Duck Outings

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.

The duck we toured Montreal on last month.

When we were in Montreal in June we took a duck tour of the old part of the city and the harbor.

Harbor warehouses were on the left side of this street.

First we went down the street on which the old warehouses faced.

The municipal building called "the Toaster."

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.

The United States isn't the only country that tears down historic buildings. A building once located on this parking lot is where the first Canadian parliamentarians met.

Of political interest was the parking lot which is located where Canada’s first parliament building was.

Notre Dame in Montreal.

Past the famous cathedral.

Then it was off to the harbor.

One of the several block long grain elevators has been kept to remind people of the role Montreal used to play in shipping grain. Grain now goes by container.

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 to the launching ramp was next to the grain elevators see to the far right of this photo.

The road ran next to an old canal.

It was a steep lauching ramp the duck drove down.

It led to this ramp.

I think the ramp was even steeper than indicated by the sign.

The sign showed how steep the ramp was.

This sailing ship was in the harbor, but anchored.

Unlike Philadelphia, we saw few boats in the harbor.  There was this three mast sailing ship.

Barge in the Montreal harbor.

A barge was there, too, but it was docked.

23-year old tour guide for our duck ride.

The harbor was calm.

These modernistic apartments were disigned by a 23-year old architect and built on the peninsula.

The calmness, the guild told us, was a function of this peninsula built of dirt and rock when Montreal’s subway was excavated.

You can see the current where the St. Lawrence River begins to merge with the peninsula-protected harbor.

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.

The openings seen in this Montreal skyscraper are designed to make it withstand earthquakes better.

She said there were to make the skyscraper better able to withstand an earthquake.

“But Montreal never has earthquakes,” she added.

Article in USA Today one day after our duck tour guide told us Montreal didn't have earthquakes.

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.

On the way back to the ramp, the other side of the bus got to take photos of the Montreal skyline.

It was time to end the tour.

Canal water falls into Montreal's harbor next to the ramp.

We got a really good view of the end of the canal’s locks.

The ramp looked steeper climbing out of Montreal's harbor.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the accident.


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