Perhaps it has something to do with the still vivid childhood memory of the time when were had to excavate the Outer Banks and drive through water that at times was up to the axles of our car.
I'm certainly not afraid of water. In fact I absolutely love it. In past winters I have often taken to swimming laps for exercise sometimes getting up to a couple of miles.
There's nothing I can think of that I enjoy more than fishing off the beaches around Morehead, North Carolina or standing in the surf fishing on Cape Hatteras.
I do respect water, for I have seen first hand the power of water. I can remember the small Yadkin River flooding when I was a child. This spring I once again witnessed some of the annual flooding that is so common here in Roanoke. I wrote a post, "Spring Flooding," about it. It was by no means the worst flooding we've seen in Roanoke. In fact I think we had worse flooding last summer.
I can only remember being scared once in a flood. In 1974 we were driving from our home in Saint Croix Cove, Nova Scotia to visit friends who had just moved to north of Fredericton, NB. There's an area just east of Fredericton, called Jemseg. In the Jemseg area it is hard to find high ground there between Grand Lake and the Saint John River.
We got caught on a section of the Trans Canada highway that was flooded. We ended up driving for miles in what seemed like a surreal water world where we could see no dry land for miles. Fortunately we were driving in the wake of a large tractor trailer, but it seemed to take us forever to get to high ground. I found a CBC story, "Water levels falling in Fredericton area," about flooding that took place in the same area one spring.
We actually ended up buying a farm probably forty or fifty miles from there, but you can rest assured most of the drive from the flooded area to there was uphill.
So why do I want to get off a relatively safe mountain top (except when ice coats the street) and have a second home near the water? I guess I've weighed the risk and found it to be acceptable. The desire to be near salt water out weighs the risk. There is no place that doesn't have some risk from drought, fire, earthquake, flood, winds, or water. According to the "The Week" magazine, Conneticut and Rhode Island are the safest places to live. I figure that's true only if there isn't a disaster in New York or Boston.
Of course this winter hasn't been very nice to Boston.
If you were able to live life without any kind of risk, it would be pretty boring.