The ketch Scarlet Queen, shipmaster Philip Carney, winds fresh, skies fair, and another adventure begins.
In the dark of night, on dangerous seas, the Scarlet Queen has to navigate near a reef to help another vessel. Philip Carney boards the distressed ship, only to find a crusty, drunken, and blustery ship captain. Philip offers voiceover as the passengers of the failing ship are taken aboard the Scarlet Queen, but the troubles that face Carney are just beginning to grow.
Besides the headstrong captain, certain passengers demand their treasures be safeguarded, and at least some of the crew are rebellious. Then a new problem arises. The bouey that marked the safe passage has discovered to have been moved on purpose. Why would someone do that? Is this an inside job intended to wreck the ship on purpose?
There’s not much time to think about it, when gunshots are aimed in Philip’s way. To add to the suspense is the human drama of a secret love affair, and the distressed ship slowly breaking apart as the tide changes.
Despite the bickering and fighting, can the passengers and crew all be rescued? Can the treasure in the cargo hold be saved? Carney gives the picturesque details of the ship going down.