News today is that a duck (a bus that also acts like a boat or as AP puts it “an amphibious sightseeing boat”) lost power in the Philadelphia harbor, was hit by a city-owned sludge barge and sank. Two passengers remain missing.
I would imagine that barges are pretty hard to maneuver.
When we were in Montreal in June we took a duck tour of the old part of the city and the harbor.
First we went down the street on which the old warehouses faced.
Past old courthouses and the newest “Palais de Justice” that is so ugly that locals call it “the Toaster.” The architecture of the latter is so totally out of place among its old neighbors that its construction led to rules to prevent future monstrosities.
Of political interest was the parking lot which is located where Canada’s first parliament building was.
Past the famous cathedral.
Then it was off to the harbor.
We went on a road right below what used to block most of the riverfront–grain elevators. All but this one has been torn down.
The road ran next to an old canal.
It led to this ramp.
The sign showed how steep the ramp was.
Unlike Philadelphia, we saw few boats in the harbor. There was this three mast sailing ship.
A barge was there, too, but it was docked.
The harbor was calm.
The calmness, the guild told us, was a function of this peninsula built of dirt and rock when Montreal’s subway was excavated.
But, at the point the peninsula meets the St. Laurence River, there was much turbulence.
The river was not as swift before the peninsula was created. My high school physics tells me that the increase in its speed was perfectly predictable. Bernoulli’s principle, right?
Today I wondered what would have happened if our duck had lost power and been drawn into the current and pushed downstream.
As we were heading back to the ramp, the tour guild pointed to a building with holes in its side.
She said there were to make the skyscraper better able to withstand an earthquake.
“But Montreal never has earthquakes,” she added.
The next day, as we were driving south through New York State, Montreal and presumably our car was shaken by an earthquake centered in nearby Ottawa, Quebec.
More photos were taken of the skyline.
It was time to end the tour.
We got a really good view of the end of the canal’s locks.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the accident.