My father wants to take my sister and me on a trip. Consider Tonga! suggests the Stanford Alumni travel website he forwards us a link to. See the tombs of ancient kings, the landing sites of Captain Cook, and two seaside blowholes. Although the blowholes intrigue me, I quickly find the main attraction to be buried below descriptions of Polynesian music, floral and faunal folklore, and something called “tapa cloth.”
The reason to travel thirty-six hours to Tonga is a unique opportunity to swim with humpback whales, who migrate to the protective reefs of the archipelago every summer from the krill-rich Antarctic to calve. Hear their beautiful singing, it says. I imagine ethereal sounds echoing through an empty lagoon. Then, I find a recording made by the National Park Services of a humpback in Alaska. It sounds more like a fart.