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Old 21-06-2014, 09:14   #1
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1 week sailing trip from Sint Maartin, where to go?

We are 12 guys have rented a 50ft Catamaran 2nd week in June next year for a week from Sint Maartin. We are all experienced sailors and two of us are working at sea, we will bareboat charter the catamaran and i am wondering what would be the best route to sail out from ther
I have been sailing around the Caribbean for two years but that is working on cruise liners so I have not much experience where to go with a small sailing vessel around that area.

My first plan was to sail to the British virgin islands but it is about 8-10h sailing distance from Sint Maartin so it will take to long for just one week. the other option would be to sail to the islands close to Sint Maartin , Molly beday, Guana key and Ile Tinamarre, if they are recommended. Then sail SE to St Barthelemy and around St Barthelemy Natural Reserve but i dont know if you allowed to drop anchor in the Natural Reserve if i remember right there are only two anchor spots, bay of Colombier and Fourchue.

I am hoping that I could get some tips regrading which islands that are worth a visit and what not to miss when it comes to diving and snorkeling and more. with only one week of sailing I hope i can get some help posting this thread. to make this trip a as good as it can be.

Sincerely ,
Andreas Thornblom
1st Officer Navigation
M/V "Legend of the Seas"
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line
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Old 11-08-2014, 09:43   #2
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Re: 1 week sailing trip from Sint Maartin, where to go?

I just got back from St. Martin, I subscribed to this thread to get some ideas but as nothing appeared I thought I’d let you know my experience. I’m assuming you are leaving from Moorings/Sunsail in Oyster pond as we did, my one major comment would be slow down, I’m not sure if you are aware but there is no night sailing on the charters without a waiver, so a 10hr sail may be a little much.

We were tempted in the briefing to get to all the national parks and prepaid our nights but each time you change islands, or sides on St. Martin, you have to clear in/out of customs, this was new to me and a novelty the first couple of times, but when they are an hour late for work (Anguilla) or leave 2 hrs early (St. Martin .nl in Simpsons bay), it really gets on your nerve and delays departures. It’s tempting to skip it but the .nl customs guys are pretty quick in their dinghy to come for a visit, we’d just set the anchor, stopped the motor, and cracked our first Presidente for the day only to have the moment disturbed by the men with guns, they’re quick!

I’d recommend a night in Grand Case, easy anchoring and a trip to the LoLo’s is a must, park at the dinghy dock, walk past Max’s place and turn right, you can’t miss them, 100ft along on the right.

Marigot was dead when we were there, probably due to the August party on Anguilla, so I don’t have much good to say,the customs were never there and I had to clear in/out at the marina, which is probably faster but they don’t want you there as you’re not a paying marina customer.

Road bay on Anguilla is fun for beach bars, go see Elvis on the north end.

Stay out of the marine park north of Anguilla/to the west of Sandy Island if possible, the edges are littered with pots, not a fun time if you pick one up, ask me how I know…

Simpsons bay is a nice anchorage with dinghy access to food/entertainment in the lagoon, you can park your dinghy on the south end of “Snoopy island”, or beach the dinghy out front of the yacht and hit Buccaneer’s

There are anchorages / balls in Ile Tintarmerre, Pinel, and Ile Fourchue that you can overnight on, ask about it in the briefing and read the cruisers guide they will supply on the boat, Pinel is _tiny_ with obstacles, only a few balls one of which left me probably < 1 minute from break to on the lee shore, it was stormy so I left the ball to go back to Grand Case for safety.

I must say they run a first class operation at Moorings there, the yachts are well maintained with only very minor squawks, it really was a great time and I’d go back in a heartbeat, next time I will not try to go as far and plan my customs clearance better and just explore more of what’s local.

I hope it helps, I’m sure you’ll have a lot of fun!
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Old 22-12-2014, 18:35   #3
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Re: 1 week sailing trip from Sint Maartin, where to go?

if you have the weather for it, go to saba, easily the coolest island in that part of the caribbean
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Old 23-12-2014, 05:28   #4
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Re: 1 week sailing trip from Sint Maartin, where to go?

I'd agree that the BVIs are a long trip with only a week.

The weather will ultimately dictate, but in June it's often very light winds, so I'd stick to the nearby islands. Certainly our favourites in that area were Saba, Anguilla, Montserrat, St Barts and St Kitts.

Do keep an eye on the weather though as whilst Junes about as good as it gets to visit all of the above, none of them offer a well protected/secure anchorage if you do get a blow.

Just have fun and enjoy
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Old 23-12-2014, 11:25   #5
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Re: 1 week sailing trip from Sint Maartin, where to go?

Gustavia on St. Barths will keep your ladies happy, if not your credit card...
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Old 26-12-2014, 20:49   #6
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Re: 1 week sailing trip from Sint Maartin, where to go?

the one caveat about saba is that you HAVE to have a good weather window
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Old 27-12-2014, 07:33   #7
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Re: 1 week sailing trip from Sint Maartin, where to go?

Don't think about the BVIs. It's a downwind run to get there, but when it came time to end your charter you have a 90 mile bash to the east. By June the winds are beginning to be south of east rather than north of east, making that motoring bash all the more difficult.

How about "four peaks in a week"? If you like to climb hills, and there is no north swell (less likely that time of year), sail south to Monterserrat. Take a taxi tour with Joe, and leave early next morning for a morning sail to Nevis. Clear in and hike to the top of Nevis Peak. Next morning sail to White Bay, St Kitts, and take a taxi to clear in then get dropped for the hike up to the top of the volcano (mt luimuiga, I think, or mt misery). Clear out next morning and sail to St Eustatius, clear in and then hike the Quill in the afternoon. Clear out next morning and sail to Saba, clear in then get a cab to hike to the top of Mt Scenery. Clear out, if you haven't cleared in/out at the same time, and sail/motorsail NE back to St Martin. With only a week you may have to skip Monterserrat. In June you are more likely to not be delayed by weather, although the risk of a tropical wave is there.

There's good diving at Saba for sure. Anyway, there's my four peaks in a week itinerary.

Good sailing to you.

Dave
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Old 27-12-2014, 07:44   #8
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Re: 1 week sailing trip from Sint Maartin, where to go?

Realized its a long haul to the SSE to Monterserrat. Probably skip that idea.

You could reverse order the route, go St Martin, Saba, Statia, St Kitts, Nevis, then broad reach up to St Bart's (grab a ball in Colombier), then a night or day stop at Ile Forchue (cool moonscape of an island to hike). Then back to Tintamarre and St Martin.

The sail to Saba would be easy, then you would probably motor or motorsail to each of Statia, St Kitts and Nevis, but then a good sail to St Bart's and back to St Martin.

Makes me wish I were still out there.

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Old 27-12-2014, 10:09   #9
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Re: 1 week sailing trip from Sint Maartin, where to go?

So,
Day 1, early departure sail to Saba (30 nm broad reach), hike mt scenery
Day 2, motor to Statia (20-25 nm, bash), hike the quill
Day 3, to st kitts (20 nm, bash in lee), and clear in
Day 4, hike mt Liamuiga
Day 5, to Nevis (5-10 nm, bash in lee), hike Nevis peak
Day 6, sail to Colombier, St Bart's (20-25 nm, reach)
Day 7, sail back to st Martin with quick stop at Ile Forchue (15-20 nm, broad reach)

All distances and points of sail are approximate, from memory.


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