Location: Ha’apai, Tonga
Tonga is one of the few places in the world where you are actually allowed to swim with whales. Although we had seen many Humpbacks surface close to our boatwhile sailing, it proved impossible for one of us to jump in while the other handled the boat. Either the wave conditions were too rough or we were too far offshore. So we booked a whale tour in the Ha’apai island group of Tonga and Wow! What an experience. The operators knew where to find them. Knew when they could approach safely and a guide showed us how to swim out to them (since the boat can only get so close). We ended up jumping in several times and swimming out to them. One such encounter ended with a mom and a calf frolicking the the warm, shallow waters of Tonga. This is an experience we will never forget!