The plot of Wavesongs is, basically, Chris wanting to become a sailor and ending up as a pirate. He leaves for Boston on a merchant ship but pirates attack, and Chris is taken as a prisoner after the captain has spared his life in the last minute. At first, he doesn’t want anything to do with the pirates but he warms up to them gradually, especially to the Captain who surprises Chris by being a gentle and considerate man. They become lovers and Chris can finally come to terms with his sexuality and who he really is.
But life with the Captain isn’t always easy and Chris sees more and more of his darkness and cruelty. Chris finds out that the Captain is searching for a treasure – a treasure hidden by his own father – and that this quest is preoccupying his thoughts. To the Captain, it’s not just about gold but about his father keeping his rightful heritage away from him, and he keeps studying his treasure map even though no one else believes it will lead to anything.
Together with his new crew, Chris arrives to the hidden pirate haven of Corona, a small island where a pirate town has been founded. The Captain is busy searching for new crew members and Chris spends a lot of time by himself, getting to know the town. He meets a boy, a young barkeep called Dylan, and they become friends. But neither of them are free and as life with the Captain becomes more and more difficult, Chris starts wishing for freedom more than anything else.