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Dinner with the Captain (1)

Today the ship will be at sea. Donita is feeling better and want to explore the ship. Sandra is reading the daily newspaper to her.

Sandra:        Tonight is formal dress. We have to wear  
               cocktail dresses or formals. Captain Rolf Draper
               will give a champagne toast party before dinner.
Donita:        I’d like to take a class or play some     
               games. What is there to do today?
Sandra:        Here’s the paper, if you want to “check it 
               out.”
Donita:        O.K. There’s a cooking demonstration,     
               bingo games, a port and shopping talk, movie, and 
               another lecture. Tonight the dancers are         
               presenting a show at 8:30. What do you want to   
               do?
Sandra:        I’d like to do it all!
Donita:        (Laughing.) We can try! I would like to    
               make a hair appointment in the beauty shop for   
               tonight. 
Sandra:        We should do that first; a lot of the     
               women will have the same idea.
Donita:        (Still reading.) This is interesting: The  
               nautical term of the day is “Scuttlebutt”  
Sandra:        What does that mean?
Donita:        The cask of drinking water on ships was   
               called a” scuttlebutt” and since sailors         
               exchanged gossip when they gathered at the       
               scuttlebutt for a drink of water, it became U.S. 
               Navy slang for rumors or gossip. A butt was the  
               wooden cask which held liquids, and to scuttle is 
               to drill a hole for tapping a cask.
Sandra:        Anything else of interest?
Donita:        Yes, there’s going to be a 5K walk around 
               the deck to raise money for the Cancer           
               foundation. Each participant will receive a      
               wristband and a t-shirt. More detail will be     
               delivered to the staterooms.
Sandra:        I’d like to do that! It would be amazing  
               to find a cure for cancer.
Donita:        I hope we see it in our life-time. Are you 
               ready to go?
Sandra:        Yes. I have my purse, key, sun-tan lotion 
               and schedule.

The women make appointments in the beauty shop, go to the library, sit by the pool and read until it is time to attend a lecture about the next port; the ship will visit, St. Thomas, U.S.Virgin Islands.

Lecturer:      Good morning, everyone! Today, I would    
               like to tell you some interesting facts about    
               St Thomas. I will be happy to take questions     
               from you at any time. (Points to map.) In 1593,   
               Sir Francis Drake stopped at St. Thomas and St.
               John on his way to attack the Spanish at San
               Juan. Can anyone suggest a reason he wanted to
               stop there?
Passenger:     To get more provisions?
Lecturer:      That is certainly a very good reason. Food 
               grew in abundance in the islands and water from  
               inland streams was very clean. Sailors were      
               beginning to understand the relationship between 
               eating citrus fruits to avoid scurvy.
Passenger:     Is that the disease when the teeth could  
               fall out?
Lecturer:      Well, the symptoms are gum swelling,      
               bleeding and loose teeth. There can also be      
               internal bleeding, fractures, and weight loss. It 
               is a fatal disease.
Passenger:     Isn’t it fortunate that people don’t get  
               that disease anymore?
Lecturer:      Actually, it still exists. Babies who are 
               fed only cow’s milk during the first year of life 
               are at great risk. Elderly people who eat toast  
               and tea are also at risk. Then there are also    
               disadvantaged people who can not afford to buy   
               foods high in vitamin C.
Passenger:     Just one more question, please, when was  
               this discovered? I mean, is this an ancient      
               disease?
Lecturer:      That’s a very good question. As far as    
               medical records show, scurvy was first described 
               in 1541 by a Dutch physician. He thought it was  
               an infectious disease. Before then, a French     
               explorer learned of a cure from Native Americans 
               in Canada to cure the disease by boiling water   
               with needles from Pine trees.
Passengers:    And it worked? 
Lecturer:      Yes, it did. Another interesting thing I  
               want to tell you, and then we’ll get back to the 
               lecture...
Author: Torsten Daerr