Getting into a port in the days of sail was always a long and frustrating affair when there was no engine to do the job. Instead, a ship would have to stand off in the offing to wait for either the tide or daylight and then stand on in turn with other vessels to get into port. This could happen several times before making it in so for sailors who had been at sea for a long time it was a frustrating situation.
By SailingQuiz November 2019 Category: Nautical Saying
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What does Off and on mean?
What is the nautical origin of the phrase "Off and on"?
Definition of the nautical phrase "Off and on".