Captain John Mackinnon and his ship, the Matthew Flinders, are embarking on their last voyage. Both endangered species, they symbolize the irreversible, quiet decline of the British merchant fleet.
But this journey to Hong Kong will prove to be anything but quiet. Internal tensions among the crew provoke unrest and lead to a navigation error, steering them right into the violent, destructive path of Typhoon David. Suddenly the crew of the Matthew Flinders are no longer fighting for their livelihood, but for their very lives.
Yet on the same sears, other lives are at stake as well. When Mackinnon feels compelled to rescue a boatload of Vietnamese refugees fleeing to Hong Kong, he sets off an explosive chain of events that will lead to mutiny, confrontation with Hong Kong authorities, and the greatest challenge of his career.