yeah, you have the right definition. A lee shore is one that's downwind and that you're not happy about. While you're still well away from it , experiment with sail combinations and sail trim, to see if you are moving away from it, or being set towards it in spite of all your efforts. A handheld Gps is perfect for this task, especially if the vis from rain, fog, snow, night, whatever, is preventing you from being able to tell visually. Is the long. or lat, which indicates you're opening up on it, ticking the right way? Good, then keep on keeping on, you're going to be all right as long as the conditions don't worsen. If it's decreasing, then it's a big problem, then try something else, even if it's the engine. And if all your attempts to get enough horsepower (whether from sailcloth or from iron, or combo of both) to claw off are failing, then it's time to rely on a tow off if you can find one, your ground tackle (dropped while you're still far enough off for you to get enough scope and stay seaward of the surf zone) and the holding ground, or prayer, more or less in that order.
I've found that prayer helps all the other stuff work better, but whatever works for you. If absolutely none of these work, then at some point you have to shift your focus from saving the boat to saving yourself (lifejackets, liferaft, Coast Guard, and even more prayer).
May it never come to that. But lee shores, and the ultimate inability to stay off them, are the primary reasons for most of the coastal shipwrecks, whether from sail, steam, or motor, that the scuba divers like to dive.
Last edited by nolatom; 10-13-2007 at 10:13 PM.