Bill's father is a wherry-man in Portsmouth Harbour, who one day has an accident and is killed. Bill is befriended by a Captain Trevelyan, who offers him a boy seaman's place in his ship, the Lilly sloop-of-war. So Bill goes off to sea, knowing that it would be perhaps four years or more before he would see his family again.
His companions as boy seamen include Tommy Rebow, a somewhat weaker lad than Bill. The crew are all reasonably pleasant people, maybe grumbling occasionally, but all getting on well together.
In the West Indies he has many adventures, during which his unfailing cheerfulness and resourcefulness help his shipmates survive hurricanes, shipwreck, marooning on a waterless islet in the Tortugas for many months, and capture by the French. They are released when Dominique, where they have been held captive, is conquered by British forces.
Author: W. H. G. Kingston
Title: Sunshine Bill
First Published by: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge