Summer tries to seduce us each year, and after six months of winter, (what winter seems like to Mainers), we are willing participants. Some of us are lakes people, some are ocean folks. And for the latter, a day on the sea can put air in the lungs and a sigh in the soul.

In Boothbay Harbor, an icon of the coast is Cap’n Fish’s boating expeditions. Begun by Bob Fish, a Boothbay Harbor native, the business is now run by the third generation. Who better than a man named Fish to get you out on the water? John Fish will do just that. Come aboard and see whales, puffins and a whole lot more.

What are you likely to see on a watch? Forget your cell phone and bring a real deal camera to capture breathtaking images of whales, dolphins, seals, sharks and various species of seabirds. You’ll remember them all, but mostly the whale. Like Cap’n Fish says, “There’s nothing quite like being close to a whale diving or blowing out a geyser while it prepares for a new breath.” Almost all the cruises find whales, but in case there’s a day where they don’t, guests will get a rain check for another whale watch cruise or any of the other Cap’n Fish cruises.

Guests will also get a tour of the Boothbay Harbor Region with its lighthouses, islands and lobstermen hauling in the crustaceans you’ll want later. The tour is narrated by marine biologists and the ships are climate controlled for a comfortable ride. The cruises go rain or shine, so bring along hats, windbreakers and anything else to make it comfortably through any weather.

Check the website and/or Facebook page for special events: In the past, Cap’n Fish has had the following: July 4th sunset and fireworks cruise, cocktail cruise, tall ships fireworks cruise, a windjammer parade of tall ships and a windjammers and whales combo cruise.

And who doesn’t love puffins? In June, July and August they run special expeditions to see the puffins on Eastern Egg Island, the southernmost colony of Atlantic puffins in North America.

If the thought of going way out to sea isn’t your thing, Cap’n Fish has a Kennebec River Cruise:
This fabulous 44- mile trip offers a variety of the wide-open sea and close-to-shore cruising. Relive history dating back to colonial days along the Kennebec River. This cruise will pass by seven lighthouses! Let your captain bring you up to date on the latest shipbuilding activity at Bath Iron Works. Experience the thrill of passing through Hell Gates and don’t forget your camera to snap the lighthouses, seals, seabirds, and historic Fort Popham.

Boothbay Harbor whale watch: Cap’n Fish. 42 Commercial Street, Boothbay Harbor. Call (800) 636-3244or visit mainewhales.com

Cabbage Island clambakes
Summer in Maine means one thing: lobster. If you have a chance however, go to Boothbay for the banquet of lobster dinners, a Cabbage Island clambake with all the traditional trimmings. Celebrating 30 seasons, the Moore family welcomes the current summer’s tourists and natives alike to their enormously popular lobster feed. On top of the meal, guests also get a narrated tour of the harbor and surrounding landscape while taking the Bennie Alice across from the pier to the island.

The Moore’s purchased the island more than thirty years ago and resuscitated a business closed by its originator, Ruth Leavitt, who began the clambakes decades earlier. The Moore family took up the practice after locals approached them and urged them to re-start the business. The rest is history, as they say.

Let’s talk food:
This authentic meal includes a steaming cup of traditional New England Fish Chowder, two luscious bright red lobsters, tender white steamed clams, sweet golden corn on the cob, egg, onion and potatoes. For dessert, you will love their famous Blueberry Cake and hot fresh coffee and tea.

Wait, an egg? Hmm. But Joanne Moore explained, “In the old days, the people cooking the food at a clambake would set eggs in their shells on top of the food being cooked underground. When the eggs were done, they knew the food below was also done. The eggs acted as a timer.” She added, “We still use the original recipes for Mrs. Leavitt’s blueberry cake and fish chowder. Like my husband says, when asked by guests if he might try this change or that change, “ ‘If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.’ ”

If you can still get up from the table after that huge meal, ramble around the island to take in the view, the wildlife and the ocean, or opt to play horseshoes, badminton or volleyball.

The Clambake team also hosts corporate events, rehearsal dinners and private parties. If you don’t need the whole island, you can schedule your party and share the boat over with the other eager eaters.

Here are the particulars:
Rain or shine, Cabbage Island Clambakes operates 7 days per week from the end of June to the weekend after Labor Day. They highly recommend making a reservation!
Please plan to arrive at the ticket booth at least 15 minutes prior to departure.
They accept cash and check only at the booth, on the boat and on the island – including the bar and gift shop.
Tickets are $64.43 per person and includes a narrated cruise and the clambake.

NOTE:
Dogs are not allowed,
Cabbage Island Clambakes, Pier 6, Fisherman’s Wharf Inn, Boothbay Harbor. Call 633-7200 or check cabbageislandclambakes.com. Runs from June 16th through September 9th this year.