As my nephew Ben said when we turned north to return to Dauphin Island after a near-perfect overnight Gulf Stream fishing trip, “Every trip from now on will be downhill, Uncle Billy. It can’t get any better than this!”
Indeed, it had been a dream trip. With 1-2 foot seas, 5-10 mph winds and scattered, pop-up showers, the Gulf was typical for early July. We could have water-skied the entire trip, it was so calm. At day’s end, a breathtakingly beautiful sunset moved through reds, oranges and pinks to finish with brilliant, silver-edged clouds pointing the way for the full moon, which appeared shortly after nightfall.
We began fishing about an hour before dark, still in green water, with a plethora of 25-35 pound amberjacks in a feeding-frenzy. They exhausted the arms and wrists of even our young, athletic fishermen, and after about an hour we had caught our limit. By 11 p.m., we were 95 miles out in 6,000 feet of crystal-clear, blue-purple water. The full moon danced in and out from behind invisible clouds, and the yellow-fin tuna began with a WHAM! With the reel drag screaming, a 71-pound tuna took the bait and tried to rip the pole out of my nephew John’s grip. A classic, 45-minute struggle followed, ending with the exquisite creature on board, its body outlined by its neon yellow fins glowing in the moonlight as if lit from within. By the time the sky began to lighten, all six in our party had landed a 50-80 pound yellow-fin plus numerous smaller black-fin tunas, and everyone had pleasantly had enough fishing!
When the sun was up, we rigged for billfish trolling, and this easier fishing made it possible to think of other “yummy” things. Needless to say, during the 12-14 hours we were catching fish, nobody stopped to prepare hot food! So I fetched my SPORT solar oven from the cabin. We filleted a an 8-pound black-fin into four, one-and-a-half inch thick, 1 pound fillets, placing two in each pot, topping each with butter, lemon juice, chopped flat parsley (curly is unacceptable!), and salt and pepper mixture. At 8:45 a.m., I put the fish in the oven, faced it toward the sun and relaxed. One hour later, the fish was perfectly done, pink-which in color and aromatically infused with hints of parsley, lemon and butter. Typical of this oven, it was exceptionally moist and flaky. The SPORT solar oven cooks almost all foods, and an argument might be made that it may be a near perfect way to back fish!
The Solar Oven Society offers its revolutionary SPORT solar oven for safe, fireless cooking of extraordinarily tasty and nutritious foods on boats of all types. The SPORT won’t rust. It is easy to stow and handle because it only weighs 11 pounds (with two pots), and most important, it doesn’t have to be continually tended and refocused on the sun to cook. Just point it to the sun and in 2-4 hours almost any food is cooked! For boaters we recommend securing the oven with bungee cords in an out-of-the-way spot when cooking while under way. The SPORT price is $98.97, including two pots, and a thermometer. Shipping is approximately $24 in the continental United States. For more information and to order, contact us at solarovens.org or (612) 623-4700.
The Solar Oven Society is a non-profit organization and exists to promote solar cooking to the American public and to provide a way to partner with the over 2-billion people worldwide who lack adequate fuel for cooking their food.