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.

One of three Catamaran Cruisers Lil' Hobos in the area. It's like a Mini-Me, a tiny version of our 50 foot Vagabond, but it's no slouch. It's a real houseboat, just smaller is all.

Ski Princess Lori came by again and gave us a wave! Yay! You can hear our pesky goose begging for more crackers as she goes by. He can be a pain sometimes, but we would miss him if he left us. And what would we do with all these crackers?

A really big catamaran called Double Wide came by.


It's a little bit foggy...

Ski Princess Lori let me know she was coming. You can see the hills behind our house over the windshield.

Ski Princess Lori cutting the water like a pro, wait, she is a pro!

And here is the video I got of her going by.

We went up to Fort William Bend and drifted down the river. Lots of people love skiing on this river. Here is a young man kneeboarding. I haven't seen a kneeboard in quite a while. I was never a really big fan. If you fall, you instantly do a face plant and get your sinuses irrigated with 100 PSI water, which IMHO is not fun!

The sunrise is looking pretty promising...

Rain is falling in the direction of Mount Saint Helens.

The sunrise is coming along nicely.

These clouds are just amazing!

One more shot before the actual sunrise. Just amazing!


And once again, Ski Princess Lori comes by again. I like that name, better than "Unknown 7AM skier."

Poor Lori, she has no privacy as long as I'm out here with my fancy Panasonic camera. It's kind of a cool picture though, you can see Wade in the rear-view mirror!

And off she goes again to thrill residents up and down Multnomah Channel. I'm sure I'm not the only fan!

The sunrise was delayed by a cloud bank.

The sun even higher.

It's a little foggy on the water. I know Lori doesn't like skiing in the fog. Actually, it's Wade who doesn't like driving in fog, and I don't blame him!

As they say on Airplane: "The fog is getting thicker."


We saw Lori coming, so I ran out to catch her ripping the water to shreds, when Wade turned the boat around and headed back downstream. A few minutes later we saw why. The Claire B. was pushing an empty gravel barge downstream towards her, and skiing on the water after a tug goes by is no fun. Too bad Wade didn't use the AIS app to check first! At least I got a nice picture out of it!

It's pumpout day aboard Great Ambition. The first step is finding the black water tank key. Oh, here it is....

Then we get the Pump-A-Head hooked up to the marina's sewage line. Here is the discharge hose connected to the sewage riser on the dock. I highlighted all the sewage risers down the dock in pink so you can see them. There is one riser for every four slips. These use a cam-lock fitting, so there is no leakage and no twisting.

Here is the Pump-A-Head unit, electrically powered, thank God! I remember the old days of pumping out by hand. So glad I don't have to do that when I'm 70 years old. Notice that my neighbor's slip is a little cluttered with stuff, but he doesn't mind me using his area for this, he's not here today!

And the only other thing to do is hold the suction fitting to the pumpout port on the side of the boat until the tank is empty. That's it! Many of my neighbors do this bi-weekly, so the folks downstream (like Lori) can be assured that you are not skiing in someone else's sewage. All of our sewage is treated up on the land and handled by a Portland city approved facility.

A sailboat being towed in Side-Tow configuration. In many cases, this is the best way to tow. Next time you have to tow someone, try this. It eliminates the horrible side to side drift and other issues, plus you can chat, share a beer, etc!

A strange catamaran float being pushed downstream.


A tugboat named Norma. This must be the sistership to our old friend from Kadow's Marina, Juneta.

Norma's stern, indicating she is also from Vancouver.


Hilary skiing behind Wade's boat. You can see Ski Princess Lori inside driving.

Hilary is pretty darn good!


Sunrise. So beautiful!

And Lori went by but the water in our area was too rough to ski on, so she just told Wade to keep going, go find some smooth water. I think that is a wave to us too.


I got a text from Ski Princess Lori, Chantel is up.

This is Chantel starting out.

Lori getting ready to do her run to towards Fort William Bend and beyond.

Now Lori comes down past Sigler's Cove.

We had a nice thunderstorm come over us and I went out on the front deck to try to get some video. Unfortuately, my camera can't focus in Auto Focus mode in the dark. So I tried using Manual Focus, but it's hard to focus on distant things in the dark, which is the same problem that Auto Focus has.

Hilary skiing past us with Ski Princess Lori.

Ski Princess Lori doing some nice work on the water. If only I could keep up with her, my camera work is severely tested here.

Next Wade has his turn.

We went out to Fort William Bend and anchored for a while. It's pretty here. In the old dead tree we saw an Osprey having his lunch.

This guy is trying to sink his pontoon boat!

Ski Princess Lori in a nice run.

Just shredding the water!

Here you can see her looking right at me! She knows I'm filming her and she's doing great work to make the best of it.

Russ (Diane's husband) dropping off after exhausting himself upstream.

Lori is getting ready to go again. Everyone in the boat is having fun!

Show's over, thanks again Lori. See you again soon!


Lori skiing by in the fog. She's looking right at me!

Hilary skiing by in the sunlight.

Lori followed by Hilary skiing by.

The flyboard came out again over at Casselman's marina.

Ski Princess Lori looks so relaxed in this shot.


Lori came by again. She sure works hard at having fun!

A pirate ship came by, she sure is a pretty!

A paraplane came over in the early morning. Sure looks like fun!

The Moon over the channel.

Anytime I see a jet taking off from PDX and heading for the Moon, I try to catch the plane in the Moon. But this is as close as this one got. Too bad, but I'll keep trying!

We went up to Fort William Bend to anchor for a while, then drift back home for a while. It's a lovely place, you can almost always find a Bald Eagle there.

Water trickling from a spring on the bank into the river. Drop by drop, this is how a river is made.

A look back towards our neighborhood.

A nice slow putt back home after a relaxing time at Fort William Bend.

The nearly full moon rising over Sauvie Island.

Airshow Guy came by again. It's been a long time since we've seen him. We've been watching this guy do his magic dance in the sky for about 20 years.

Ski Princess Lori came by again, even though the weather is turning cold fast.

The West Hills with a smattering of fog.

We have another goose who likes to be fed. I think this is a female because Emmett doesn't give her much trouble. Males are very protective of their "marks" against other males, but Emmett seems to give this one some slack.

A nice rainbow segment.

Ski Princess Lori is still going despite the rain and cool weather. How long will she go?

Three planes looped around the PDX area several times. No idea who they are, but they seem to be pretty good flyers.

As the sun goes down and the clouds build in the east, the sky sure gets pretty.

Lori came by again. Will she still be skiing when the snow is falling? Stick around and find out!

And here she is again! She's having way too much fun!

To be continued...

HandCrafted HTML