"The slow surf crawled and seethed in the dark and he thought about his life but there was no life to think about and after a while he walked back" What does this mean? What is the man realizing here?
The man has worked so hard just to get his son to this point. There have been many harrowing moments but none that you would want to remember. Most of what the man can remember is painful anyway. Occassionally, his wife fills his thoughts and, other than the recollection of her suicide, he fondly remembers her and other occasions at the beach. .."If he were God he would have made the world just so and no different." How different the world is now - for his son!
The man knows that the journey is almost over and wonders what may lie ahead for his son when he is gone. "Perhaps ...another man did walk with another child" but even if he does the man wonders if they too are " lost to the same indifferent sun."
Hope is interspersed with stark reality as he desperately tries to hold on to something that will make it all worthwhile. Is all his son can look forward to "Cold. Desolate. Birdless." He is temporarily excited whilst searching for anything of value on a boat they have discovered that he can take back to his son. A sextant is particularly interesting to the point that it creates a feeling he has not had in a long time. It "stirred him."
Later, when the boy is sleeping and the man is again reflective, he realizes that, while there may be more on the boat than they could carry, being there is no less dangerous and maybe the hope is false hope. Everything is just "a lie." Tasting blood however does indicate one thing; that he is dying; "That is not a lie."
Reality is the only thing he can really trust and death is part of his reality.