J.D. Nichols' first novel, Quickwater, finds Dan far out in the Atlantic, commercial fishing for Grouper and Snapper, when the boat he is running for a friend is run down by a huge ship, a near fatal accident that changes his life. His desire to own his own fishing boat has been met with disappointment and frustration, the troubled industry and his own problems preventing him from achieving his life-long dream, but after the accident, he is reunited with the woman who has captured his heart, Kelly, a beautiful nurse he had pushed away from him, his drinking and depression taking their toll on them both. Kelly gives Dan the chance to finally fulfill that dream, agreeing to help him acquire his own boat, and for a short while things are good, they are married and Dan is finally at peace with himself, the woman of his dreams by his side. For years, Dan has had a recurring dream, a whale stares at him as Dan stares back, his reflection clear to him in the whale's eye, and he comes to realize the significance of his dream after meeting the whale face to face while at sea fishing. He takes his love out on his boat the following year, he knows the whale will be there, and Kelly has the chance to witness the beautiful whale herself, but Kelly has been hiding something, the cancer eating away at her has spread, and while witnessing the whale and it's strange behavior, she tells Dan she is dying, she has only months to live. Quickwater is an insight into a troubled industry, and a troubled man who has finally conquered his demons, realizing his dream of the woman he loves at his side, and his own boat under his feet, only to have what he loves most, his beautiful Kelly, taken from him. He will meet the whale a final time, a bitter-sweet end to a fisherman's long voyage.