In an old-fashioned fishing community on Morecambe Bay, change is imperceptibly slow. Treacherous tides sweep the quicksands, claiming everything in their path. As a boy, Arthur had followed in his father's and grandfather's footprints, learning to read the currents and shifting sands. Now retired and widowed, though, he feels invisible, redundant. His daughter wants him in a retirement home. No one listens to his rants about the newcomers striking out nightly onto the bay for cockles, seemingly oblivious to the danger. When Arthur's path crosses Suling's, both are running out of options. Barely yet an adult, Suling's hopes for a better life have given way to fear: she's without papers or money, speaks no English, and chased by ruthless debt collectors. Her only next step is to trust the old man.