Pi wakes up before sunrise and sees Richard Parker pacing around, growing thirsty. Pi checks the solar stills and is excited to see that they have actually produced fresh water, as he hadn’t expected them to work. Pi drinks from one of the bags with relish. He returns to the lifeboat and gives Richard Parker some flying fish and a bucket of the new water. Pi blows the whistle as the tiger drinks. The day passes uneventfully, and Pi realizes that it has been a week since the Tsimtsum sank.
Pi’s sense of time and the outside world quickly fades in his new universe of constant struggle. In the microcosm of the lifeboat and Pi’s tenuous hold on life, the smallest relief – like a full bag of fresh water – seems like a miracle. Pi uses the whistle as his “lion-tamer’s whip,” teaching Richard Parker to associate the noise with Pi’s alpha-ness.