Old superstitions survive throughout the world, but nowhere as strongly as among the men who work the fishing boats in the Irish town of Wexford. The shoals of herring have long since left the local waters and the fisherman are now reduced to working in a local mussel-packing factory. Eagle, however, remains a true independent, a lone individual clinging to the sea, struggling to keep the old traditions alive in a fast-changing world. Now in his forties, many of the local customs have died out with his generation and the younger men who have followed have become disaffected, having nothing of the spirit which once meant `belonging'. The last of a dying breed, Eagle proudly holds on to his past despite knowing that he will soon be forced to leave the freedom of the sea for the factory floor. Before he does, however, he decides to revive an old local rite of passage ritual for his own son, Issac: a night spent alone on an uninhabited offshore island. It proves to be a gesture which awakens both envy and scorn from the local community, opening up past secrets which have helped to shape the present.