If you spend much time in Charlottetown, you will doubtless be familiar with this unmistakeable vehicle on the streets and plowing the waters near the Charlottetown Harbor!
We decided on join the Harbour Hippo on a mid-day excursion when it looked like rain might be on the way, and wanted to see the local sights without too much risk of getting wet. It turned out to be a blast, and we can highly recommend it! Islanders are notoriously friendly, and nearly everyone we passed gave a friendly wave to us Hippopotapassengers, and the narrative from our tour guide through the whole trip brought the sites and sounds of PEI to life in a new way.
We highly enjoyed ourselves along the way, and only ended up taking a few photos of memorable spots. But one that stood out was a series of cannons facing the harbour entrance, to defend Charlottetown and the surrounding communities. However, such an invasion only happened once in Prince Edward Island’s history, in 1775, and the weapons were never even put to use because the townspeople assumed that the visitors were friendly! (To their dismay, their “guests” turned out to be Americans at odds with Britain and intent on intercepting cargo bound for Quebec. But, in the absence of anything that could be done to achieve that end on PEI, the bullheaded Americans settled for roughing up a few islanders and toting them off as prisoners on their ships – a lapse in judgement that General George Washington chastised them soundly for, sending them on a return trip to PEI with instructions to take the men back home!)
So, the cannons have never been put to use, but stand at the ready in case of any sudden need of maritime defense.
As an amphibious vehicle, the Harbour Hippo makes a circuit through the water channels leading out to the mouth of the harbour, with continue observations and stories from the tour guide.
We were glad to have chosen this activity for the time we had in Charlottetown, and would recommend to anyone passing through who is interested in a more unique perspective on the city!