Pi takes stock of the details of the lifeboat – it is twenty-six feet long and eight feet wide, painted white, and fitted with benches, oars, and oarlocks. Richard Parker’s territory is under the tarpaulin on the boat’s front half, while the hyena occupies the smashed back bench where the zebra fell. Pi himself is on the very tip of the bow. The boat’s inside surfaces, the oars, lifejackets, and the lifebuoy are all orange, which seems like a “nice Hindu color” to Pi.
The lifeboat is the ultimate microcosm, a small, enclosed space that is now housing a boy and two dangerous predators. Every detail becomes incredibly important for Pi’s survival. Pi is slightly comforted by the color orange, which is also the color of tigers (and of the adult Pi’s housecat).