“Oh, Al’s out on his boat,” came the disembodied female American voice some 15,000km away on the other end of the phone line. “You can call him on his cell phone.”

Picturing a neat little half-cabin moored alongside a jetty somewhere – it was about 9pm Florida time – I dialled the number, only to find that ‘Al’ wasn’t sitting comfortably at a wharf pottering around with some minor matter, but instead was aboard his 44ft, twin-diesel Powercat catamaran that was sitting awkwardly on a large lump of coral.

This, clearly, was not a man who sat around taking life as it came; he went out and grabbed hold of it in big chunks.

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This article appeared in Australia MUSCLE CAR Magazine Issue 100