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Old 18-03-2011, 13:53   #16
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Re: St. Maarten

My mooring is a couple of hundred yards off the end of the runway, and unfortunately there seems to be a marine highway that goes past the end of my boat. The yellow jetski trains, that square ferry/tourist thing and everyone else with a dinghy goes past. Plus the jets fly over or are peeling away screeching overhead.

On the other hand, I'm presently in my office 10 miles from the Arctic Ocean and given a choice of the two, I'll take........ There!
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Old 18-03-2011, 14:11   #17
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Re: St. Maarten

Hi Ry,

Welcome aboard, and glad you're already getting hold of some useful stuff
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Old 19-03-2011, 07:48   #18
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Re: St. Maarten

I just left there last month and basically you can Google to get the official fees. However as a guide, the Dutch (former, they are now their own country) side is expensive.
- - Simpson Bay - outside the Dutch bridge - has always been and is a very rolly place to be. There are sweat spots up close to the big resort hotel to the east of the bridge but they are normally crowded by local boats.
- - Inside the Dutch side of the Lagoon is quite vacant of boats while the French side of the Lagoon is quite packed with boats - French side of the Lagoon is "free."
- - Marigot Bay has posted fees for anchoring there and about once a week a boat from the Fort Louis Marina comes around and wants to know if you have paid the fees. - Very few boaters do pay and the marina boat never comes back - they just "seem" to be doing their "duty" to inform you. The French bridge is free and the channel inside is well marked and carries 10 feet of water with one spot of 8 ft depth. Most of the charts for the French side of the Lagoon are quite out of date as to depths so you simply have to carefully putt around and check yourself. But there is plenty of space available if you look yourself and don't rely simply on charted soundings.
- - Port Royal Marina has installed a mooring field south of their marina with very reasonable rates. Traveling back and forth between the sides by dinghy is not a problem.
- - The French now use their "computer D-I-Y" system for check-in/out and the "inside" word is to do it at the Captainerie's office at Port Royal Marina where the only choice for where you are anchored is "Lagoon." ** Warning - the French now use the "honor system" where you abide and follow their visa/etc. rules as they do not check passports or stamp anything other than the print-out from your D-I-Y computer entries. If too many people start "cheating" that may change.
- - If you are intending to spend considerable time there, then I suggest you talk to the cruisers who get jobs in the Budget Marine and Island Waterway stores as they stay there usually longer than the normal 3 months allotted to "visitors."
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Old 19-03-2011, 08:47   #19
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Re: St. Maarten

Is the 3 months a per year basis or per visit?

Does it cover moving the boat between French and Dutch sides?

Does it start when you first check in or each time you check in after visits to other islands such as Anguilla and St Barts?

Any "best" ideas for a 3 month Internet card for computer? or the "Best" WFI hotspots?

I'll be in the area about mid April for a while....

thanks....
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Old 19-03-2011, 09:13   #20
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pirate Re: St. Maarten

Quote:
Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
I just left there last month and basically you can Google to get the official fees. However as a guide, the Dutch (former, they are now their own country) side is expensive.
- - Simpson Bay - outside the Dutch bridge - has always been and is a very rolly place to be. There are sweat spots up close to the big resort hotel to the east of the bridge but they are normally crowded by local boats.
- - Inside the Dutch side of the Lagoon is quite vacant of boats while the French side of the Lagoon is quite packed with boats - French side of the Lagoon is "free."
- - Marigot Bay has posted fees for anchoring there and about once a week a boat from the Fort Louis Marina comes around and wants to know if you have paid the fees. - Very few boaters do pay and the marina boat never comes back - they just "seem" to be doing their "duty" to inform you. The French bridge is free and the channel inside is well marked and carries 10 feet of water with one spot of 8 ft depth. Most of the charts for the French side of the Lagoon are quite out of date as to depths so you simply have to carefully putt around and check yourself. But there is plenty of space available if you look yourself and don't rely simply on charted soundings.
- - Port Royal Marina has installed a mooring field south of their marina with very reasonable rates. Traveling back and forth between the sides by dinghy is not a problem.
- - The French now use their "computer D-I-Y" system for check-in/out and the "inside" word is to do it at the Captainerie's office at Port Royal Marina where the only choice for where you are anchored is "Lagoon." ** Warning - the French now use the "honor system" where you abide and follow their visa/etc. rules as they do not check passports or stamp anything other than the print-out from your D-I-Y computer entries. If too many people start "cheating" that may change.
- - If you are intending to spend considerable time there, then I suggest you talk to the cruisers who get jobs in the Budget Marine and Island Waterway stores as they stay there usually longer than the normal 3 months allotted to "visitors."
LMAO........... don't it make you laugh...
French Side last I was there was 'The Dangerous Side'.... rape n pillage stuff was the talk of the boats crowded into Dutch Side....
now that folks have to pay to stay there they've all moved to the 'Dangerous Side'....
Let this be an indicator when you hear tales of piracy and theft with assault... its rife... until the harbour launch comes asking for money... then its suddenly safe to move there...
75% of cruisers are 'Geese' who have not lost the 'City Paranoia' and the urge to gossip and embroider....
they appear round mid Dec... expect everything to suit them then start to dissappear mid March as they head back to the mainland...
Take everything you hear with a large pinch of salt... its likely been magnified and distorted 1000%
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Old 19-03-2011, 20:58   #21
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Re: St. Maarten

As far as "dangerous side" the thieves are very democratic and equally hit both sides and do not favor one over the other. Least that is the way it has been for the last 7 years I have been going there. But there is a pattern of the thieves to target boats that have not moved in a long time or are "out by themselves" away from the "herd."
- - But as a percentage of visiting boats, the number of incidents is rather small. So most cruisers are more concerned about the "thievery" of the Dutch (former, they are now an independent country) officials with their high charges. The French islands seem to have the idea that charging high prices for stuff drives away business and practice a rather laissez-faire attitude about such things. It seems they just want to know that you are there (D-I-Y check-in) and you are gone (D-I-Y check-out) - everything else is too much trouble to bother with.
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Old 19-03-2011, 21:46   #22
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Re: St. Maarten

I've posted it before, but crime is out of control on the island right now. There where 4 murders last week there. One tourist was slashed with a machete, another was shot this week but not killed, etc, etc, etc. It's not petty crime - it's violent pure and simple. I really can't wait until I can leave that island permanently.

I like Oyster Pond and Captain Oliver's, don't get me wrong. And you can drive a car during daylight hours and be mostly safe. But from dusk to dawn - watch out. This is no BS. EVERYBODY knows it on the island right now.
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Old 20-03-2011, 05:31   #23
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Re: St. Maarten

"Crime out of control?" Although for land-based people that may be a valid observation and a feeling on your part. All over the Caribbean the awareness and reported criminal activity is apparently way up. And logically the world-wide financial depression and resulting loss of tourism throughout the Caribbean is quite evident - should help boost the crime as folks have problems getting jobs and money.
- - But for the month I was just there in St Martin there was no indication of abnormally high crime even in the newspapers (French side). Passion crime and drug crime is always increasing everywhere.
- - But amongst active cruisers who are coming and going, usually spending a week or two or three the incidence of crime against cruisers is quite low. Even lower now than it was a couple of years ago when I spent another extended visit to St Martin. Specifically in the Marigot Bay and French side of the Lagoon reported crime by cruisers was nil. And in the newspapers no mention of such crime although there were plenty of problems with land based and even in-school crime reported.
- - Maybe my timing is really good over all these years and all the criminals are fat and lazy and stayed home - but I don't think so. A lot has to do with the awareness of active cruisers and the common sense boat security measures they are now taking to lock and secure their boats. Few if any boaters go out late at night - we are kind of "homebodies." And when we go out it is to well light and frequented restaurant areas. And we travel by dinghy rather than walking down long stretches of unlit streets and alleys.
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Old 20-03-2011, 08:05   #24
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Re: St. Maarten

I don't think it has anything to do with the awareness of cruisers. Why cruisers don't experience as much crime on their boat is that the criminals don't have one. So, they have to swim or steal a boat do get to you. But, the rise in crime on St. Maarten is a fact. Read the Daily Harold or SXM On-line. Or, just talk to a local. I've been there 10 times in the last 12 months and few locals I talk to feel it's safe to cruise around at night.

So, you can't go out late at night, must frequent well lighted areas, and not travel on the streets. Doesn't sound like paradise to me.

In mid-November we had theives board Palarran with the intent to steal about everything I had. They did it while we where having dinner and drinks on the beach at Orient Bay. Luckily I saw them shine a light on the the boat and we where able to chase them off.

There is definitely crime everywhere, but I personally will choose to go where my family isn't in danger of physical violence. We don't need it. St. Bart's, Anguilla, BVI's, Spanish Virgins, Antigua, I don't hear or read about the same violent crimes.
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Old 20-03-2011, 08:45   #25
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pirate Re: St. Maarten

I cannot understand why these thing happen to folks...
I've cruised the back street bars in Phillipsburg in the early hours (1-3am) alone many times... after the midnite bus ride back from Pallapa.... the same with Marigot...
The only time I felt nervous was when confronted by 3 guys in an alley cutting back from the beach at Groot Baai... where I'd ben hanging at a bar run by a black guy and two gorgeous euro chicks... back to the Salt Pond where I had digs at the time...
One loomed outa the shadows ahead.. then two more behind me... one asked if I could spare a dollar... I pulled a ten out and asked if he had change..
Blank look for a minute then he grab the note and ran... I stood chatting to the other two making sure my back was to the wall.... 5mins later the guy re-appears and hands me $9... he'd gone to the casino for change... so I kept the 5 and I gave him the rest... figured he coulda run with the lot... so a 'reward' for honesty was called for... they were Crack Heads.. but in the main nice blokes who were screwed for life as most jobs are taken by the ex-pat whites and Asians...
So yeah... they're pissed off and see us in the main as robber barons keeping them down... and drugs are cheaper than booze..
But 'Croc Dundee' walks both sides any time day or night... no more dangerous than Brixham, Lisbon or NY... if you look rich.. someones gonna be tempted..
Which reminds me of an incident in Newark... guy stepped in front of me with a syringe and said it was full of his blood and the AIDS virus... and if I did not hand over my wallet he'd stab me with it...
I offered my arm and told him to go ahead... he was 3mths to late... and I'd kick his head in afterwards... he went away quietly...
On the other hand I've had a severe beating of a couple of so called friends... go figure...
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Old 20-03-2011, 09:11   #26
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Re: St. Maarten

Traveltalkonline: American Tourist severly injured in Armed Robbery

http://www.thedailyherald.com/island...er-scenes.html
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Old 20-03-2011, 09:17   #27
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Re: St. Maarten

Once you have had an "incident" - and I have had three in the last decade in the Caribbean - you feel really violated and mad. "Paradise" as a description of the Caribbean and most other places/islands of the world is in reality totally a ficticous fabrication of Hollywood and travel mags and romance novels.
- - And it is normally why you do have an "incident." You believe - at least I did until I learned better, rather expensively - that because you are in "paradise" nothing bad can happen and you don't need to take common sense security precautions.
- - Any place be it in the Caribbean or mainland areas, crime is ever present and lying at anchor in a little cove with a glorious white sand beach surrounding you doesn't exempt you from locking and securing the boat and being aware of what might be just behind to palm trees waiting for you to fall asleep on the beach or go off sightseeing.
- - Keeping a wary eye on your boat while ashore is both smart and prudent. Being in an active anchorage full of other cruisers rather than off by yourself goes a long way to avoiding "incidents." Other tactics also pretty much go a long way to preventing an incident happening to you especially if there is a naive newbie across the anchorage.
- - "Lock it or lose it" is something you will hear in the Caribbean a lot. In this day and age of increased unemployment and increase drug use the old trusting ways are history.
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