A family cruising yacht with a delicate sensitivity.
Dear Homo Sapiens, There is no need to continue reading this page. What follows is intended for search engine robots and spiders and not necessarily for human beings. Further information concerning family yachts cruising Turkey and Greece may be obtained by clicking on the maroon links immediately above. Thank You. Are you by any chance planning a family holiday? A sailing holiday? A family sailing holiday perhaps cruising the coast of Turkey and among neighboring Aegean islands of Greece? A family sailing holiday at the crossroads of history? A family sailing holiday with history and geography texts as well as with swimsuits and snorkeling gear? If so, you've found the right web page because here we're dealing with a bareboat sailing yacht ideally suited to families with youngsters, a yacht which is easy to handle and comfortable to live aboard. And do we have history!!! History was practically invented here, and the first history text was written here. Written by Herodotus at Halicarnassus, now Bodrum, Turkey, and entitled, what else, entitled History!!! That was hundreds of years after our Homer, born on our island of Chios, recounted the Iliad and the Odyssey. We've had the Peloponnesian War fought in our waters, Alcibiades and Lysander the protagonists. We've had Alexander the Great. He fought his way along our shores, besieging Halicarnassus among other of our centers of history. We've had Julius Caesar. He studied at our School of Rhetoric in Rhodes and later dispatched one of our local Robin Hoods. We've had Cleopatra. She holidayed here. Brought along her barges and minions, too. We've had Crusaders, the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem in their crimson tunics with white crosses, sailing crimson-hulled black-prowed galleys. We've had corsairs by the dozens, among them the Barbarossa brothers one of whom became Lord High Admiral of the Ottoman Navy. And we've had a multitude of others who people the pages of history, all of them cruising our shores and among our offshore islands just as you contemplate doing. One of these others was Gabriel de Chambes de Boisbaudran. What a name! Must have been French. Yes, he was a French knight of the aforementioned Order of Saint John, then ensconced at Malta. At the pinnacle of a career as a seagoing Hospitaller, that is, as a galley commander with years of service at sea, and as a Hospitaller serving in the most advanced hospital in Europe, and as a Hospitaller with twelve years as a prisoner of Barbary corsairs at Tunis, he was appointed commander of the Order's galley squadron in December 1642. He appeared in our waters in April of 1644 with two galleys, one 28 oars to a side, the other with 24 to a side. They were seeking easy prey and finding it along our Karamanian coast near Kekova Roads. They were found in turn, however, by eight galleys of the Turkish Rhodes Guard off Baba Burnu north of Lesbos, easily escaping. But easy prey and easy escapes are not worthy of our consideration three and a half centuries later. It was his next visit in September of the same year, this time with six Hospitaller galleys, that earned him a measure of historic notoriety. Still searching for easy pickings, south of Rhodes he came upon a convoy bound from Constantinople to Alexandria in Egypt, the convoy consisting of an ungainly four-masted 1,000-ton sultana loaded with timber and pilgrims headed for Mecca, two smaller sailing merchantmen, and seven saiques. One of the latter was sent to the bottom while the sultana was taken after protracted resistance and with considerable Maltese loss, including our friend Boisbaudran who took a musket ball in the chest while boarding. Among those found on board the sultana was Sunbullu Aga, Chief Black Eunuch and administrator of the Ottoman Sultan's harem. Reported to have been close to the Sultan's favorite concubine Turan Hatice, a Ukrainian born Nadia, he perished during the battle with more than two hundred other Turks. Among three hundred-odd prisoners were thirty women and a child not yet four years of age, a boy in fine raiment. You may guess at the drift of this small chapter in history should you wish; it is not an anecdotal report on a late-medieval sea marauder. As there was considerable treasure aboard the sultana in addition to the large number of captives, the Maltese took course for home, stopping en route at Kali Limenes (meaning Good Harbor, where Saint Paul while himself a prisoner "came unto a place called The Fair Havens" - Book of The Acts Of The Apostles, Chapter 27). On the south coast of Crete, it was at Kali Limenes that the squadron took on fresh water and provisions. All of Crete at the time was Venetian, as were Kythera and Cephalonia, the next stops along the route home, and Venice was at peace with the Ottoman Empire. It was not long before the Sultan in Istanbul, Ibrahim The Mad of the House of Osman, invited the Venetian ambassador to drop by the palace and to bring an explanation with him. The ambassador had no explanation, neither for the Maltese nor for their visits to Venetian territory. Ibrahim The Mad was furious, and that, reports have it, is an understatement. He was so consumed by rage he set in motion the wheels of war, a war not just with the Order of Saint John, but a war with Venice for Crete. It was a war which lasted twenty-five years from 1645 to 1670 and cost hundreds of thousands of lives. Was this war a consequence of the loss of the Chief Black Eunuch, a member of the Sultan's household staff? Or a consequence of the number of Turkish dead? Or was it, as George W. Bush once asserted in reference to Iraq, a family affair? The boy taken from the galleon was raised a Christian. His name was changed by his captors from Osman to Domenico, and two decades later he became Padre Domenico Ottomano, a Dominican priest. So this is a story not about a sea marauder cloaked in a red mantle with a white cross who lost his life, but rather it is a story about a war and about a boy said to be the elder brother of the Sultan's son and successor Mehmet IV. It is a story about the tragic consequences of a random act of crusading activity, a story with vague parallels in the twenty-first century. Contact Charter Yachts Turkey today at firstname.lastname@example.org for a Dufour 36 family yacht cruising the crossroads of history, and learn more.