Meet the Ducks: North End Norma

Norma is one of the first four ducks that Boston Duck Tours purchased for our fleet. She is named after the North End neighborhood in Boston. Although this neighborhood has been home to many different immigrant groups over the years, The North End is now known primarily as Boston’s “Little Italy”. Here you can find some of the best food in the city in over 100 restaurants, packed in a 1/3 square mile area. The North End is Boston’s oldest neighborhood and is where you can find the home of one of the cities best known patriots; Paul Revere.

Driver Spotlight: Mad Capt.

After working just about every job on the waterfront, it only made sense to add Mad Capt. to our staff. Often seen carrying a whale harpoon as a walking stick, he uses a lot of salty talk (some of it even in good context). Some suspect that this all may be a ploy, as Mad Capt. carries too much gold and silver for a mere fisherman. We’ve never seen any evidence of his allegedly sinister nature. Well, if we did, we ain’t sayin’.

Meet the Ducks: Commonwealth Curley

Both parts of Curley’s name have some meaning. Curley comes from the famous Boston mayor, James Michael Curley, one of the most influential politicians to every serve the city. Massachusetts is a Commonwealth. This is because in 1780, when John Adams wrote the second draft of the state’s Constitution, he changed the name of the state from “The State of Massachusetts-Bay” to “ The Commonwealth of Massachusetts” so there would be no confusion that this was the second draft of the document. Massachusetts thus became the only state in the country to ever change its name.

Driver Spotlight: Plucky Ruffles

Plucky Ruffles comes from a long, proud line of cruise ship entertainers. While most people who have seen Plucky perform wonder why he ever got into showbiz, Plucky claims that nautical entertainment is his destiny. “The first of the Ruffles clan to settle in the new world was an uncle of mine who had a gig as the lounge act on the Mayflower,” boasts Plucky. “His name was Samuel ‘Silly Sammy’ Ruffles, and he killed, literally. See, the Puritans thought his act was so bad, they threw fruit at Sammy to make him stop,” Plucky explains. “But hey – I guess the joke was all on them when they got scurvy! Zing!” But seriously, folks… Plucky Ruffles is thrilled to have found a home with Boston Duck Tours and looks forward to entertaining guests of all ages while driving a WWII amphibious vehicle that is newer than his jokes.

Driver Spotlight: William Tolbot Snobgrass III

“Tolley,” is a direct descendent of the first English-speaking people to settle what is now Boston, the Puritans. He is what is known as a “Boston Brahmin,” like the Lowells and the Cabots. He lives on Beacon Hill, graduated from Harvard in ’69 and has been on a “Job Search” ever since. Scared of losing his allowance from “Mummy,” he signed on with Boston Duck Tours to show off the only thing he loves besides himself: Boston.

Meet the Ducks: Old Gloria

Gloria takes her name from the nickname of our country’s flag, “Old Glory”. With the flag painted on the side of her hull, she is one of the most beautiful ducks in the fleet. The name “Old Glory” comes from the nickname of one specific flag that belonged to Captain Driver from Salem, Massachusetts. This flag was created by Captain Driver’s mother to fly from his ship and measured 10 feet by 17 feet. After moving to Nashville, Tennessee, Captain Driver’s flag became famous as the symbol of victory after the Union soldiers retook control of Nashville during the Civil War.

Meet the Ducks: Espla Nadia

Nadia represents the famous Esplanade located on the Banks of the Charles River. Every July 4th, In the summer of 1929, Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops performed their first concert on the Esplanade. Today over 500,000 watch the fireworks display on the banks of the Charles. The Esplanade is over 3 miles in length and has miles of bike and walking paths, docks, and boathouses. The Esplanade is also the home of the first public sailing program in the United States, Community Boating which opened in 1937 and is a recipient of our “Quack, Quack, Give Back” Program. Nadia was christened in 2010 by DCR Commissioner Rick Sullivan. The DCR (Department of Conservation and Recreation) oversees the upkeep of many of the city of Boston’s parks.

Driver Spotlight: Paul Reverse

Captain Paul Reverse is here to take you through the streets of Boston! His story dates back to the days when Boston was at the center of the rebellion, the Revolutionary War. Yes, he too was out there, on April 18th 1775, with Paul Revere and his many comrades. That night, when the two lanterns went up in the Old North Church, Captain Paul Reverse became so excited he managed to mount his horse backwards and ride fast from town screaming, “The redcoats are going, the red coats are going!” Many, many years have passed, and although he wasn’t much of a messenger, he has become a great storyteller, tour guide and liaison to the beautiful old city of Boston. Come along and ride with him, you’ll have lots of fun!