Under the lee of the land. Under the shelter of the cliffs
which break the force of the winds. (Anglo-Saxon, hleo, a
Under the lee of a ship.
On the side
opposite to the wind, so that the ship shelters or wards it off.
To lay a ship by the lee,
or, in modern nautical phraseology, to heave-to, is to arrange the
sails of a ship so that they may lie flat against the masts and
shrouds, that the wind may strike the vessel broadside so that she will
make little or no headway.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894