Constance Bay is a prominent feature on this stretch of water.
Sand Point is located in the northwest corner of the bay, and the
area just south of it is a very popular day anchorage for those who like to
stop for a swim. While the point remains a distinguishable landmark on the
river, it is far less impressive than the large sand bluff that used to exist
on this spot during the days when the Ottawa River was the major fur trading
route into North America. Historical notes indicate that by the early 1900's
much of the bluff had been carted away for "building purposes".
Looking at Sand Point from the River.|
Like Aylmer Island, Sand Point has provided evidence of an earlier
Aboriginal presence on the Ottawa River. Human bones have been found in
the sand, and these are believed to be the remains of an Iroquois war party
that suffered a surprise attack by French fur traders along with their
Aboriginal allies (most likely Algonquin and/or Huron).
As was the practice in
those days, the Iroquois had posted a sentry on the sand bluff overlooking the
river. However the Iroquois encampment had already been spotted by nearby fur
traders and their Aboriginal allies. Under cover of darkness, they decided to launch
a preemptive strike against the superior and larger Iroquois war party. In the
middle of the night they took to their canoes and quietly landed at the
southern end of Constance Bay. From here the French fur traders and their
allies made their way overland back towards Sand Point. This brought them
behind the Iroquois camp. Their nighttime attack apparently caught the Iroquois
completely off guard.
The anchorage is located in the area south of Sand Pt.|
Although the area south of Sand Point does not offer quite as much
protection from the prevailing west or north-west winds as some other spots
along the river, numerous boats do use it as a fair-weather overnight
anchorage. One of its advantages is that it is relatively free of the hoards of
mosquitoes that plague many other anchorages along this waterway. A gradually
sloping sandy bottom which extends a considerable distance from the beach makes
for easy anchoring. Boats approaching this area should keep an eye out for a
rather long sand bar which jets out under the water from Sand Point.
Text and photos by Michael McGoldrick.
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