There are some golden moments waiting for those whose hearts are set to receive Edmund Gilligan's strong sea moods, his often overpowering development of atmosphere and character relationship that almost blow away the plot. Set again in 19th century Gloucester, when schooners went for cod, it is the story of a collie and a captain and a boy who wanted to go to sea. As a pup, Doryman strays aboard the Mara. He is befriended as a mascot by its captain, ""The Philadelphia"", and through him comes to know quiet Peter whose dead father was The Philadelphia's dory mate and whose mother Molly desperately wants Peter to stay on land. As an experiment, she entrusts Peter to The Philadelphia for a voyage, which through storms and a high hued adventure with Doryman turns Peter into more of a seaman than before- but happily so, as Molly understands and now realizes her own love for The Philadelphia. Simple as the story is, the overtones of sea and the men who take to it make it a special book.