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Ocean Pursuit

When I got back from my first night sky photography trip to the Outer Banks last September I heard about a shipwreck that I had actually drive right by. Two weeks later I was headed back out because shots of the Milky Way over a shipwreck was something i really felt like I wanted to have.

The Ocean Pursuit is a former scallop boat that ran aground in October 2020 about a mile south of Ramp 4 in an area known as the Bodie Island Spit. It was abandoned by the owner and slowly began to sink the shifting sands of Oregon Inlet. Not long after I made my trip the National Park Service hired a company to remove the wreck and all traces are gone.

I grabbed a spot at the Oregon Inlet Campground which put the wreck within an easy hike. After locating it in the growing darkness and setting up my timelapse camera I was able to shoot for a couple of hours until the Milky Way drifted below the horizon. At one point I even managed to get my son to walk close enough to get an image of him looking at it. I think he was convinced that someone or something was going to suddenly burst forth from the wheelhouse.

Once I got my shots and packed up my gear and began the often toughest part of shooting on the beach, the long walk back through soft sand. For some reason it always seems like twice as long as the hike out and my pack weighs much more than it did in the beginning.

I got some truly interesting images and a timelapse thot shows how much traffic there is not only on the Oregon Inlet bridge but on the beach itself that time of year. I hate that this once productive boat was a total loss but I really glad to have had the chance to photograph the Milky Way over an actual shipwreck.

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