Sneaking Into Marineland To Ride Killer Whales

Feb 20, 2018


In his memoir Mulligan’s Wake, author Dave Mulligan recounts some of his outlandish adventures as a young adult following the death of his father. Many of the stories are littered with humor and absurd situations, but at the heart of his writing is an honest look at one man's attempt to grieve for his deceased father in an unconventional way.

Perhaps the most unbelievable story took place decades ago when Mulligan paid a late night visit to Marineland in Palos Verdes, California, which has since closed.

“I said, ‘Let’s go sneak in [to Marineland] like we did when we were kids and we’ll go into the tank and we’ll pet the killer whales.’”

After riding the whales, which were named Corky and Orky, Mulligan and his friend were arrested. This event sparked a slew of other travels and escapades in the wake of his father's death.

“You know, I may have done it anyway, but it certainly was consistent with some of the other things [at the time]. I know I was grieving, and I still am.”

Mulligan’s Wake is his first novel. He now lives in Reno as a writer and a video producer.

Mulligan spoke with Niche Podcast’s Joey Lovato and Jacob Solis, who are both seniors at the Reynolds School of Journalism. Niche is a local podcast produced and edited by our own Joey Lovato.