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The coastline –the space between the ocean and the land– is a both a barrier and an invitation to go beyond the land’s edge and enter an otherly realm. Humans have skated over the water in boats and other kinds of watercraft for thousands of years. But they have always been (and continue to be) reluctant to immerse themselves in the ocean. Despite humanity’s eons long interaction with water, as Charles Sprawson’s marvellous paean to swimming Haunts of the Black Masseur documents, it is only the past 150 years or so that humans have been swimmers and not bathers.