Swell is the undulations in the sea which are not yet waves. A ship can rise and fall many metres without any perceptible movement. However, your inner ear will perceive it and you can become sea-sick and not really know why.When the swell gets closer to the shore and starts to react with the sea bed (ground) and becomes much more noticeable and it then becomes groundswell.
By SailingQuiz October 2019 Category: Nautical Saying
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What does Groundswell mean?
What is the nautical origin of the phrase "Groundswell"?
Definition of the nautical phrase "Groundswell".