The motor-sailing yacht Schatz features aesthetic
appeal amid comfortable appointments.
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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 charter sailing in Turkey and Greece may be obtained by clicking on the blue links immediately above. Thank You. You may be searching for a yacht charter-sailing Turkey and Greece. You may be dreaming of a yacht charter in the Aegean or eastern Mediterranean. You may even be hoping to cruise the crossroads of history at the cradle of civilization. Alternatively, you may be searching for German treasure. Or for a sweetheart: schatz. If any of these, you might consider the sleek ketch-rigged Schatz with an upper-case S, a sweetheart of a yacht charter-sailing both Turkey and Greece in style, cruising one of the world's last remaining tree-fringed coasts, cruising from one pastel-hued Dodecanese island to the next pastel-hued Dodecanese island, all along the crossroads of history at the cradle of civilization. Just as in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries did the red-hulled black-prowed galleys of the Hospitaller Knights of Rhodes, later the Knights of Malta, making history at the crossroads of history. Sortie-ing from Rhodes Town's middle harbor until 1523 and from Malta's Grand Harbor soon thereafter, these rejoinders to the galleys of Ottoman corsairs were captained by the likes of Pierre d'Aubusson and Philippe Villiers de L'Isle Adam depicted at left, both to succeed to higher rank. Sailing in company and individually they prowled the Aegean preying on treasure-laden merchantmen bound from Silk Road termini to Constantinople, creating so much havoc as to force Ottoman Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror's unsuccessful 1480 siege of Rhodes and Suleiman the Magnificent's successful siege 42 years later, the first a siege defended by Aubusson as Grand Master and the second by L'Isle Adam as Grand Master. Born in 1464 at L'Isle Adam 25 miles north of Paris, Philippe Villiers was the fourth of eleven children to lesser nobility and was not destined to succeed to family estates. He was received into the Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem at the age of sixteen and was almost immediately summoned by Aubusson to participate in defense of the 1480 siege. This first major Ottoman siege, of three months, failed mostly thanks to Aubusson and his corps of experienced knights, but Philippe Villiers made a lasting impression. He soon began climbing through the ranks of seagoing knights to become a galley captain, Captain General of Galleys, and Seneschal of Rhodes commanding the island's militia. In 1510 Villiers was given command of the Order's armada including the galley squadron, and in that position obtained considerable fame by defeating a 25-ship Mameluk Egyptian flotilla in the Gulf of Latakia near modern Iskenderun, Turkey. One year later he was appointed Grand Prior of France and secretary to the Grand Master. The next year he became Grand Hospitaller responsible for what was then the leading medical facility in the world, and in 1515 he was posted as the Order's resident ambassador to the court of new French King Francis I. He was still there in 1521 when elected by fellow Hospitallers to succeed the deceased Fabrizzio del Carretta as Grand Master. He returned to Rhodes aboard the Hospital's great carrack and flagship Santa Maria depicted at right. A seven-decker with 100 guns, the Santa Maria was the only Hospitaller vessel painted all black. In a journey of eight months with several waypoints, Villiers successfully eluded the Ottoman corsair Muslihidden Kurtoglu en route. Commanding a flotilla of galleys and galliots numbering up to eighty, Kurtoglu was that year not in the employ of the Ottoman state but was rather seeking to avenge the loss to Hospitallers of two of his brothers as well as seeking hostages for the swap of a third brother then imprisoned at Rhodes. Returned to Rhodes in September 1522 Villiers immediately began preparing the Hospitaller fortress for a siege known to be coming. In June of the following year the first of what would become more than 200 Ottoman warships and transports appeared off Rhodes Town commanded by none other than Kurtoglu in his other role as an Ottoman admiral. Those ships were to put ashore upward of 100,000 Ottoman soldiers as well as 60,000 Serbian and Ruthenian sappers, for Suleiman intended to bring down the walls surrounding Rhodes Town with underground mines. Those walls were manned by 500 Knights Hospitaller as well as by 100 Hospitaller serving brothers together with 1,000 mercenaries, 1,000 Rhodian militia, and another 2,400 citizens bearing arms. Six months later some of the walls did come down, heralding the end for Hospitaller Rhodes. There in person, Suleiman offered generous terms. The siege was lifted on Christmas Eve 1522. During the following week Villiers and Suleiman met on three occasions, one of these having to do with a prisoner swap which included the Kurtoglu brother. On the first of the new year Villiers at the head of 160 surviving Hospitallers and 4,000-odd mostly Latin islanders marched out of Rhodes Town flags flying and boarded 50 vessels, many of them loaned by Suleiman. On the occasion the Ottoman sultan is reported to have said, "It is not without regret that I drive this brave old man out of his home," while the Holy Roman Empire's Charles V said, "Nothing in the world was ever so well lost as Rhodes." Philippe Villiers de L'Isle Adam was to live to settle the Hospitallers in their new home at Malta where he died of natural causes on the 22nd of August 1534. Muslihiddin Kurtoglu settled in his new home at Rhodes, becoming the first Ottoman beylerbey or governor of the island. He died there of natural causes in 1535, no longer having the favor of the Ottoman sultan in consequence of his indiscriminate corsair activities. This is but a small chapter at the crossroads of history. Come sail these crossroads yourself, breathe the aroma of pine-shrouded coves dotting Turkey's Turquoise Coast, bask under a warm Aegean sun after swimming in its azure sea, join in the search for a perfect spinach pie, climb to an ancient acropolis re-fortified by these same Knights, enjoy the luxury of a catered yacht charter in Greece and Turkey, and learn more. Surely this is the holiday for which you search. Rare comfort under sun at the crossroads of history. Try it! You'll like it! Schatz, a superb crewed charter yacht sailing Turkey and Greece. Contact Blue Cruise Yacht Charters today at email@example.com