Chapter 5 – The Man
As Zander grew up it was only natural that he should take a keen interest in the sea and ships. To him they were symbols of happy times, adventure, fun and freedom. Whether on the deep blue sea, canal or river, given half a chance, he would clamber on board any vessel and feel immediately at home.
However, even in maturity, his ability to attract trouble was always there or thereabouts. Perhaps, Zander had been near the end of the queue when common sense was handed out. His friends and acquaintances used adjectives such as happy-go-lucky, likeable, harmless, mischievous or amiable to describe the adult Zander, although on thinking further, nouns such as, fool, rascal and rogue would surface. Until eventually, they were left with contradictory couplets like sensitive idiot, loveable rogue, harmless rascal and the like.
Zander was always ready to tell anyone who would listen that, had he taken different turns at life’s crossroads, he would by now be; married into royalty, ‘the very model of a modern major general’ or the inventor of something really useful and thus extremely rich …if only …ad nauseam. Extrapolating these self-elevating declarations to their logical conclusions, no matter how illogical, Zander would be so far up the social scale that the events described here would never have happened. Unfortunately for him, the tides in his affairs have either been on the ebb, or floundering around in slack water.
By profession, Zander was a fully qualified civil engineer and was never backward in coming forward to tell anyone who would listen, about his ‘wonderful creative achievements’. These flights of fancy may well impress people who do not know him, but if these claims slip out when his shipmates or old friends are within earshot, a wry smile is usually enough to bring him back onto an even keel.
Under no circumstances will Zander be hurried. A lengthy period of contemplation normally precedes any action. If anyone challenges this lethargy, he will counter with a shrug and a smile, advocating that, “Action takes longer than words.”
To get the gist of where his interest in boats came from and how often Lady Luck was not around when he needed her, we have to backtrack again to his youth and follow him through some of his early escapades.
(Where Zander learned to Sail)