My research involves fieldwork on rocky shores in the Gulf of Maine, which means I spend a lot of time driving and working along the Maine coast. You can read about my other adventures in Maine here.
Last week I was in Lubec, ME setting up field sites and collecting snails (wildlife sighting highlight: a porcupine!). I study intertidal snails, which means they are underwater during high tide and exposed during low tide. This also means that I can only access my sites and do my fieldwork when the tide is low. Last week low tide was early in the morning and again in the evening, which left me with a big chunk of time during the middle of the day when I couldn’t work in the field.
During one of those mandatory fieldwork intermissions I decided to check out the (tiny) town of Lubec. After satiating my hunger at the “Downeast Dogs” hot dog stand, I came across the McCurdy Herring Smokehouse Museum. In the museum I learned about the steps required to make smoked herring and I got to try my hand at the process (or at least pretend to) using stuffed fish. First, the fish were pumped out of the boats into the pickling shed where they were brined (soaked in very salty water). Next, the fish were strung onto sticks and allowed to air dry outside. After that, the fish were moved into the smokehouse. Finally, the fish were skinned, boxed and shipped to their destinations.
You can learn more about McCurdy’s Smokehouse here!