In the middle of the Spanish-American War in 1898, sea pilot Peter Long receives a mysterious request for his services. He is asked to guide a three-masted coasting schooner to the mouth of the Atlantic Ocean. But the ship's master is none other than Ebenezer Soule, Long's rival from their apprentice days aboard the pilot schooner Tunnell.
A pacifist Quaker sympathizer, Soule was ousted from the sea pilot service for his activist ways. Despite past rivalries, including competition for the love of a wealthy Quaker ship owner's daughter, Long still views Soule as his hero. However, the Tunnell's crew suspects Soule is a traitor and that Cuba is the schooner's true destination. When Spanish voices are heard in a locked part of the ship's hold, mutiny appears imminent.
What unfolds is a story of friendship, competition, and conflict in which Long must look past old feelings and decide where his true loyalties lie.