Vi lives in a floating house but she cannot swim. All the houses in her village Cat Ba in northern Vietnam are built on water. So if Vi wants to visit her friends or go to school, she has to travel with a boat. These rawboats are wobbly and overturn very easyly if the sea is rough. So Vi is afraid of the water because she has fallen in for several times.
Now the thirteen year old girl decides to learn how to swim. She can practice it with her grandpa Nghe in the fish cages – but these tanks are not big enough to do more than two or three strokes. Then there is a swimming lesson at a beach nearby, with a real swimming teacher and Vi begins to learn how to hold her breath and to lose her panic.