(From October, 2010)
If you’ve been following me this fishing season, you know I’ve been catching my fair share of Tuna (along with other things). Over the last few weeks, I’ve been cooking and “canning” the meat in the newest and in my opinion the best way to preserve: retort pouches, a BPA-free flexible plastic and metal foil laminate pouch along the same lines as a Meal-Ready-to-Eat like the military uses.
I have completed 36 pouches with ZERO failures and have 24 more lightly smoked cooking now…using 35 seconds vacuum time and sealing 4.9 sec with 3.5 sec cooling time (in case you want to know).
Everyone comes out perfect!
I bought a newer pressure cooker. It is a 23 qt and is slightly taller than the others I have. The pouches stand up with 3 inches to spare from the top of the pot (without top on).
Even when opening cooker too soon…The bags are completely puffed up looking like they are going to explode and they vaccum back into share while watching them… (as they cool)
The “taller” pressure cooker is a plus (23 qt model).
I will never go back to jars…The pouches are sooooo much cleaner…no smell ……you could “can” with pouches indoors!
My North Pacific Albacore are caught one at a time with hook and line, never a net or longline, so my product is 100% dolphin safe. When a fish comes aboard the Midnight Rocket, it is immediately prepared and packed in an ice slurry for the trip home. At the end of the day, the fish go straight to canning. The sport vessel Midnight Rocket is a very fast, small boat, allowing me to make day trips instead of the usual 10 days most boats spend on the water. My fish usually go from the water to the pouch (or smoker) within 24 hours.
Want some? Too bad it’s not for sale. But if you get on my good side . . .
(From October, 2010)
We at USIA Marine, being boat builders ourselves, usually love stories about new technology and the latest innovations in watercraft manufacturing. However, this story, though fascinating, fills us with, well, conflicted feelings.
Meet the Emma Maersk, the world’s largest container ship. For a boater, the specs are mind-boggling, the numbers stunning. It has a length of 1,302 feet, that’s longer than an aircraft carrier. But while a carrier has a crew of over 5,000, this behemoth only needs a crew of 13. It has a width of 207 feet, which is too wide for the Panama Canal, making it strictly a trans-Pacific liner. It can carry an amazing 15,000 cargo containers. We’re talking those big metal containers that are the size of a train car-15 thousand of them!
The giant ship was built in 5 sections, then the pieces were floated in the water and welded together. At a whopping cruising speed of 31 knots (typical ships usually go 18-20 knots) the Emma Maersk can cross the Pacific 4 days quicker than other her smaller counterparts.
We have to admire the sheer scale of the engineering and also we have to appreciate the difficulty in the logistics of pulling off such a feat of manufacturing. And though it is not the largest ship ever built (the Nock Nevis held that distinction) its ability to transport more cargo quicker is great news. It saves fuel, time and energy, all pluses.
But there’s a big minus, as big as the Emma Maersk herself. This is what she looks like on the return voyage:
Sitting high out of the water-empty. Things coming into the US, but nothing being shipped back out overseas. Well, that’s not exactly accurate. There is something inside being shipped overseas: American jobs. See, this ship, and seven others like it, was commissioned by Wal-Mart to transport its goods, over 90% of which are from China, in a one way only trip to California. Now, we have nothing against international trade, but when all that merchandise is coming in and nothing is going out, that tells you volumes about the US economy.
Is it time to rethink your breathable waders?
Breathable waders are common for fishing, hunting, clamming, trapping, and a host of other activities around and in the water. You might even own a pair. They can be fantastic. They can keep you cool on those sunnier days. But don’t you ever notice they are not perfectly dry?
The Old Days
Back in the day, old timers used bag waders made from thick rubber and cumbersome attached rubber boots. They were waterproof and simple to repair but were a safety hazard because of their weight and bulk. Then along came Neoprene. It is quite robust and can endure a lot of abuse, but you must take care to dry them out completely after each use otherwise mold and mildew and other factors arise. Using neoprene you start to build up sweat, and that sweat is cooled which makes you feel a little cool and clammy underneath in colder temperatures. Not fun.
Over the years, breathables have increased in popularity. Breathables are constructed from a permeable material which allows dampness to escape through the wader even while in the water. Fishermen love them because they are very light and can be worn in the hot summer without causing a perspiration issue. In addition, they can be worn in the winter with a set of sweat pants or fleece wader pants that will help keep moisture away from you and protect you from the cold water.
The Trouble with Breathables
Waders made from breathable material, while comfortable and cool, are too disposable. Breathable chest waders are very easily damaged when rubbing against thorns or rocks and extra care is required to keep them free of leaks.
Care has to be taken when putting on breathable waders so you don’t pull the stitching. This will also cause leaks. Breathable chest waders also leak when the pores become blocked by silt from the water, creating an overall cold, wet, and uncomfortable sporting experience.
Times Are Changin’
The materials used now being constructed in dry suits are much lighter and stronger than ever. Now that they are so light, flexible, and tough, many fishermen are thinking it might be time to go back to a bag wader. These waders are 100% dry. If you find a damp area, you have a hole and you can find it and fix it. Want to keep sweat from bothering you in a bag wader? Many different comfortable undergarment options are available, even for summertime use. Modern fabrics are a wonderful thing, and today thin and durable sportswear that will held keep the humidity levels down inside your waders is available. Patagonia Capilene or Silkweight undergarments are just two examples.
The bottom line: Breathables, though comfy and cool, are easily damaged, highly disposable, and not 100 percent waterproof. The only waders that will keep you completely dry while not compromising with flexibility and weight are bag wader constructed from 100% waterproof fabrics.