At that time in the 70's a local entrepreneur had developed a market for captured killer whales and Pedder Bay was used to create a holding pen for those herded Orca to be sold to provide stock for marine shows throughout North America. Since our boat was moored in Pedder Bay often in the summer the whale enclosure was often a point of interest.
Several Orca were confined in a good portion of the inner bay by submerged netting with surface floats that were well demarcated and the whales could be seen swimming at the surface of the pen. My friend Bill and son Robert and I were fishing one beautiful summer afternoon and I said to Bill who had not been to Pedder Bay before, " Have you ever heard of the Corral of the Killer Whales before? " " No ", he said .
I told him we would drift close to it so he could take a good look. On the way back from the fishing at the mouth of the bay I cut off the engine when we were near the pen so we could sit at our leisure and watch. Big mistake ! I was not prepared for how fast the tide was running and since we were without power the boat slid gracefully over the netting and into the center of the corral. The whales had company.
My boat was a displacement hull and the propeller was three feet below the water line. I could envision in that instant ripping out the netting with my propeller creating enough of a rent in the pen to allow several million dollars worth of whales make their escape. I was on my own. Bill went to the cabin to make a cup of coffee, Robert was happy to be with the whales. The whales were content to swim around us in greeting but they may have thought the savior has arrived.
A savior I couldn't be, but it crossed my mind: Ruskin's Pathetic Fallacy. Realty would come forty or fifty years later to people when the Orca are revered for different reasons than Marine Show Stoppers. I couldn't chance powering over the edge of the net with a running propeller so I started the boat engine at the end of the net and raced to the other side cutting the engine at the last minute and gliding over it , thank God. I struggled to hear what they had to say as I left and I think I heard , " Freedom ." It's easy to now-a-days indulge in Pathetic Fallacy.