Not afraid of risk, afraid of bad outcomes

james nolan (
Sat, 21 Aug 1999 15:03:06 -0600

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West Wight Potter Website at URL
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I really enjoy your responses. You're right that it is not necessarily a
fair comparison until you consider the motives behind doing either sport.
Also falling off of a rock face is not permanent unless your not using a
rope properly (PFD). The falling doesn't kill you, the landing does. One
thing to keep in mind -- those guys who train vigorously, equip well, beat
their breast (throw in a Tarzan yell too) and have the attitude to overcome
are the same guys that will risk their lives to pull you out of the ocean in
an emergency -especially in situations where others can't or shouldn't be
Jim Nolan
-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Combs <>
To: james nolan <>
Cc: West Wight Potter - Post <>
Date: Saturday, August 21, 1999 1:02 PM
Subject: Re: afraid of risk

>> I would say that if you could train to swim (with your PFD) to shore, and
>> somehow endure in cool or cold water for days, then mountaineering and
>> sailing are equally as dangerous. Otherwise I still believe sailing is
>> inherently more dangerous.
>Ah, but we're into the classic comparison of apples & watermelons (or
>was that oranges?). On the one hand we have your quotes, which seem to
>celebrate the man against the elements aspect. Beat my breast, act
>wisely, equip well, train vigorously, and I shall overcome. I am man,
>see me suffer!
>On the other hand, we have an old softie like me, a
>pseudo-intellectual engineer, a planner. My goal is to enjoy if
>nothing goes wrong and survive even if something -- or, often, several
>somethings -- does. I would have no intention of swimming ashore.
>Instead, if all my planning and preparation is insufficient to
>eliminate a threat -- which I see as very unlikely, hence this
>discussion -- I'll unashamedly trigger the EPIRB, make sure Dog has
>her life vest on, and take a good shot at surviving till help arrives.
>Another way of looking at it is that falling off a rock face is
>permanent, falling into the sea need not be. But then I'm mildly
>acrophobic, creating a bias that once drove me to scale high things
>and now makes me happy at sea level.
>Bill Combs
>WWP 19 #439 (Aug 1987)
>"Ursa Minor"
>Fort Walton Beach FL