The next morning, the crew gathers more equipment from the Essex, which is still slowly sinking. They "make sails for the three whaleboats" from the Essex's tattered sails (6.5).
In addition, the crew also "built up the sides of each boat by more than a half a foot" (6.7). This is a stroke of genius, as it protects the men (and their food) from the salty waves.
This flurry of productive activity ends as night falls. The crewmembers tie the whaleboats back up to the Essex and try not to freak out too badly.
Given that the ship is almost entirely sunk by the next morning, our dudes had better think up a plan ASAP. Captain Pollard suggests traveling west to the Society Islands, which would take about thirty days.
Fearful of savage cannibals (ironic, huh?), Chase and Joy disagree. They want to head south and catch an easterly wind to the coasts of Chile or Peru—which is a perilous trek by any measure.
Chase and Joy manage to convince Pollard. Spoiler alert: this is a bad decision. Somehow, Chase and Joy are unaware of the fact that there's "a thriving English mission" on the Society Islands (6.22).
Now it's time to split up into whaleboats: six in Chase's boat and seven in the other two. Pollard gets a majority-Nantucketer crew, including Coffin, Ramsdell, and Ray. Chase gets Nickerson. Joy, being the lowest-ranking officer, is given a majority African American crew. We thought Quakers were supposed to be not racist?