The storm has caught up with us.
In fact, the sea has a cough too.
The wind is blowing from a WNW direction, and that is the only consolation, as we run with the wind into the right direction.
One could say, it is almost " relaxing ", but BF 9-10, ie 40-55 kts of wind is not everybody's business , I guess.
Seeking shelter in "Barbary Lands" ?
Which brings me back to that issue of the previous story.
So let's continue. Who cares for the storm !
Let's first start with some highlights of this "CSHB" ( Christian Slave Hunting Business ) :
1544, raid on Ischia, 4000 prisoners, raid on Lipari , total population of 9000 into slavery,
1551 Gozo ( off Malta ), 5000 slaves,
1555 Bastia, Corsica, 6000 slaves,
and I could go on and on and on.
IN FACT, IT WENT ON UNTIL THE 19TH CENTURY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And we are talking 'big numbers' here.
The "HUNT FOR CHRISTIANS" got as far as Ireland,
where in 1631 a pirate called Murat Reis, supported by soldiers from the Ottoman Empire (!!!!!),
stormed a little village close to Cork ( where our crew member Olaf comes from )
and took almost all poeple there back to North Africa into slavery.
ONLY 2 EVER RETURNED.
Hah, you did not know that, did you ! ? !
As a result, watchtowers along coastal areas were erected as "early warning system" against these attacks.
There are still plenty along the Amalfi coast, in case you should visit that area in your summer holidays.
Or the population just decided to retreat to safer areas, leaving whole coastal stretches or indeed islands uninhabited, like Formentera or the south of Italy.
If you should ever visit Lecce ( close to Brindisi), a monument of Barock architecture, and you wonder why on earth somebody would build something like that in the middle of nowhere, here is the answer:
The Pope financed it in order to attract people to return to this region and fight against the pirates.
Simple, simples !
But in this region it was not only for " work " in the household or hard labour on the field , being
locked away over night into often hot and overcrowded prisons called
a term today in the italian language describing the 'bathroom' or 'toilets'.
For the more attractive female population
it meant the sale on to the " sex market ",
as "sex slave" or as "stand -by" in
And for the healthy male,
it meant almost certainly "death" .
A slow death.
It meant the service on the rowing deck of a Barbary galley, a pirate ship.
At least during the time at sea, if not all the time, these poor souls were chained to the rowing bench
where they sat, never allowed to leave.
Sleeping, eating, defecation and urination, all in the same place,
summer or winter,
"until death do they part".
And in case of illness or weakness, you only got the whip from the overseer as some kind of medicine.
Any more questions ?
In these regions of the world
- then as much as now -
money can solve everything.
You just had to be rich, or a rich family, or sometimes even the (local) church contributed to the ransom money.
Consequently - again as much as today -
ransom money supported the development of even larger and better ships and equipment.
A vicious circle, that never seems to be stopping by any standards over the centuries of history.
By the estimate of the historian Robert C.Davies,
about 1 - 1,25 million (christian) Europeans
were captured and put into slavery between the years 1530-1780 alone,
which is between 1.8% and 0.9% of the then european population respectively.
And all this "lousy" business only stopped well after the Napoleonic wars (1814) ,
at least of this magnitude.
British and French naval operations can take credit !
And today ?
It depends, whether you are a realist or a day-dreamer.
Whether you include the human trafficking in this "business" or not.
I guess I don't have to tell you my opinion.
I guess you might know !
The Pope ( who else ?? ) should file a 'Class A' law suit
against some of the successor states of those cities and areas as mentioned above ,
for slavery and religious discrimination,
in this case christianity,
clearly for some modern lawmakers in Europe a dying and minority religion.
It will work !
Lawmakers all over the world seem to legislate for minorities only these days.
So there is a chance !
Preferably in New York.
I am sure a smart lawyer will be at hand, probably working on a success fee.
Why New York ?
Well, folk, don't you know :
The american dream, everything is possible in America, specifically in New York !
Specifically with a smart lawyer !
Specifically with a smart lawyer from New York !
Do I have to say more ?
a westerly, BF10,
we are 40 miles off Algier !!! , Tunis is still 2 days of travel ahead, Sicily 3-4, and it is 02:00 am in the morning.
Fati said something about
looking for her 'Barbary'
to join in for the night watch.
Or did she mean 'Burberry' ?
Always the same with these foreigners.
Pronunciation is everything.
Master Mike !