Learning about the lobster world is great, but being aboard a cruise with a chance to eat one for lunch is even better. I took a Lobster Tales cruise last week, complete with lively Acadian music, an amusing host (Rémi Gaudet), and captain/lobster fisherman Ron Cormier.
We started at Shediac Bay’s Pointe-du-Chêne wharf, close to the town of Shediac, with the world’s largest lobster on view (90 tons!). Shediac also boasts the warmest waters (20-24 degrees C in summer) north of The Carolinas and contains a friendly French Acadian community.
From May to early October, you can enjoy a scenic and relaxing two and a half hour cruise.
I learned about the lobster industry, how to tell the difference between male and female lobsters, how to cook, crack, and devour a lobster, all before a lunch with a one pound beauty all to myself.
Lobsters have four antennas to help locate their position in the water. They’re 75% blind and eat a hearty diet of herring, mackerel, crab and starfish.
They have two ways of moving: slowly, using their eight legs and their pinchers to hold onto the ocean floor during storms, and at a 25 km clip in order to avoid predators.
Each fisherman is allowed 250 traps during the 10 week lobster season. On a good day, they’ll find between 20 and 25 lobsters in each trap.
If a lobster is either too small (by using a specific measurement tool) or is a female with eggs, it’s sent back into the water.
There’s a very unique way of preparing lobsters Acadian style, involving a pot of salted hot water followed by a dip in an icy salted pot, to help the lobster meat come off more easily.
After a lobster lunch (including bread, potato salad, cole slaw, and a non-alcoholic drink), you can move to the upper deck and take in the view. The music continues throughout the cruise.
The ship has a fully licensed bar onboard and the cruise runs four times daily. The cost is $68 ($46 for children; $198 for two adults and two children under 12) including tax.
An optional bay tour is available. The one hour, 15 minute tour of the bay features commentary on the islands and wharfs and costs $20 ($16 children; $62 for two adults and two children under 12) including tax.
Private charters are also available upon request.
My Lobster Tales cruise was courtesy of Tourism New Brunswick.