I learned how to dogpaddle and slightly how to dive as a ten year old but was always afraid of the deep end of the pool in social events until my late thirties, when I got ahold of myself and went to the YMCA and, in time, bunch of classes, swam a mile/crawl, generally a pleasure, then swam a few a week. Once I managed the breathing, I really got into the pleasure. I have swum in coves, but not the ocean as such.
When I was nine I was brought to Jones Beach, and was not ready for waves. Which was right, as I knew nothing. I either saw jellyfish or worried about them. Some of my friends are excellent sailors and swimmers, but I'm ocean scaredy.
On the other hand, I am attached to the Pacific Ocean, sandwalker.
A friend of my dad's was a then well known deep sea diver, and told stories at our dinner table. But, I am so not him.