When we decided to go to Maine, Mr. Maid half-jokingly said he wanted to go out on a lobster boat. While researching things to do on our vacation I came across the website for Lulu Lobster Boat. Mr. Maid may have been imagining exciting scenes from The Deadliest Catch or The Perfect Storm. What we got instead was a very enjoyable and educational trip and neither of us had to risk our lives.
Captain John Nicolai knows his stuff and is great at making it fun for all ages. Along with about 20 others, we first sailed out to Egg Rock, which we had seen from the coast the previous day. There we saw seals swimming and sunning themselves all around. When buying your tickets, you can choose times that correspond with either low-tide, mid-tide, or high-tide. At low-tide you’re likely to see the seals laying on the rocks and not doing much else. During high-tide, they’ll most likely be swimming. We chose a mid-tide cruise, and just as predicted we were able to see them doing a bit of both.
From Egg Rock we then headed across Frenchman Bay to the three Porcupine Islands. It is around these islands where Captain John has his lobster traps. Along the way he told us all about the lobster industry and the efforts that are put in place to protect the species and the environment along the coast of Maine. He imparted his vast knowledge of all things lobster while entertaining us with stories and teasing the kids on board.
As it was early in the season, it took us awhile before finding anything. As he joked, that’s why they call it lobster fishing, not lobster catching! The third trap was the charm and he pulled up a few lobsters as well as a large crab. He explained how the lobsters are measured and thrown back if they are too small or too large (thus keeping the species from being over fished). He was very patient, giving us all a chance to take an up close look and snap our photos.
We heard a lot of mixed reviews about the jam-packed and expensive whale and puffin watching excursions that are offered in the area. Our cruise was the perfect duration at two hours, and was very reasonably priced. We had fun and learned a lot. If you ever find yourself in Bar Harbor, I highly recommend the Lulu Lobster Boat.
We had chosen the morning boat ride, so once we were back on shore and had a light lunch, we still had the rest of the day ahead of us. We decided to go back to Acadia National Park and drive up to Cadillac Mountain.
When I say you can drive up to Cadillac Mountain, you really can drive almost all the way to its summit. A short walk from the parking lot takes you to the top and the paths are paved and mostly handicap accessible. The views are beautiful. We could see Bar Harbor below, as well as the islands we had visited on our morning boat ride.
We had planned to go on a hike after our Cadillac Mountain visit, but it started to rain – hard – with no signs of letting up anytime soon. We decided to head back to town.
Of course, once we arrived back at the Manor House Inn, the rain had stopped and the sun was starting to shine again. It was only about 3:30 in the afternoon, so we had time for one more adventure.
When I plan a trip, much to Mr. Maid’s annoyance, I become somewhat obsessed. I read all that I can about our destination and use Google Maps to check locations and distances. I use Google Earth and street view on Google Maps to see ahead of time what places look like and how to get around.
While I was spying on investigating our Bed & Breakfast, I noticed something called the Bar Island Trail just a block away. On the map it appeared to go out to little uninhabited Bar Island. Switching over to Google Earth, the path was marked, but I saw nothing but ocean. I was perplexed.
You have to understand – I’m a Midwestern girl. We have lots of lakes and rivers, but I don’t know jack about the ocean and tides. It never occurred to me that low tide could be low enough to create a walkway – or land bridge – nearly a mile out to an island for a few hours. That’s exactly what happens with the Bar Island Trail.
The trail crosses Mt. Dessert Narrows and continues onto Bar Island and up to its highest point. In addition to experiencing the treat of walking across the ocean floor, the views of Bar Harbor from the summit are gorgeous.
We capped off our busy day by eating – you guessed it – lobster! We figured we’d put into practice all of the lobster knowledge we’d gained that morning with Captain John. All in the name of research of course!