Once a year a part of Whidbey Island goes happily nuts — for mussels! Not the kind you flex – the kind you eat! Now in its 29th year, the Penn Cove Musselfest was the place to be if you love seafood as much as I do!
We caught the Mukilteo ferry and it was an about a 30 min. boat ride to Whidbey Island. It was nice to be one of the first cars in/out of the ferry! Once we got there, we drove another 30 min. to the Musselfest Headquarters at downtown Coupeville.
For $10, you get a cup and get 5 chowder tastings at participating restaurants nearby.
A couple of unique and quirky cars that we came across!
^^A car for the ladies…decorated with handbags, glasses, and shoes.
^^A “toy” car that was making bubbles! It was fun, but creepy in a way!
^^Who would have thought…a flamingo car?!?
^^Will this be Barbie’s last ride?
For another $10, we went on a cruise to the Penn Cove Shellfish mussel farm aboard the Glacier Spirit. Our tour guide was Penn Cove Shellfish farm manager, Tim Jones.
Some interesting facts about the Penn Cove Shellfish mussel farm:
The mussel farm is a group of 42 rafts anchored at the western end of Penn Cove.
Each raft hangs 1728 lines where the mussels attach themselves and grow.
The Moule Mariner is a specially designed boat used for harvesting the mussels.
A 4 month old mussel and a 1 year old mussel! Penn Cove Shellfish provides over 2.5 million pounds of mussels a year! Wow!
“The mussels harvested today will be on a lunch plate in Seattle tomorrow and in a New York restaurant for dinner” said Tim Jones. “We don’t harvest the mussels and store them somewhere. They stay in the water until we have an order to fill.”
Before heading back to Seattle, we were able to catch the mussel eating competition! For a $5.00 entrance fee, you must scarf down three 16oz cups of mussels and whoever is the fastest wins the golden mussel crown. The winner was a female who happens to be last year’s winner, she was a beast!