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Old 15-05-2011, 10:33   #16
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Re: St Martin Sailing vs BVI

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That's a great program. Another CF member's daughter did that program a couple of years ago and apparently really had a great time and learned a lot. I followed their progress on the Broadreach website. They really allow the kids to grow skills and confidence by placing more and more responsibility on them as the cruise progresses. I recall that a tropical storm swept through while they were in St Lucia, but they just ducked into Marigot Bay and rode it out with no problems. Your daughter should have a blast!
And to complete the circle, my daughter was a Broadreach instructor for three or four years before she went into the Peace Corps.
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Old 18-05-2011, 08:30   #17
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Re: St Martin Sailing vs BVI

Callisto - I stopped by but no one was home. Beautiful boat. Very fit.

To the Broadreach group - I'll give you an update after Elaina's trip.

We went diving Monday on the tug off Tintemarre and also Spanish Rock. It was actually better then I expected. There was a fair amount of colorful coral and a large amount of fish. Orient Bay moved back up one notch on my list. I still would recommend that anyone leaving their boat anchored lock it up. Anse Marcel is no doubt my favorite.

Nautical62 - What areas does the Moorings restrict? I have one of their breifing maps and the only restrictions are at Shoal Bay East on Anguilla and the North side of St. Bart's. Unless you have had someone guide you through Shoal Bay, it should be restricted for charter boats. The north side of St. Bart's in calm seas is very nice but not an overnight anchorage in pretty much any conditions. The gov restricts anchoring in St. Jean to day use boats but the locals fracture that rule quite a bit.
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Old 12-06-2011, 07:44   #18
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If you charter with the Moorings or Sunsail, you will go out of Oyster Pond. I've attached a Google Earth plan we did this last spring break. If you have Earth loaded, all you need to do is double click on the file and it will load. The itinerary worked very well for us.

We try to minimize our time on St. Martin/Maarten. Anguilla is our favorite. For water sports, if your a kiteboarder, the best spot is Orient Bay on French St. Martin. I can also recommend a dive company if you like do do that. Snorkeling is fair at best for all three of these islands. We don't find the restaurants to be worth the price. I bring down a full size cooler packed with all our meats and bulk cheeses the fill in with a trip to the Grand Marche.

If you book, let me know. I've been all around these three islands quite a few times and give you specific info at that time.
Our friends are concerned that the conditions may be to rough for them, any in site.
Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-06-2011, 08:41   #19
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Re: St Martin Sailing vs BVI

When are you looking at going?

Ultimately you are going to be sailing in open ocean swells that have come up on the continental shelf, so they can be bigger and more steep. Last New Years, it was a mess around there and you most likely would have spent half the vacation in the marina unless you where completely die-hard. But typically there is an "out". You can sail around to the South side of the island where you'll be in the lee, so it would be nice. You also could sail from there over to Anguilla and not be to exposed. If you can sail well, you will be ok 95% of the time. From January to April it typically is very good and reliable. December ?.
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Old 13-06-2011, 12:11   #20
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Re: St Martin Sailing vs BVI

We have done two bareboat charters out of St. Martin through VPM Bestsail in Anse Marcel--small operation, friendly and reasonable. I highly recommend them. In fact these have been my only bareboat charters so far. The first trip (in April 2010), we did St Barts, Anguilla and finished with a one-way passage to Tortola--a magical moonlit downhill run. The second trip (Nov 2010) we went to Saba and St Barts. The Saba trip was challenging. It was pretty rough and we got some good experience picking up mooring balls in 18-20 knot winds and 6-8' seas. But you have lots of options. It it's rough, you can hang around the leeward side of St Martin and have a great time. If its calm, you can set off for Saba or St. Barts.
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Old 07-12-2015, 13:21   #21
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Re: St Martin Sailing vs BVI

I just wanted to bump this old thread, to see if anyone can add anything new. We're considering a charter in St Martin or BVI or "other".
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Old 07-12-2015, 13:30   #22
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Re: St Martin Sailing vs BVI

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I just wanted to bump this old thread, to see if anyone can add anything new. We're considering a charter in St Martin or BVI or "other".
It depends....

Have you been before?
When?
Type of sailor?

For a week or 2 with non-sailors who want to get drunk, snorkel and sail for 2 to 3 hours per day the BVIs are perfect.

For a group of racers from some club then St Martin is far better.
I was just in a 3 day race series St M to St B; St B to Anguilla; Anguilla back to St M. GREAT but NOT for everyone!

For Christmas and NYE then St Barts (via St Martin) is the absolute best spot in the world for swank star spotting.

So tell us what you are like, when etc
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Old 07-12-2015, 14:36   #23
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Re: St Martin Sailing vs BVI

Hey Mark -
We're planning for a one week charter this winter -- two old-fart couples (early 60's) and our idea of drinking is one or two, then time for a nap . Our idea of racing is "whenever there's another sailboat in sight that's heading in the same general direction".
That said, we're all pretty experienced each couple has 30-40 years of sailing experience and boat owners but all of it near coastal, some occasional encounters with squalls and full gale that we wish we hadn't and would like to avoid. In other words, we're not trying to test our mettle; we could handle a bit of rough weather but would rather not beat for hours on end into 20k+ headwinds (especially in a bareboat we don't know well).
We'd prefer quiet spots with some restaurants and shopping at least every second or third day. Ability to step off the boat each night and explore ashore or go to a beach, snorkel, do a bit of light hiking, go to a restaurant etc. We'd mostly eat aboard. (Edit shopping not necessary other than food provisioning, but we would stock up at the start)


Second edit -- we've charted in the BVIs and would like to try other places
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Old 07-12-2015, 15:17   #24
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Re: St Martin Sailing vs BVI

Lol. You were going fine till the last line: We've done the BVIs lol
What you wrote was, essentially, what the BVIs does best and what St Martin does not quite as well because the sailing distances are longer.
Each of the sails are about 4 to 5 hours instead of the 1 to 3 hours of the BVIs. And each sail has exposure for a few hours to the full Atlantic where the BVIs are sheltered.
But here is a way to do it in St Martin:
Oyster Pond to pick up boat, south and west around St Martin to Grand Case overnight/great restaurants/holding/snorkeling 5 hours sailing
Day 2 Grand Case to Tintamarre s.orkelling/no restaurants Island at ne corner of St Martin 1 to 2 hours sailing.
Day 3 Tintamarre to Ile Fourchu in between St M and St B no shops, nothing/free moorings/wonderful snorkeling/great short hiking. 4 hours upwind hardest sail but at best angle.
Day 4 Ile Fourchue Gustavia,st Barts. Great food!!! SHOPPING! 1 hour sailing protected from sea.
Day 5 Gustavia to Columbier, st Barts very short sail. Hiking/snorkeling no restaurants. I hour.
Day 6 to St Martin Great Bay or Simpson Bay. Depending what interests you, the cruisers and mega yachts in Simpson bay or duty free shopping in Great Bay. 5 to 6 hours down wind.
Last day back to oyster pond. 2 to 3 hours upwind.

But that's just my thoughts
Gives you a mix of towns and isolated places.
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Old 07-12-2015, 18:52   #25
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Re: St Martin Sailing vs BVI

Thanks Mark, 4-5 hours is fine, 6-8 would be fine too. We like sailing, but 4-5 hours to windward in open ocean, maybe not so much.


But if it's one day and the wind is under 20 true we could have fun complaining, depends on sea state. Tintamarre to Ile Fourchu is a SE course, and from the chart it looks like it's only about 10nm of open ocean. Looks like prevailing winds are ESE?
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Old 08-12-2015, 02:25   #26
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Re: St Martin Sailing vs BVI

Prevailing winds depend on the month you go.

Now its NE in 4 months they will be SE.

But its been blowing SE for the last week.
Mark
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Old 08-12-2015, 03:35   #27
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Re: St Martin Sailing vs BVI

Saba is worth the trip, might be a beat back but it will live in your memory. Hike to the top to experience another world
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Old 11-12-2015, 13:12   #28
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Re: St Martin Sailing vs BVI

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Lol. You were going fine till the last line: We've done the BVIs lol
What you wrote was, essentially, what the BVIs does best and what St Martin does not quite as well because the sailing distances are longer.
Each of the sails are about 4 to 5 hours instead of the 1 to 3 hours of the BVIs. And each sail has exposure for a few hours to the full Atlantic where the BVIs are sheltered.
But here is a way to do it in St Martin:
Oyster Pond to pick up boat, south and west around St Martin to Grand Case overnight/great restaurants/holding/snorkeling 5 hours sailing
Day 2 Grand Case to Tintamarre s.orkelling/no restaurants Island at ne corner of St Martin 1 to 2 hours sailing.
Day 3 Tintamarre to Ile Fourchu in between St M and St B no shops, nothing/free moorings/wonderful snorkeling/great short hiking. 4 hours upwind hardest sail but at best angle.
Day 4 Ile Fourchue Gustavia,st Barts. Great food!!! SHOPPING! 1 hour sailing protected from sea.
Day 5 Gustavia to Columbier, st Barts very short sail. Hiking/snorkeling no restaurants. I hour.
Day 6 to St Martin Great Bay or Simpson Bay. Depending what interests you, the cruisers and mega yachts in Simpson bay or duty free shopping in Great Bay. 5 to 6 hours down wind.
Last day back to oyster pond. 2 to 3 hours upwind.

But that's just my thoughts
Gives you a mix of towns and isolated places.

FOUR HOURS Mark from Tintamarre to Fourche!!!!.........

Now I know you like to take things easy since you are single handed

BUT last week Highland Fling took under two hours to get from Tintamarre to Anse du Colombier and that is three miles past Fourche.

This was in 18 gusting 22 knots apparent with big washing machine seas we had full main and about six rolls in the genoa until past Fourche.

Then knowing that we could lay off another 10 degrees and still lay the entrance to Anse du Colombier well we had even more fun when we unrolled all of the genoa and had full sail and were surfing at 8/9 knots for the last three miles.
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Old 09-04-2016, 09:02   #29
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Re: St Martin Sailing vs BVI

Hi -

We are preparing for a charter to St Martin and came across your post. Can you recommend snorkeling spots in St Martin, Anguilla and St Barts?

Thank you,
Sam
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Old 09-04-2016, 09:39   #30
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Re: St Martin Sailing vs BVI

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Saba is worth the trip, might be a beat back but it will live in your memory. Hike to the top to experience another world

If you come in the winter or any time when the wind blows you'll find very few days when you would want to overnight on Saba! Usually quite rolly


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