“WHO: Elsa Lichman , 61, of Waltham
WHERE: Silver Bank in the Atlantic Ocean, 60 miles north of the Dominican Republic
WHEN: One week in February
WHY: “To swim with the humpback whales,” said Lichman, who has been fascinated by the giant mammals for more than a decade. The 20-square-mile area is believed to contain the largest population of humpbacks in the world. From January to April, as many as 3,000 to 5,000 whales migrate there en route to area breeding and calving zones.
OH, BABY: “We had one whale that came right to the boat, too young to swim with,” Lichman said. “It was pale gray and the dorsal fin was very floppy. He was probably a week or two old, rolling over right next to us. The whole boat was absolutely screaming and cheering it on.”