Off the coast of Nova Scotia in 1952, fierce winds force a small boat into port. The boat's pilot, the eccentric Captain Charles Johnson, takes up residence at the small inn run by Jim and his mother. With each day, the captain's presence becomes more valuable to the family as they struggle to keep the inn open for business—and his background becomes more mysterious as Jim discovers how much he knows about the lives and battles of the old-time pirates.
Who is this man whose compelling stories bring to life in such detail the day-to-day experience of sailing on a pirate ship? And how can he possibly know so much about how it feels to grow up among the Vikings; about how Francis Drake and Queen Elizabeth plotted their victories; about the loves of Grace O'Malley, the pirate queen of Ireland?