Any possible ambiguity can be cut out of helm orders by making all references in terms of the boat herself. ‘Keep it on the left’, when approaching a buoy could mean the helmsman should sail to the left of the buoy, but it might also mean that the buoy will run by to the left of the boat. The time-honoured convention ‘Leave it to port,’ brooks no doubt. The buoy is to pass down your port side. Vice-versa for starboard, and goodbye to muddling!