I have asked to meet with the ship’s environmental officer to determine the amount of radiation we are likely to encounter. While we are not going to be skirting the outer waters of Fukushima, and instead will be taking the Eastern passage on the east side of that island, we will be staying at least 10 hours on the north side. These massive floating cities generate their own fresh drinking water by sucking the board huge quantities of seawater and desalinating it for drinking, cooking, and ship-wide bathing. The obvious issue is consuming this water internally so that it may enter each cell of the body and flushed through the organs. Cesium and radioactive iodine are worse than pork foie gras. Not only does ingesting radioactive water invite the fast track to cellular disease, but bathing in the stuff is a remarkably efficient way to absorb what you don’t want. Easiest way to think about that would be rubbing cold cream on your arm and watching it instantly disappear through absorption. The skin is terrifically thirsty, so radioactive bathing does not necessarily go down the drain.

I will find a roundabout way of asking the environmental officer about what the routines are for bringing aboard Sea water for the above-mentioned uses. Clearly, if I ask with an eye to identifying radiation hazards he will likely lie in service of his cruise ship master. Imagine the reaction if 3000 people with canes and metal walkers clambered in a psychotic frenzy — storming like the Bastille, the bridge to take the captain hostage and dunk him in the Sea of Japan. Cross your fingers because this may take a bit of verbal prestidigitation. Likely, the environmental officer will want to know why I’m asking. If so, I am prepared to beat him with my Geiger counter.

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