort of the rocking and the constant noise from the city!

My birthday was celebrated in the best nomadic style, in a park with more than 20 other Brazilian sailors, what a party!

From Corfu we set off on a wonderful journey through the islands of the Ionian Sea, a special place that is very easy to navigate with constant and friendly winds. With the other Brazilian boats we explored Syvota and the surroundings with plenty of beautiful anchorages. Those were magnificent days passing through Lakka, Paxos, Antipaxos, Preveza, Potamaki Beach, Wasp Bay and many others....

Syvota

We sought shelter in Aggia Effimia for a few days getting protected from strong winds and thunder, we than took the opportunity to visit the surroundings. With settled weather was time to leave for Spartià and from there Agios Nikolaos in Zakynthos where we rented a car and made a land ride around the island that has interesting attractions but, unfortunately, all very crowded!

On the morning of the 14th of July we entered the Gulf of Patras which would lead us to the Corinth Canal. We did part of this stretch alone with no other buddy boats. Heading east through Nafpaktos, Trizonia and Itea, where we would shelter from a strong gale that blew for almost 4 days uninterruptedly. This place is also the ideal port to visit Delphi, the navel of the world, indescribable!

We crossed the Corinth canal on the afternoon of 21st of July with a strong confusing wind. The authorization to cross came only after almost 1 hour waiting on the west mouth and as it was supposed to be, we were all dazzled! We entered the Aegean Sea in the early evening of the same day and rested waiting for our Romanian friends from the sailboat Discovery who would sail side by side to us until the end of the season.

Corinth Canal

The Aegean is beautiful but the Meltemi influence is already felt, a strong and constant wind that blows from north-northeast for weeks, sometimes months at times. Taking advantage of this wind, we sailed through places we already knew like Ephidravos and Poros and other unknown ones. In Kolpos we said goodbye to our friends from the Yacht Apollo and further southwest the city of Porto Cheli gave us shelter during days of inclement wind. We head east through Agios Marina in Aegina, Paralia Varkiza and from there to the extreme south of mainland Greece: Sounion where we visit the Temple of Athena Sounias.

Giovanni at Athena Sounias Temple

On the 13th of August we left the anchorage with a fantastic wind that guaranteed us an average speed of 6 knots (11km/h) arriving in Caristos before the planned time. There would begin our journey towards the north along the Evvia Channel and avoiding the area most exposed to Meltemi. We followed this route at the suggestion of our friend Luis from the sailboat Margarida who has been helping us here in Greece with great tips!

Heading north we passed through Petalioi, the picturesque Porto Buffalo, Eretria and finally Chalkida which is the largest city in this region.

It would be time to receive the third and last family that would come visit us on the Onboard Experience, No Trouble. This part of the trip would be the most "Greek" piece and very different from the rest of the well known touristic area. It would be a different and exciting tour, starting with the passage at night across the Evripos bridge, which has a strong current and has even been studied by Aristotle.

We headed north and got caught in a storm that forced us to head to the unlikely port of Limni, a big stress as the port was designed for small fishing boats and has a very narrow entrance, shallow and exposed to winds and waves. With our guests super engaged with the experience, things became easy with exemplary teamwork! We spent 3 days in this small town but we all took it in stride, these are things from the experience on board - sometimes we really get stuck.

Very tight entrance to the port of Limni

As the weather improved we headed west to the town of Achladi where we were forced to listen for an entire night to horrible music coming from a local restaurant. From there we finally progressed eastwards passing by Oreoi where we left the Evvia channel. 28th of August we anchored at Koukonaris beach and next day Skiathos to once again say goodbye to our Onboard Experience, No Trouble crew.

Always heading east we left Skiathos and went to the island of Skopelos, passing by Klima beach where we did our last dive of the season and in the small bay of Loutraki we stayed for 4 days while the dreaded Meltemi showed that it was still going strong! This island is known for being the set of the classic film Mamma Mia, which we take the opportunity to watch in our cinema section that happened almost daily at Trouble Maker.

After the wind calmed down and the waves where not big we sailed to Stafilos. Next day we passed along the island of Alonnisos non-stop and went to drop our anchor in the isolated bay of Planitis on the island of Kira Panagia where there is no internet signal and the only other boat around was Rainbow's End.

On the 10th of September we left at dawn only light up by the moonlight and sailed under engine for about 10 hours to the sheltered bay of Myrina on an island called Limnos. Once again, we sought refuge from the Meltemi, which still insisted on blowing strongly despite the fact that we were entering the middle of autumn. That was our last city in Greece we visited and on the night of September 13th we left for Turkey.

Myrine, we are down below!

Those 87 days in Greece were magical, incredible! We'll have them alive in our memory for years to come, but now it was time to leave the European continent and head back to Asia!

Turkey

We arrived on the 14th of September in the bay of Ayvalik, and had the strange sensation of having, for the first time, gone on an international journey. Curious that despite having visited 4 countries so far, they all have something in common: belonging to the same continent. Leaving Europe and feeling the new aromas, culture and even remembering a little bit of Qatar made us feel real explorers.

The first thing that strikes you in Turkey is the number of fishing boats, then the smiling people and it's impossible to leave out the food that is simply the best for our palate so far! Turkey has flavors similar to Brazil and the simplicity of the restaurants immediately makes us feel at home, in addition to the price, which is much lower than in the old continent.

Turkey food is simply GREAT!

The bay of Ayvalik is already beautiful, but to make it even better there is a village called Cunda, very lively and picturesque with restaurants, shops and colorfully decorated alleys. We spent 18 days in this region and took the opportunity to rest, enjoy nature and the cities. We received a daily visit from a dolphin that came at 07:30 in the morning to wake us up playing with the boat's anchor chain!

On the 3rd of October we started our descent towards the south and stopped at Foça which means seal in Turkish. As there was again a forecast of strong winds we needed a safe place to stay for a few days and this small town was great! The wind rolled in there, but the bottom was very good and we didn't dragged once.

Charming Foça

The market was very close to where we were and everything we needed was at hand. We took advantage of the idle days to prepare the boat for the winter which was about to happen. It always takes us more than a week to organize Trouble Maker and this time, for some reason, it took us even longer so it was nice to stop in Foça to do things slowly!

We arrived in Izmir not before the adventure of having the engine stopping right at the end of the navigation! See here: The Trouble Engine. The final winter jobs we did in an organized way and without rushing so on the 17th of October she was ready to go up and the crane placed her on dry land where she will remain for almost 6 months until our return to Izmir.

Trouble Maker on dry dock

Some final figures of our 2022 season:

  • We sailed around 1,600 nautical miles or 3,000km

  • We are anchored in 187 different places

  • Longest crossing: 172 nautical miles or 318km in 33 hours (From Budva to Corfu)

  • We spent 600L of diesel and ran the engine for 394 hours

  • We had 3 strong storms with rain, wind and lightning (Croatia, Montenegro and Greece)

  • Highest recorded wind was 48kts (90km/h) in Budva, Montenegro

We did all of this in a very safe way and were extremely happy with our decisions, always trending for safety and comfort. At no point did we challenged nature and we are sure we did our best! A great learning experience after the 2021 season in which we got into more than one storm and ended with huge waves and a lot of wind heading to Brindisi, Italy. See Crossing to Italy, Storms if you want to know more.

We also learned to follow our instincts and our knowledge. We were challenged many times in terms of our convictions and paths, but we stood firm for what we believe. When necessary, we went back and other times we changed our course. We accepted that we could have other options when it was convenient for us.

Colorida e Snow

Finally, I want to dedicate the 2022 season to our two pets, our cat Colorida and our dog Snow. Anyone who accompanies us knows that we lost Colorida on the island of Vis, Croatia, on the night of May 22nd when she went out for a walk and never came back, we looked all over the island and couldn't find her.

On October 14th we took Snow for a bath at the pet-shop in Izmir and due to carelessness of the people there she escaped, she was never seen again! I walked 40km in 2 days looking for her, we called, we glued posters, we did everything to find her and unsuccessfully we cried a lot for the loss, it's not easy to lose 2 crew members like that!

I hope from the bottom of my heart that the two have found a home and that they are treated with lots of love like we did, for us there is only an eternal feeling of loss! Thank you both for being part of our lives.



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