I've never seen a container, but I've seen more than a fair number of pilings, oil drums, large chunks of fishing nets with floats on them, and other things that you don't want to tangle with.
As to the original question, when I single handed to Hawaii from Long Beach, I'd routinely sleep during the day--sometimes as much as four hours at a time, followed by getting up, taking a noon sun shot, then another nap. I figured even the morons out there would see me during the day. I stayed awake all night--and was glad I did, because I saw at least a half dozen ships that might not have seen me.
On recent passages we've had full crews, so four hours on and four off were the norm. Fortunately, on the last trip, we only had to roust out the off-duty watch once when a squall hit us.
A friend of mine is currently crewing on a large motor yacht, and they have enough people aboard to have three people on watch at all times, and stand four on and eight off. Must be nice.
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