2. Cook Islands
In 2017, Nan had set up a home base in Rarotonga, the largest of the Cook Islands. Her greatest success story actually took place on the Cook Islands when she successfully turned over 770,000 square miles of the island’s waters into a sanctuary for whales. In 2001, the sanctuary grew to 200 nautical miles off the coast of each island. One humpback whale decided to make good of the sanctuary in 2017, but their encounter was far from routine.