Lobstah: catching and eating!

Saturday. I woke up bright and early – East Coast time and all. The continental breakfast in the hotel lobby was what it was. Off to Portland. The day brought surprises and smiles.

There was lots of walking around. The scheduled event of the morning was not set to depart until 10:30 AM. Time to kill. There were shops to explore. Streets to walk down. Cobblestone to comment on. Dunkin’ Donuts was a snack stop and bathroom break. I’m rather obsessed with Dunkin’ Donuts. Good thing it’s no where to be found in Minnesota. Or else, I’d be the size of a barge.

Before the morning’s events commenced, I saw something I wasn’t expecting to see in Maine. Something I thought I’d have to travel over seas to see. Right on the Pier, right next to where I stood, it was in plain view.It was just a piece of it. But it was it.

I wasn’t there. I didn’t have that wall blocking me from freedom. But that day on the Pier, not expecting to see such a sight, I thought of them. The people whose lives were divided because of concrete and communication. I touched the wall. The wall that so many people tried to break through. The wall that mothers tried to climb. It’s a wall I hope to never be up against.

yes, it really was THE Berlin Wall. a section of it.

The Berlin Wall behind me, I looked forward to the new adventure waiting for me on the water.

I know you’re dying to know. The day’s main Maine event: Lobstering! That’s right. Catching lobster. Pulling in traps. Measuring lobsters. Setting traps. Such a cool adventure! Captain Tom and the crew were lively and well-educated on the art of lobstering. Maine’s main export. Clear blue sky made the water clear blue and calm. Ships were sailing in and out of the Bay. The Lucky Catch, the name of our boat and the company running the lobster cruise, was fully equipped to handle the men, women, and children on board our boat. I was the oldest “kid” (at 25, can I still call myself a kid??). The crew went around and asked where we were from. My answer was simple, like my state. One of the families, mom, dad, and three kids, sitting next to me said they were from Pennsylvania. Their two sons played hockey. Instant connection. Instant bond. They hadn’t been to MN with the kids, or at all, or something. But I told them if their sons keep playing, they’ll most likely make more trips to the State of Hockey.

The traps for the lobsters are marked by buoys – painted specific colors for each lobster crew. Lucky Catch’s colors are white with green. Spotting the buoys bobbing in the water, Captain Tom directed the boat to the trap. He used an old hockey stick, which the PA kids thought was awesome, to grab onto the rope of the lobster trap. A pulley system/wench-like contraption pulled up the trap.

the hockey stick

Our bait was already prepped. Everyone dug their rubber-gloved hands into a bucket of dead herring and placed five/bag head first into the bait bags. Pickled herring, anyone?

The bait bag with dead herring!

With the bait prepped, the traps needed to be checked for lobster and then re-baited and prepped. My first job on board the Lucky Catch was to empty the lobster trap of the dead herring in the bait bags and re-set the traps. I didn’t flinch or puke. Dead fish don’t phase me. The lobster crew called me either “Minnesota” or “Miss Minnesota.” Proud to report, Minnesota, you made an impression on Maine.

The traps, after being pulled out of the water. Waiting to be prepped

the sea gulls swarmed when we dumped out the left-over fish guts/bones from the used herring traps.

the trap, after being re-baited and set, it was pushed into the water. ready to catch more lucky lobsters

Everyone got a chance to band the lobster claws. Those things can kill!

Though the traps are set for lobsters, crabs tend to find their way into the traps. This crab is prego. Note the large orange sac-like form.

Lobsters need to be measured to ensure they are of proper, legal size to catch and keep

my time on the Lucky Catch ended too soon.

But time in Portland was not over yet. With my sea legs back, more walking and exploring occurred. Historical sites were taken in – the Henry Wadsworth-Longfellow house is in Portland, ME.

Then it was time to move on. To another part of Portland area. Cape Elizabeth. I decided I’d House Hunt there (House Hunters) if it wasn’t for the fact that the houses are made for millionaires. Details.

The main draw to Cape Elizabeth is the Portland Head Light Lighthouse. It’s the most photographed light house in Maine. Popular. I certainly filled my memory card with plenty of pics!

I have plenty more pics, but I think you get the point!

There was a gravel walking trail along the cliffs by the lighthouse. Beautiful views. Breathtaking sights. There were Civil War forts, abandoned mansions now in ruins. I never realized the history involved in Portland, ME. Now I know. Now you know.

Ending my second full-day in Maine, I ate at a place I’d seen Rachael Ray rave about a few years back on her $40 a day show. The Lobster Shack Restaurant at Two Lights on Cape Elizabeth.

Outside there is seating on a patio overlooking the rocky ocean shore. The water stretches forever before you. The sea sprinkles you with mist and a scent no designer or celebrity or Yankee candle can ever capture. Inside is small, cramped, but clean. The line was long. The food was worth the wait.

the menu

desserts, but i didn't sample any. i was too full.

first ever Lobstah Roll! So YUMMY!

not a bad suggestion, Rachael Ray!

Next to the Lobster Shack was a small gift shop with quirky, silly gifts and tees. I found my souvenirs. Both very non-quirky and silly. Maine. That’s what they are. Books about and from Maine.

The Little Fisherman. Margaret Wise Brown

The second day in Maine ended. Sleep pulled at me. I watched The Bucket List and went to bed. Looking forward to and sad that Sunday meant my last day in Maine. I slept that night dreaming about the ocean, the colors of it, as Sarah, Plain and Tall described. I dreamed about lobstah catching and eating.


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