Tony Jungels
I’ll try to keep this short… my wife loves humpback whales. I know some people love horses or puppies, but this is a whole next level. I think she was probably a humpback whale in a previous life. We’ve done a ton of whale watching trips where, from a boat we watch the surface activity and hope and pray for an occasional breach. We have even stuck a GoPro under water and pointed it in the general direction of the whales hoping for footage of their under water activity. When she discovered Nadia’s swim with the whales trips, there was no stopping her. We signed up in 2019 for a trip in 2020. And you know the story; in 2020 it was postponed until 2021 and so on until earlier this year when it was postponed until 2023. That is, until Tonga suddenly opened their borders in September and Nadia said there was availability for a few trips this year. We decided to drop everything and go to the other side of the world (we live in the states). We trusted Nadia and she did not let us down. She helped us with every step along the way from travel arrangements, to lodging, to what gear to bring, to of course the whale swims. Just getting to the small island of Vava’u would have been nearly impossible without her guidance. Nadia’s boat was crewed by a skipper and a guide. The skipper found the whales and kept us safe in all conditions (there were a couple days with rough seas) and the guide was nothing short of an ocean Sherpa. And finally, about the whales… everyday was different, but the common theme was OMG we are swimming with whales! Our favorite encounters include moms and calves where the baby was super curious about us and Mom seemed to enjoy us entertaining her baby, and a group of 5 or 6 adults where we think one might have been a pregnant mom close to giving birth. We were really there to be with the whales so we didn’t have the big professional looking underwater cameras, just GoPros. I’ve added a few of the shots from our GoPros. There are almost no words for how fantastic this trip was. We met some new friends from all over the world and we are currently planning our trip back for next year.
1 month ago
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