Beginning with his adolescence, McAllister explains the circumstances that originally aroused his interest in salvaging the ships of eighteenth century buccaneers. As a ten year old boy, Bobby has a potentially serious accident that delusionally introduces him to a spectral pirate who tells him about the mythical treasure ship, The Prize.
As if one ghost in his life is not enough, a teen-age McAllister meets an apparitional woman who not only re-enforces his belief in the existence of The Prize but; convinces him of his destiny to locate the mysterious ship.
Life, however, is not perfect and McAllister takes a seemingly indirect route in search for something he considers to be pre-determined. His work for a crooked politician; stint as a producer for a television station, his chance meeting of an established and world-famous treasure hunter, and even a stretch in an Arizona prison, all combine to put him out to sea in search of The Hacha del Oro, a documented treasure ship that went down in a mighty hurricane off the coast of the Florida Keys in the early 1700’s.
Romanced by the secretary of one of his investors, captivated by charms of his partner’s daughter, and teamed with an unlikely beach bum/lawyer, Ned Hoffman and crusty old salt of a sea captain, “Captain Jim”, McAllister locates the Hacha, and begins salvage work on the wreck that is to make him a noted millionaire.
The path to fame and fortune is not without it’s pitfalls for McAllister. While working on what came to be known as the Hacha Project, he also came into contact with a couple of dishonest policemen, one of who blames him for the death of someone close to the corrupt cop. He is thought to be blackmailed into conducting a confidence game against a wealthy backer, two of his vessels are blown apart in front of his eyes, and a Caribbean Island sorceress protects him while predicting an unusual and dangerous future.
When the mother-lode of the Hacha is finally located and salvage of her riches begun in earnest, McAllister’s young daughter, Jolie, and Brandi, the daughter of his partner, are abducted by a band of Mafia related felons. With a group of amateur adventurers, McAllister launches a daring rescue of the two women, but in the process, develops a dangerous and ruthless enemy. Bobby McAllister is the quintessence of a contradiction of terms. Basically, a law-abiding citizen, a former U.S. Marine Officer, he is also at one time or another, being both a fugitive and convict. Usually easygoing and relaxed, he responds to any violation of his rights and the safety of his family and friends with swift and decisive action. He can be a diplomat on one hand, while effectively dealing with the dregs of organized crime and crooked cops on the other. His actions are rash, but often turn out to be the best solution for whatever the circumstances are.
By his own admission, he was born too late, as he would have given both Rhett Butler and Captain Blood competition in reputation. While perfectly at ease in a tuxedo at a formal reception, he could equally be standing on the upper deck of a tall sailing ship with a cutlass in his hand; a swashbuckler at heart.