Pi pores over the survival manual, trying to decipher its advice about navigation, but he knows nothing about stars or currents. Pi eventually gives up, recognizing that he has no way to propel or steer the lifeboat anyway. Later he would learn that he drifted along the “Pacific equatorial counter-current.”
Pi wisely gives up trying to control the things beyond his power, like hoping for rescue or trying to steer the lifeboat. The only things he can control are his own daily acts of survival and sanity.