Arie Kornet hates school holidays on his family’s barge, the Rival, which is home to Arie, his two sisters, his father, and his deaf mother. But because his father is a commercial skipper, all they do is travel from one place to another on the Dutch and other European canals and waterways – the binnenvaart. Arie is intensely frustrated with it all. It seems there is nothing for him to do, and no escape. That is, until an unexpected brush with Russian secret agents, international plots, and a startling stow-away bring him far more excitement than his dreams had ever bargained for! Suddenly his own life, and those of his entire beloved family, could be in danger. Arie has difficult choices to make, and even more difficult actions to take.