There's a great white shark sniffing around just off the coast of eastern Maine. Welcome to town, Freya.
Yes, we know it's a common occurrence in the Cape Cod area, but here in this area of Maine, it's still new to us. We've always had a feeling that a great white shark or two made its way into the waters of Downeast Maine, but there was really no way to tell for sure.
Nowadays, organizations like the Great White Shark Conservancy in Massachusetts work hand in hand with the Maine Department of Marine Resources both tagging sharks and then setting up acoustic listening devices in the water to register the shark's movements, mostly in southern Maine.
Then there's Osearch Shark Tracker, which is another organization that tracks previously tagged great white sharks.
Today, the Osearch Shark Tracker website tells us that Freya, a female great white shark weighing 883 lbs. and a little over 11 feet long is about 10 miles off the coast of Stonington, about halfway between Isle au Haut and Vinalhaven.
Freya has traveled almost 1500 miles in the past 105 days and was most recently just a mile or two off the coast of Cape Elizabeth in southern Maine.
Back in mid-August, another great white shark named Charlotte was pinged between Schoodic Point and the Petit Manan Lighthouse, and we suspected that she was in town for the Winter Harbor Lobster Festival.
So anyway, what's Freya doing out there hanging around between Vinalhaven and Isle au Haut? More than like just rooting around, gobbling up a seal or two, and maybe even a few crabs or lobsters as well.
Welcome to Maine, Freya!
The Best Restaurants in Downeast Maine for Lobster
So when your hungry out-of-state relatives or friends come to our great state, where do you take them for a mouth-watering lobster dinner?
The answer to that often asked question will be top of mind for a lot of Mainers this season, as thousands of tourists, relatives, and friends drive hundreds if not thousands of miles to take in the sights and eat what our state is most famous for, lobster.
Whether it's a lobster salad, in a hot dog roll, a broiled tail, thrown into a pot of boiling sea water, or god forbid, made into a lobster poutine, people near and far crave it, and as soon as they make it into this neck of the woods it'll be what they have for dinner that night.
While each of us already have a few favorite snack bars, take-outs, and restaurants in mind, it would be wrong of this author to pass along those personal suggestions. So, we're going to rely on the reviews
of TripAdvisor to point our visitors in the right directions. We've focused on the Ellsworth and Mount Desert Island area, and here is what we found as we count our way up to the #1 most recommended place for lobster Downeast.
The General Stores Of Downeast Maine
These are the long-time general stores that are spread throughout downeast Maine. The stores that your grandparents picked up milk, beer, and that night's dinner at. For years they had been filled with things like fly paper, clothes, beef jerky, and that morning's newspaper. Now, you stop by for that slice of breakfast pizza, a tasty fried chicken sandwich for lunch, gas,and a handful of lottery tickets.
They're an important part of Maine's heritage, and their numbers are starting to dwindle. But we still frequent them to pick up the day's necessities and to keep up on town gossip.
They may not be owned by the original owners, and they may not look the same as they did years and years ago. But that same hometown feeling is there, the minute you set foot on their wooden floors. More than likely the same wooden floors that your grandparents set foot on.