This four-guest-cabin gaff-rigged charter schooner
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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 classic yacht sailing in the Greek and Turkish Aegean may be obtained by clicking on the gray links immediately above. Thank You. You are likely searching for a sailing holiday in the Greek or Turkish Aegean. Alternatively you may be searching for a classic yacht, a classic yacht like the gaff-rigged schooner depicted herein. There would seem little other reason Google should point you in this direction. Unless, of course, you are searching for the Harpy named Aello famed for abducting evil-doers and escorting them to the underworld. Sorry, we have little familiarity with Harpies. It is nevertheless worthy of note that Harpy Aello is also known to be victory swift, and this Aello is certainly victory swift, as well, a 2002 Antigua Race Week winner from the drawing board of one of the past century's leading racing yacht designers. So which is it? Could you be considering a swift gaff-rigged schooner holiday in the Greek or Turkish Aegean? A holiday aboard a yacht constructed and appointed in rare Burmese teak? If so, you have surely come to the right place. Take a look. See if you like the cut of her... main topsail! See if you like the gleam of her varnished rail! A rail you might lean out over to counter wind in her topsails! See if you admire the smart way lines are bent to belaying pins! See whether you might feel at home surrounded by early-20th century yacht decor. If not yachts and the Greek or Turkish Aegean, and if not Harpies, you might have come to this Greek-flag schooner's web page in search of Bobolina, in search of Laskarina Bouboulina, because we have a few words to say about this tragic figure of the Greek Revolution. That's her at right, and a formidable woman she was, as well! You can see it in her bearing. As Oscar Wilde wrote, Laskarina Bouboulina was "born to trouble as the sparks fly upward." She was in fact born in May 1771 in one of Constantinople's Seven Towers dungeons when her pregnant mother visited her father imprisoned for his part in a failed Greek uprising against Ottoman overlords nine months earlier. Her father was Stavros Pinotsis, an Hydriot ship owner and sea captain, and the sea was in Bouboulina's blood. Her father died or was executed soon after Bouboulina's birth, and mother and child returned to Hydra, Idra on the map at left, relocating to nearby Spetses four years later upon her mother's re-marriage to Lazaros Orloff. Orloff was another ship owner and sea captain who made a fortune running Russian grain through the British blockade of Napoleonic Europe, taking advantage of the 1774 Treaty of Kucuk Kainarji between Ottoman and Russian Empires giving Eastern Orthodox Christians living in the Ottoman Empire the right to sail under the Russian flag. And the right of free passage through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles. Orloff encouraged Bouboulina and eight step-siblings from early age to participate in his business affairs and taught those willing how to sail a square-rigged ship. Bouboulina was willing. He also encouraged academics. Bouboulina learned how to read and write and became something of an accountant, all unusual for a Greek woman of that period. Her home today is replete with books in several languages, including books authored by revolutionary thinkers such as Friedrich von Schiller and Voltaire. These books suggest Laskarina Bouboulina may have been at least acquainted with the French and German languages as well as with her native Arvanitika (Albanian dialect) and Greek. Like her mother, she married twice, first in 1788 at age 17 to Dimitri Yiannouzas, another sea captain, this one killed in an engagement with Ottoman corsairs from Algiers. In 1801 at the age of 30 she married the wealthy shipowner and captain Dimitri Bouboulis and took his name. She was to have seven children including eldest son Yiannis Yiannouzas, killed at the Battle of Argos, Yiorgos Yiannouzas, and Eleni Boubouli. Her second husband Bouboulis was killed in 1811, executed at Constantinople according to a contemporary source, and Bouboulina succeeded to his estate. In 1816 the Ottoman Empire sought to expropriate that estate by reason of her deceased husband's service to Russia during the Russo-Turkish War of 1805-11. Kapitanissa Bouboulina immediately sailed to Constantinople aboard her Russian-flag Coriezos and met with Russian Ambassador Count Pavel Strogonov to seek his protection by reminding him of her husband's service to Russia. She also met with Valide Sultan Nakshedil, the adoptive mother of Sultan Mahmut II said by some to have been born Aimee du Buc de Rivery and also said to be cousin to Bonaparte's Josephine. (Click here for more on Nakshedil.) While Bouboulina was under the protection of Russia in the Crimea on an estate assigned to her by Tsar Alexander I, Nakshedil is said to have interceded with Mahmut II to lift the estate's expropriation order. At about this time Bouboulina became aware of the secret society Filiki Eteria formed two years earlier and of its plans for a Greek war of independence. A wealthy woman with the sea in her blood and a devastating history with Ottoman overlords, she used her fortune in part to build four ships, including the corvette Agamemnon (245', 18 guns) completed in 1820, augmenting a flotilla of armed merchantmen already a part of her estate. She also funded purchase of arms and ammunition brought in her ships to Spetses where she organized a company of foot soldiers under her command. On 13 March 1821 Bouboulina hoisted her personal Greek revolutionary flag aboard Agamemnon and the people of Spetses soon revolted. That's Agamemnon depicted at left with Bouboulina's Greek flag of revolution at the stern gaff and the Bouboulis house flag at the masthead. Laskarina Bouboulina at the outset of war in April 1821 took her ships and others under her command to the two-year blockade and siege of Ottoman occupied Nauplion. It was during this siege that son Yiannis died a hero's death at nearby Argos. It was also during this period that Bouboulina on a white charger took her foot soldiers to the 1821 siege of inland Tripolis, the Ottoman capital in southern Greece. There in the midst of a grotesque slaughter of surrendered Ottomans she provided protection for the personal harem of Hurshid Ahmed Pasha, a Christian by birth, former Ottoman Grand Vizier, and the Ottoman commander in Greece then at Yanina. Six months later the harem was exchanged at Corinth for a half-dozen Ottoman captives and $80,000 in ransom. It was also at Tripolis that Bouboulina befriended Theodoros Kolokotronis, the general in overall command of besieging forces. Her daughter Eleni would later wed his son Panos. When Nauplion capitulated in November 1823 the provisional government awarded Bouboulina a local residence in recognition of her contribution, and there she temporarily resided. Five months later civil war broke out between Moreans from the Peloponnesus under the Kolokotronis family on one side and Roumeliots and Hydriots on the other. Fighting continued with interruptions until May 1825 when the Egyptian and Ottoman vassal Ibrahim Pasha quashed local rebellion. Kolokotronis was imprisoned at Hydra, and Bouboulina who protested his arrest was twice arrested herself, the second time house arrest at Spetses. There, the revolution appearing lost with Greeks fighting one another, having spent her entire fortune in an apparently fruitless undertaking, with the state in possession of her ships including Agamemnon, and with the entire Peloponnesus under Egyptian control, she became embittered. That same month this tragic figure who had lost a father, step-father, two husbands, and a son to the Ottomans was shot dead on the balcony of her own home by a member of the neighboring Koutsis family protesting elopement of a daughter with Bouboulina's son Yiorgos. Earlier made an admiral in the Imperial Russian Navy, she was later with Kolokotronis pardoned and rehabilitated by the Greek government. But not before her Agamemnon was scuttled at Poros in 1831 in yet another internecine dispute among Greeks, this one between pro-British and pro-Russian factions. Bouboulina's features looking out toward Nauplion and a depiction of Agamemnon appear on one face of the old 50 drachmae bank note superseded by euros in 2002. Should you be searching for the aforementioned islands and places, well, look no further than the map at upper left. Or let Aello take you to them. There or elsewhere we can put you aboard a classic charter yacht with an experienced crew able to sail Laskarina Bouboulina's tracks along the Peloponnesus and across the Aegean to the Dardanelles. And that experienced crew can further discuss the tragic life of this fascinating Greek heroine. An experienced crew of a proper yacht available to sail Greece and Turkey. Contact Blue Cruise Yacht Charters today at email@example.com