The Old Man and the Sea Part II Summary

     The old man rowed out to sea alone, letting the current do some of the work. He had fished by the deep wells previously, so this time he thought he'd try where the schools of bonito and albacore are. He dropped his sardine bait down to various depths: forty, seventy-five, one hundred, and one hundred plus fathoms. As the sun rose, the old man could see other boats out on the water. The old man was very precise with his lines, unlike some fishermen, but he knew it was more important to be lucky than exact. A man-of-war bird swooped by, so the old man followed him, knowing the bird had spotted a large fish. The bird was after flying fish that leaped out of the water, but the old man saw a school of dolphins, which were also pursuing the flying fish. He lost track of the fish, and the bird landed on the water nearby, letting off its poison into the water. The old man knew the poison would cause him welts and irritation should he come in contact with it. The old man thought about how the turtles like to eat the Portuguese men-of-war. He had gone on turtle boats for many years and knew eating their eggs made him strong. He also liked to drink a cup of shark liver oil each day because it was good for the eyes and the immune system.

     The bird rose up, circling again, and a tuna leaped out of the water. His line began to shake, and the old man was able to reel in a ten-pound albacore. The old man thought about how he talked to himself when he fished, probably because the boy was no longer with him, and how if people knew, they would think him crazy. However, he didn't care. He knew that they had companions or radios to listen to, which he did not. Then the old man saw one of his lines move. He thought a marlin might be deep down, nibbling on his bait. He waited for the fish to really take the bait and swallow the hook before he began to reel him in. The old man struggled as the fish pulled his boat through the water. He wished he had the boy there to help him pull in the other lines. He was thankful though that the fish was sideways instead of downward. Four hours later the fish continued to pull the old man out to sea. The old man tried to make himself more comfortable in the boat as he kept an eye out for the Havana horizon while the sun went down.

     Just before daylight the next morning, the fisherman was forced to cut his other lines in order to reel in the coils, so he lost the hooks, but he thought it would be worth it if he could eventually pull in this massive fish. He hoped the fish would jump to add some air into its sacks and keep it from dropping. Then a bird landed on his boat, and he talked to it. When the fish jerked the line, the old man noticed that his hand was bleeding. He was in a lot of pain from holding the line for so long, and he hoped the fish was feeling badly too. The man rinsed his hand in the salt water then decided it was time to eat. He took the tuna he had caught earlier and cut it into strips. A cramp had developed in his hand, so after he ate, he tried to adjust the line into the crook of his arm to let his hand rest awhile. Slowly, he saw the line begin to rise as he begged his hand to heal.

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