“We’ll drink to-night with hearts as light,
To love, as gay and fleeting
As bubbles that swim, on the beaker’s brim,
And break on the lips while meeting.”
After Ahab’s first covenant with his crew in Chapter 36: The Quarter-Deck, wherein the men aboard the Pequod swear to hunt Moby Dick to his death or their own, the crew is drunk, both from the grog handed round during the impromptu ceremony, and from the general lift in spirit the impassioned oration of their Captain inspires.
The lift in spirit is handled in the effect of the Quarter-Deck, during which all forecastlemen (Green Sailors) are given a +1 strength bonus. The general effect of grog, the drunken sailor, is here translated as a small randomization of the boats crews. This is not to suggest the willing changes in allegiance brought up by the more capitalistic function of the bribe, but rather a general confusion, shaking things up, etc., that this important collective drunkenness fosters aboard the Pequod.