"What do you call that?" I said.
"That's the gin pole," he said, and I thought it was getting to be just about time for some of that. "It's a double purchase rig, two sheaves in the blocks."
He tied the line that came down from the top of the pole to the metal cross-piece on the meat hook, took a strain, said, "We're ready down here," and Mr. Cunningham came down from the flying bridge.
He and Paul and I and Matello took holds on the rope and started to pull. I put everything I had into it, and I could see the other three were, too, and slowly, very slowly, like a near-even tug-of-war, we brought the fish up, and three-quarters out of the water. Then Paul grabbed the meat hook and pulled inboard as we let the line out. The huge fish balanced on the railing of the Sarah, then tipped and slid head down into the stern.
"It's a good fish," Paul said.
"It's a fine fish," Mr. Cunningham said.
It was one hell of a fish, and it filled the whole stern of the Sarah. You couldn't move anywhere without having to climb around that fish, and you couldn't climb over it, either. But it was aboard, and we'd caught a bluefin tuna.
"How much does a fish like that weigh?" I said.
"I can't tell until we weigh it," Paul said.
"You could guess, you've seen plenty of them."