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Old 29-03-2016, 17:33   #1
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Liveaboard Experience: Coral Bay and Simpson Bay

Hey Experienced Liveaboards,

What say ye... have you had experience at these destinations? Coral Bay and/or Simpson Bay in the Caribbean. I'm heading down soon for a few years and both look like safe bets. What do you think? Marina's, internet, showers, restaurants, warm and inviting? Thanks!!
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Old 29-03-2016, 18:04   #2
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pirate Re: Liveaboard Experience: Coral Bay and Simpson Bay

Personally I prefer Marigot.. but you'll feel right at home in Simpson Bay..
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Old 30-03-2016, 05:12   #3
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Re: Liveaboard Experience: Coral Bay and Simpson Bay

As a liveaboard you'll be in excellent company in the Simpson Bay lagoon. Anchoring on the French side is free (unlike the Dutch side, which charges weekly fees), so the permanent liveaboards are all on French side. The stores, bars and services are concentrated on the Dutch side so a dinghy with an adequate engine to plane is important to have unless you want to spend hours rowing or piddling about.
There are marina on both sides that you can go to, but the showers will be limited to those staying at the docks. Internet is available for a price, there are lots of WiFi signals about but they are all locked, so purchasing a plan is necessary. I usually end up using a USB dongle with a data plan of $30 for 3GB, but there are cheaper long-term options.
The lagoon is accessible by boat only by the two bridges, one on the French side and one on the Dutch; with a central causeway bridge that swings open on a schedule offset but synchronized from the Dutch bridge. It is completely protected in all weather, barring hurricanes.
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Old 30-03-2016, 09:29   #4
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Re: Liveaboard Experience: Coral Bay and Simpson Bay

Coral Bay in St. John is jam packed full of mostly long term moorings, no room usually to anchor. I second St. Martin mostly on the French side, you are going to have to find a way to get yourself a shower aboard somehow though!!


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Old 08-04-2016, 17:55   #5
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Re: Liveaboard Experience: Coral Bay and Simpson Bay

Although Coral Bay is usually stacked up, there is always room in Johnsons Bay Which is in Coral Bay really. Round Bay is also an option although further out. Most definitely less issues in SXM.

However, they are two totally different vibes so I suggest that you check out both. That way you can't go wrong. Even if you are in Johnsons, there is a place for your dinghy ashore, and the bus to Cruz Bay goes by right there, so getting around is easy. St. John is an excellent island.. I like St.Martin too, and especially on the French side. Dutch side is not as boater friendly. The people sitting on the fuel dock drinking a beer and talking among themselves are also good people which is why I say, Do em both!!

One thing I forgot to mention, Chocolate Hole is a better anchorage for livaboard than Coral Bay. Every year in July and sometimes bbut seldom, DPNR come into Coral Bay and harass boaters. I never was bothered by anyone in Chocolate Hole. It can get rolly if the swell is out if the west, but good holding great easy parking and place for your dinghy.
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Old 08-04-2016, 19:31   #6
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Re: Liveaboard Experience: Coral Bay and Simpson Bay

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsta_Rebel View Post
Although Coral Bay is usually stacked up, there is always room in Johnsons Bay Which is in Coral Bay really. Round Bay is also an option although further out. Most definitely less issues in SXM.

However, they are two totally different vibes so I suggest that you check out both. That way you can't go wrong. Even if you are in Johnsons, there is a place for your dinghy ashore, and the bus to Cruz Bay goes by right there, so getting around is easy. St. John is an excellent island.. I like St.Martin too, and especially on the French side. Dutch side is not as boater friendly. The people sitting on the fuel dock drinking a beer and talking among themselves are also good people which is why I say, Do em both!!

One thing I forgot to mention, Chocolate Hole is a better anchorage for livaboard than Coral Bay. Every year in July and sometimes bbut seldom, DPNR come into Coral Bay and harass boaters. I never was bothered by anyone in Chocolate Hole. It can get rolly if the swell is out if the west, but good holding great easy parking and place for your dinghy.

Good info on St. John, we love the vibe there also! On the mooring situation I just saw on USVI Cruisers FB page about hearings beginning 4/19 to "revise and regulate the mooring and anchoring of vessels". Could be in for changes


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Old 08-04-2016, 19:48   #7
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Re: Liveaboard Experience: Coral Bay and Simpson Bay

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Good info on St. John, we love the vibe there also! On the mooring situation I just saw on USVI Cruisers FB page about hearings beginning 4/19 to "revise and regulate the mooring and anchoring of vessels". Could be in for changes


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They have been saying this same thing for years. June is when licensing is due. July (usually right after the 4th), DPNR starts going through the more popular mooring sites. Unfortunately, they are poorly trained, have no operating budget to speak of, and make up the laws as they go along. They are also unmotivated. All one has to do is look at Benner Bay and Vessop Bay on St. Thomas.. Nothing is regulated. Floating scows everywhere and absentee boat owners leaving cruisers really no where proper to anchor safely. They would have to start caring to make any changes because it couldn't get any worse from a boaties perspective on DPNR.
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