Tuesday, November 17, 2015

An honest comment

Email from a reader:

I Have tried to leave comments a few times but the new CAPTCHA keeps going
on and on and on (honestly,  I gave up after 10 iterations!)

Here was my comment on "Honestly"

Not sure I totally agree with you on the safety comparison between driving
and living/cruising on boats.  Yes, there were many times I feared for our
safety (why or why does it have to be mostly in the dark of the night?),
but was almost never for our lives (maybe once,  briefly, off the Northern
California coast...).  Rather,  it was for the safety of Pelagia (equipment
breaking, anchor/rode letting go, engine dying with no wind, hitting hard
things, etc,etc). Certainly, this worry happened a lot more than I care to
admit, but not for our own personal safety.   Now driving, that's a
different thing - -  stats are pretty clear on that being worse (as long as
watercraft such as PWC, wake boats, etc are not in the comparison) .



Sorry you are having trouble with the CAPTCHA on the blog. The best part of it (besides keeping kids and grand kids aware of were we are) is comments.

I suspect you are correct about the safety stats. We had the same kinds of stats on flying and they were true, as long as they were massaged correctly. But my experience of the reality was different. Everyone I knew drove. Maybe half the people I knew flew. One person I knew, the son of a friend, was killed driving. My personal list of friends who died flying ended up at 12. Some of those were, I admit, living in the high risk end of the flying life, airshows specifically. But several died just doing the charter / flight training / personal flying thing that pilots do.

I was also a motorcycle guy, with more than 250,000 accumulated over the years. I knew a bunch of riders as well. No one I knew personally was killed riding. Set that against the dozen I knew lost to flying. Statistics are statistics, but they are only statistics. Elaborate averages that have little effect on personal experience.

Which is, perhaps, the main point. There have been a number of times in the last couple of years that I just didn't feel safe on the boat. Part of that is weather, particularly thunder storms and the associated lightning. Even on the lake being exposed with a big metal stick poking into the air as the storms rolled overhead was no fun. Out in open water add big swell, a long way to shore, and the fact that boats seem to break often and in the worst ways.

Another aspect is, when I took risks flying, riding, or driving, they were my choice. The risks that come with this life are often outside of my control. The weather blows up unexpectedly and we are not in a place to hide. Something on the boat breaks at a place and time that changes an easy day into a threatening one. I was, and remain, a risk taker. But I prefer to choose when and where those risks are taken. And it doesn't work that way on a boat.

In the end it is my perception that this life has more risk in it than the one I left. That isn't a show stopper, I like living this way. But it is an unexpected perception that runs counter to pretty much everything I had read or heard from "the cruising world".

Take care.

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