We teach, "Do it early and do it big."
Well maybe you oughta look at changing your teaching to keep up with the other users.
For a start Colregs say the Stand On vessel should stand on and not change course giving the other vessel time to change.
And doing big alterations is just wasting time when one could be baking a cake or somit interesting. The ship may wonder why you have changed course unnecessarily.
Let me preface my opinion with that I do long ocean passages and my thoughts are adressed to those wishing to do similar.
Most ships don't see to many sailing boats so they poor old 3rd officer (3rd World Origin wiv 10 words Engrish) is going to use the same rules as if approaching another motor vessel and go port to port, go right of way on the green side, give way to the red side (they need to make it easy
) and NOT wake the captain.
My thoughts are: Keep course, know they will use motor vessel rules if they see you at all, they will keep course and cut corners close. Use shipping lanes as then you know where the blighters are - the middle or buffer zone is best.
On using a bearing to see if you are about to be flattened our system was NOT to take a baring till the ship is so close as to clearly see individual nav lights differentiated from each other. Then 3 bearing at 5 min intervals using a paper plotter as below. Only wake me if the 3 chips of 'blu tack' are on top of each other and you can see the whites of their eyes (difficult as they are normally not even on the bridge!).
Its good to get used to ships and treat them like any other user at sea. If you start doing this now, before you go cruising then you will have a far more relaxing time.
My plotter (photo below)
My girl friend initially had a few problems taking bearings too far off and waking me. The bearing will NOT change untill the ship is close so all ships on the horizon will look like they are going to collide with you even if they have to do it in reverse
So we developed some rules and this use of the archaic bit of plastic found in the nav table gatherin' dust.
Place the Plotter in the cockpit with the arrow pointing exactly to the bow. Set your course on the plotter (photo shows 150 deg mag).
When the ship is close take first baring and put corner of 'Blu Tack' on the baring.
Wait 5 mins
Take another baring. add Blu Tack
If 3 'Blu Tacks" are on top of each other man the life raft... ooops, no... come and wake me
If I can I will steer at the stern of the ship. Cut the Devils off his tail.