As the first humpbacks arrive back in Maui, I find myself pining over photos of the latest encounters published by my friends. Last winter I had the privilege of learning about these majestic creatures while seeing them every single day. To watch a whale breach just a few feet from our boat was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Leading whale-watching tours on beautiful sailboats made it even more special. There were times when I looked around and couldn’t believe that I was getting paid to do something I was so passionate about.