Disobeying parental admonitions to never go out in the boat alone, the narrator rows out into the peaceful bay to learn more about ocean life. What follows is an account of the aquatic food web. The child observes killer whales eating tuna eating bluefish eating mackerels eating sand lances eating shrimp eating plankton. When he spies the killer whales, he fears he may soon be part of the food chain himself. A fleeing tuna capsizes the dory, and the boy heroically swims through the ravenous sea.