Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Arcadia National Park and Beyond

View on the way to Arcadia National Park
 Stopped at Bass Harbor lighthouse.   I actually walked down all those stairs and back.....The steps take you down to the granite boulders that give you a great view of the lighthouse from the harbor side.
 The view was worth the walk down.

 The lighthouse is now the private residence of a local Coast Guard member and his family.  The lighthouse and most of the grounds is not accessible since they are private.  The lighthouse started in 1855.
 Finally made it to Arcadia National Park and drove up to Cadillac Mountain which is located on Mount Desert Island.  The elevation is 1528 feet, its summit is the highest within 25 miles of the North American continent Cape Breton Highlands Nova Scotia and the Mexican peaks south of the Texas  border.

 Map of the Arcadia mountains.
View going down Cadillac Mountain.

Today I took the Lulu Lobster boat to see how lobsters were caught and other information.

  Captain John talked to us about the life of lobster fishing.   Buoys are foam and painted  bright  colors that are registered for each lobsterman.

Look closely and you can see the colors of this lobstermens buoy on the mast.  

In this way the lobstermen will know which marks his lobster traps.  Each buoy is tied to a long line that is attached to the trap.

Captain John   They call it 'fishing' because you do not always have a lobster in your trap so you have to keep pulling them up.  He talked about the parts of the lobster trap and that the bait used is Herring.    Years ago the traps were wood but they disintegrated quickly and had to be replaced often.  The traps used now are metal with   two openings for the lobster to enter to get the food, when they get the food in what the lobstermen call the 'kitchen' they move to the 'parlor' that they can not get out.   Because the lobster can not get out of the trap, if the line gets cut by a propeller, the trap will go to the bottom of the ocean and  they will die there.  At one time there was more of this than lobsters caught and picked up by the lobstermen .  Now there must be a way for the lobster to get out.   Captain John uses a piece of wood across one of the openings at the top of the cage because there are worms that eat wood just like house termites.   They will eat the wood which takes a couple months and the lobster can get out.  The maximum number of traps a lobsterman can use is  800 per vessel and  the lobster caught  shell can not be longer  than 5 inches with a minimum of 3 1/4 inches so that juveniles have a chance to grow.  All lobster have to be measured in the water and thrown back immediately if needed. There are three lobsters in the cage.  One was too small, and one was too large to keep.  Also, if they catch a female lobster that has eggs  (they carry their eggs outside instead of inside) , the lobstermen have to v-notch and throw them back in.  There are little docks all over the water were the lobstermen can place their catch until they can get back to take them into sell.

We went to see the seals and there was a bald eagle on the cliff.  We were also able to get to Egg Harbor Lighthouse which is not manned before the fog rolled in and it disappeared from sight..  Captain John said that there is only one manned lighthouse in America and that is in Boston.

It was a fun, fun day on the water and now I am looking forward to my Windjammer cruise on Friday.


Colleen Phipps said...

Looks like you are having fun. Wonder why they have to throw the big ones back?

Louise said...

The large lobsters are thrown back into the water for breeding purposes. The larger female lobsters can carry more eggs and the males can impregnate the female with more eggs.