Mark, I know you have a LOT more sea miles than I do but when it comes to big ships I'd rather just stay out of their way.
It just seems like the more prudent course of action.
No, I am a vessle and waterway user. I have the same rights under Colregs as them.
It is just wrong, imprudent and dangerous to think you need to stay out of their way.
It may be fine in a small body of water like the Chesepeake where a local boat knows the area and ships are confined to a slim channel, but in many other areas of the world it's unsafe to leave charted waters. If you think you can slink down the side and go closer to shore or a light than a ship you may well be wrong. A ship has the routes plotted from many trips and he is far more likely to cut close to a mark or lighthouse.
Quite simply they are going about their business and one gets used to their methods and they are nothing to be afraid of.
Remember not only have I seen it round the world but also a fair slab of the USA and they are the same. Very similar world wide except local shipping in Asia which is a pain, and some Greek ferry drivers.
One thing, though, is to realise they can't work out what you are doing easily, so Minnes 10 degree change of course would not have registered at all. For them to see it try 40 or 50 degrees. Hold that for a few mins then come slowly back to the correction you want.
Also to check which way he is going when approaching from astern I look at his forward mast and count the bridge windows either side of it. Much more acurate than any other method.
But as I said in the original post, the photo shows a huge clearence. I would be very comfortable at that passing distance.
I know its scary when first confronted with ships, but they really ok. They are highly maneuverable, well designed and know where they are going... And will always save an ounce of fuel by cutting 10 feet off their route.
You wait till you go in the same lock as a ship. That fun! Lololol. We were in one where the oil tanker was so close in front of us. When the gates opened and he hit FULL SPEED AHEAD! Actually he didnt... He just touched the prop and gently eased forward... It still created quite a wash