even though he is not allowed to go fishing with him
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I think their bond is close. Manolin has been forbidden to fish with the old man because he is "salao, truly unlucky". But by the end of the story Manolin decides to continue. Even though the younger fishermen mock Santiago, Manolin sees Santiago as a mentor, even a father figure. He visits the old man in his shack, carries his gear and listens to his stories, Manolin is a true apprentice. Manolin worries about the old man and brings him food to supplement his meagre rations.