No, I've had no resent misadventures, but a brush with an inattentive sailor a few days ago reminded me of my closest brush with real danger on the water. Sinking and multiple deaths were very possible, though only a few hundred yards from the harbor.
I was sailing full and by on my Stiletto 27 with my parents in a nice breeze. We'd been going 10-12 knots for 30 minutes on starboard tack. We were approaching a 60-foot sled, also going to the weather, but on port tack, also making 10-12 knots. Sometimes it appeared I would be clear ahead, sometimes a near crossing, depending on the shift. It was a sharply trimmed boat with Kevlar sails; I felt confident it held an attentive crew.
If I were to tack away I would be dead in the water in front of a boat going 12 knots that would crush and cut my 1200-pound Stiletto in half. If I de-powered I would lose the speed I needed to maneuver, and with the shifts perhaps only worsen my position. If I were to bear away and the racer/60-footer did what I expected, what the rules require and bore off at the last moment, we would go head-on at 20+ knots and I would lose AND be at fault the stand-on vessel that failed to stand-on.
No harm done. But a collision between my Stiletto and a 60-footer head on would not have been about scratched paint, it would have been about missing people. A water-borne collision between a big rig and a Smart Car.
Non-sailors expect stories about storms and dark nights. Engine failures at bad times. While those things can be scary and inconvenient, there is time to think. On the other hand, I've had a number of crossings when I was on starboard and no one was looking that were closer than they should have been. No, I don't go looking for close encounters, but I sail crowded water in the summer and sometimes I would just swear a boat was sailing well and the crew paying attention, when in fact the only thing they were watching was that deck-sweeping genoa.
So what was your closest call?