Let me only say that it fared with him as with the storm-tossed ship, that miserably drives along the leeward land.
Tashtego reporting that the whales had gone down heading to leeward, we confidently looked to see them again directly in advance of our bows.
Thou, Flask, pull out more to leeward!
The boats were pulled more apart; Starbuck giving chase to three whales running dead to leeward.
Tall spouts were seen to leeward; and two boats, Stubb’s and Flask’s, were detached in pursuit.
Now, the game having risen to leeward, he and the other three German boats that soon followed him, had considerably the start of the Pequod’s keels.
The Virgin crowding all sail, made after her four young keels, and thus they all disappeared far to leeward, still in bold, hopeful chase.
The four whales slain that evening had died wide apart; one, far to windward; one, less distant, to leeward; one ahead; one astern.
Yonder, to windward, all is blackness of doom; but to leeward, homeward—I see it lightens up there; but not with the lightning.
"He is heading straight to leeward, sir," cried Stubb, "right away from us; cannot have seen the ship yet."
So, so, I see him! there! there! going to leeward still; what a leaping spout!
As before, sir,—straight to leeward.
When dusk descended, the whale was still in sight to leeward.
There’s a soft shower to leeward.
Leeward! the white whale goes that way; look to windward, then; the better if the bitterer quarter.
Setting sail to the rising wind, the lonely boat was swiftly impelled to leeward, by both oars and canvas.
Dead to leeward, sir.
"An hour," said Ahab, standing rooted in his boat’s stern; and he gazed beyond the whale’s place, towards the dim blue spaces and wide wooing vacancies to leeward.
Soon all the boats but Starbuck’s were dropped; all the boat-sails set—all the paddles plying; with rippling swiftness, shooting to leeward; and Ahab heading the onset.
To a landsman, no whale, nor any sign of a herring, would have been visible at that moment; nothing but a troubled bit of greenish white water, and thin scattered puffs of vapour hovering over it, and suffusingly blowing off to leeward, like the confused scud from white rolling billows.
But soon, as if satisfied that his work for that time was done, he pushed his pleated forehead through the ocean, and trailing after him the intertangled lines, continued his leeward way at a traveller’s methodic pace.
The sudden exclamations of the crew must have alarmed the whale; and ere the boats were down, majestically turning, he swam away to the leeward, but with such a steady tranquillity, and making so few ripples as he swam, that thinking after all he might not as yet be alarmed, Ahab gave orders that not an oar should be used, and no man must speak but in whispers.
For example,—after a weary and perilous chase and capture of a whale, the body may get loose from the ship by reason of a violent storm; and drifting far away to leeward, be retaken by a second whaler, who, in a calm, snugly tows it alongside, without risk of life or line.
Unlike the straight perpendicular twin-jets of the Right Whale, which, dividing at top, fall over in two branches, like the cleft drooping boughs of a willow, the single forward-slanting spout of the Sperm Whale presents a thick curled bush of white mist, continually rising and falling away to leeward.
Accordingly, the boats now made for her, and were soon swayed up to their cranes—the two parts of the wrecked boat having been previously secured by her—and then hoisting everything to her side, and stacking her canvas high up, and sideways outstretching it with stun-sails, like the double-jointed wings of an albatross; the Pequod bore down in the leeward wake of Moby-Dick.
But he looked too nigh the boat; for as if bent upon escaping with the corpse he bore, and as if the particular place of the last encounter had been but a stage in his leeward voyage, Moby Dick was now again steadily swimming forward; and had almost passed the ship,—which thus far had been sailing in the contrary direction to him, though for the present her headway had been stopped.
Some hours after midnight, the Typhoon abated so much, that through the strenuous exertions of Starbuck and Stubb—one engaged forward and the other aft—the shivered remnants of the jib and fore and main-top-sails were cut adrift from the spars, and went eddying away to leeward, like the feathers of an albatross, which sometimes are cast to the winds when that storm-tossed bird is on the wing.
"Whew!" he whistled at last—"the squall’s gone off to leeward, I think.
It seemed that somewhat late on the afternoon of the day previous, while three of the stranger’s boats were engaged with a shoal of whales, which had led them some four or five miles from the ship; and while they were yet in swift chase to windward, the white hump and head of Moby Dick had suddenly loomed up out of the water, not very far to leeward; whereupon, the fourth rigged boat—a reserved one—had been instantly lowered in chase.