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Old 25-11-2008, 12:10   #1
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Going to St. Martin in February and Need a Cruising Guide

which one would you recommend?
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Old 25-11-2008, 12:28   #2
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The island is pretty small. Will you be flying in? Chartering once you arrive? I found the Dutch side much friendlier, and less expensive. There's not much to the interior, except for scrub bushes. The beaches anywhere are nice. Everybody seems to make a stop at Orient Beach. I forget the name of the bay on the north side. There was a lot of small restaraunts. Don't miss Johnny B Under the TREE on the Dutch side. Huge servings of BBQ, and delicious. A bunch of 55 gal barrel drums in front of a personal house. All under a big tree.......BEST WISHES in St. Martin & Maarten.....i2f

P.S.

On the Dutch side there is a huge market at the round-a-about that's cheap, and has EVERYTHING!
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Old 25-11-2008, 18:13   #3
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Agree that Cost-U-Less is like CostCo at home - even the same brands. In the lagoon, Grand Marche has a very good store with the best meats and produce on the island. We use Doyle's guide to the Leeward Islands. We will be there in about one week.
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Old 09-12-2008, 07:56   #4
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I've also used Doyle's guide to the Leeward Islands.

Some of my favorite stops in the area included:

Prickly Pear National Park area - Anguilla

Marigot, Anse Marcel and Orient Bay on St. Martin,

Tintemarre just off of St. Martin.

Isle Fourchue

Colombier bay and Gustavia on St. Barths
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Old 09-12-2008, 09:31   #5
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It unanimous for Doyle's. I also agree with all of the above recommendations, but would add the following comments: while Anse Marcel is a reaonable anchorage (and there is a marina) with a pretty beach fronting Le Meridien hotel, there is virtually no decent shopping nearby; Grand Case is ok for short term anchoring (and for an opportunity to enjoy one of their incredible restaurants); Orient Beach is not really a spot to anchor, although it is probably the longest and busiest beach on the island.

And if you have the time, nautical is absolutely right about nearby Anguilla and, of course, for a taste of the rich and famous, St Barth's.

Brad
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Old 09-12-2008, 10:00   #6
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I've anchored in Orient Bay several times. It is not as protected from the prevailing winds as anchorages on the west side of the island, but Green Islands and reef extending to shore, keep the wave action down to a minimum. When I've been there, there has always been plenty of room and the holding is good.

The entrance can get tricky in some conditions.
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Old 09-12-2008, 10:05   #7
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The big problem with anchoring in Orient Bay is that the only calm-water place to beach the dinghy is at the south end of the nude beach. To get to the non-nude part you have to walk the WHOLE length of the nude part. (At least that's what I told my wife.)
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Old 09-12-2008, 10:20   #8
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Ditto on Doyle's. When we were there, Simpson's Bay was the most popular long term anchorage. The bay straddles the border and I have heard that the Dutch are now charging $10 a day on their side of the line for anchoring, but the French side of the bay is still free.

If you have a chance, the trip to Saba is well worth it - it's one of those impossible places which exists anyway.
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Old 09-12-2008, 11:40   #9
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Good line, Hud.

brad
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