A skittish young dog inadvertently ends up in the sea bag of an ocean going tugboat skipper. Onboard and at sea the dog, christened Tugboat by the crew gets acquainted with the workings of a cargo carrying tug and barge combination as it plies trade in the Gulf of Mexico and up the US East Coast. 'Tugboat' interacts with the various crew members, notably with the bad guy, JJ, and with the lonely skipper. Cap'n Billy is a talkative character. He is not particularly aware of the fact that he is a teacher. By his interaction with Tugboat and the crew the reader will learn the origin of many nautical terms that are in current everyday use as well as some fundamental life lessons. 'Tugboat' visits Veracruz, New York and Charleston during his time aboard. While in those ports and also while at sea Tugboat has his adventures and makes friends. Throughout the voyages cargo is loaded and unloaded from the barge and there is some mild, easy-going explanation of how this takes place.