A Whale for the Killing
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purchasing a cabin cruiser of regal splendour. It was an unfair competition. The doctors, as salaried employees of the Provincial Health Service, had to make do on a fixed income not much in excess of $35,000 a year, but this was a pittance compared to the income the plant owner and his wife drew from their several enterprises. The competition also had its ludicrous side; one which was not lost on the people of Burgeo. When the doctors went equestrian and imported two riding horses, the
run that gauntlet, the whales were forced to give up their attempts to escape in the only direction open to them. Toward evening the whales, most of them now bleeding profusely, had become so exhausted they began to crowd up into the dangerously shoal water at the head of the harbour where the boats could not follow. Here they lay, gasping and rolling, until they had recovered enough strength to return to deeper water. Many times they swam directly under my boat, and they were beautiful...
small groups was also necessary because they possessed only oared boats, in which they could not venture far from home; and too many fishermen working in one place meant crowded grounds. They clung, limpet-like, to this rock-walled rim of ocean, one or two families together, wherever they could find a toehold for their cabins and shelter for their boats. By the late nineteenth century there were over eighty such clusters of humanity along the Sou’west Coast. Each consisted of from half a
supporting a sick companion so that it can rise to the surface and breathe. And what is almost unique in the animal world, toothed whales of one species will sometimes come to the assistance of an individual of quite a different species. Among the baleen whales, the social structure seems to be based on the closed family unit. I am convinced that each fin whale pod is actually a “nuclear” family consisting of a mated pair of adults, accompanied by the calf of the year plus one or several
level it had reached the night before. It was not enough. Nevertheless, she was inexorably drawn to the mouth of the narrow channel which was her only path to freedom. THE HANN BROTHERS reached the plant about 4:30 in the afternoon and began forking their fish up on the wharf while an interested audience of plant workers listened to the tale they had to tell. It provided a major diversion in the otherwise dismal routine of working in a fish packing plant. “You think she’s still into the