Humans are born with wanderlust; the lure of the long migration out of Africa is in our blood. And I suspect that as soon as boats were invented, our ancestors discovered the thrill of the sea voyage into the unknown. I think of this when I walk my dogs along the bluff in Long Beach and see two great ocean liners, one the Queen Mary that will never go to sea again, and the other a ship of the Carnival Cruise Line that journeys up and down the coasts of Southern California and Mexico with its load of holiday-makers and sightseers. When we are prevented from voyaging in person, by finances or health or circumstance, we have always turned to the next best thing, the tales of other explorers’ adventures. One of the first of these ancient, popular accounts of exploration by sea voyage still moves us today with its images of strangeness and danger: Homer’s Odyssey.
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