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May 8, 2022 60 min

It was meant to mark the start of their lives out of college, but the adventure quickly turned into a nightmare. Beginning with what seemed to be a lucky whale sighting, three friends set out on a sea-kayaking trip through Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska, watching out for bears, and having a good time, when tragedy struck.

In recounting the days preceding and following the accident, which seriously injured one of his friends, the Times journalist Jon Mooallem explains how he was forced to reckon with his fears. Detailing the incident’s surprising repercussions, he muses on the importance of overcoming one’s fears, and finding poetry in life’s darkest moments.

This story was written by Jon Mooallem. To hear more audio stories from publications like The New York Times, download Audm for iPhone or Android.

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