Great Ambition

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

Ten years and still going!

This is the continuing story of our new life as River Rats on the Columbia River aboard our Trimaran Cruiser 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 ninth 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.

A pair of Bald Eagles are having a conversation, or maybe an argument with three other eagles.

I was recording these two Bald Eagles when a Red Tailed Hawk attacked the eagles with a fly-by. The eagles sure got upset, and I was thrilled to have captured this on video.

The river is right at flood stage, 16 feet on the marker, so now we can watch the sunset from the front deck as we can see right over the island, in fact there isn't really much island left!

Yep, the water is pretty high, but unlike back in 2011, we are going to stay put and ride out the high water at the marina. It's not that bad since we have a second ramp that is dry.

Sunrise over Shillapoo Wildlife Refuge.

Another nice sunrise!

Yep, the water is pretty high!

A cruise out to the island shows it's pretty high. There is Pier One underwater.

I've never seen the sunset from the island with the river so high.

A Bald Eagle flying overhead.


A nice looking male Wood Duck.

With the river so high (about one foot over flood stage) we can now see sunsets from the front deck through the island. When the leaves on the island trees pop, we won't be able to do this.

Langsdorf Landing is seriously flooded. Good luck using the dock.

A Bald Eagle flying over. I can see him trying to figure out what I'm up to.

I'm remodeling some of the closets using ClosetMaid wire shelving. It's pretty cool, easy to work with and looks very nice when done.

Another sunset from the front deck. You can now see the leaves starting to come in.

Now that the water is dropping, you can see a big difference between the two sunsets.

Another Bald Eagle.

The next wire shelf job, under the sink.

And another closet done. I did this one in 6 hours including adding an additional layer of foam in the back of the closet along with a sheet of paneling.

An Osprey.

A Wood Duck, they are so pretty!

Sunrise over Shillapoo Wildlife Refuge.

A Bald Eagle soaring overhead.

The river looking north.

I wonder if it's on a five year mission...

After nine years, the roof of Lil' Ambition couldn't take the hard winters anymore, so I took it to a canvas maker in Longview. It looks pretty good this way!

A whole family of River Otters swimming in front of the houseboat.

African Piper on anchor with Mount St. Helens in the background.

African Piper.

A couple of male Mallards.

A male Wood Duck.

Bald Eagle, so majestic.

Caterpillar Island with very high water.

Ok, it's May, what's with the fog?!!!!

Left to right, my RO 2ppm drinking water, filtered (0.5micron) river water, pool water and well water. Please don't make me drink from the well!

A plane flying past the moon.

A MacGregor 24 from the marina.

Another Bald Eagle, wow!

Sunset, rather plain, but not bad.

Neighbors on the island.

Sunrise over Shillapoo Wildlife Refuge.

Kadow's Marina in the early morning light.

The sand on the Columbia River is an interesting amalgam of Quartzite from British Columbia, Basalt from the Cascade Shield volcanos, Pumice and Andesite from Mount Hood and other more recent volcanic eruptions.

The Moon with a cloud starting to encroach. This is our 123rd full moon aboard.

Ten years ago Great Ambition arrived at the Marine Drive boat ramp. We've survived 10 years aboard, can we make it to the "bitter end?" Stay tuned!

A Bald Eagle soaring overhead.

Our geese are back but this time they are keeping their distance and it worked! They have four goslings, where last year, when they kept coming by for free food, they had zero gozlings. Eventually they had 4, but then one by one they went missing till only one was left. Maybe staying away from free food is a better stratagy.

I'm using a new anchor aid that I invented called Boat Valet. It works better than the Anchor Buddy which tries to keep your boat off the shore.

A nice flower on a sunny day.

A solitary Wood Duckling swimming around the house.

Ten years ago today Roger's Marine Electronics finished installing all the electronics in Great Ambition and we started moving in.

We finally finished moving into Great Ambition and prepared to leave from Rogers Marine Electronics after they finished installing all the electronics. After a test of the RADAR, our salesman asked to get off, and of course now I have to dock this beast for only the second time in my life in a hard running river. I kissed the dock, he stepped off and off we went for Caterpillar Island.

We survived the passage to the island, then set two anchors, one on each side in 15 feet of water. My anchor didn't set, but April's did, so we were able to re-deploy mine and get a good bite on both sides. We had lunch and really enjoyed the start of our new life.

It's been quite a ride, lots of fun, lots of work, lots of problems, but overall I would do it again in a heartbeat!

Nootka Rose.

A nice shot of Craig Wegant's house.

To be continued...

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