How Many Drops to Drink?

The launch was loaded with 150 pounds of bread, 16 chunks of salt pork, six quarts of rum, six bottles of wine, and 28 gallons of water. Bligh divided it all down to the last dribble and fraction of an ounce, using a scale made from coconut shells—and then divided it based on his best guess as to the number of days it would take (48) to reach the closest land, the Dutch-owned island of Timor in the Indian Ocean, 3600 miles away.

On an ounce of bread a day, the odd scrap of pork, and an occasional mouthful of seagull, they could have made it. On a quarter pint of water a day, they were doomed. The weather saved them.

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