Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Wreck of The Mary Ward

In addition to the Nottawasaga lighthouse, another part of Collingwood's storied maritime history is the wreck of the Mary Ward which is located about 2KM off Northwinds Beach at Craigleith.

 The Mary Ward was a 120 foot steamer that sank back in 1872.  I first visited the wreck site back in May of this year and saved the geo-coordinates in my GPS chartplotter enabling a return visit. With summer quickly fading and the water getting cooler I decided the time was now or never for a return this year to do some snorkeling around the wreck along with some underwater filming.

With the water on Georgian Bay relatively calm I ventured back to the wreck site yesterday afternoon launching my boat in Thornbury.  I find approaching the site from the west seems somewhat easier, nonetheless the water leading into the site is very shallow for quite a distance varying up and down from less than three feet to six feet and back as you get closer to the wreck. Currently the water depth around the wreck itself is about 7 feet or so.

  Yesterday's water temperature was about 66.5 farenheit, allowed us to thoroughly examine the wreck in relative comfort.

 Some parts of the ship such as the boiler are scattered further afield, next summer I'll go back and see if we can located those.

 As you can see in the accompanying photos, water conditions yesterday were very clear enabling me to get some good photos and video.  This is just another aspect of the rich maritime history that exists around Georgian Bay.  Looking at the development and other aspects of the area today, it's hard to imagine what life was like back in 1872 when the Mary Ward went down.  Travel by rail and by water were very much the main modes of transportation. Collingwood's shipyard is long gone as have been the train tracks that ran west from Collingwood Thornbury and beyond.   

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Rick relocated to Collingwood from Toronto in 1985 through a transfer with Goodyear Canada. In 1987 Rick was recruited by a major client of Goodyear’s, managing their Canadian business based in Barrie before moving to Chicago in 1992 as Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Upon returning to Canada in 1996, Rick ran an industrial products manufacturing company in Stratford, Ontario. In 1998 Rick returned to Collingwood with his two children. Rick is a licensed real estate Broker with Royal LePAGE Locations North in Collingwood and holds his MVA designation (Market Value Appraiser-Residential). He is an active volunteer in the community serving several years on the Board of Directors with the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce as Treasurer, 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® of which he is the Past President (2008) and currently serves on a committee with the Ontario Real Estate Association. Rick is a diverse executive manager with extensive experience in strategic planning, manufacturing, finance, human resources and quality assurance management.