My wife and I and another couple just returned from our charter of a Sunsail (Jeanneau) 44i out of Oyster Pond and I can make the following comments:
1. Arrange for you cab from the airport
to stop off and wait at the Grande Marche in Phillipsburg for provisioning
to the charter base - great selection and the cost for the van to wait for 45 minutes was only $25.00.
2. The staff at Sunsail/Moorings are great. Get them to make multiple copies of your crew list if you plan on going to Anguilla, as they require 4 copies.
3. You can pick up wonderful fresh baguette/croissant at the small grocery store/bakery at Dawn Beach the morning you depart with the boat. You can get there by dinghy (at the north end of Oyster Pond).
4. The boats are given a very thorough cleaning
prior to turn over.
5. Ours, however, had various issues:
- the anchor light did not function.
- the battery
bank would not hold a charge and as a result, our refrigeration
was virtually useless. Repair would have required a return to Oyster Pond and as we were on a one week charter, we did not want to waste the time and purchased ice to keep things cool.
- a couple of the mainsail
battens extended about 1 1/2" past the roach and would get caught up on the lazy jacks when raising or lowering the sail.
- the chart they provided was worn and partially torn and the chartplotter
was virtually useless - it had a 7 inch screen
and was mounted below the cockpit
table, between the two helms!
- the binoculars were completely useless - non-adjustable Brand X filled with water
vapour. Bring you own!
As to anchoring, we had a northerly swell for the first 4 days which can make things a bit uncomortable at some of the anchorages. In spite of some negative comments about Anguilla, if you are only staying at Road Bay (the Port of entry) there are now absolutely no fees for anchoring, clearing in or out (unless your boat is over 20 tons). The beach is great and the 'Elvis' bar gets hopping on Thursay nights in season. The Beachbar restaurant (if I recall
the name correctly), owned by a couple of expats from California
, makes great tapas at reasonable prices. The Tuesday night street party in Grand Case is still worth visiting as are the various restaurants there if you are looking for some fine dining.
If I had to do it over again I would have brought a handheld chart plotter and would have checked out all lights and the refrigeration
without shore power
prior to departure.
P.S. No wories about docking
or getting in and out of Oyster Pond in a blow with a 7 foot draft
- they have a staff member
take you out past the bouys in the harbour and pick you up to dock the boat once in the harbour on your return. In addition, when is Simpson Bay head
to the St Maarten yacht club. We were introduced to it by Mark J and it has $2.00 beers and is a great place to watch the boats filing through during bridge openings!