Jim Shervinton is a trader on Tarawa Island in Kiribati. Discontented and afflicted with malaria, his greatest ambition is to win fame as one of the great voyagers of the Pacific. Following a fight in which a German trader is killed, he leaves the island accompanied by three Islanders, two men and a woman, and the German trader's mistreated wife. They sail from Kiribati to Guam, a distance of more than three thousand miles, and encounter many adventures on the way. Although Jim has achieved his ambition, the outcome is tragic.