Maqroll, Ilona, and Abdul all share a common dream: to sail the world in a tramp-steamer. But who could afford such a thing? Over the years they have become separated. Alone in Panama City, smuggler Maqroll is finding neither great success nor happiness — until the tropical rains come, bringing Ilona: friend, lover, and partner in crime. Abdul, in Morocco, has found a steamer to suit them. In Panama, Ilona and Maqroll begin a new scheme, in search of impossible wealth. But fate has further twists in store.