When his parents are killed in a car accident, eleven year old Ray Manser, bittered and lonely, sails from England with friends, bound for Tasmania to live with a relative. He stays in his shell and is uncooperative until he meets Anti, a Finnish boy who is in his cabin. When the ship stops at Naples, enthusiastic, eager ightseers troop off the ship. Later in the afternoon, Ray and Anti finally decide to have a look around. They return to the docks in time to see the ship already beyond the harbor. After a lonely night in the city, the two lads are sent on their journey by a kind Italian lady. It isn't earth-shaking; it isn't suspenseful. But, it is a clearly written, uncomplex story, with a realistic approach to ship life. Young boys should find it a satisfying book, but they should not expect to find much about life at sea, because the author rarely shifts his focus from Ray and his loneliness and his slow triumph over it.