Great Ambition

"It's a rough life, but someone's got to live it!"

Thirteen years and still going!

This is the continuing story of our new life as River Rats on the Columbia River aboard our Trimaran Transporter houseboat we named Great Ambition.

If you want to see how we got here (and hints on how you can do it too) see Great Ambition, the beginning.

Click here to go to the archive of our twelfth year.

Click on this link to see the latest!

Click here to see a map of our travels!

Click here to see what happens when we have a flood!

Why I write this blog.

If you like my backgrounds click here.

We are heading to Coon Island for the afternoon. But along the way, the Yf looks up and notices the rabbit on top of one of the pilings at McCuddy's Big Oak Marina.

That sure looks like the Easter Bunny to me!

A half hour later we are at Coon Island. We love this place!

As we walk around the path circumnavigating the island, we run across this dead deer. It hasn't been dead long. We often see this over the winter, deer die on the island and they gotta die somewhere!

We spent a while at our favorite picnic area on the island. It's so lovely here, and in the first half of the day you get full sun on the table.

The wreck on the upstream end of the island. It looks like an a float from an outrigger, also known as an ama.

Continuing our circumnavigation of Coon Island, we find another picnic table near the downstream end to rest up at. Having been locked inside for weeks thanks to the Coronavirus, we are a little out of shape. That's what we are trying to fix by taking this outting.

Another dead deer as we head back to the east side docks. This one smells, so we make haste.

Just before leaving the docks at Coon Island, we watched these guys catch a Chinook Salmon.

The full Moon. Supposedly it was a pink moon.




We went to Fort William Bend for a few hours of hanging on the hook. On our way back I got this shot.


The river looking south towards Portland.I had to use GIF animation to show off the sparkles.




Sunrise. She's really heading north fast!


Sunrise. May the Fourth be with you.


We were at our normal spot anchored in Fort William Bend when a fast skiboat headed up the river. She dropped off plane, and I checked, and it turned out to be Ski Princess Lori and Wade on their first trip of year. The river is 57°F, but Lori was ready to brave it. We got their attention and had a chat, then off they went up the river. So good to see such nice people.



A pontoon boat out for the day. I let him lead a bit in the photo so you could see the almost roostertail he was leaving in his wake. Amazing!

The Moon. It looks like the atmosphere was a bit turbulent, but it came out OK.

A FedEx plane coming in. I always listen for that Ram Air Turbine (RAT) they deploy when there is an emergency, but no luck this time. Not that I am wishing bad luck on any pilot, I just remember the last time I heard that sound. Kinda spooky.

Sunrise. I love these tight shots.

People out tubing on the river. It's great to see summer arrive, and they are keeping their Social Distancing.

Did I mention how much I love these tight sunrise shots? Notice that the sun has moved a little tiny bit to the north.

One of my favorite boat names on the river. My Last Boat 7 doing a wing-on_wing. It's hard to photograph wing-on-wing other than from the front or from the stern.

Pre-sunrise. Just beautiful!

Ski Princess Lori texted me and said one word: Time.

Video of Lori's pass.

We've come to learn that in Australia, where we were married, aluminum (or aluminium) boats are known as Tinnies. Combine that with a classic line from the movie Down Periscope and you have "Brave men and their proud tinnies."

Friends came to visit so we took them out in Lil' Ambition for a cruise.

A morning rower in the sunrise.

And now she's heading back home.

Ski Princess Lori came by but I didn't get much of her.

We took our friends Barry and Stephanie to lunch over at Marks On The Channel. Great place!

Sunrise with a Blue Heron flying by.


Ski Princess Lori swooping on the water.

Shortly afterwards Lori drops off and waves at a nearby fisherman.

We took a trip to Coon Island in Lil' Ambition. Soon we will go in the houseboat, but for now we just wanted to take advantage of the nice weather.

Nice flowers on the trail around the island.

Deep in the forest of Coon Island.

Coming back home. God I love it here!


Bobbette cruising up the river.

Bobbette cruising back down the river.


Bobbette in the sun.

Beautiful sunrise.

A pair of Bald Eagles on the shore across the channel from us.


A pretty nice sunrise.

A Bald Eagle with a fish. I watched him zoom in and pick this one up, but it's hard to get good photos of these guys. They don't stand still and wait for you to be ready.

We took a drive over on Sauvie Island and got this shot of our boat from the road on the opposite shore. We have pretty good privacy despite being fully exposed to the traffic because of the distance. For the record, it's 710 feet from the road to our front deck.

Ski Princess Lori took a run past us in glorious sunshine on glassy water.

We are finally sneaking away from the slip and heading to Coon Island. This is the first try after our extensive engine work last summer. Let's hope it all goes well!

I like this house, but I am not sure why.

And here we are at Coon Island just an hour later!

A nice view of us at the docks taken from the ramp.

And a good shot of our boat from the island.

Coon Island plaque.

A ship named Glorious Ace is making its way up the Columbia right near the pinch point between Multnomah Channel and the river.

And here she is going by. That's a long way off!

The docks at Coon Island with the sun rising.

And speaking of the sunrise, here it is.

Taking yet another walk on the island. So pretty.

Our favorite picnic spot.

Another ship on the Columbia.

Time to go home. Here we are rounding one of the final turns before we get to our slip.

And there are the hills of home. The engines ran like a champ all the way and we couldn't be more pleased.

Ski Princess Lori came by and I got this.

To be continued...

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