Life of Pi Part 2 (The Pacific Ocean) Chapters 64 - 72 Summary

     Prolonged exposure to the weather started taking its toll. Pi's clothes disintegrated, while his bare skin was covered with painful boils. He found it hard to cope with damaged skin, as constant wetness and salty water were slowing down the healing process. Nevertheless, Pi was determined not to give up. He started deciphering the survival manual written by, and intended for experienced sailors who already had at least a basic marine knowledge about navigation. Pi had no knowledge at all. He was unfamiliar with longitude and latitude, constellations and winds, so he had to give up on the navigation, letting the ocean lead him every which way.

     He focused his attention on fishing and by trying with various depths, fishes and hooks, he improved the technique. On some days fish was biting like crazy, so he would keep fishing despite he barely had a place to put it, passing the rest to Richard Parker. However, those days were rare, and mostly there was just enough sea food to fulfill his basic needs. Beside fish, Pi tried various sea creatures, even algae. The survivor manual suggested that turtles were an easy catch, and Pi confirmed it. However, no one mentioned how hard it was to drag the turtle onboard and kill it. The manual gave brief instruction on how to cut the main artery, but no word about a turtle tucking its head so deep into the shell, making it impossible to reach it. Pi had to mutilate it completely, only to learn that it was not worth it, since it was not as good source of meat nor blood as he thought. He felt sorry for torturing that creature so much.

     He noticed the change in his sleep pattern. He slept only an hour or two for the entire night, and found it suffice, as he was on constant watch for Richard Parker. On the other hand, Richard Parker became very passive. He spent his days mostly lying in the shade of the bench, napping or just resting. Lack of sleep, anxiety and a strong wish to be rescued tricked Pi to hallucinate lights on the horizon. At first, he was firing the rocket flares, hoping to be noticed, but eventually lost his hope to be rescued by other ship, as he was barely noticeable in such a vast space. He convinced himself that no one would safe him unless he did that on his own. Besides, Richard Parker was an issue again. Pi was sick and tired of calculating when was the best moment to reach for the supplies on the life boat and running away from him. He had to make the life boat his own territory at all costs. Something had to be done.

     To carve out his own territory, Pi came up with a new plan. He would choose a calm sunny day when waves are small but regular. Then he would stream the sea anchor the make the boat stable and comfortable and start provoking the tiger. The idea was to provoke the animal so much that it moves from its territory towards neutral or Pi's territory. With the constant eye contact and outraged behavior, the result should be visible. After it enters Pi's territory, Pi would start blowing the whistle and immediately trip the sea anchor. Agitated tiger would soon become sea sick and would probably attach the sea sickness to a sound of a whistle, therefore, with every blow of whistle it would run in the farthest part of his territory, allowing Pi to dwell on the life boat. But things weren't so smooth when put into practice. Richard Parker got so aggressive that he slapped Pi's shield, sending Pi into the ocean. Pi did not blame the tiger for his actions. He obviously warned him couple of times before he attacked him, which means that he felt threatened, rather than in a mood to kill. He tried to make his point. It was time for Pi to make his own point, so he took a whistle and blew his whistle as hard as he could. Richard Parker moaned and gasped at the bottom of the boat.

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