Whale hello there!
I’m Holly Lake: Journalist. Travel Writer. Ocean Lover.
Welcome to my little part of the web.
I was born in Newfoundland, raised in Labrador and could not be more passionate or proud of my beautiful, magical province. Despite having spent 20 years in Ottawa, I still have saltwater running in my veins. I’ve long been enamoured with the ocean; on it, by it, in it or under it, it’s definitely my happy place.
No surprise it’s been a part of some of the most memorable moments of my life: exploring underwater caverns with curious green turtles, swimming through kelp forests with sea lions, overcoming my fear of dark water diving at night in Hawaii with manta rays, snorkeling with manatees in Florida, and last summer, witnessing a double humpback breach near my boat.This video went viral and still comes up in conversations. Who says whales don’t have legs?
As a scuba diver who’s passionate about ocean conservation, SeaWordy seemed like the right name for a space that rolls all of that up with my love of the written word and bad case of wanderlust.
I LOVE a good story and I’ve made a career of telling them. Truth be told, the stories started long before I ever figured out how to get paid for them.
My first writing award came in Grade 2 for what was no doubt a riveting book review of Lady of the Strawberries: a silver medal at the National Book Festival. The next year? Gold for a review of Robert Munsch’s Mud Puddle. I was on fire!
I haven’t written a book review since, but I did spend a decade writing for daily newspapers, then a few more years working in communications as a writer and editor, which offered up the chance to dive into social media.
I’ve also freelanced for magazines and web sites since my days in journalism school and worked as a writing consultant along the way. There’s more on my professional experience on LinkedIn.
I regularly contribute to iPolitics and my work has appeared in Scuba Diving magazine, The Huffington Post Canada, The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, Canadian Running, Rowing Canada, Tabaret, Labrador Life, SOAR (St. John’s) magazine and across the Sun Media chain of newspapers.
Over the years, stories have led me to cover a press conference held at a bank by an alpaca on death row, stalk the Rolling Stones, go beating through the woods with the Sierra Club in a skirt, let myself be attacked by a police dog, attend mini-med school and expose drug policies that were costing people their lives. There’s nothing like a good public shaming to get big pharma to do the right thing! I can’t tell you how many crimes scenes I’ve lost hours of my life at and nearly lost fingers to frostbite, or how many court cases I’ve covered. Along the way I’ve interviewed plenty of celebrities and politicians — there’s a few of those in Ottawa — though usually not at the aforementioned crime scenes. Of course the same can’t be said of the courtrooms.
There’s rarely been a dull moment. Few things can compare to journalism — starting a day and never knowing where it might take you or who you might cross paths with.
It turned me into a news and political junkie for life.
Slow death by desk
But working for others, taking a vacation meant putting in a request for time off. It only amounted to a few weeks a year and not always at the times I wanted or needed.
I was never going to see the world that way or make it to all the sites on my ever-growing to-dive list.
Now? I still get the thrill of listening to stories and telling them, but I’m my own boss and location independent, so I’ve somehow managed to swing it so I get to do this from anywhere. I split my time between Ottawa and St. John’s, but travel at every opportunity. Having spent so much time away, I absolutely love being a tourist at home.
There’s a whole lot of world and ocean I haven’t explored yet. This blog will take you along and introduce you to the characters I meet along the way and the majestic creatures I encounter beneath the surface, while occasionally raising a bit of a ruckus over issues I’m passionate about and think could use some noise.
But worry not, it will be the furthest thing from all serious. I’m a bit of a spaz, so there will be no shortage of madness and misadventures thrown in for good measure.
‘Seas’ the day…Ernie’s words to live by
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