I never used to be passionate about the ocean. Even on those rare occasions when I went to the beach, I hardly ever took the time to listen to the lapping of the waves or to inhale the salty scent of the froth. In my life, the ocean was always background, never foreground, little more interesting than the dirt under the feet.

That is, until I fell into the ocean. Not literally, but as a writer. On 1 January 2015 it was a freezing morning in Toronto, Canada, where I live. I looked out of my apartment window at the snow draping the buildings and roads like a fluffy white ghost. It was so still, ...


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