off soundings

off soundings

[′ȯf ‚sau̇nd·iŋz]
(navigation)
Of a vessel, navigating beyond the 100-fathom (183-meter) curve; in earlier times, the term was applied to a vessel in water deeper than could be sounded with the sounding lead.
References in classic literature ?
Haul off, haul off, Master Bumppo,” cried Benjamin, “your top-light frightens the fish, who see the net and sheer off soundings.
Now the Dreadnought she lies in the River Mersey, Because of the tugboat to take her to sea; But when she's off soundings you shortly will know
Of course, one of the reasons ships are a danger to small boats in the first place is that the individual at the wheel may not be keeping a sharp eye ahead; indeed, off soundings, he may not even be looking ahead period, because he's letting the autopilot worry about navigation.