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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 luxury yachts on crewed charter in the Greek and Turkish Aegean may be obtained by clicking on the gray links immediately above. Thank You. You may be searching for the French East, L'Orient, perhaps the French Far East as in French Indo-China or French India. Unless you're a philatelist, you're too late, the French Far East no longer exists. Sorry. And neither will you have much luck should you be searching for the French Near East, as in Cilicia, unless, again, you are a philatelist. Cilicia is now a part of southern Turkey. So you are thus more likely to be searching for a luxury yacht or for a yacht on crewed charter or for one or the other in the Greek or Turkish Aegean. In these events you have found a pertinent web page, one dealing with a low-profiled schooner-rigged motor-sailer on crewed charter in the Greek and Turkish Aegean, L'Orient by name. You may have in mind an odyssey like that of Homer's Odysseus, sailing south from ancient Troy in the northwest corner of modern Turkey just below the Dardanelles or Hellespont, a cruise past the islands of Lesbos and Chios, Homer's birthplace, to Lipsi, ancient Ogygia, where Odysseus was shipwrecked by a tempest and seduced for seven years by the siren Calypso. In the eighth year, Homer recounted, Odysseus broke the siren's spell and resumed his odyssey, sailing southwest across the Aegean past Patmos and Naxos, Paros and Sifnos, to the southern Peloponnesus where off Cape Malea he was caught in a second more violent tempest which blew him all the way to the island of Djerba, land of lotus eaters off the coast of modern Tunisia. You might consider such an odyssey for yourself, for you and your family, absent the tempests, of course. You might consider sailing through the Turkish and Greek Aegean as did Odysseus and as did scores of others populating the pages of history. While this web page deals with a luxury yacht on crewed charter in the Greek and Turkish Aegean, it also deals with another fascinating character who like Odysseus raced through local history with a single name: Paul. This Paul appeared in the pages of history almost three thousand years after Odysseus when surnames were relatively common. He was born during yet another tempest on a sailing sloop en route from Marseille to the island of If (Eef) one mile offshore. "If" should ring a bell. It was in the Chateau d'If that Edmund Dantes, later Count of Monte Cristo, was imprisoned and from which he escaped 14 years later. But the birth of Paul occurred in December 1597 long before the island's fortress became a prison. His father was Paul de Fortia, seigneur de Piles and Baron de Baumes, a notorious duelist detailed to the island to keep him out of trouble, while his mother was a laundress whose name has not been recorded for posterity. At the time in history when Paul was a young man the absence of lineage could be a burden, and so to make his name he stowed away at the age of 12 aboard a sailing merchantman. At the age of 16 he got caught up in a matter of honor at Malta and, like his father before him, eliminated with a blade the source of his angst. At the behest of his father (identifying himself as a sort of godfather outside of the church) the Grand Master of the Knights of Malta, Alof de Wignacourt, absolved Paul of blame and put him on a corsair vessel operating with a Maltese letter of marque. In those days with small standing navies it was common for able commanders to hire themselves out as government sponsored sea warriors, or corsairs. For Christians like the Maltese, the letter of marque authorized war against Muslims, while Ottoman letters of marque authorized war against Christians. Paul's new home was a two-masted brigantine (an appellation derived from "brigand's ship") square-rigged forward and gaff-rigged aft mounting 16 guns. As a member of the crew Paul for three years deployed to the Aegean, but in an otherwise successful engagement with five Ottoman galleys during the third year his commanding officer was killed. Paul was elected by his shipmates to command. Over the years which followed Paul used the proceeds from additional forays into the Aegean to purchase several of his own corsair vessels also sailing under Maltese letters of marque. His fame (sang-froid dans les périls) and wealth both mounted as he raided Turkish islands in the Aegean and successfully engaged Ottoman warships. A watch tower on a small islet near Lesbos was for many decades called "Captain Paul's Tower" because he used it to keep a look out for richly-laden Ottoman caravans coming up from Alexandria to Constantinople. In 1631 one of his ships, a lateen-rigged tartan with a crew of 90, returned to Malta with three galley beaks embedded in her hull. But despite his fame, his wish to become a Knight of Malta, an order not only of warriors but of religious brothers sworn to abstinence and chastity, continually stumbled on his birth out of wedlock. Eventually, however, it became intolerable that a warrior of such renown could not be accepted into the Order, and so records of wedded parents were suddenly discovered when he was 40 years of age, and with the surname Saumeur he was in 1637 made a brother knight of the Order. Chevalier Paul as he was thereafter called soon came to the attention of the French king's minister for all things, Cardinal Richelieu. Paul was made an officer in the Royal Navy, in succession commanding Neptune, Licorne, and Grand Anglois at the 1638 Battle of Guetaria (depicted at right), at the 1643 Battle of Cartagena, at the 1646 Battle of Orbitello, at the 1648 Battle of Castellamare, and in numerous other engagements in between. For his service with the French Navy he was in 1649 made a vice-admiral by Cardinal Mazarin, new King Louis XIV's new minister for everything. He was also ennobled, as well, no, not as the Count of Monte Cristo, but again as a knight, this time a Knight of the Kingdom of France. Reflecting his fame and stature he in 1650 obtained an audience with the young king and the king's regent mother Anne of Austria, an extraordinary honor for a former commoner born out of wedlock. In 1652 he was made a naval lieutenant general. When Louis XIV visited Toulon as a young man in 1660 he respectfully called on Chevalier Paul at his home. Paul then and earlier commanded the French Navy's Levantine flotilla in the Aegean. With his flag flying from La Reine, 52 guns, he had in 1650 rescued a young widow of nobility, Angèle de La Vieuville, then a Turkish captive headed for the harem in Constantinople. They fell madly in love in spite of their difference in age and station, but, tragically, she died a year later giving birth to their son. His love for Vieuville was occasion for Paul to renounce his vows of abstinence and chastity. And his Maltese knighthood. And so it was also extraordinary that at Mazarin's request he was in 1658 made a commander of the Knights of Malta, a crowning achievement for a former commoner no longer chaste. In 1663 he was appointed to joint command of the French galley fleet, his co-commander Louis-Victor Rochechouart, Duke of Vivonne, boyhood friend of the king and brother of the king's mistress Madame de Montespan. Of all the capable seamen in France, and there were many, Paul was deemed best able to tutor the Duke of Vivonne in the ways of the sea. He served in this capacity until his death from natural causes in 1668. Throughout Paul's seventy years his accomplishments and good fortune never went to his head, and he never lost the common touch. Since his death several French Navy vessels have been named Chevalier Paul in his honor, including an extant frigate. This is but one small chapter at the crossroads of history. Come charter L'Orient to cruise in Chevalier Paul's wake along the coast of Aegean Turkey. Or to sail the course of Odysseus down the coast of Asia Minor and among Greek Aegean islands. While you holiday. While you holiday with family or friends proceeding leisurely from one historically fascinating locale to another. Yes, charter L'Orient to cruise the Turkish and Greek Aegean. Starting in Bodrum. Or Gocek. Are you searching for Gocek in Turkey? Well, it is forty-two nautical miles ENE of Rhodes Town and twenty-five minutes by road from its own international airport at Dalaman. In Bodrum or Gocek we can put you aboard a luxury yacht for the holiday of a lifetime. We can put you aboard L'Orient and show you Chevalier Paul's routes east along the coast of Turkey to Antalya and then west and north again along the coast of Turkey past Lesbos to Troy, and show you as well an incredible variety of history in between. Do all of this aboard a handsome schooner-rigged charter yacht with luxurious accommodations for five couples and a service to match. Do all of this while you holiday at the crossroads of history. Contact Blue Cruise Yacht Charters today at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone us at +90-533-230-5781.