During the Napoleonic War era, Captain John Phillips, RN takes command of the frigate HMS Resolve. His son Timothy now serving beside him as a midshipman, he is handicapped by his latest marital difficulties. The orders for his new mission take him from his problems at home and send him to the Mediterranean where he must deliver a consignment of gold and silver coin. After battling pirates and corrupt officials, he, his ship and crew are successful.
Returning to the Atlantic, off the coast of Portugal, he and his son battle French naval forces. Later, he is sent to the Caribbean where pirates are causing havoc with British trade. His fortunes on the mend (at least temporarily) with his wife, he receives an audience with King George III in recognition with his naval successes.