It’s 1719: two years after the infamous Blackbeard died, leaving his treasure buried in an unknown location. ANNE BONNY, a fiery 19-year old, steals Blackbeard’s journal from her husband, who works for the governor. SNAKE EYES, a devious pirate, is also after the treasure. He kidnaps RED HANDS, a mad pirate rumored to know the treasure’s location.
Anne’s husband discovers her affair with the pirate captain, CALICO, and has Anne arrested. Desperate to get the treasure, Anne breaks out of jail, disguises as a man, and joins Calico’s crew. Shipless, the pirates battle to steal a merchant ship for themselves. Calico is impressed by the master fighting skills of a young sailor, MARK, and forces him to join his crew.
There is an electric connection between Anne and Mark. Anne persuades Mark to give her sword fighting lessons in exchange for the secrets in Blackbeard’s journal. Anne goes wild trying to seduce Mark. When Calico threatens to kill Anne’s “lover,” Mark reveals that he is really MARY READ, a God-fearing woman who’s been disguised as a man most of her life.
Mary is enraged Anne penetrated her secret and wants nothing to do with her. But when VIKING VIC, a deadly pirate, starts to suspect Mary’s gender, Mary realizes Anne is her only ticket to escape. The two women come up with a plot to lure Snake Eyes to them and steal Snake Eye’s sloop, with Red Hands aboard. Another stowaway, THOMAS, charms Mary with his good looks.
Anne is jealous of Mary’s new lover. She pushes for the pirates to sail to Haiti and get voodoo priests to wrestle secrets out of Red Hands. Anne’s plan backfires, and she is nearly killed in a voodoo ceremony. Mary gives up a chance to run away with Thomas to rescue Anne.
Tired of living in fear, Mary challenges Viking Vic to a duel. She defeats him then reveals her gender to all. Anne follows suit, and the pirates are on the verge of mutiny. Just then, Snake Eyes attacks, seeking Blackbeard’s journal and Red Hands. Mary and Anne prove their worth by murdering Snake Eyes and taking his map to Blackbeard’s treasure. The women take over the ship, leading the way to the treasure, which is buried in the maze-like Florida keys.
Meanwhile, the governor hears about the women’s triumph and sends his men after them. One night, while the pirates are drinking with local fishermen, the governor’s agents board their ship. Anne and Mary are the only ones sober enough to battle. They put up one hell of a fight, but their ship is captured and the pirates are sentenced to hang. Anne and Mary put the courtroom for a spin by announcing that they’re both pregnant.
Just when freedom seems within reach, Mary gets sick and dies in prison. Anne is shipped off to her father — but Pierre intercepts, whisking Anne to a pirate ship bound for Blackbeard’s gold.