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tarmand 07-14-2002 12:00 PM

Help me settle a bet!
I need to settle a bet, please help. If you are in a boat heading north and you can see shore both to your west and east and the wind is coming from the west, which shore is the lee shore... the shore to your east off the starboard side or the shore to your west off the port side?

Jeff_H 07-14-2002 02:52 PM

Help me settle a bet!
The lee shore is the down wind shore and so would be the shore to the east on your starboard side.


tarmand 07-14-2002 04:45 PM

Help me settle a bet!
Thanks Jeff! It''s always nice to win a bet. I got in to a protracted "discussion" with my father on this topic this weekend. He was getting the weather shore confused with being in the lee of the land on the weather shore. I''ve quoted Chapman and The Annapolis Book of Seamanship, but now I''ve got Jeff_H on my side!

DuaneIsing 07-15-2002 02:31 AM

Help me settle a bet!
I had to defend that (correct) position a few months ago while taking a boating course. I finally convinced the group (and instructor - yikes!) that it comes down to a matter of your frame of reference. If you''re standing on the shore with the wind and waves beating you up, you don''t think of it as the "lee shore", but when you''re in a boat to windward of that shore, then it becomes the "lee shore" to you.

Glad you won your bet!

Jeff_H 07-15-2002 02:54 AM

Help me settle a bet!
Actually, whether a boat is present or not, the shore that is downwind of a body of water is still the leeshore.


Manateee Gene 07-15-2002 03:28 AM

Help me settle a bet!
Jeff its good to see your still here; keeping everyone well informed!

DuaneIsing 07-15-2002 06:40 AM

Help me settle a bet!
Hi Jeff,

I agree completely with your statement, but I want to "defend" my take on this:

I could be wrong, but I believe the term "lee shore" is purely nautical in origin and use. I don''t believe non-boaters standing on land would describe the shore onto which the wind is blowing and the waves are crashing as "lee" anything. In fact, people I know who live on islands (and are not boaters) will often talk about visiting the windward side of the island and seeing the waves crashing. To them (on the island) the side where the wind is coming from is the windward side. When you think about it, they are simply applying the same convention we boaters use while aboard.

I just did a Google search of the term "lee shore" and "windward shore" and found numerous examples of usage describing the two sides of island coastlines (even more with the terms "lee coast" and "lee side") where the leeward shore is the calm side and the windward shore is the rough side. [yes, I know that finding numerous examples of usage does not necessarily make it correct]

My points are simply that (1) it is easy to understand why there is confusion, and (2) the non-boating public appears to be applying the frame-of-reference definition.


Jeff_H 07-15-2002 08:42 AM

Help me settle a bet!
This isn''t all that complicated, but you are right that it is easy to see why folks can become confused. A lee shore is always a shore that is downwind so that the wind is blowing onto that shore. It does not matter if a boat is there or not.

The leeward side of an island is to leeward of the island but the shore on the Leeward side of the island would be a windward shore that afforded a vessel a safe lee. Got that? Glad one of us did. 8^)


DuaneIsing 07-15-2002 08:48 AM

Help me settle a bet!
Yeah, but who''s on first?

That was a good follow-up, Jeff. Fair winds.


colehankins 07-16-2002 12:07 PM

Help me settle a bet!
WAIT A MINUTE! what if the two shores happen to be Islands? and your boat is between them? Wouldnt the "lee" of the westerly island be on your left and the "windward" island be on your right? Of course the boat would have the usual wind and lee sides. Now lets say you are standing on the island on the boats right, You are now on a windward shore, Correct? I think the words to lee or to wind work here. How do you suppose the coconuts got there?

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