A hundred years ago a seaman's life was full of danger, but Jim, the first mate on board the Patna, is not afraid of danger. He is young, strong, confident of his bravery. He dreams of great adventures - and the chance to show the world what a hero he is. But the sea is no place for dreamers. When the chance comes, on a calm moonlit night in the Indian Ocean, Jim fails the test, and his world falls to pieces around him. He disappears into the jungles of south-east Asia, searching for a way to prove himself, once and for all . . .