What to do when you get here — An insider’s guide to interests and attractions in the area surrounding The Cliff House Resort & Spa.
Fun, Facts, and Food
One beautiful day while sitting on my balcony at The Cliff House looking out across the sea, I was intrigued watching a lobsterman pulling traps beyond the ledges. Then I heard snippets of words float up about lobstering and realized the lobster boat had sightseers on it! So I asked about this at the front desk. They told me about their Lobster Cruise package and about the Hubbard family offering cruises out of Perkins Cove.
I hopped on the Shore Road Shuttle and arrived amid the crowds and activity. I found the Finest Kind Cruises ticket booth next to Barnacle Billy’s, and I had a chance to speak with Grant Hubbard. He told me that the boat we would be boarding was an authentic lobster boat with the cabin moved forward to accommodate the passengers. Grant’s parents started the company in 1957, and he has been involved with it all his life. He also told me that the lobster fisheries in Maine are the strongest anywhere. I learned about trap limits, apprenticeship, and that many of the regulations were written by lobstermen to preserve the fisheries. The Maine Lobster Council’s web site has all manner of interesting information about this delicious industry.
We got the “all aboard” call and began our cruise out of the Cove, motoring slowly under the curved foot bridge, past fishing charters and sightseeing boats. Everything looked different from the water! The captain was a licensed lobsterman who pulled a trap onboard and showed us how “keepers” are measured. He even offered to let us bait the traps. No thanks, chummy!
The narrator was a knowledgeable young woman who showed us a female lobster with her cluster of eggs. Her tail was notched, which alerts the lobstermen to return her to the sea.
But it was the sight of The Cliff House from below massive Bald Head Cliff that was most stunning for me. Its stone fingers of ledges extend into the sea surrounded by churning surf. Absolutely beautiful! I remembered what Grant Hubbard said. “The land changes constantly with buildings, landscapes and roads, but the sea never changes. There are the same rocks and ledges, the same expanse of sky and the sea — rough or calm — stretching out to the horizon. There is nothing like time on the ocean,” he said. I quite agree.
When I returned to The Cliff House I decided to have the Lobster Five Ways feast! I ate slowly, looking at the brightly colored lobster traps bobbing on a sequin-strewn sea beyond the rocks. What’s a trip to Maine without a lobster? And lobster at The Cliff House is the nicest, finest kind!