Most of these ten short stories take place aboard the S.S. Lever's Wife, an ""itinerant"" freighter sailing Atlantic routes. These stories consist of the reminiscences and admonitions delivered by Mr. Solly, the third mate, to his comrades (though they are only ordinary seamen), Blades and Davy Humble -- who in spite of his name is a brash young man. Blades himself is an old salt and he plays straight man, for Davy's benefit, to Solly's moralities of the sea, women and the ways of the world. In the Caldron relates the difficulties of three young people on an expedition into the largest crater in the world. The Rose of Sharon is a story of a mid-western family and a false evangelist. The ""Goony Bird"" of the title story is a sailors' name for the albatross, noted for its feats of flight far from land. The tone of the collection is rather casual and off-hand in a way that intimates more than is said. It's a pleasant if not profound reading experience.