Originally Posted by killarney_sailor
Gee, you have been in different places than we have. At times I have been incredibly impressed by how many ships there are and you can't really avoid them if you are going in more or less the same direction as you are. Some bust spots that occur to me are along the west coast of South America, north shore of the Dominican Republic and passing south of Madagascar. In all cases we saw 2-3 ships at least during the night and this does not include fishing vessels, just freighters.
Yes, clearly my opinion is reserved for open ocean. As I said in my original post, most shipping is experienced on coastal passages and from your description most of the ships you saw were coastal.
I crossed from Africa to Madagascar crewed and saw only one vessel as we were approaching Nose Be.
From Madagascar to Seychelles crewed, nothing.
I sailed from Seychelles single handed to Christmas Island and saw fishing boats that if I collided with them they would probably sink first and in 5 weeks of sailing saw one container ship south of Sri Lanka.
I sailed crewed from San Diego to Marquesas 24 days and saw one ship at sea other than a cruise liner entering the bay at Nuku Hiva.
We sailed from Nuku Hiva to Bora Bora, saw nothing. From Bora Bora to Raratonga, nothing, from Raratonga to New Zealand, nothing until we were 20 miles from the coast.
Of course there are places where there is shipping but it is mostly coastal or on charted shipping routes. On any given day approaching Panama you could see 50 or more ships.
The one problem that modern technology brings us is that we all use GPS to run the Rhumb Line as do all ships. So it's not really surprising that some of us will die.
Also let me say that single-handing is something I do only when all other options have been exhausted - it is not something that I enjoy.