In 1577, England's supremacy on the high seas keeps her from falling under Spanish domination. Though Queen Elizabeth outwardly disapproves of Francis Drake and his band of pirates, she secretly finances his raids against the treasure ships of Spain. After pillaging the gold mines of the Incas and looting Spanish vessels off Panama, Drake lands in California and names the country New Albion. When he makes a triumphant return to England, Elizabeth knights him. Aided by his faithful friend, Malcolm, and Sir Francis Walsingham, Drake thwarts a Spanish plot to murder the queen and replace her with Mary of Scotland. Enraged, King Philip of Spain gives the order for his mighty armada to attack England. But during a storm, Drake turns the tables, and the tattered remnants of the Spanish fleet are forced to retreat. With England safe from invasion, Drake sails off to new adventures.