This is an action packed fictional depiction of events portrayed through out the Caribbean, Cuba and Key West, taking place in the early 1820's. William Henry Pierce captains his ship the Carlota, a two masted schooner, sponging and hauling freight. Joseph, his eldest son, narrates this story of the exciting and horribly tragic events that befall the Pirece family. Spring arrives; their season begins as they head north from their home on Harbour Island. Captain Pierce contracts to purchase and deliver building supplies for a new school to be built in New Plymouth. Leaving Nassau loaded with supplies the ship is heavily burdened and is quite slow. They are attacked by pirates and a deckhand is seriously injured by falling debris requiring his leg to be amputated while at sea. While docked in Havana, Cuba, Captain Pierce acquires a new deck hand that unbeknown to the Captain has just murdered a fellow sailor and a Spanish soldier to obtain valuable stolen nautical charts. On their voyage to Key West from Havana, the crew of the Carlota witnesses a French Galleon that is being plundered by pirates. The ship is burned and sinks. Three survivors are pulled from the water, a young sailor, who soon dies from his injuries, a French noblemen and his beautiful niece who are en route to join her father, a wealthy plantation owner, in New Orleans. While in Key West Captain Pirece is gravely injured in a knife fight attempting to protect some of his crew. During his convalescing, Joseph sails the Carlota to New Orleans delivering the young lady and her uncle to her father. While they are absent from their home, on Harbor Island, a yellow fever out break occurs. Many of the town's people die from the disease including the Captain's wife and youngest daughter. Unable to deal with his loss, Captain Pierce and Joseph move what is left of their families to Key West to begin a new life.