In all the scenes that involve Santiago and Manolin, the old man demonstrates his paternal love and friendship for the boy. He affirms the role of father as he forbids Manolin from accompanying him as he fishes because he now has no luck. And, when the boy asks if he can get the sardines for Santiago he tells Manolin,
"No, Go and play baseball. I can still row and Roggelio will throw the net."
They talk about baseball and, as friends, they drink together "Between fishermen." When Manolin buys him a beer, Santiago tells him, "You are already a man."
At the end of the novella, after his terrible defeat with the great fish, Santiago tells the boy that his luck is bad and he should not fish with him. But, when Manolin is so disappointed, Santiago encourages him by discussing how they must get a good killing knife and other tools before they go again. Demonstrating his kindness to others, the old man tells Manolin to be sure to give the head to Pedrico.