Undercurrents

A nightclub in the fast lane, a newspaper in the slow one, and a Brazilian with his thumb out

The coverage was an opportunity for the affable 26-year-old, and he seized it. Hoping someone would offer sponsorship, he faxed out the articles and a letter of introduction. Only one cruise line responded. Fort Lauderdale-based day-tripper Discovery Cruise Line faxed its PR firm, which faxed the media. News flash: Photogenic blond guy takes free cruise!

When Woltmann returned Tuesday night from his daylong Bahamas jaunt, he looked tired but cheery, sporting a bright yellow Discovery T-shirt that matched the banner being unfurled behind him in Port Everglades' Terminal Four.

Or it would've matched. But when only New Times showed up for the so-called media event, Discovery's Ludmilla Vetelken told the banner raisers not to bother. Woltmann just smiled politely. He actually spent only two hours in the Bahamas and never even made it out of the port terminal. He was too busy giving interviews, he says.

Woltmann graciously thanked Vetelken for the trip (which retails for about $129) and said goodnight, adding that he'd see her again Thursday for yet another "media event."

The night air was cool. Woltmann paused to admire an impossibly massive Princess cruise ship glittering behind him, then let out a sigh. Although he saw little of his 62nd country, his mission was accomplished. "I got my passport stamped," he said contentedly, "and that's the really important thing."

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