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Old 29-01-2015, 11:42   #16
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Re: Sailing in St Maarten/Anguilla

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Originally Posted by Southern Star View Post
sail to St. Barth's (which is French and hence, does not require another check-in if you have departed the French side of St. Martin). Anguilla is also worth doing but as it is British, it does require another check-in and out.


Brad
NO NO NO NO St Martin and St Barthelemy maybe be both French Islands but they are totally different entities to be 'legal' you must clear out of one if going to the other AND clear in as well. Turn up in Gustavia and at around 10:00 you will find the Capitainerie's launch alongside questioning if you have cleared in. Also since these are French islands the process is easy peasy and cheap 6 EU to clear in and out of SXM and 10 EU to clear in at St Barths BUT in St Barths if you stay in Gustavia you will pay anchoring charges but clearing out is free. Both Ile Fourchue and Anse du Colombier have free moorings where you are allowed to say for up to a week at a time

Anguilla for us is quite missible

sent at anchor in Marigot Bay SXM (Sint Maarten airport code)
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Old 29-01-2015, 11:51   #17
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Re: Sailing in St Maarten/Anguilla

2hulls is correct, exiting from Oyster Pond into the Atlantic side of the Island can be quite an experience and if the winds are up and from SE to E, there can be breakers! I am actually chartering with Sunsail out of there this Sunday and the last forecast I saw was predicting winds of 30 knots out of the east upon my arrival, so if that holds I could be stuck there for a day. Oh well, nearby Dawn Beach is quite nice and it beats being up in the frozen north.

I also agree that the cruising permits for Anguilla are extremely expensive, especially since a number of the anchorages on small outlying islands do not premit overnight anchoring. While I haven't been there in about 9 years, as Mark J points out, Road Bay is a nice little town and at least when I was last there, it had a number of decent restaurants and a couple of decent bars on the beach. You do not require (or at least did not require) a cruising permit to anchor there.

Grand Case can get rather rolly and in past, there were issues with Dinghy theft so bring a chain (or cable) and lock to deter them, if nothing else. Most Charter companies (including Sunsail) do not provide these and with deductibles of about $3500.00....... Not sure if they still have the street party in Grand Case on Tuesday nights, but it was always worth attending with large crowds, loud music and great food from street vendors. And has been pointed out, some of the best fine dining in St. Martin is also along the narrow strip fronting the anchorage.

Anyway, I can report back on the boat and service I receive from Sunsail, as well as the sailing conditions and anchorages upon my return in a couple of weeks.

Brad

PS And thanks flying Scott for saving me the hassles that would have come if I had not cleared into St. Barth's after exiting St. Martin!
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Old 29-01-2015, 12:58   #18
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Re: Sailing in St Maarten/Anguilla

Enjoy your trip, Brad. For you and others who may choose to clear in to the French side in Marigot, beware that during this period last winter the Marigot authorities were directing cruisers to clear in at the ferry dock customs office. When doing so they would gouge you for Marigot Bay mooring fees. However, if clearing in at the Captainerie (spelling?) at Port Royale you avoid these fees. Cruisers widely ignored the Marigot Bay authorities, but they were quite aggressive and persistent. I imagine some unsuspecting cruisers/charterers got sucked in. The fees only applied in Marigot Bay and no where else on the French side. To get to the Port Royale Captainerie lock your dink on the waterfront near the ferry dock, then walk through to the lagoon side, buying a baguette on the way, and you'll find the Captainerie on the docks.

Anyone with more recent knowledge, please update.

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Old 29-01-2015, 13:03   #19
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Re: Sailing in St Maarten/Anguilla

GRIT your teeth and bite the bullet and get out of oyster pond get over to Ile Fourche and spend a day or two 'storm bound there' and then clear into at Gustavia......only spent one day night in Gustavia and slip back to Anse du Colombier make sure you tell them of your plans so they don't add anchoing charges In gustavia you can clear in and out in one go so long as you are only staying a day......but you have been there storm bound for a few days before you have to clear in so ou have that bit sorted. when on a St Baths mooring just double up on your bow lines one from the port side and one from the startboard side so you lines are not sawing away at the mooring bridle just had a look at windguru NO BIG WINDS forecast

WindGURU: Saint-Barthélemy - St Barthelemy, Tradewind / Le Guanahani

20/24 knots is the highest forecast which will be fun exiting OP but there are marker buoys just a bit of a baptism of fire at the start of your cruise
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Old 29-01-2015, 13:10   #20
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Re: Sailing in St Maarten/Anguilla

TOTALLY AGREE STAY AWAY from the Marigot Bay Ferry dock for clearing in and out.

It seems the hurricane got their launch so they are not patrolling the anchorage now and being a REAL PITA what a shame

The Port Royal Capitainery is moving to the left hand side of that small harbour/marina they moved the other week but had no phone electricity or water so they for the moment are back on the wee circular building on the Starboard side on the way in.
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Old 29-01-2015, 13:33   #21
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Re: Sailing in St Maarten/Anguilla

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It seems the hurricane got their launch so they are not patrolling the anchorage now and being a REAL PITA what a shame
Sad to hear it would still be going on. After being accosted twice in two days, explaining we had already cleared in, they insisted we had to "check in" at the ferry dock as long as we are anchoring in Marigot Bay. I told them we were moving, and we did move around to the other side of the marina in the Bay with the ship wreck - and a different name for this Bay on the charts. They followed us over there and said it was still considered Marigot Bay. So we moved up to the next Bay. Sometime later when we needed to clear out of the French side, we moved back into Marigot Bay just to clear out and they were on us before I had the bridle on the chain. Not only did they insist we clear out at the ferry dock (which we ignored) but they wanted to know where we were going? Sheese. I told them we were leaving the French side and not coming back. A-holes.

Sorry for the thread drift. They were probably directed by somebody to do a job and were trying to do it. We had never been hassled like this before any where else in the Carib (with the possible exception of the boat boys in St. Lucia) and no where else on the French side of SXM.

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Old 29-01-2015, 13:38   #22
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Re: Sailing in St Maarten/Anguilla

Dave, this is anything but thread drift! Great advice for anyone sailing into (or chartering in) St. Martin and much appreciated. Thanks!

Brad
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Old 29-01-2015, 14:53   #23
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Re: Sailing in St Maarten/Anguilla

I spend a lot of time in St. Martin and my method is to anchor in Grand Case, rent a car for $20 or so and take care of groceries and supplies on the Dutch side (Cost-U-Less and other grocery stores) after clearing in at the Capitainerie for €5.20. That ends up being cheaper than being gouged at the Ferry dock for their "Marigot Park Fee". In the past I've managed to get rid of the patrol through various methods, although my favorite is "I know nothing, I think the skipper, who is gone now, took care of everything. I'm only crew but will tell the skipper when he gets back...".
I used to think that the Marigot payment things was a scam, but it seems that they do indeed consider the Marigot anchorage to be a "park" and can collect park fees. If what was written earlier is correct, without their dinghy they lack an enforcement arm and they probably won't be collecting too much. I'll know more in 2 weeks when I clear back into St. Marin.
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Old 29-01-2015, 15:40   #24
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Re: Sailing in St Maarten/Anguilla

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I spend a lot of time in St. Martin and my method is to anchor in Grand Case, rent a car for $20 or so and take care of groceries and supplies on the Dutch side (Cost-U-Less and other grocery stores) after clearing in at the Capitainerie for €5.20. That ends up being cheaper than being gouged at the Ferry dock for their "Marigot Park Fee". In the past I've managed to get rid of the patrol through various methods, although my favorite is "I know nothing, I think the skipper, who is gone now, took care of everything. I'm only crew but will tell the skipper when he gets back..."
Very clever. I didn't think of that, probably because you're smarter than me.

But I'll see your $20 rental car and raise you the $1.00 bus. The "dollar bus", sometimes the $1.50 bus, is a staple in the E Carib and a great way to get around on the islands while catching up with the local gossip. Just put yourself on island time and walk out to the bus stops. On SXM like all the rest of the islands, the drivers know you're a tourist and go out of their way to get you where you want to go. Sit back and enjoy the ride.

Ditto on the SXM Cost-U-Less (on the Dutch side) and what ever you do, DO NOT go into the Budget Marine in Cole Bay. You will drool all over the excellent prices vs prices back in the US and over-spend your budget. Before returning on the bus, get a Gouda wheel and a case of Presidente beer. Both far cheaper than they ought to be. SXM is NO PLACE for a recovering alcoholic...

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Old 29-01-2015, 17:09   #25
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Re: Sailing in St Maarten/Anguilla

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To get to the Port Royale Captainerie lock your dink on the waterfront near the ferry dock, then walk through to the lagoon side, buying a baguette on the way, and you'll find the Captainerie on the docks.

Anyone with more recent knowledge, please update.

2 Hulls Dave
Or, anchor in Marigot Bay and take your dinghy under the bridge and into Port Royale and tie up directly at the Captainerie.

It didn't happen to us, but when one of our friends was anchored in Marigot Bay and the authorities came by, he simply explained that the captain was in town.
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Old 29-01-2015, 17:56   #26
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This is all great info! I agree not thread drift -- keep going please. And thanks everyone!
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Old 29-01-2015, 22:50   #27
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Re: Sailing in St Maarten/Anguilla

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We want to venture outside the BVIs. Looks like beautiful anchorages around St. Maarten but may be crowded? Is this island more for cruise ships than sailors? And how does the customs work since it's half French and half Dutch -- do you have to clear in and out every time you cross the boundary? Suggested itineraries? Worth the time to get over to Anguilla? Advice on where to charter -- we have had good boats and service from Horizon Yacht Club in BVI but their St Maarten office is closing end of this month. Any and all input appreciated.
Although St-Martin/Sint Maarten lagoon IS NOT A HURRICANE HOLE (Too big) it's a nice anchorage. That's where I keep my 34 footer. Here are the opening bridges schedule. Boats going out are first then the one coming in except the new causeway (swing bridge) in the middle of the lagoon, which has two channels.
Also: Many years ago a friend from Montreal chartered a "sailboat" in BVI. I told him we could sail to St-Barth in a day... But the boat turned out to be a dog! After flying to Tortola to join him, we tacked all night against the trade winds & the current & made little progress. We had to turn around as my friend had few days left
Also: There are some nice anchorages around SXM, Pinel Island on the French North-Eastern side is one of them.
When the trades turn to the North-East, you can sail to St-Barth on one tack if you have a good sailboat Coming back is always downwind & takes about 3 hours from Gustavia to the Dutch bridge.
Foot note: Every first Saturday of the month, local Harley people have an afternoon riding around the island... They end up in a hotel/restaurant for a rock 'n roll evening, see picture
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Old 31-01-2015, 10:05   #28
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For those of you who have chartered from Sunsail or Moorings, can you recommend their boats (age, state of maintainence, cleanliness) -- and also their service if you had the unfortunate experience of something going wrong during your cruise.

Thanks! Kirsten
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Old 05-02-2015, 04:28   #29
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Re: Sailing in St Maarten/Anguilla

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For those of you who have chartered from Sunsail or Moorings, can you recommend their boats (age, state of maintainence, cleanliness) -- and also their service if you had the unfortunate experience of something going wrong during your cruise.

Thanks! Kirsten
How big a sailboat do you want to charter ? Sunsail or/& Mooring have a jolly good sailboat, the Sun Odyssey 36' for people who enjoy SAILING... not just motoring with the main up & the rum punches down
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Old 17-02-2015, 07:32   #30
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Re: Sailing in St Maarten/Anguilla

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 en route 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.

Brad

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!
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