“Bones Bleach in the Sands”


Captain Lawrence’s final toast to his ship was: “May God bless you, and may your bones bleach in the sands.”

Peter Iredale was a four-masted steel barque sailing vessel that ran ashore October 25, 1906, on the Oregon coast en route to the Columbia River.

Sailing from Salina Cruz, Mexico, on or about September 26, 1906, Peter Iredale was bound for Portland, Oregon with 1,000 tons of ballast and a crew of 27, including two stowaways.

Snow, hail, sleet and sand.  I think it only fitting that I experienced all of this weather to obtain my first images of the ship from Mexico that came upon weather and ran ashore over 100 years ago on its way to the Columbia River.  In the last six weeks I traveled to Astoria on two separate occasions in hopes of scoring some interesting images of the infamous shipwreck, the Peter Iredale. On both trips I also wanted to get images of Haystack, the iconic sea stack of Canon Beach which is right down the road from Astoria. My first trip in March was three days of disappointment due to heavy rain and dark skies. Not only that, but I got caught in a blinding snow storm going over the mountain from Portland to the coast.  Geezzzz,  that trip tested my resolve, to say the least.  But I must say, that once I finally found Fort Stevens State Park and laid my eyes on the shipwreck I felt a slight swell of pride that I  had made the journey on my own and did not chicken out due to weather conditions.  I mention this because I find, with some embarrassment,  that I get quite a bit of anxiety driving in unfamiliar areas these days and am pushing myself out of my comfort zone to overcome my fear.  

The skies really were bleak on that first trip but I was determined not to come home empty handed so I took some close ups of the beautiful rusted texture that are pretty pleasing to me. The rest of the time, including my time in Canon Beach, I simply chalked up as a scouting trip.  

I did not succumb to discouragement and quickly made plans to return in a month.  Well, even though the weather once again played with my good nature and threatened to knock me off my game, I waited it out. It was not until my drive home that I was rewarded with some stormy skies that gave me gifts of clearing here and there.  So, my seven hour drive home turned into a twelve hour drive as I stopped along the way waiting in beach parking lots for downpours to let up long enough for me to run out and grab some shots.









The Canon Beach moments of clearing were very  pretty, but boy, was it a rugged walk back to my vehicle. The skies got impatient and opened wide up while I was still shooting.  The rain, wind and sleet came all at once with quite a vengeance and it was a 20 minute trek to the parking  lot.   I got back to the truck and ran into the restroom to change out of my drenched clothes into some dry ones for the rest of the journey down 101 to Bandon.  







I stopped briefly in Pacific City as well to see if my luck of  quick clearings would continue.  And so it did, but just very briefly.  The shot below demonstrates  some of the drama that was occurring over Cape Kiwanda.  This is another spot that I hope to spend a lot of time in this year. 


Even though I still did not get the images that I envision, I am pleased with the start and happy that I am getting more familiar with some of the other Oregon Coast hotspots.  I’m quite sure that I will return several times this year to round out the portfolio for my 2017 project. Having to really work for the photographs that I want adds to the adventure and causes me to grow in other areas of life as well. 

I will persist until I succeed. Always will I take another step. If that is of no avail I will take another, and yet another. In truth, one step at a time is not too difficult. I know that small attempts, repeated, will complete any undertaking.  ~ Og Mandino

Whatever, the project, I say stick to it!  🙂  Thanks for reading everyone!  ~ Susan 

This entry was posted in Susan's Blog.


  1. Dave Reynolds April 20, 2017 at 7:21 pm #

    Wonderful. Thank you for sharing it.

    • Susan Dimock April 20, 2017 at 7:25 pm #

      So glad you liked it, Dave! I appreciate the comment. 🙂

  2. Denny Dyke April 21, 2017 at 6:54 am #

    Thanks for sharing the start of your chosen photo journey for 2017. Keep an eye on the sand for me.

    • Susan Dimock April 21, 2017 at 8:06 am #

      Thanks for viewing, Denny! It is all a journey isn’t it?! I’m looking forward to your circles in the sand the next week! We’ll both keep on eye on things. 🙂

  3. deigh bates April 21, 2017 at 9:33 am #

    You really captured the stark beauty in the decaying ship. Love it – well done. Also getting some of the rusty detail added to the feeling of being there. The 2nd image in the stack is perfect – what wonderful drama – storm like that could send the ship to the rocks years ago.
    Thanks so much for sharing these.

    • Susan Dimock April 21, 2017 at 9:46 am #

      Thanks so much, Deigh. I was tickled with the clouds in that image too. Isn’t it the way that the best clouds are often in the opposite direction that you wish to shoot. It’s funny that the ocean side was all blue and clearing! So it goes…nature has it’s own way. 🙂

  4. Chris Malone April 21, 2017 at 9:38 am #

    Gorgeous images, your work always brightens my day! Your persistence totally paid off, I need to visit these locations myself. 🙂

    • Susan Dimock April 21, 2017 at 9:44 am #

      You’re always so supportive and kind, Chris! Thank you! The Peter Ireland is definitely a fun shoot. You would love it. 🙂

  5. Calvin Mukumoto April 21, 2017 at 10:36 am #

    Beautiful images. I am forwarding a link to your website to the Oregon Recreation and Parks Department.

    • Susan Dimock April 21, 2017 at 2:19 pm #

      Thanks so much for the comment, Calvin. I also appreciate the link share very much!

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