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Afternoon on the Columbia River

Our RVing Indio pals, Captain Jim and Mary, spend the summer at their home in Vancouver, Washington - just across the river from Portland, Oregon. They also have a "vacation home" - a house boat on the Columbia River - five miles from their stick house.

They invited us to their house boat for an afternoon on the river and dinner - and kindly included our friend, Dustin (visiting us from New York to run in a track meet Saturday) in the invitation.

Dave and I had only been to one houseboat - about thirty years ago - so didn't know what to expect. Mary & Captain Jim have a lovely spot on the river, three bedrooms, 2.5 baths, lots of exterior deck space, hot tub and a drive-in boat garage with space for their little speed boat and two jet skis. This vacation home gets a lot of use from their children and grandchildren!

First thing on the agenda was a cruise on the river in the speed boat.

This is the view as we backed out of the floating garage

Let's just say... Dustin may have enjoyed the ride... a lot

Osprey nest off McGuire Island - in the middle of the Columbia River

We spent about an hour on the river, having a tour past other house boats and along McGuire Island. It was awesome!

The sky was trying to clear!

After taking us on a river cruise, Captain Jim and Mary cooked a gourmet meal. While the feast was being prepared, Dave and Dustin amused themselves by launching bio-degradable water balloons off a massive sling-shot.

Loading-up the launcher

"Action" shot

Captain Jim grilled lamb kebobs and we were served grilled asparagus, roasted potatoes and vegetables, cucumber salad (grown by Captain Jim), garbanzo bean salad, tomato salad, dolmas and various olives and cheeses. That's all.

But the sun was setting and it was time to leave their perfect house boat. We had a great evening and can't thank Mary & Captain Jim enough for the experience.

Until my next update, I remain, your nautical correspondent.