Siena and Alessia choosing lobsters for dinner

Siena and Alessia choosing lobsters for dinner-price $6.25 for shedders $7.25 for hard shell right off the boats

IMG_1686

Two glorious weeks at Vinalhaven, an island of 2000 acres off the coast of Rockland and is home to a thriving lobster industry. History of the island includes the granite industry which began in Vinalhaven in 1826 and was one of the largest quarrying centers. Granite from Vinalhaven can be found on the Brooklyn Bridge, Washington Monument, Penn Station, etc. There are 320 hard working year round families that have a community of helping each other and creating business. Each lobsterman born on the island can have up to 800 traps and in the fall many of them go off shore 15-20 miles to trawl all year.  We have met many of the local families and they are welcoming, happy and kind. There is a thriving summer community which we are have been part of for the last 13 years. We are the ‘summer people’. When you get on the ferry in Rockland for the 1 hr 15 min ride,  you are separated from the mainland physically and spiritually. All stress is gone. It is magical!

Sonny age 84

Sonny age 84- picture taken Sunday at Jim Smith’s muffin breakfast

One of my favorite lobsterman is Sonny who has been lobstering for 65 years. He now only has 250 traps, and goes out by himself. He reminds me of PopEye.  Carpenter in the winter,  he keeps himself busy building things. He has had 800 traps in the past, then 650, then 400, and has had many sternmen and sterngirls help him through the years. He is a gem!

IMG_3145

 

P1020344
The lobstermen sell to middle men, amongst them Fishermans Coop which is owned and operated by Vinalhaven Lobstermen and is a member of the MLA which is the largest distributor on the east coast representing 1200 lobstermen.
Then there is Linda Bean who buys as many lobsters as she can for her processing plant in Rockland and does not ship outside of Maine. There are other floats in the harbor that buy from the boats and they all compete for price.

Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 2.15.07 PM

Don’t forget to take off the rubber bands and knock their heads before plunging into the salt water. Cooking only takes a few minutes for the sweetest meat.  Gotta eat the legs and body…and the fins at the end of the tails…don’t forget to play with them too!  Remember Annie Hall?

IMG_3146

Greets Eats new this year and won the award for one of the best lobstah rolls in Maine…$10.00! Greeta McCarthy parks her food truck right in the lot adjacent to the Vinalhaven Fisherman’s Co-op. From her humble spot you can watch the lobstermen pull up to the dock to deposit their catch. Because the lobsters are literally plucked from the frigid Co-op waters and prepared to eat within minutes there is no better lobster roll anywhere else. Her rolls are not fancy. They are classic rolls featuring a buttered and toasted bun topped with a generous portion of mouthwatering lobster salad prepared the old fashioned way.

So when you are feeling that you want to ‘GET AWAY’- make a trip to this beautiful spot, bring your bike, and stay at the Tidewater Motel on Main St.

I guarantee you will be back soon.