One day Pi hears a noise and water crashes down on him from above, though the sky is cloudless. Pi looks over the edge and sees a whale pass by. He stares directly into the whale’s eye, and then the whale sinks back down to the depths. After this Pi would see more whales, but none came so close as the first. Pi imagines them talking about him to each other.
Many of these episodes deal with Pi’s attempts to communicate or relate with the outside world. He imagines the whales talking about him and trying to help him, and their majestic size and rarity make them seem like holy messengers.
Pi sometimes sees dolphins, but he only sees six birds during his whole time at sea. Two are distant albatrosses, which seem “supernatural” to him. Pi catches a masked booby that lands on the boat. He skins it and eats every edible part of the bird. The presence of the birds never mean that land is nearby, though.
The birds also seem heavenly to Pi, especially as they have the potential to herald nearby land, though none of them do (perhaps offering a purposeful contrast to the dove in the story of Noah’s Arc). The booby loses all its “supernaturalness” when Pi catches and eats it, though—survival comes first.