Now we can explore the ocean?

The sea – with its wild moods, terrible power and impenetrable beauty – is something that’s always felt special in my life.

I have fond memories of childhood trips to the red-brick seaside village of Whitby, feasting on the best smoked kippers in the world. We’d brave the walks at the wild North Gare and South Gare (I lost a cousin to a freak wave here) and would tackle the cold wind and industrial skyline of Redcar, where the Dundalk sequence in Atonement was filmed. Then there were the yearly trips to Blackpool for pontefract cakes and an evening tucked up in a coach, trawling the infamous light displays of the Golden Mile. Inland, I gorged on Jules Verne and Jonathon Swift, Hemmingway and Sinbad films, dreaming of sailing exotic oceans.

As an adult, I’ve swam with sharks (Australia), stingrays (The Bahamas) and dolphins (Jamaica) – but oddly, I’ve always travelled by air. I’ve snorkeled in some of the world’s most beautiful spots, but still have a list of oceans to explore. Now, I live near the sea and use it as a constant food supply; mackerel, pollock, winkles, cockles, seaweed, razor clams – they’re all part of my regular diet and every day I realise how lucky I am to have this opportunity. The sea is just five minutes walk from my front door and I can see it from my window. I would never have imagined such things were possible.

But what sparked this post was an amazing new feature from googlemaps. We are no longer confined to the earth; now we can explore the oceans. As a young girl, I could only have dreamed of something like this being possible…