offing

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offing

the part of the sea that can be seen from the shore

offing

[′ȯf·iŋ]
(navigation)
That part of the visible sea a considerable distance from the shore, or that part just beyond the limits of the area in which a pilot is needed.
References in classic literature ?
At last I slid off into a light doze, and had pretty nearly made a good offing towards the land of Nod, when I heard a heavy footfall in the passage, and saw a glimmer of light come into the room from under the door.
The sea in the offing was black and rolling; thunder-clouds lay low on the horizon, split by broad flashes of lightning.
In the offing the sea and the sky were welded together without a joint, and in the luminous space the tanned sails of the barges drifting up with the tide seemed to stand still in red clusters of canvas sharply peaked, with gleams of varnished sprits.
I was now furnished with roots and corn, such as it was, and water; and leaving my friendly negroes, I made forward for about eleven days more, without offering to go near the shore, till I saw the land run out a great length into the sea, at about the distance of four or five leagues before me; and the sea being very calm, I kept a large offing to make this point.