The Tennessee Aquarium not only offers a diverse collection of aquatic life, but they also have these fantastic river cruises. Pat and I took the 3-hour tour (but the weather didn’t get rough) last September. It was such a great experience, we decided to do the 2-hour version with Pat’s family during their recent visit.
In my mind, there would be a cool breeze blowing across the river that would somehow wipe the 106 degree heat away and leave us feeling cool and refreshed. Or, worst case, we’d be in a cool air conditioned cabin.
Allow me to mention that when we took the sunset tour in September, it was about 30 degrees cooler and it was, well, sunset. Between the extra 30 degrees and the very direct sunlight during the brightest part of the day shining through a mostly glass-enclosed cabin, the A/C had a little trouble keeping up. Oh, wait, I forgot to mention that in September, there were 13 of us on the cruise. This time around, there were about 70 people sitting together sweating.
The circumstances kept us from regretting that it was only a 2 hour cruise, at least.
On the plus side, we had a knowledgable and hysterical guide. He kept us all laughing in spite of the heat–he may have missed his calling as a stand-up comic. We also learned quite a bit–I think I’ve now been on enough of these tours and to enough historic sites that the history of Chattanooga is finally starting to sink in.
We also saw a lot of Osprey–something we didn’t see in September. I was so excited by the Osprey that I stood up on the deck the entire time we were allowed up there regardless of feeling like a slowly frying egg. There was enough of a breeze at first to prevent the sweat from pooling and dripping. But then we turned around and the breeze died. Everyone went below except for me a couple of die hards. I felt bad for the woman sitting next to me when I finally returned to the cabin–I’m pretty sure my deodorant failed.
My photos also failed. Between the extraordinarily bright sun (one of my friends recently asked if we were still the 3rd rock from the sun–I think she’s onto something) and the moving boat, I can’t say I got any really great shots. I really wish I had one of the two Osprey chicks both fully visible, but I was shooting between people’s heads to get the shots I did get. I’m thinking about starting an etiquette blog for photographers where I can offer my advice on tough questions such as “when is it OK to knock over a dozen tourists because they keep passing in front of your lens while a nest of Osprey is in full view?”
I suppose I will have to go on a private cruise if I want really good shots.