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Old 30-12-2010, 10:41   #1
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Gustavia, St. Barts

I was wondering if there was anybody who has anchored here or anywhere else on the island. How was it? I was thinking of leaving St. Maarten and going there for a while to get away from all the tourism. It seems like a great island. Any input would be nice. Thank you in advance.
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Old 30-12-2010, 10:51   #2
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Caribcruiser, if you think it is busy with tourists on St. Maarten right now, New Years on St.Barts is going to be CRAZY! Huge fun and great parties, but very busy as it much smaller and has become a very popular spot for New Years (and those wishing to check out the mega yachts, or hoping to run into Jimmy Buffett, Mick Jagger, David Bowie or whoever else may be hanging out there this New Year's Eve).

Worth the trip? Maybe, although I suspect the harbour is already going to be very busy. But for peace and solitude? Think again (or at least, think about a week or two down the road).

Brad
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Old 30-12-2010, 11:04   #3
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Well by the way it sounds, If I go for a while, then I could probably run into the great parties and fun, then when this crazy time is over, I am left on a truly incredible island? I guess I'm okay with that. Thank you for your help. Happy New Year.
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Old 30-12-2010, 11:09   #4
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Gustavia's usually busy year round... now x 100.. most of the areas taken up by moorings.. there maybe be space on the outside near the island but I doubt it... if you want peace and maybe to see the fireworks over the hill there's a bay at the Nth end of the island that has mooring bouys and I've anchored there a few times in the past.. also along the east side though I've been told this is no longer permitted... the bay is still ok.... Colombier or something.. just blackholed my brain..
Do what many do... drop the hook in the Nth bay and ride into Gustavia in the dink...
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Old 30-12-2010, 11:45   #5
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Here's what Gustavia Harbour looks like on a normal day in the winter season. It gets "really" crowded over the Holidays. It's a super place to visit; I highly recommend it. But unfortunately, you need to be prepared to search high and low for somewhere to anchor, and don't count on finding one close to the harbour.
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Old 30-12-2010, 11:58   #6
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I have anchored there twice. Once in low season. In Hud's picture above I was in the outer harbor on the right pretty close in. It was nice. The second time was last December just before Christmas. Very crowded. Out of view to the left in Hud's picture there is usually room. It makes for a long dingy ride in though. The inner harbor will be full of Mega Yachts. You will not be able to get in. Also, they charge to drop your hook anywhere in the outer or inner harbor. I would say for the parties it would be worth the trip if you have never been there. Be prepared for very expensive everthing though.
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Old 30-12-2010, 12:14   #7
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I've anchored there a couble of times during the New Years weekend. It's a beat to windward from St Maarten during the Christmas trades, expect three or four tacks unless you like your swells on the nose. Anchoring was very crowded and everyone is anchored over everyone else's anchor.

When the Euro was quite high, I paid $52 US for a saled, two beers and two scoops of ice cream.

People watching of the rich and famous is a must and I had a great time.
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Old 30-12-2010, 13:02   #8
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We were there two weeks ago. You wont get into the harbor itself over the holidays but will likely find a spot to the left out of the picture above near to the commercial port. We had good holding there and excellent wifi reception from the commercial port (you need to go ask them for a password but it is free). Excellent holding but I wouldnt want to be there in high wind out of the west (not that they happen very often)

Sure, the dinghy ride is a bit long, but not that bad. 10 minutes to the dinghy dock in my inflatable with an 8 hp motor that wont plane with two of us.
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Old 30-12-2010, 19:25   #9
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Anse Columbier is better protected and lessy rolly than anchoring outside of Gustavia in weather; one can head to Gustavia with a big dinghy, it is rather far for a small one. I've spent many a comfortable and many more uncomfortable nights outside of Gustavia. Your chances of getting a med-moor dock space inside this time of year are not too good (and their dockage rates are quite high).
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Old 02-01-2011, 05:47   #10
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They cleared everyone including the mega yachts out of Gustavia harbor on New Year's Eve, for the second year in a row, because of the swells coming in. Last year Panbo had a great AIS shot of the megas huddled together on the western side of the island. I hope Caribcruiser stayed comfortably over in ST. Maarten.
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Old 02-01-2011, 06:30   #11
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The place to be was Rendezvous Bay on Anguilla. The swells in general where big and in a mono you'd have an uncomfortable night at most bays. Phillipsburg and Simpson Bay would have been ok. We stayed put in Oyster Pond and ate a $40 meal for 4 people at the dingy dock. Most restaurants where charging $100+ per person for dinner plus drinks.

FWIW, there really are only two bays in which to anchor overnight on St. Barts, Gustavia and Columbier. Saline, Shell, and Governor can be used if the swells are low.
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Old 02-01-2011, 09:29   #12
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Hey everybody, I ended up staying in Simpson Bay Lagoon. Not the big party in St. Barts, but a fun time. Thanks for all the input.
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:10   #13
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We headed to PJIA at 7:00am yesterday and our cabbie had just dropped some partiers off from Tantra. And, they where cleaning up a 3 car wreck on the airport road. Sounded like there was a big enough party in Simpson Bay!! I've never seen so many private jets as we where taking off either. Huge ones.

Have a good sailing season.
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Old 02-01-2011, 11:16   #14
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Nasty outside Gustavia. I heard the megayacht captains on the VHF worrying about how close they were and holding in the winds and seas. Today (Sunday) is worse - the Christmas winds are blowing across the St Barths channel - whitecaps as far as I can see. You could surf through the passage into Oyster Pond.
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Old 02-01-2011, 14:17   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palarran View Post
We headed to PJIA at 7:00am yesterday and our cabbie had just dropped some partiers off from Tantra. And, they where cleaning up a 3 car wreck on the airport road. Sounded like there was a big enough party in Simpson Bay!! I've never seen so many private jets as we where taking off either. Huge ones.

Have a good sailing season.
The Dutch side of St Maarten has several very large casinos, which cater to those that fly in on private jets.
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