A few days back I wrote this and included a foto of Sea Lion leaving the canal. Thanks to Mike, I learned what job Sea Lion had just completed and what I’d have seen if I were there an hour or so earlier. It relates to a serious project to investigate –among other things–why trace amounts of nicotine and cocaine was found in the mummy of Ramses II. Both substances were thought to have existed only in the Americas until at least 1492.

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What Sea Lion is towing is Abora 3, built on Lake Titicaca, shipped to New York aboard . . . a container vessel, and now in final stages of fitting out before sailing off to “the old world,” which would have been the “new world” for as-yet hypothetical sailors from the Andean cultures thousands of years ago. Abora follows on Thor Heyerdahl‘s Ra and Ra 2.

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For out-of-towners, landmarks beyond the tow and tug above include the Woolworth Building and the Staten Island ferry at the Battery terminal.

Again, kudos to Mike for these pictures. Sounds like Abora 3 will stay in Jersey City just north of Morris Canal/Liberty Landing a few more weeks. Sea Lion, I’ll never look at you the same again!

Finally, Abora (new world/old world) reminds me of a novel I just finished: Elle by Douglas Glover, a fictional account of a wild aristocratic French woman marooned on an island in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in the 1600s.

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