Yachts are seen as a luxury experience that are normally associated with rich people. The Greek yacht and shipping industry have been a strong business for over 10,000 years. Some of the most famous magnates of the twentieth century have used the shipping industry to make their fortune. The Greeks have maintained their passion for the sea, which is revered as the a beautiful element and believing it possessed Godlike powers. To this day they still use the sea for many explorations and have continued to keep the sea as part of their way of life.
Greek yachts are more popularly used for sailing holidays for younger people and families, traveling around the Ionian Islands. However, yachts have not always been used for vacations and family holiday explorations. Yachts were a very effective method of traveling on sea because of its lightweight build and fast sailing vessel. The Dutch Navy were commonly found to use them for capturing pirates, which were for a long time a major problem on the Greek islands.
The word pirate is a derivative from the Latin Pirata and the Greek Peiras meaning attempting and experience. Pirates were known as rebellious violent people who committed robbery at sea, they were more active and prominent during the early 17th and 18th century, particularly among the Mediterranean and Caribbean coasts. Though Greek yachts were not used to capture pirates, pirates had used their knowledge of shipping and sailing to invade the islands creating their own base.
Early pirate activities have been recorded to date back as far as Ancient Greek and Roman periods around 500 BC. Ancient Greek pirates used the Lipari Islands as their base for over 2000 years; Crete was the main homeland and haven for pirates for almost 800 years, until the Rhodeans had begun patrolling the Mediterranean Sea, with the sole purpose of removing pirates from the island.
Other Greek Islands that suffered from many pirate attacks were Paros and Corfu. Paros officials were forced to build fortresses around the island to prevent any further attacks, whilst the people of Corfu were pushed to seek help from the Romans. The Greeks and the Romans together had spent years fighting against pirates, and had successfully deterred many away from the island.
The pirates had built their own lairs in and around Greece, making life difficult for religious officials to build their monasteries in certain areas for fear of being attacked. Saracen pirates, had created their own base on the small island of Gavdos, where the inhabitants lived in fear secretly cultivating their field to avoid trouble. Locals avoided settling near the bay and sea, as this would normally attract many pirates travelling across the sea.
Some of the effects of pirate attacks are still evident in certain parts of the island. The narrow twisting roads and paths were built to further deter pirates off the island, and are prevalent for tourist attraction. Tourists today can even experience the slippery mosaic paths, which were made to slow down the movement of invaders and attackers. Pirates are no longer a threat in Greece, however the shipping industry is thriving even today and people can enjoy the historical remnants of what is left from pirate bases.