Steve Benson is a pugnacious, outgoing, and athletic twenty-five-year-old who loses his first professional teaching assignment in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He takes the layoff hard as he navigates some of the most conflict-ridden years of the late sixties. In this travelogue, Steve shares the tales of his journey as he works toward a childhood dream of working on a ship at sea. Faced with an uncertain future, he puts his teaching career on hold and hits the road in a rebuilt Volkswagen. The trip takes him to Ft. Lauderdale, where he discovers an ad asking for men with mechanical ability to work on ship. He wins the job and moves on board on a promise he may be chosen to accompany the newly remodeled vessel to South America. Although the Miami-based revation process is fraught with conflict and deception, Steve and ten other crewmen survive the hostile work environment long eugh to take on passengers for a visit to the Galapagos Islands, where iguanas spit, whales calve, and seals dance in one of the world's most unique wildlife sanctuaries. It's on this trip that the captain becomes Steven's father figure, the crew becomes a surrogate family, and Steve moves steps closer to being a man.