This popular motor-sailing ketch
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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 about gulets sailing the Turkish and Greek Aegean may be obtained by clicking on the gray links immediately above. Thank You. You may be searching for a gulet charter sailing the Greek Aegean, or for a gulet charter sailing the Turkish Aegean. You may even be considering a gulet charter sailing both the Greek and Turkish Aegean. You may be dreaming of a cruise from one secluded blue-water cove surrounded by Calabrian Pine to another secluded blue-water cove pressing up against olive groves. Or you may be dreaming of a cruise from inviting white-sand beach to isolated steep-to anchorage, from remote Greek island surrounded by azure sea to remote Greek island pierced by stark sandstone waypoints. You may be dreaming of sailing Greece's pastel-hued Dodecanese islands off the western coast of Turkey. Or it may be the Cyclades in mid-Aegean steeped in Greek blue-and-white under tangles of bougainvillea. You may even be dreaming of cruising the northern Aegean among Greece's rarely visited Eastern Sporades. Cruising Lesbos, for example, where the four Barbarossa brothers were born late in the 15th century along with two sisters. Or you may be dreaming of a holiday or honeymoon cruising Turkey's eastern Mediterranean coast, the coast lying under towering Taurus Mountains in Turkish Pamphylia and Cilicia (Kilikya). From Antalya to Latakia! Latakia, where Tabach Reis was born about one decade after the Barbarossas. Perhaps you already plan to holiday or honeymoon in these corsair waters at the crossroads of history. If not with family, then with a small group of friends. If so, a rather intimate yacht with few guest accommodations may be just the ticket. Consider, if you will, Primadonna, a 70-foot ketch-rigged charter gulet cruising the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean with no more than six guests in three guest cabins. No more than six guests in luxury accommodations. You might charter such a yacht to cruise the Aegean from Bodrum. Three of the Barbarossa brothers cruised the Aegean near Bodrum, the eldest Aruj, Elias the next, and Khizr the youngest. But the prima donna in that family was Katerina, the mother. She had earlier been widowed childless by a Greek Orthodox priest. The primo uomo in the new family was a retired Ottoman janissary of Greek or Albanian origins with the janissary-assigned name of Yakub. He became a successful potter as well as a prodigious father not slowed by thirty years of Ottoman service. Reflecting the Fourth Crusade's earlier pillage and desecration of Orthodox Constantinople and ensuing occupation of the Greek Aegean, all of the family grew to despise Latin Christians and to make life for Latins as difficult as possible. Elias was in about 1498 to fall in combat with Latin Hospitaller Knights from Rhodes. Isaac, the third son, was in 1518 to die in combat with Latin Spanish in North Africa. Aruj, the first Barbarossa and eldest, was to become Emir of Algiers in 1516 before, like Isaac, losing his life in combat with Latin Spanish in 1518. Khizr, the youngest and more famous Barbarossa later re-named Kheir-ed-Din by Sultan Selim, was to become Lord High Admiral of the Ottoman Navy. One of their two sisters was to wed Sinan of Smyrna, yet another of the Barbarossa's Latin-hating lieutenants, while the second sister was to wed Salih Reis, still another Latin-hating lieutenant. You might like to pursue this bit of history while cruising from either Bodrum or the Hospitaller's home at Rhodes Town. You might like to trace Aruj's galliot track from Bodrum down the chain of Greece's Dodecanese Islands, Kos, Nisiros, Tilos, Khalki, and Karpathos to Kasos and Crete where off the latter's coast Elias met his end in an engagement with the Hospitaller Knights' large galley Nostra Signora della Concezione. In the same action Aruj was taken captive and sent to a Hospitaller oar, his winters imprisoned in the dungeon of the castle at Rhodes depicted below. Also taken captive at the time was Khizr, parked in one of the towers of the Hospitaller castle at Bodrum depicted above. Aruj was after five years ransomed by Ottoman Prince Korkut, while Khizr relying on his youth, native Greek, and the diplomacy which was later to serve him in such good stead, protested his innocence and talked his way out shortly after arrival. Should you be searching for Bodrum in Turkey or for Rhodes Town in Greece, well, the first is about 70 nautical miles NW of the latter while the latter is at the northeastern tip of Rhodes island itself. And both have international airports. At either place you may come aboard Primadonna, a charter sailing yacht affording unforgettable holidays and honeymoons. You may come aboard a crewed charter yacht with an experienced crew able to show you the path of the Knights east to Alexandretta. As an Hospitaller oarsman Aruj frequently cruised the Knights' oft-sailed path from Rhodes Town along Turkey's southern coast to Kastellorizon and thence to Alexandretta and Latakia in search of Egyptian and Syrian Mamluk prey. It was at Latakia that Tabach Reis, one of the brothers' principal lieutenants was born, coming of age while Aruj pulled a Hospitaller oar. Tabach was early and late a Barbarossa lieutenant, early as one of Aruj Barbarossa's corsair captains (reis) soon after ransom, late at the 1538 Battle of Preveza where he commanded a squadron of Kheir-ed-Din Barbarossa's victorious Ottoman fleet. Tabach was born at Latakia, now Syria's major seaport, at a time of Mamluk stewardship but probably of Greek Orthodox parents still calling Latakia by its Greek name of Laodicea. While Tabach was undoubtedly a nom de guerre, there is slight reason to believe it was derived from the popular Latakia tabac leaf as tobacco was not to be introduced in the Mediterranean as more than an idiosyncrasy until decades after Tabach had gained fame, though as a Spanish captive in 1529 he may have encountered one or more of Columbus's New World veterans with the habit. It was as a Spanish captive he earned the sobriquet Tabac Arraez, arraez meaning captain, while in turn awaiting a captain's ransom. Whatever the derivation, Tabach earlier cruised the Turkish and Greek Aegean, though not on holiday or honeymoon. At the time it was mostly a Latin Aegean, and he did so skippering his own galliot in company with others commanded by Aruj Barbarossa. He did so, as well, venting the same Orthodox rage at Latins, particularly Venetian Latins, who had been responsible for the Fourth Crusade's dismemberment of Orthodox Byzantium of which Laodicea had been a part. Consequently obtaining Tabach's attention as well as that of Aruj and Khizr, and suffering their depredations were the mid-Aegean Venetian islands of Naxos, Paros, and Ios, among others. Primadonna, a handsome charter gulet cruising the Turkish and Greek and Venetian Aegean can take you to these and many more places at the crossroads of history. Contact Blue Cruise Yacht Charters today at firstname.lastname@example.org