Great Ambition

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

Twelve 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.

The sunrise keeps moving south.

And moving...

So pretty!

Someone is taking a bunch of crap to the dump.

And just a few minutes later somebody is towing a junk boat upstream. I wonder if it's going to the dump too?


Another nice sunrise.

I found that there was a Google Street View taken on the Multnomah Channel right past Sigler Cove in the spring of 2017. Actually, it goes all the way from the Willamette Falls to Saint Helens, and so if you click in the Willamette River anywhere between those two points you might figure out how to take a vitural cruise down the river. Here is our slip about 8 months before we moved in.

I used the app to watch the Christmas Ships do their Saturday night show at Saint Helens, Columbia City and the Columbia Riverview RV park on the Washington side. We did this one year in the Arecales. It was fun, but now we'll just watch from a distance.

Here they are in front of Columbia City, just downstream of Saint Helens.

Here they are in front of the Columbia Riverview RV park on the Washington side. I remember this being a long drive from Columbia City in the dark, but we had RADAR so there was that!

And finally, the show is over around 8PM, so they all return back to the Saint Helens city docks to spend the night. Tommorrow is a pot-luck lunch at Coon Island, then they come by here in the evening. We have our party all set up, we can't wait to see them!

And here they are. What a show!

A coyote on the far bank on Sauvie Island.


Sunrise with just 5 days left before Solstice.

Sunrise. Just 3 more then the days start getting longer. Notice that the sun is rising on the other side of the telephone pole. I never saw this last year, but it was cloudy most of the days before Solstice.

Christmas day, and look who came by! Ski Princess Lori and her husband Wade.


The sun is coming up right at the telephone pole just 5 days after winter solstice. This was a tough shot because the auto-focus wouldn't work with the fog,


One of the Christmas Ships came back from Portland, Nauteak. That lamp looks Fragile, it's Italian ;-)

A pair of Bald Eagles just behind us in the trees overlooking the parking lot.

I think this is an awesome find, and I mentioned it earlier. You can do a virtual cruise up the Willamatte River using Google Maps using the water version of Street View.

I became interested in where Nauteak was going so I searched for her with my app. And what do you know? Nauteak is part of a small cadre of Christmas Shippers who decided to join the 2nd annual Lower Columbia Christmas Ships at Rainer and Longview. It's a two night show, so that means she should be back on Sunday.

And here they are on Saturday night cruising the homes off Fisher Island.

So then the Christmas Ships spent the night at the moorage at Fisher Island (you can still see a few late risers sitting at the docks). The next morning I watched closely to see who was leaving when. And there goes Nautique, headed back this way. The big question is, since it's pretty late, will she make it back to Portland tonight, or will she have to overnight somewhere else like Saint Helens or Coon Island?

Now she is leaving the Rainer/Longview area. It's a long slog at six and a half knots.

Here is Claire B. heading into the gravel quarry slough, moving at 3.7 knots.

And suddenly she drops to 0.6 knots! To quote Hillary, what happened? I just happened to check the AIS at exactly the right time to catch this, Claire B. went aground on the corner of Multnomanh channel as she tried to get back to the quarry. She finally extracated herself and returned back to the quarry with apparently no damage, since she went out again as soon as her barge was filled with gravel again.

Kind of a cool boat name!

This time of year we don't get many good sunrises, but this one shows that the sun is on its way back to the north, thank God! While this winter hasn't been too bad (no snow yet) I'm happier when it's nice and warm outside.

A few minutes later, proving that the sun is still moving on a southern track.

A tug pushing some floats upstream.

A muted sunrise.

We got a little snow, and while it's not visible on the ground here, it can be seen up on the West Hills towards Portland.

A Blue Heron taking a ride on a log drifting down the channel.

We've been following Onboard Lifestyle on YouTube and I'm so bummed that they got stuck in Westport for the winter. They tried getting out of Seattle in time to reach a warmer climate, but got pinned down by the weather. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate Westport, but there is literally nothing to do there in the winter and even the food shopping choices are horrible. Their predicament made me think of this old truism.

The Scappoose fireboat cruising up the channel.

A really nice sunrise.

Looking closer at the sunrise, you can see that the sun has moved quite far in the month or so since solstice.

Another nice sunrise.

And the sun has moved even further north.

A little later I got this shot with my new iPhone. It sure came out nice.

A pair of tugs headed up the slough on what looks like a mission of some kind.

And a little later they come back with their "catch."

A Bald Eagle flew right past our front door, but I couldn't wake my camera up in time to catch his face, so you have to look at his bum. He's carrying a fish, which you can see if you look closely.

The full moon over the channel. Can't get this view living in town!



The sun peeking above the road on Sauvie Island.



A car driving down the road through the sunrise on Sauvie Island.

A really nice sunrise.

A sailboat being towed. They let the sailboat way, way out and it wasn't tracking well with the towboat. In this case, a side tow is best, that keeps the boat being towed in control, which really isn't the case here.

I got up late this morning, so I didn't get the very start of the sunrise.

To make up for it, I got up early enough to catch this start to the sunrise.

While I was waiting for the sunrise I saw a big bird flapping his way down the river. By the time I got my camera ready he was already past me. Because I don't see the tiniest speck of white on his head or tail, I'm thinking this is a Golden Eagle.

A gyrocopter flew over. I have a buddy that was bought a couple of these, but thought better after realizing how potentially dangerous they are.



You can see how much the sun is moving northward.



Day by day, the sunrise moves northward.

A little later.

A junvenile Bald Eagle.



The Moon.


A pretty cool looking fishing boat all the way from Garibaldi. I suspect she was trailered to Multnomah Channel.

To be continued...

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