Three years of handling his small racing sloop have given 18-year-old Pete Warner a reputation that gets him a job on the ocean-going yacht, Seawind, sailing from Honolulu to San Francisco. Pete's younger brother Buttons is also invited to join the crew, captained by Tony Brown, a young professional yacht skipper. The fourth man is a weathered old Hawaiian, Kuru. At the beginning of the voyage, Pete resents Tony's demands that he keep his eye on every detail, but a few minor crises convince him that Tony is right. The training proves timely when, in the middle of the Pacific, Tony falls from the mast, breaking his leg, and leaving Pete in command of the ship. A storm is brewing and the next 24 hours test Pete's knowledge and ingenuity to the limit. The suspense is real, and Pete makes mistakes but the ship comes through the crucial night. The author has a facility for providing lively dialogue and for conveying unending facts about the sea and sailing ships. The finishing touch is his strong sense of the sea, in all her moods, which gives to the story rhythm and substance.