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Old 12-12-2005, 19:01   #1
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Looking for St Maarten Itinerary Suggestions

We're chartering out of St Martin/St Maarten January 27. This will be our first time to sail in that area, and would appreciate recommendations of "must see/do" spots, places to skip, and just any and all info that those of you who have sailed there would care to share.

We will likely do some diving too and would appreciate dive site suggestions.

Thanks much!
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Old 12-12-2005, 20:32   #2
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You can read the following links for some interesting things we did in the area on S/V PatiCat:

- Sint Maarten
- Anguilla
- St. Martin

Not sure if your charter will allow you to go to Anguilla, but we had our best dive there as you can read above.

In Saint Martin (french-side) you should definitely go to Tintemarre, but try to pick a week day which isn't a holiday when fewer locals head out. You still may get visited by a large catamaran or two with loads of tourists, but they usually only stay an hour or so.

If you want to see hundreds of little shops and thousands of cruise ship passengers buying jewelry and knicknacks, then Phillipsburg is your place. Otherwise, steer clear.

We unfortunately missed some of the eastern-shore locations, where I understand there are lots of good places to go.

I'm sure your charter company can suggest lots of good places to go as well.
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Old 13-12-2005, 09:23   #3
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How long will you be there? What kind of experience do you have?

Staying around St. Martin can be ok for a novice sailor, but the passages to the nearby islands will be awful tempting. St. Barths is a beautiful 4 hour reach and of course an amazing destination. The diving is spectacular as well (worlds better than St. Martin), I suggest Plongee Caraibes as an operator.

Depending on the charter company, Saba is a nice sail and easily my favorite island in the caribbean. It also depends on the time of year your going as there are moorings on the leeward side of the island which would be open to northerly swells in the winter. The diving is incredible.

If I was staying on St. Martin....
Grand Case, Tintamarre, and Marigot are my top picks. A quick sail over to Road bay on Anguilla is nice for some variety.
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Old 14-12-2005, 13:34   #4
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Thanks for the info.

We will be there a week; and have experience adequate for the more distant islands.

We've been to St Maarten/Phillipsburg on a cruise ship, so we do know about the area around the cruise ship docks/anchorage.

Our Caribbean sailing has been limited to the Virgin Islands.
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Old 15-12-2005, 17:52   #5
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Tintamarre is a great little unpopulated island (about 5 miles from Oyster Pond), the head boats leave about 1600 and you can have the beach to yourself. Be sure to go behind the bushes on the beach and find the mud bath. In Orient Bay there is a super anchorage at Il Pinel, activity closes there at 1600, again you can have a private place. Don't miss St. Barths, discreet vacation place of the rich and famous.
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Old 16-12-2005, 11:00   #6
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Quote:
thowell once whispered in the wind:
...In Orient Bay there is a super anchorage at Il Pinel, activity closes there at 1600, again you can have a private place....
Yes, I forgot Orient bay, we often spend the morning on tintamarre, have lunch then head over to Il Pinel when theres some good light. READ YOUR CRUISING GUIDE HERE!!! there are no markers but a dangerous reef on both sides of the entrance and often large following swells going in with you. Definitely favor the side close to Il Pinel, but dont turn towards the anchorage until you are a decent ways in.

For a week trip I think exploring the listed anchorages in St. Martin and taking a trip to Gustavia would be very nice. Enjoy!
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