For a good number of travelers, the ultimate bucket-list experience is swimming with whales.
There’s something about the idea of being in the water with these enormous creatures that calls to people. And if you talk to people who have swum with whales, chances are they’ll tell you it changed their lives. This is true even for veteran adventurers who’ve seen it all—people like Outside contributing editor Rowan Jacobsen, whose past assignments include a journey to the Amazon to seek out the source of the world’s greatest chocolate. Last fall, Jacobsen joined a small crew in the Caribbean that was filming and studying sperm whales by getting in the water with them. Though he had no delusions that swimming with whales would heal him or transform him, he was certain that he would learn a thing or two from being very, very close to these legendary giants of the sea. And he did.