Great Ambition, Thirteenth year

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 back to our twelfth year.


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.

Sunrise.

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!

Moonrise.

Bobbette cruising up the river.

Bobbette cruising back down the river.

Sunrise.

Bobbette in the sun.

Beautiful sunrise.

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

Sunrise.

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.

Sunrise.

Sunrise. The sun is moving south again dammit!

I love Bobbette. My cousin and this little boat. She's so fast, and yet can do real work.

Ski Princess Lori came by again!

Sunrise. So pretty.

A litle bit later.

Ski Princess Lori. I sometimes shoot video, and since there is already a lot of it on YouTube, I just grab the best frames from each run.

Sunrise.

Ski Princess Lori carving up the glass. I love it!

Moonrise near full moon. So beautiful here.

Ski Princess Lori carving up the glass and here you can see her sillouette in the curtain of water.

Ski Princess Lori is such a nice person, she always remembers her fans.

We didn't get much of a sunrise, but this scene off the front deck was fantastic!

Nice lighting on this pontoon boat.

Sunrise.

Two new boats coming into our marina. Side tow is a much better way to go than all the other alternatives.

Bobbette.

A tugboat, Ramona III making its way up the channel. I wonder what she's up to?

Aha! Here she comes with a floating home!

A boat meant more for the sea than for the Multnomah Channel.

Sunrise.

One of our neighbors has a plane, but we have never seen him take off. Even on this run he just hugs the water.

Sunrise.

Trimaran. While I like the concept, I think this boat just doesn't have enough living space to be a viable liveaboard boat.

Sunrise.

The tug Goliath heading upstream. I wonder what she's up to?

Aha! Goliath is pulling this massive new floating home down the channel.

That's a big house!

Sunrise.

A tug pushing some kind of barge downstream.

A cute little boat.

The Scappoose fireboat heading upstream, kind of slow. Probably not an emergency, just a cruise.

Sunrise. Notice the swallow I caught in the shot.

A nice little catamaran.

A nice name for a boat you love.

Sunrise.

Sunrise.

The Moon.

Sunrise.

A pirate ship!

Sunrise.

Sunrise.

Ski Princess Lori came by right at sunrise.

Diane was towed by Lori in the morning. She's getting better every time!

Our jetboarder came out again.

Goliath and another tug helped move this floating home downstream.

And then this crazy thing happened.

Ski Princess Lori came by twice this morning!

Taking a call on your phone while biking on the water. Does this count as a workday?

The sheriff is out for a cruise.

A nice view off our front deck.

Sunrise.

Sunrise.

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.

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.

Sunrise.

Sunrise.

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.

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.

Pre-sunrise...

...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!!!

Sunrise.

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.

Pre-sunrise.

Sunrise

A foggy sunrise.

A closeup of the Sun.

The sheriff on a mission from, who knows?

Sunrise.

The tug Rossisle, clearly a contraction of Ross Island.

Now this one is interesting. Amy B pushing a flipped over barge on top of another barge. I have no idea what is going on here...

Rossisle is back, pushing this crane that they brought down just a few days ago back to, where else? Ross Island!

We follow the "Kitty Litter" gravel barges up Multnomah Channel on AIS as they go right past our house. Here the captain of Vicki B is really blowing it. His destination was Vancouver, but he turned UP (right) Multnomah Channel, realized his mistake and then turned this massive barge and tug around to go down to the Columbia and up to Vancouver. By an amazing coincidence, Google Maps caught a tug and barge combo here so you can see the scale of what he's trying to do.

Sunrise.

Just before sunrise a couple of days later.

Good thing I caught it before sunrise because this isn't that impressive.

Portland fireboat taking a cruise.

Sunrise just past Equinox. Now you know where our "Equinox Tree" is.

We had a nice rainbow in the sky so I caught it here. Note that I boosted the saturation a bit to bring the colors out.

Sunrise.

Sunrise on the last day of March.

While hanging out at Fort William Bend we saw a boat we know very well, The Reach Of Tide getting towed. We found out later that somehow they made it back to their home port which is Kadow's Marina, although how this happened we have no idea.

A floating home near Rocky Point that sat uncompleted for over a year, but now it looks like it's done. Such a nice home with a huge upper deck!

Here is an animated GIF showing the progress that occured in two years.

Bobbette out earning her keep.

Sunrise.

A rower going upstream in the sun. Sure looks like fun.

Sunrise.

The Vicki B taking a load of gravel up to Portland.

Sunrise. We are getting quite a few of them now that winter is over.

Our old friend and neighbor Bill from Time Out must have left his boat here for some reason. I suspect he lost his moorage and we found out later he was in the slammer and couldn't get to it anyway, but it survived the winter so that's a good thing.

We made a trip to Coon Island to try out our new fuel tank setup on Lil' Ambition. I also made a movie there.

Sunrise.

A strange kind of catamaran made out of canoes.

Sunrise.

Sunrise.

Sunrise.

Sunrise.

A pair of rowers going upstream.

Sunrise.

Sunrise.

Sunrise.

Sunrise.

We took a cruise in Lil' Ambition and while we were cruising around we saw a floatplane come out and do a takeoff and later a landing. Here I have just the takeoff.

Later we saw a Wood Duck hanging around Cassleman's marina.

Sunrise.

May the Fourth be with you!

The Moon and Venus in the morning sky.

Sunrise. The sun is still moving north at an amazing pace.

Sunrise.

Sunrise.

Sunrise.

Our neighbor Jason is out sailing his refitted dinghy for the first time. He did a great job working on it and sailing it.

Continued...