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Old 20-08-2010, 14:45   #16
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Originally Posted by Palarran View Post
Dang it, I leave on the 25Th!!
Are you scuba certified?
Too bad, we could have gone diving. Yes, I'm certified, but my partner is not. This site has a good overview of dive sites:

The Scuba Shop's Guide to Diving from Your Yacht in St. Maarten / St. Martin and the Surrounding Islands

Jerry
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Old 20-08-2010, 15:30   #17
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The Scuba Shop is the located in Captain Oliver's marina almost next to the Dinghy bar.
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Old 23-08-2010, 19:57   #18
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I will also be in St. Martin chartering from the Moorings Jan.26, 2011 for 8 days.. We are 4 guys that are old High School friends that have decided to leave the wife's and kids behind to do our own trip each year. This will be our 4th time chartering together, however I'm the only experienced (or somewhat experienced) sailer. We have always gone to the BVI's (I've sailed BVI 6 times) but everyone wanted to try something different... I have heard that sailing this area is quite a bit different and not as easy sailing as the BVI's. any suggestions?

Does anyone have any itinerary suggestions for us... We are doing the "Easy on the Cook" provisioning so we do want some nice restaurants for dinner. Planing on doing St. Martin, St. Barts and maybe Anguilla but from reading the thread not sure if we want to do Anguilla or not. Would prefer nights on a mooring ball instead of anchoring but anchoring is not a big deal if that is the only choice.
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Old 24-08-2010, 04:06   #19
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The Moorings/Sunsail base on St. Martin is in Oyster Pond and the entrance can be a bit hairy if there is any swell - I think that they will send you out with a "pilot" and also give you one upon return in any type of weather.
Oyster pond lies on the border of the French/Dutch sides so I don't know which of the two you are cleared into and there might be special arrangements for charter boats when it comes to moving between the two parts of the island and to Saba or St. Barths.

Assuming the boat is good to go for the French side, from Oyster Pond you could do Orient Bay or Isle Tintamarre and then sail around to Grand Case for the night (the whole bay is rather shallow sand with good holding) and particularly for excellent food and drink.

That would be days 1 and 2.
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Old 24-08-2010, 06:04   #20
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Actually, the entrance is a cake walk. There is only one rule. Don't enter or leave until you have located all three red channel markers.

The boats are cleared in on the French side. There aren't any special arrangements for charter boats, neither country cares. They have bigger problems then worrying where a couple sailboats are at. The crime wave on St. Maarten/Martin is in full swing right now.
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Old 24-08-2010, 08:16   #21
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Thank you Zanshin and Palarran.... however you guys are making me a little nervous. We are chartering the 47' Cat..

do we have to clear customs when going from the French side to the Dutch side? I'm pretty sure we have to clear customs when going to St. Barts.

Any good suggestion for St. Barts?
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Old 24-08-2010, 08:31   #22
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The base will go over this with you in detail. The simple answer is no - unless you plan on entering Simpson Lagoon. If you go to St. Barts you don't clear out, but you do clear in/out on St. Barts. This is so they can collect their money from you. If you go to Anguilla, you MUST clear out of St. Martin.
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Old 25-08-2010, 05:42   #23
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I have been stopped/asked anchored outside the lagoon on the Dutch side and outside the lagoon in Marigot where I was checked into. One time I had checked in on the Dutch side and had just anchored in Marigot in order to get a shorter shore run for shopping (with the intent on returning to the Dutch side immediately thereafter) and the French customs boat made me dinghy back to Dutch immigration in order to clear out there, then back to the French side in order to clear in there; stating that since I'd already touched bottom on their side I couldn't just sail back to the Dutch side. Maybe I just had an ornery inspection crew.

I thought that perhaps a St. Martin/Sint Maarten based charter boat might have a certain leeway regarding the checkin/out procedures on the island. I didn't know that one doesn't need to clear out of St. Martin in order to go to St. Barths, I've done that run at least 5 times and always checked out of St. Martin (French side) and they never said a thing... I'll have to check up on that next time, since it makes things easier.

St. Barths is beautiful and is within easy reach of St. Martin and highly recommended. Saba, while easy to reach, has the bad anchorage conditions in any swell - I'd plan the passage but actually only do it if the conditions turn out to be perfect (Here are some pictures from my last trip sailing past Saba Summer 2010 Trip Blog and Diary 2010-05-19 note the other sides of Saba have similar shorelines...)
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Old 25-08-2010, 06:25   #24
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You may be right about Simpson Bay. We never go there as there isn't a need. If someone is cleared into the French Side, they should use the French bridge to enter the lagoon. Since my boat is cleared in to French St. Martin, we don't have a problem with Marigot but there is a mooring fee for the bay. Grand Case and Orient doesn't have one.

You don't have to clear out of St. Martin going to St. Barts due to both of them being French Overseas Territories. St. Barts requires the clear in/out in order to collect their cruising fee, which isn't cheap. We anchored three nights there in June and I think it was $120. When you do clear in/out at Oyster Pond, it is a breeze. The Moorings has a computer in their office you use and it takes about 5 minutes. They then stamp the papers right there - no charge.
BTW - your blog rocks. That will give me something to read tonight. Thanks.
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Old 25-08-2010, 10:18   #25
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Palarran - Thanks for the thumbs-up on the site (I hope that comment was addressed to me). It makes sense that since the two (St. Barths/St. Martin) are both French department there should be no need for checkin/checkout. OTOH, I have stayed in St. Barths both anchored in Gustavia and Columbier and Ile Forchue and always declared my locations correctly and never had to pay more than 10-15 Euros; I think I saw my receipt for the last trip and it was 5€ but I only anchored in Columbier that time. I think if you enter the harbour they make you fork out the megayacht $$$ but it would be worth it for me to med-moor along the Promenade between the 200+ footer megayachts with the painted women aboard (maybe I'll do that next time around, but med-mooring my boat inglehanded is beyond my current skills.

Back to the thread - If I haven't recommend Grand Case for dining out at least 4 times in this thread I haven't done it often enough. I have walked the main drag in early dinner hours several times just to read the menus and have often had the chef come to the door and talked meals and wines with him/her - once they realize that their audience is interested they tend to wax poetic about their "art". Even Marigot and the Dutch side have excellent restaurants and St. Martin remains my favorite dining destination.
As an aside - When I got my last boat in the BVI I spent about 2 months sailing around those islands getting to learn my new boat and exploring that wonderful destination. At the time I didn't know about the "D'best Cup" coffee shop and couldn't find an espresso anywhere in the BVI. So strong was my urge for a coffee and camembert baguette that, despite a nasty weather report, I set out for St. Martin in heavy seas and average winds at 25 knots dead on the nose. I was too stupid to use the engine to motorsail and that crossing took about 24 hours but WOW the food and drink was worth the trip (once I regained my appetite)!
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Old 25-08-2010, 13:48   #26
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Not only is Sabe known for it's diving but the island is fantastic. Beautiful and a hike to the top is a treat you would long remember.

St Barts is a great island as well.
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Old 25-08-2010, 15:34   #27
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$120 at St. Barths, not my experience. It was only a few Euros every time I've been there and my boat is 60 feet long. I've stated in the inner harbor on occasion but but empty moorings are rare. They also have a computer that allows you to check in by thumb drive. You are supposed to anchor in Gustavia Harbor to check in but they don't visit the boat. The are the nicest agents we've run into in the Carribean.
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Old 25-08-2010, 19:37   #28
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$120 at St. Barths, not my experience. It was only a few Euros every time I've been there and my boat is 60 feet long. I've stated in the inner harbor on occasion but but empty moorings are rare. They also have a computer that allows you to check in by thumb drive. You are supposed to anchor in Gustavia Harbor to check in but they don't visit the boat. The are the nicest agents we've run into in the Carribean.
I guess I was scammed by the nicest agents in the Caribbean then. I agree they are great, I guess I'll have to ask them how they are computing my fees the next time.

Earl is tracking close to SXM. Hopefully it won't be a direct hit.
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Old 15-11-2010, 12:49   #29
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Thanks again to everyone for the comments. We will arrive at SXM Friday and plan to be at the Dinghy Dock for happy hour after the Moorings chart briefing -- hope to see some of you there. Our itinerary is still in flux, but we definitely will be in Grand Case for Tuesday night and though we'd like to make it to Anguilla, we may give it a pass, focusing instead on St. Martin and St. Barths. We decided to get tanks and weights from the Scuba Shop and do a little diving on our own around St. Martin (and maybe Anguilla) and then we've hooked up with Plongee Caraibes in St. Barths to do some dives with them later in the week.
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Old 27-11-2011, 23:07   #30
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Re: Itinerary for St. Martin Bareboat

Hi,

I will be doing a trip this Dec/Jan similar to some of the other folks that have posted in this thread and I was hoping for some current advice on an itinerary. We will be taking a couple of cats from Dream Yacht Charters on Dec 27th (2011) and returning on Jan 3rd so just 7 nights. We prefer to maybe spend 2 consecutive nights in at least one location, but maybe 2 so we are limited to how far or how many places we can visit. We also plan to bring tanks and gear to do some diving along the way. Could I get some advice on any of the following?

- Where to provision. Should I have DYC provision or can we arrange to have a local supermarket meet us at the marina? I'd rather have provisions delivered than taxi to the market, etc.

- Dive shop. Is there a good dive shop near DYC that will deliver tanks and some gear to the boat?

- Itinerary. Given we only have 7 nights and we want to spend a couple nights in one or two places, where should we go? We plan to eat almost all dinners on shore, so places that have decent restaurants we can dinghy to are best.

Thanks so much!!

Scott
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