But we didn't come to Eastport to say we stood in the easternmost town in the U.S. Nope, we came to see the country's largest lobster pound. A friend of ours, Bruce, had previously visited the Lighthouse Seafood and Bait company and told us we must go see the operation. So off we went to meet Basil Pottle, the co-owner with his entrepreneur son, builder, operator, and lobsterman who got the idea to build an Olympic swimming pool size lobster pound after visiting a similar operation in Nova Scotia.
The facility is relatively simple with two tanks (twelve and six feet deep) that are capable of holding approximately 160,000 pounds of lobster. Seawater is pumped in, filtered, and chilled to a near freezing 37º F which keeps the lobsters in a semi-dormant state. In this state, the lobsters can be held for up to six months without needing to eat (maybe that is a diet I should try). That way, the supply of lobster is always available when wholesale orders from around the world come in. Basil explained that the lobsters are placed in crates, or “condos” which keeps them protected from other lobsters or from being crushed. A dozen or so condos are racked together and then lowered into the pool with a forklift. Amazing!
|Basil showing us the "condos"|
and explaining how the slats are
adjusted based on the lobsters' size.
|The crates (with lobsters) in the frigid water.|
|The intricate filtration, chilling, and pumping system.|
|Thanks to Basil, Lawrence and Justin who spent time educating us about lobsters.|
We left downtown with one more stop on our list – Raye's Mustard Mill. Raye's is the only stone-ground mustard mill in North America and has been in continuous operation for over a century. The general store has two dozen or so original creations for you to try. But if you specifically ask for a “tour of the mill” you will be led into the back where the mustard is actually made. It's here you learn the working of stone grinding mustard through an informative explanation and video of the process.
|Sorry, pictures in the mill and museum were not allowed.|
|Needless to say, I was full of mustard when we left.|