In a letter to the publisher Charles Scribner, Hemmingway describes the novel as:
“This is the prose that I have been working for all my life that should read easily and simply and seem short and yet have all the dimensions of the visible world and the world of man's spirit. It is as good prose as I can write as of now.”
One morning he returns to his fishing grounds, and now the tide has turned. He gets an enormous merlin on his hook. The old man and the fish battle it out in a severe fight. The old man wins, ties the large fish to the side of the boat and sets sail for home. And another battle commences. The fight with the hungry sea eagles, circling around the boat, pecking at the fish.