On another day a ship appears on the horizon and Pi shouts with joy, sure that he will be rescued. The ship is a huge tanker, and it rapidly approaches the lifeboat. Pi yells and tries to shoot off a flare, but the ship passes silently by, almost running over Pi on its way. Its loud engines drown out his voice, and soon it is gone, disappearing over the horizon. Afterward Pi professes his love for Richard Parker and promises to find land.
This is the most poignant failed communication of Pi’s journey. He is so close to rescue, but he cannot make himself seen or heard by the people on the tanker. Pi responds to this disappointment with renewed love for Richard Parker instead of a fresh bout of despair.