This is the beautifully told tale of Norton’s growing love of the sea, from family holidays in Whitley Bay as a boy, to his first over zealous attempts at diving. All that we know and love of the British seaside weaves throughout this funny, nostalgic and richly told memoir. Fortune telling gypsies found on crumbling promenades, lighthouses standing to attention, fishing villages giving way to arcades and brass bands and sand-playing in the bracing chill of a British summer. Throughout, Norton introduces us to a eclectic mix of sea-loving characters all of whom have helped to inform and shape his own journey to becoming a marine biologist. Like the early guides to the seashore by the Naturalist Philip Henry Gosse as much a part of the myth and history of the British coastline as fishermen’s tales of mermaids and eerie monsters beneath the waves. This is both a history and a memoir of an enduring, if at times perplexing, love of the sea that won’t fail to resonate with all who have felt the pull of the shores.
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