I was on my yacht, and was single handed. The weather was fair with a decent wind to sail under full main and headsail. At approximately 1100, just south of the west bound traffic lane I observed a yacht which was heading on approx 020°. I continued to observe the yacht and assessed we were on a collision course. As I, on starboard tack, was the “stand-on” vessel, I maintained my course. I checked the yacht with binoculars, and could not see any crew on deck, I therefore assessed a collision was inevitable. I changed course to pass down the port side and astern of the yacht. As we drew level, at 1133 I sighted the crew who were sheltering under the spray hood, facing aft, and either reading or sleeping. I hailed them very loudly, and questioned which part of the collision regulations they did not understand. They reacted, but did not reply.
The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea are predicated on the fundamental requirement that all vessels must keep a proper lookout. If you think you are looking around the horizon every five minutes, the real interval may actually be much more than that. Remember that a ship going at 20 knots may be getting closer to you by two miles every six minutes.