Three boys. One small boat. And an ocean of adventure.
Mermaid Sails the Bay is a historical adventure for young adults set on San Francisco Bay in
1908, examines the trials and tribulations of brotherly love and turmoil, set in a time of great
change for the American nation; the turn of the 20th century introduced amazing advances
for mankind – electricity, automobiles and radio, to name a few – but spelled the doom of
the graceful sailing ships that were the driving force of economic progress for centuries.
Given the opportunity, would you sign on for an entire summer of sailing and camping
on a deserted island, if you had to take your twelve-year-old brother who chats with
an imaginary pirate named Cap’n Scurvy? What if it was your last summer living as
a kid before shipping out at 16 years old as a professional seafarer for a life of
toil? Does being in charge of a misfit sound appealing? And imagine you’re the
youngest of three brothers? Would you go if you knew you’d be the target of constant
torment by your older brothers? What if you’re the fourteen year old, stuck between your older brother,
‘the Captain,’ and your younger brother, ‘the Lookout'? What if your two older bros are constantly
watching you out of fear that you're likely to capsize the boat? Would you take the risk?
Ed, 16, Bill, 14, and Ted, 12, must answer these questions for themselves before
summer runs out. But what would you decide to do? Would you set sail? If you
answered, “Yes, I want to go!” then hoist the sails, raise the anchor, and hold on for
dear life! But don’t forget your slingshot – pirates are everywhere. And Ed, Bill, and Ted,
will have to take them on before summer's end in a naval battle of epic proportions.
Mermaid Sails the Bay sets sail when the three brothers are given their own craft, a 16-foot
Whitehall, in a final attempt by their dad, the ‘Commodore,’ to forge them into a cohesive boat crew.
But they’ll have to contend with more than the hazards of the Bay, a sail in heavy weather, or the
spontaneous appearance of their arch enemies; they’ll have to face down and deal with Ted’s
imaginary advisers – a saber-rattling ole’ pirate, who roams the earth in search of golden doubloons,
and his ghostly nemeses, a crusty miner who’s convinced that an enormous gold strike awaits in the
Yosemite Valley, but only sometimes entrusts young Ted to find it.
From dad’s scow schooner, the three brothers will witness the arrival of 16 white-hulled battleships – the 'Great White Fleet' – that President Theodore Roosevelt, determined to show off America’s naval might, dispatched on a worldwide tour. The three brothers turn their aunt’s sudden bout with chicken pox into opportunity – they’re temporarily free to roam the Bay by themselves while dad and muter look tend to the old woman's health. Within a day, the brothers will conquer land and establish their base of exploration on a desolate oft-overlooked island, half a day’s sail from home. During a rescue at sea, they’ll make two new friends, a brother and a sister. Together, the four boys and a girl will share adventures on land and sea: a trip to the Yosemite on a river steamer and the Shortline to Paradise, a train from Merced to El Portal. In the grand mountain valley, young Ted will meet Shirttail McQue, the old miner who stirs the proverbial pot of intrigue until it erupts into a boil. A marauding bear at Curry Camp proves the boys’ downfall – thanks to a salami and the practical joker Orin – so that the explorers are banished from the valley and their beloved island. Will the boys spend the rest of their summer performing arduous tasks on Houseboat Hell? That’s what Muttie, their hard-line German mother would prefer. Or will Ed seize and survive his one chance to save his dad and the scow schooner Alma, plus a deck load of produce that’s on the verge of spoiling, and redeem himself and his brothers for one last adventure on Mermaid?
Does Ted find his treasure on the island with the help of his imaginary pirate friend? Is it really 'Drakes Plaque,' the legendary brass plate that was left on the western shores of the continent in 1579? Will Bill continue to yearn for Ann, though his brother calls her a siren hellbent on Deep Sixing him to his doom? What about their enemies from school, the wicked Emory brothers, who will go to any length – even firing a cannon loaded with rotten fruit – to ruin the boys’ summer? Can the brothers recover their beloved Mermaid flag, stolen by Freddie ‘the Rat’ in the heat of battle? Will Bill succumb to the siren’s song? And what happens to Ted’s treasure? How will Ed prevail over the pirates… and still keep his little brother from falling overboard?
There’s only one way to find out... Sail ho!