The men on the raft are covered in sunburns and salt sores, and their water cans are empty.
Luckily, it starts to rain. Louie realizes that the air pumps are stored in canvas cases, and he uses the cases to catch water.
Unfortunately, when a wave splashes inside, the water is ruined by salty ocean water—so Louie sucks the water from the cases and spits it into the canteens.
When the rain stops, they realize the canvas cases make excellent hats too.
While they may not be thirsty now, they're definitely hungry.
An albatross lands on the raft, and Louie catches the bird and snaps its neck.
The inside of the bird is too stinky to eat, but they use the meat as bait and catch a few small fish to eat raw.
Phil worries that the dead albatross will bring them bad luck, like in the poem "Rime of the Ancient Mariner." But Louie thinks that after a plane crash, how could things get any worse? (A sure sign that things are about to get worse)
The men spend their days lying on the raft and sniffing their earwax, because "the scent of the wax was curiously refreshing" (3.14.18). Okay…
To try to stay sane, the men quiz each other constantly, tell each other stories of their pasts, and hum "White Christmas."
After two weeks, the rafts are decomposing and the men look grotesque.
Will they resort to cannibalism, like the 1820 whaling ship the Essex?
No, they won't—instead they resort to prayer.
Another albatross comes, giving them more meat for fishing.
Louie also puts fish hooks on his fingertips and plays Wolverine, reaching his claws in the water to catch fish.
They have to go six days without water. Louie prays to God to quench his thirst, and if he does, he'll dedicate his life to him.
God loves a bargain like that, and on the seventh day, the sky opens up and rain falls down.