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Old 09-04-2016, 11:01   #31
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Re: St Martin Sailing vs BVI

Perfect timing for this post. We are going to St. Martin for a week-long charter. I am trying to find a reliable super-markets for advance online provisioning (both food/fruits/vegs and booze) and delivery to the boat (the equivalents of Bobbys/Tico/RiteWay at BVI). Our base is in Marigot.
I found only the Shop & Drop Grocery
https://www.shopndropgrocerysxm.com

Has anybody used them?

All recommendations are welcome.

Thanks!
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Old 09-04-2016, 12:22   #32
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Re: St Martin Sailing vs BVI

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super-markets ... Our base is in Marigot.
Super U. Walk from Marigot 15 mins. Taxi back. No online ordering. This is the Caribbean.

Re: post on snorkeling: Your charter company will give you a chart with them all marked.



Best restaurant in SXM Tropicana in Marina Royal, Marigot. Leave room for desert!
I am free that night if you are paying.



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Old 10-04-2016, 18:29   #33
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Re: St Martin Sailing vs BVI

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Super U. Walk from Marigot 15 mins. Taxi back. No online ordering. This is the Caribbean.

Re: post on snorkeling: Your charter company will give you a chart with them all marked.



Best restaurant in SXM Tropicana in Marina Royal, Marigot. Leave room for desert!
I am free that night if you are paying.



Sent from a stupid phone that replaces words with weird stuff.
+1 on Tropicana. If you're in Marigot it's not to be missed. BTW we had a very nice week in that area. It was a bit windy 25-35k from the NE which reduced our options for snorkeling. Customs in Road Bay told us Sandy Island was announced "closed" by the Anguilla park service because of the strong conditions.

We chartered out of Oyster Pond and stopped at Gustavia, Anse Du Columbier, Road Bay, Marigot, Simpson Bay (outside) and back to Oyster Pond. We went by car to Grand Case and ate at Piazza Pascal -- it was a fantastic meal, great service by warm/friendly staff and memorable. We all would rate it 5+ stars.

If we go back in NE winds I'd do it in this order:

1) Tintamarre for lunch stop and snorkle, Grand Case first night,
2) Rendezvous Bay lunch stop (without going ashore) Road Bay second night,
3) Sandy Island lunch stop and snorkel, then Gustavia 3rd night
4) Anse Du Columbier 4th night then Ile Fortue for lunch stop and snorkel next day.
4) Back north to Marigot 5th night (make a dinner reservation at the Tropicana)
5) Sail counterclockwise (mostly in the lee of the island) from Marigot to Oyster Pond 6th night and stay at the charter base dock. Some good restaurants in Oyster Pond or get ground transportation back to Grand Case for dinner. Do you charter check-in next AM and without frantic rush you can get to the airport on time. Traffic to the airport can be crazy at times.


IMHO skip Simpson Bay -- ashore it's a honkytonk strip with some loud clubs and restaurants, lots of businesses, traffic and strip clubs. We didn't stop at Philipsburg because that's where the cruise ships dock, need I say more?
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Old 10-04-2016, 18:33   #34
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Re: St Martin Sailing vs BVI

PS -- Don't worry about the Oyster Pond entry. Even though it was rough it was easy if you follow the advice of the charter company and stick close to the red stick markers. Returning, just fly a hankie of genoa like this boat: See video




Also I suggest you rent a car or van first on arrival so you can do your provisioning. Le Grand Marché is the biggest but there are many other stores.
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Old 13-04-2016, 18:49   #35
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Re: St Martin Sailing vs BVI

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IMHO skip Simpson Bay -- ashore it's a honkytonk strip with some loud clubs and restaurants, lots of businesses, traffic and strip clubs.
I am sailing from Simpson Bay to Manhattan in a few weeks. So I shouldn't notice much difference???


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Old 13-04-2016, 18:55   #36
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Re: St Martin Sailing vs BVI

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I am sailing from Simpson Bay to Manhattan in a few weeks. So I shouldn't notice much difference???


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Whatever appeals. Not my idea of paradise.
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Old 13-04-2016, 19:39   #37
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Re: St Martin Sailing vs BVI

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Whatever appeals. Not my idea of paradise.
Nor mine...but hey, Mark likes it, otherwise he wouldn't be going back!
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Old 21-07-2016, 21:02   #38
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Re: St Martin Sailing vs BVI

we have sailed the French West Indies, St Martin, St. Barts and Anguilla ( one ten day cruise on a 36 foot sailing vessel ) , as well as the BVI over many years 14 BVI trips. We always have a great time where ever we sail, but just keep coming back to the BVI. Great sailing, super anchorages, good snorkeling, friendly people and loads of fun.

You have received some great suggestions, and it is pretty much up to you for your decision as to which will be your next cruising ground.

So, instead of telling you where to sail, I would like to share just one of our island sailing adventures. This will be Gustavia Harbor, St. Barts.

Entering the harbor under power on our 36 ft. Centurian sailing vessel, all of the moorings on the right side of the harbor will filled to capacity. Along with anchored boats in between the moored vessels. Not a good plan for us.


So, we anchored over on the left side in about 30 feet of water. We had 150 feet of chain and 150 feet of rode. And, yep a windlass.

As we set the anchor, with most of the scope out. I could see a tall dark mass of black clouds approaching us. The plan was for Erica to take a shower, and I would stand anchor watch, then we would swap out an go to dinner and dancing ashore.

I told Erica that I really did not like that dark wall approaching us. Well, she now comes up and takes the watch, and I go below to shower. Quick fresh water wash down, and I come out of the shower. Just happens to be a
bottle of Mt. Gay rum on the galley counter, I pours some in a glass and I hear " DEN, WE'RE DRAGGING ANCHOR ! "

Pulling on a pair of cut offs, I tear up the companion way ladder, the wind is howling, the rain is horizontal, and the vis is about 50 feet or less.
I figure with our monster anchor and chain, I get let more scope out and the anchor will reset. We had the engine on to charge the batteries, and Erica was at the helm. " For'd Gear, Full Power !" I yell while tearing up to the anchor locker.

Shorts only, bare feet, and no gloves. I take the wraps off the windless to pay out some line rode...now the wind doubles in speed, the line is burning thru my hands. " Full Power ! Full Power ! She answers back the throttle is full ahead.

Know I know that I am coming to the end of the rode, we slowly start inching forward, and I get a wrap, then two more, and double cleat the rode to the port and starboard bow cleats...using proper cleats. Line left in the anchor locker...three feet !

Time was 2:30 pm, we stood anchor watches until 2:00 am, and we were not moving. The VHF was alive with Mayday Calls, from vessels who had not made port. Winds were recorded at 64 mph....just 10 mph below Hurricane Force.

Next day the sun was out, we went ashore and checked with the French speaking harbor master. A un forecast tropical depression formed over the islands. Winds at the airport in St. Martin were up in the 60's and the airliner that landed just before the winds hit, were unable to disembark their passengers. later in the trip, we ran into a couple on Orient Beach who were staying on St. Martin and told us their experience in landing at the same time the wind got really strong.

We had a marvelous time on St. Barts at Le Select, and several other very nice places along the harbor, and the weather was beautiful the rest of the cruise.

Story is not over, however. A couple days later it was time to Haul up the Anchor and leave St. Barts. Erica at the helm, I am up at the windlass giving her hand signals. I can see the anchor about two feet below the surface, and it will not come up any higher. It is snagged on a line. Into the dink with a serrated knife I go....hand over hand.

One of the flukes is soundly wrapped by a 3 inch mooring houzer, that had been laying flat on the sand in 30 plus feet of water. When that wind hit, our anchor drug, and slipping over the sand, the flukes caught the eye of that old , no longer in use mooring line.

No wonder we were not dragging in that storm, that houser could have held a battle ship. I cut the line, walked the hand over hand brought the dink back to the stern, boarded, hauled up the last of the chain and secured the anchor, raised the sails and were off to the new adventures.

Lotta luck on that one, and we toasted to the good gods of weather and the sea.
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