The Old Man and The Sea occurs during three days and three nights on the sea. The story takes place on the ocean, off the coast of Havana, Cuba. The story is about a man that thought his fishing career was over, but decided to give it one more try and shake the bad luck he had been having. The old man's name is Santiago and he had been a very prosperous fisherman at one time. Now the villagers say he is bringing bad luck and no one will fish with him.
Two of the main events in the story and how Santiago got through them are as follows:.
(1) On the second day, the line has been stretched over Santiago's back for hours. He begins to feel intense pain. At an unexpected lurch from the great fish, the line cuts his right hand. His left hand has become cramped. The fish surfaces for the first time, and Santiago sees he has hooked a marlin much longer then the boat. .
By noon his left hand uncramps, and he repeats prayers for success as the fish continues towing the skiff. The struggle continues through the night. Santiago eats a small fish he has caught on one of his other lines, and he sleeps for the first time. Then a furious jerk of the lines wakes him, and his hands get badly cut. The great marlin is jumping. This is good because its air sacs will fill and the fish wont sink to the bottom and die, unable to be pulled back up. .
On the third day, the marlin begins to circle the boat rather than tow it. This is a major breakthrough in the struggle to bring in the fish. Santiago puts as much tension on the line as possible to make the circles shorter. After several more circles, Santiago gets the marlin close enough to kill it with his harpoon. Since the fish is much longer than the boat, it must be tied to the side rather then towed behind. Santiago puts up the mast and sets sail to the southwest, back toward Havana.
(2) A mako shark strikes the marlin and tears off at least forty pounds if flesh before Santiago can kill it.