Niagara Gazette — The wind was picking up and the waves were beginning to hit the shore with a little more force at the base of the Canadian Falls on Friday as Maid of the Mist employees were gearing up for the first day of the season.
Although the grey skies and the rain that might have been mistaken as mist from the giant waterfall overhead made for quite a gloomy day, it didn’t stop tourists from lining up to ride on the historical boat.
“We run in rain, snow, thunderstorms, whatever,” said Erin Arsenauld, who worked the ticket booth. “It’s the first day, we won’t get too many, but people will come out.”
She was right. A flood of tourists came through the ticket booth to be part of the first trip of the year, which set out at 10 a.m. As they entered, they were all smiles, despite the rain, which was steadily getting stronger.
After the passengers made their way from the ticket booth to the tent where they receive what Maid of the Mist Spokesman Kevin Keenan calls “those familiar, blue raincoats,” they all loaded into the boat forming a sea of blue plastic on the Maid’s two decks.
After the first boat of the day returned from its voyage the passengers exiting came back completely drenched, but most with a look of excitement on their faces.
There are currently four boats in operation, the Maid of the Mist IV, V, VI and VII. They run on both the American and the Canadian sides of the river.
According to Keenan, everything is in full swing and everyone is excited for the start of the 2013 season.
“After all the preparation everyone is anxious to get started,” Keenan said. “The focus is to provide a fun experience for everyone.”