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Old 11-05-2011, 02:17   #1
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St Martin Sailing vs BVI

Hello all my first post, we chartered the BVI last Nov and had a nice week. Were considering St Martin area for this year and would love some feed back on sailing conditions water sports and POI along with local flavor and safety.
Thanks in advance
Capt CJ
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Old 11-05-2011, 03:47   #2
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Re: St Martin sailing vs Bvi

While St Martin and St Barts are very nice and the charter companies allow you more freedom to sail inter-island I prefer the Grenadines as the second level of chartering. However, we do give St Vincent a miss.

grenadines - Google Search
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Old 11-05-2011, 04:01   #3
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pirate Re: St Martin sailing vs Bvi

I like the variety... Dutch and French sides St Martin... English Anguila... totally French St Barts... 'Oh so Chic'... and then there's Saba...
Good food, Good wine, great diving and beaches, a tad of challenging sailing in open waters.. yet just a daysail...
What more can one ask for....
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Old 11-05-2011, 04:05   #4
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Re: St Martin sailing vs Bvi

Hey! I think there is a little more easily accessible diversity around the BVI, however..... St. Martin has good windsurfing.. Kiting and on occasion surfing during the season..... Its about 24 miles to saba and St. Eustatius... and from there very easy to get o St. Kitts and Nevis...... all really nice spots.. St.Eustatius especially.... awesome diving and hiking. DEpending on the time of year it can be pretty windy....trade winds...15 - 25 and some pretty rough seas.....
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Old 11-05-2011, 08:15   #5
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Re: St Martin Sailing vs BVI

Back when we were chartering, we did a 10 day charter out of St Martin and thoroughly enjoyed it. The Tradewinds were really blowing (25-30 kts) for the first three days, so we kept to the leeward side and enjoyed Marigot and Grand Case (fabulous restaurants!). After the wind eased up, we visited Ile Tintamarre (deserted island) and Orient Bay (highly developed "strip", with a nudist beach). Then around to the Dutch side in Simpson Bay (not as interesting as the French side). From there to Saba was a really nice reach, and the snorkeling was good, too. Then up to St Barth for three days. Rented a car, enjoyed restaurants, beautiful beaches and shopping. Finally back to St Martin. 'Twas a very nice experience. There's some open ocean sailing in that route, but no issues if you watch the weather.

Having since cruised up and down the chain a number of times in our own boat, I agree that the Grenadines are not to be missed. They're one of our favorite cruising areas. However, if you want a bit more sophistication and better restaurant dining, chartering out of St Martin will do it for you.
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Old 11-05-2011, 09:04   #6
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Re: St Martin Sailing vs BVI

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.
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File Type: kmz Spring Break.kmz (3.2 KB, 416 views)
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Old 11-05-2011, 11:00   #7
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Re: St Martin Sailing vs BVI

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I..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...
It's OK to splurge when on vacation!
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Old 11-05-2011, 11:16   #8
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Re: St Martin Sailing vs BVI

Oh - my family loves splurging. But an example I just got on my Mastercard bill was lunch at a restaurant called Barrel Stay in Road Bay, Anguilla. 4 people (2 children) for lunch. Two bottles of wine. $250. And - we all walked away still hungry.

The lolo's in Grand Case are a good and tasty deal and you can find some deals on St. Martin/Maarten. But for St. Bart's and Anguilla - BIG bucks. We always eat breakfast, every other lunch, and maybe 4 out of 7 dinners on board over a week period.

FWIW, If you want good quality and reasonably priced meat, plan to bring it with you. You will be absolutely shocked by what a ribeye will cost at the grocery.

Hud, my daughter is coming to visit your island in a couple of months. She's doing a Broadreach program for diving and sailing for two weeks. She's pretty geeked up about it. Hopefully the tropical storms will hold off for that month.
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Old 11-05-2011, 11:28   #9
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Re: St Martin Sailing vs BVI

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...Hud, my daughter is coming to visit your island in a couple of months. She's doing a Broadreach program for diving and sailing for two weeks. She's pretty geeked up about it. Hopefully the tropical storms will hold off for that month.
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!
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Old 11-05-2011, 11:36   #10
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Re: St Martin Sailing vs BVI

It was s/v HyLite. That's how we found out about the program. Another CF benefit!!
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Old 11-05-2011, 15:09   #11
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Re: St Martin Sailing vs BVI

Broadreach runs out of the Radisson Marine (previously Port Lonvilliers marina) at Anse Marcel. I have to move my boat every year to make room for the kids and the big cats. (Which I'm happy to do to get more kids learning and interested in sailing). Tell your daughter to walk down the dock and look for a pretty old traditional ketch named Callisto with a hailing port of Houston, Texas. It is a great program. She will have a great time!
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Old 11-05-2011, 15:54   #12
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Re: St Martin Sailing vs BVI

She is very excited. My son has done the Outward Bound programs and it really helped him enjoy what the mountains have to offer. Elaina is hoping to get the same appreciation for the seas.
I'll be in Anse Marcel this Saturday or Sunday night. I'll look you up.
David.
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Old 11-05-2011, 16:03   #13
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Wow! this is really great, thank you for all the input.
I will be researching the places you suggested.

CJ
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Old 15-05-2011, 08:42   #14
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Re: St Martin Sailing vs BVI

I own a charter boat in the BVIs and have done trade time in St. Martin a few times. I think the BVIs offer easier, more protected sailing with more variety. St. Martin, St. Baths and Anguilla offer more cultural diversity.

One frustration I've had is that with the Moorings anyways, more and more of the less used anchorages and mooring fields in the St. Martin area have been put off limits for overnight stays.
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Old 15-05-2011, 08:57   #15
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Re: St Martin sailing vs Bvi

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
I like the variety... Dutch and French sides St Martin... English Anguila... totally French St Barts... 'Oh so Chic'... and then there's Saba...
Good food, Good wine, great diving and beaches, a tad of challenging sailing in open waters.. yet just a daysail...
What more can one ask for....
Rum and good beer!

But then St. Marteen has both!
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