The boat is a very large pontoon boat with a very spacious cabin area and a small open deck in front. To learn more about the boat be sure to check out the Winona Tour Boat website. I was impressed how quiet and smooth the ride was.
After leaving the new dock at the Winona Levee Aaron began with some basic nautical terminology so he could explain which side of the boat to look out of. He gave some background into the river navigation system including the lock and dam system. As we were leaving there was a huge barge going up the river. One thing I didn’t know about this section of the river is there is a delivery service to the barges to get supplies to the barges.
The next point of interest was the new bridge that is being built next to the current bridge. I found out that it is actually proceeding ahead of schedule and under budget! This bridge will not be as tall as the present bridge but doesn’t need to be as the excursion boats that come up the river are now designed with smoke stacks that lower when going under bridges.
Probably the big highlight of the trip was to get close to a giant eagle’s nest, hearing the young eagles, and see an adult eagle flying around the nest. The eagles in this area make this their home and chances are very good on every trip of seeing bald eagles.
I could go on for a very long time telling about all I learned in this cruise. My first thought is that every student in the area needs to go on this cruise to learn about the history and biology of this region. It is my understanding there are cruises that head down the river and go more into the backwaters so I would like to check this out also.