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 thirteenth 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 good animation showing how bad the smoke got. First frame is three days ago, second frame was two days ago and the third is today (the 12th).

Every so often I check that the UV light in the watermaker is doing OK. I have spare bulbs, and they are easy to come by online, but it's nice to see them working giving me pure and sterile drinking water.

Ski Princess Lori Came by and dropped off, so we got a chance to say "Good Morning" and see her start. Her charcteristic little "Go!" signal is cute!

Our favorite little boat on the river, Bobbette.


This summer I repainted the lower legs of the outboards and repainted the props. Here is the Before pic.

And the after pic looks pretty damn good.

A nice shot of Bobbette.

The right way to tow a boat, side tow.

Our neighbor Jason going wing-on-wing.

A Sea Lion came up the river for a snack.

A boat we used to see often, The Reach Of Tide is a boat kept at Kadow's Marina and we would often see them out cruising about, but we never imagined they would come all the way over here in Multnomah Channel.

We took a trip to Coon Island just to get out of the house, but also to visit with Dos Suenos. We met this couple at Coon Island and they are such nice people we thought we would stop in and say hi!

And while at Coon Island we got to get a look at this disaster. Barnacle is in big trouble here! Just like all monohulls, there are only three states of being. Those that have gone down, those that will go down and those that will go down again.

On our way back from Coon Island we saw that house those guys were jumping off of while on their way to their new moorage.

A neighbor who only moved in last spring died recently and here his boat is being taken out of the moorage. Goodbye Jack, it was nice knowing you.

I knew that Dos Suenos was coming back on Thursday and sure enough, here they are! First they went to the pumpout dock near Marks, and then after about 20 minutes they went to their home slip.

Interesting Trimaran heading upstream.

"A wonderful bird is the pelican
His bill can hold more than his belican
He can take in his beak
Food enough for a week
But I'm damned if I see how the helican."

In my constant search for an opportunity to film a plane in the moon, this one came close, almost like this plane is about to land on the Moon.

Ski Princess Lori sent me a message, "Ski Time!"

Since we saw this barge and crane come in, we went over to see what they were doing. They were sleeving wooden pilings with steel pilings, and the process is amazing.

A Bald Eagle in a tree...

and a Bald Eagle on the shore.

A coyote on the far bank. He's a cutie, but I'm glad he's over there, not over here!

Gilligan on her 3 hour tour. Seems like history repeats itself doesn't it?

Rene in the dark.



Ski Princess Lori came by again!

The Moon.

Ski Princess Lori came by again!

The Moon on Halloween night! Ooooh, spooky!

I love this name, 2-Deep Diving.

South Creek taking the crane and barge back upstream after some more work in our area.

Ski Princess Lori came by again! Even in November with the river at 55°F.

Epic sunrise!

Foggy sunrise.


Our favorite Lil' Hobo out for a cruise.

A floatplane flew almost directly overhead.

A pretty sunrise....

And then you realize that Mount Hood behind that tree in the center of the photo is casting a shadow onto the bottoms of the clouds.

A truck driving down Sauvie Island Road blanks out the sunrise.

A plain-jane sunrise.

Just before sunrise.

Sunrise, on the day that will live in infamy.


...and then the actual sunrise. The sun is rising right at the telephone pole on Sauvie Island.

Another beautiful sunrise.

Christmas Ships are starting to come by so they can do the show in Saint Helens, and here comes Rudolph to join the party.

The Christmas Ships are at Saint Helens.

Now they are headed for Columbia City and the Riverview RV park in Washington. We've done that run, it was pretty fun, but a damn big area in the middle of the shipping channel.

And here they come back to dock and party.

They spent the night and congregated at Coon Island and at 4:30PM they started heading our way.

Here they are! We had a crowd on the front deck so it got a little crazy, but it was fun!

A Bald Eagle surveying the marina. Pretty much nothing bothers these guys.

I couldn't get a shot of Winter Solstice but this was just 3 days later on Christmas Eve so it's pretty close. The sun rises just south of the telephone pole on Sauvie Island from our perspective and now it's on its way back north. YAY!!!


The sunrise is very slowly moving northward. It will be a while.

A very muted sunrise.

I love the name of this group.

A muted sunrise.

The sun is now rising north of the telephone pole, but as it climbs, it moves southward.

Bobbette working on a cold January day.

An awesome sunrise is starting...

The sunrise turned peachy.

Some really cool "spicules" caused by the clouds casting shadows from the sunrise.

The shadow of Mount Hood during the sunrise. Spectacular.

The sun finally comes up.

Notice that the sun is rising quite a bit north of the telphone pole now. Summer here we come!

Later that night, something kind of crazy happened. Amy B was pushing a barge full of gravel upstream to Portland, and here you can see she's makiing 3.8 knots.

But a few seconds later, the engine sputtered and she went completely dark, and being upstream of us, she was at risk of drifting down on us with a full load of gravel.

A nice sunrise.

A gloomy sunrise.

A clear and bright sunrise. Yeah, that's the way it should be!

And a colorful sunrise. We are getting a really good variety here!

The tug, Ramona III came by with an old decrepit house.

And her AIS track shows where she took the house, Multnomah Yacht Harbor.

We are infested with "Biker Gangs." There goes the neighborhood!

The tug, Ramona III came by with a nice house this time.

I check with my AIS app to see where she came from, aha, Scappoose Bay!

And here is where she went, back up by Multnomah Yacht Harbor again.

To be continued...

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