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The "Edmonton Queen" Riverboat

The "Edmonton Queen" has been around for about 5 years now. She had a rocky start - the local company that built her didn't get paid out by the folks who wanted her, so she spent several months sitting in their yard. Eventually a new group came in and got things going. She does regular cruises on the North Saskatchewan River during the summer months. Many cruises include a meal, which is catered by one of the better local hotels. I've only been for one cruise, and I quite enjoyed it.

There seems to have always been bad blood between the owners and some members of the Edmonton City Council. I have no idea why. They started out complaining that the 100 or so extra cars going to Rafter's Landing (where the Queen docks) would be excessive - on a four lane road that gets thousands of vehicles a day. Now they are getting upset about the use of the docking location. They were at one point demanding that the owners move the whole facility across the river to a different point. Anyway, the owner has said that this may be the last year for the Queen in Edmonton. They may drydock her, or move her somewhere else on the prairies. Personally, I think this would be a big loss for the city, and encourage Edmonton residents to do what they can (complain to the council, whatever) to keep her here. Given that the city has given incentives to other local tourist attractions, they ought to be encouraging this one, rather than trying to drive it away!

One admitted problem is that although the Queen has a very shallow draft, the places she can go on the river are quite limited because of shifting sandbars and channels. They tried coming further upstream this spring, and got stuck under the 105th street bridge. I think the city should try to do a bit of dredging for them. The Queen also has an official website.

Anway, I took the opportunity today (September 5, 1999) to go out in the early evening and take some shots from a point on the riverbank in Queen Elizabeth park that is just over the upstream turn-around point of the Queen. Here are the resulting shots. When she turns around, she starts close to the near (south) bank, and turns out into the current. She then cuts her paddles and lets the current swing her bow around. A bit of backpaddling by one paddle straightens her out, and she drifts a bit, then starts paddling downstream.

Here she comes, round the bend, paddling upstream.
Nearly here now. Looks like a good crowd today.
Zoom in.
Zoom in on the stern, showing the paddles.
Zoom of the bow, straight opposite me.
Full shot, framed by the trees, going upstream.
Off she goes, to the turnaround.
Half way through the turnaround.
Turnaround, zoomed.
And back she comes.
Zoom of the bow, going downstream.
Full shot, framed by the trees, going downstream.
Zoom of the bow, going downstream.
And there she goes.

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