Another of Eastport's claims to fame is the Old Sow, the Northern hemisphere's largest whirlpool and the third strongest in the world. The whirlpool is caused by the extreme tidal range where the tides goes in and out between Passamaquoddy Bay and the Bay of Fundy. The tides here exceed almost all those in the rest of the world and reach a peak of 28 feet. We were not fortunate enough to be in that area during a tidal change, so this photo of the whirlpool was also taken by Jim Lowe.
Eastport is also the home of Raye's Mustard Mill, the only authentic stone ground mustard mill in North America. The entire process, from the creation of the slurry right down to packing and labeling the jars is all done by hand. Mustard seed is ground in the mill using the original four quartz grindstones used over a century ago. Other mustards that say "stoneground" on the label may go through a single high speed technological grinding, but they're also cooked at some point in the process. The Raye family maintains a traditional cold grind process that not only preserves the best qualities of the mustard but also eliminates the need to refrigerate the mustard after the jar is opened.
The quartz stones don't actually touch one another during the grinding process, but are separated by a paper-thin space, thus preserving them. This is a photo of one of the stones in the yard. You can see how they're grooved on the one side. We did get a tour of the mill but were not allowed to take photos, so this photo is just the outside of the mill.
My husband and I love mustard, so of course we had to get a few jars to take home with us. I have a fantastic recipe for chicken dijonnaise that I'll try with Raye's Old World Gourmet mustard. For anyone who is local, they also market to Hannaford's.
Eastport is located in Washington County, and along the highway we saw lots of wild Maine blueberry fields, which are an important part of the Maine economy. Maine blueberries are smaller than high bush varieties, so they work really well in recipes like muffins. I didn't realize that the leaves turn red like this in the fall.