CHICAGO (CBS) — The crowd aboard one of two sold out Shoreline Sightseeing cruises let out a cheer as they saw a few seconds of the rare eclipse peaking out from what were some heavy clouds at peak time in Chicago.
“I thought it was a great view from here on Lake Michigan. I think the cloud cover made it more dramatic,” said JJ Tindall, who has been a docent in Chicago for more than 30 years.
“It wasn’t constant viewing but it was kinda more fun and more dramatic as it came in and come out.”
A rare view from the water and of the thousands who were lined outside the Adler Planetarium.
“I have never seen a crowd that big on the museum campus. I can think of any number of events, even Bears games, I’ve never seen that view looking along the North Shore of the museum campus between the Planetarium and The Shedd Aquarium, it was packed with people. I’ve never seen that before in my life.” he said.
Even though at its peak, the clouds were heavy, patrons aboard didn’t walk away disappointed.
“We loved it,” said one man who brought his daughter in from New York.
“My mom convinced me to do this. I’m playing hooky from work but that’s ok,” said Meghan from Chicago. “It was awesome that there was a bit of cloud coverage but we could see it through the glasses and without the glasses.”
“It’s been a great day. It was cool out on the lake. I thought we had great views,” said Julie, Chicago.
Sam Serrio is visiting his daughters from California.
“I saw something like this as a child, but don’t really remember, but I loved it today. It was fun,” he said.
The cruise featured an eclipse theme complete with Tequila Sunrises, Sun Chips, Revolution Brewing’s SunCrusher Beer and Molly’s eclipse cupcakes.
“I love the idea that everybody came together to have fun for a light, but unique experience. I saw people on the trains coming downtown, I saw people in the Loop, people coming together to have a nice time. We’ll all remember where we were for this,” Tindall said.
Many cruise patrons said they’re already planning to be back for the next total solar eclipse in 2024, which will have a similar path through Southern Illinois.
“See you in 2024!” laughed Tindall.