What do you call an area of the sea that sinks many ships? I am pretty sure there was a word for it. When there are treacherous rocks that sink wooden ships, there was a word pirates used to refer to it, but I don't recall what it was.
There are several possibilities:
- dire straits: generally dangerous waters or more specifically a narrow passageway connecting two large bodies of water that is dangerous for ships
- Charybdis and Scylla: based on Odysseus' Greek mythology a whirlpool and many necked monster which made sailing very dangerous, however it has been used more generally as a dangerous place to sail
- lee shore (leeward shore): a stretch of shore that is down wind of a ship so the ship is being blown towards it. It is considered dangerous because shallow waters and potential rocks and make maneuvering a ship dangerous.