On our first day in Portland, my mom and I walked past this little boat, the Lucky Catch.
A tour was ending, and the my mom swore she heard the captain say “Don’t forget to take your lobster with you.”
“Wait, what? You must not have heard him right. I doubt they’re actually taking lobsters with them…”
Just as stubborn as me, my mom walked over to the Lucky Catch ticket office to find out what the deal was. Sure enough, the Lucky Catch is a LOBSTER TOUR where you get to help out the crew as they catch lobsters.
I love both lobster and boats, so when my mom asked if I wanted to do this, I asked her if she wanted to do it to be polite, but inside, I was crossing everything that she’d say yes, she wanted to do it.
“Okay, we’ll do it,” she told the ticket lady. “But I don’t have to touch anything, right?” The lady told her she could sit and just watch if she really wanted to, but that she would want to help. My mom laughed, doubting that, but we signed up anyway.
God, Maine is so ugly.
It must really suck to live there. This boat, by the way, we learned was more than $50 million, and all kinds of fancy computers and basically sailed itself. NBD.
There were about 15-20 of us on the boat, and everyone helped with things from stuffing bait bags with those fish.
Throwing the traps back in after they brought them up and we inspected them to see which ones we could keep and which ones had to go back.
We learned so much – for example, a lobster with eggs is thrown back. On the second fin from the right, she will be marked with a tiny notch to indicate that she is a breeder and not to catch her.
Oh hey there, little sea urchin.
Sometimes, the traps caught other things like crabs. Also, doesn’t he look like Will Ferrell a bit?
We also learned how to tell a male lobster from a female lobster, but I will spare you lobster genitalia pictures.
We used this nifty little tool to measure the lobsters’ backs to see if they were big enough to catch or if they needed to be thrown back. My mom accidentally told Lobster Tom that a lobster she caught was big enough when he wasn’t, and he said that the lobster industry is very closely watched and he could potentially lose his license for catching too-small lobsters. Oops.
Too small. The end of the tool didn’t touch the end of his back.
But the best part of the day?? My mom, who had previously been terrified to touch the lobster, carried him next door to Portland Lobster Company. I was cracking up the whole time, and also hoping she wouldn’t drop him. The boat had a deal that you could buy any lobster you caught for $5 and bring ‘em over to Portland Lobster Company to be cooked for $10, which ended up being a little less than the $19ish they charged if you didn’t BYOL.
I am clearly a lot more squeamish than her.
I tried really hard to pretend that this was not the same guy my mom carried over to lunch, but the elastic band on his claw that said LC1 (as in Lucky Catch 1) made that a little difficult. My mom got too attached, and could not eat it.
Maine was gorgeous and fun and relaxing, but I don’t want to keep writing about it and I know nobody likes to read a million posts about one trip, so here’s just a few more shots from Maine:
The Portland Head Light Lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth. I swear this is a real picture I took myself.
This is what my mom looks like when she does not have a crustacean in her hand.
Apparently there was a shipwreck by the lighthouse in 1886, but all passengers survived.
We also took an afternoon trip to Kennebunkport, which is ADORABLE.
And I met my college roomie Lindsay’s sweet little girl. LOOK AT THAT FACE.
Maine was really fun, and the lobstering experience was a really unique way to spend a day. I’m glad we did it and would recommend it to anyone traveling to Portland!
Most unique sightseeing experience you’ve ever had? Would you have carried the lobster over to the restaurant, or are you squeamish like me?