This story is based on Commodore George Anson's voyages during the 18th century when England and Spain battled for supremacy of the seas. Though Tom Allin is terrified to board the Centurion as cabin boy and enter the world that claimed his father's life, he is doubly ashamed of his fear. Throughout the voyages to South America, Cape Horn, the Pacific and China, (the prime object being to pursue and capture the Spanish Galleon), Tom is given numerous opportunities to test his courage. There are raging storms to contend with, an epidemic of scurvy, traitors aboard ship and the culmination of the trip itself, the capture of the Manila Galleon. Through all these experiences, Tom develops a sense of loyalty to the crew and a new love of the sea, but the most important lesson he learns is that fear is not a sign of cowardice. A well-written first novel for boys that combines authentic history with exciting fiction.