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Old 01-01-2012, 14:33   #1
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St Maarten, Anguilla, St. Barts, etc. clearing

Happy New Year All,

Planning a trip to St Maarten this season. Doyle cruising guide on the way to get all the scoop on clearing in/out and anchorages, etc.

Other than being on Island time, are there any special considerations for clearing? Do all personnel clear in like the USVI or only skipper with vessel and crew documents? Can you clear in/out at the same time?

Also - what are the can't miss places? Generally we prefer the sailing and quieter anchorages, although we do enjoy the occasional "Willie T's" off the chain venue .....


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Old 02-01-2012, 06:46   #2
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Re: St Maarten, Anguilla, St. Barts, etc. clearing

Strictly speaking, the captain alone goes ashore to clear in all on board. Practically speaking, C&I on most islands don't really care if crew comes along for the ride, then carries on to whatever shoreside activities they want after the clearance is complete. The only islands that I've heard really enforce the strict interpretation (with stiff fines!) are Antigua and Nevis. The former British islands generally require you to depart within 24 hours of clearing out, the exception being Dominica. The French islands are generally much more lenient. I've asked for three days after clearing out of Point-au-Pitre, Guadeloupe, in order to spend some time in other locations before heading off to Antigua, and it was granted.

In St Martin, we enjoyed poking around Marigot. Grand Case is more laid back and has the best restaurants. Snorkeling around Creole Rock is good. The little island of Tintamar makes a nice lunch stop. In Orient Bay, the only safe spot to beach the dinghy (due to wave action) was at the far end of the nude beach, so we were subjected to the unenviable task of walking the entire length of it to get to the "clothed" beach and restaurants.

On the way to St Barth stop at Ile Forchue for snorkeling or hiking amongst the goats. We med-moored in Gustavia harbour, rented a car and spent three very enjoyable days on St Barth. Expensive, though!

Saba is very different from any other island in the West Indies, both geographically and culturally, and worth visiting if the northerly swells aren't running. Anguilla is one of three islands we didn't visit, so I can't help you there.
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:25   #3
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Re: St Maarten, Anguilla, St. Barts, etc. clearing

How long will you be here and are you starting from Captain Oliver's. Snorkelling is best at the entrance to Grand Case and off the small island of Pinel - there is a marked path over a nice reef like in St. Johns. St. Barths is usually the first stop for charterers. You must check-in in Gustavia; there are nice beaches and Columbier on the west side is a nice overnight. We moved here full-time this Fall and live at that entrance to Oyster Pond (where the Moorings and Sunsail are).
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:26   #4
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Re: St Maarten, Anguilla, St. Barts, etc. clearing

I cruise these three islands quite often.

They are serious about clearing in on Anguilla. Only one person needs to do the clearance and the others can go ashore. You need a crew list with 4 copies. Make one before you arrive as it is easier. Full name, passport number, passport exp. date, birth date, and country of issue. Only the Captain needs to provide their address. I have had my clearances checked by patrol in the past. You also need proof of clearance from your last port of call.

French St. Martin, they don't care much. I would definately clear in at Anse Marcel or Oyster Pond. It's a very easy process. They pretty much don't look at any of your paperwork and it only costs 5 euro.

St. Bart's is similar to St. Martin except it costs more. The guys at the Captainerie are very professional and helpfull. You should have clearance from your last port on arrival. If you are returning to French St. Martin, you clear out of St. Barts but don't need to clear back into St. Martin as it is French to French.

The clearance for Dutch St. Maarten is fairly relaxed time wise. If you go through the bridge, you need to clear in pretty soon. They take photo's of all boats going through to check for clearance. If your just going from French St. Martin to Simpson Bay for a day, you can get by without clearing in. If they ask, then just claim ignorance.
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