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Questions around anchoring in Simpson Bay #55578
05/21/2015 09:51 AM
05/21/2015 09:51 AM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 221
Massachusetts USA
tmsxmsails Offline OP
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tmsxmsails  Offline OP
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I know most of the charterers are over on the BVI board but I think there are a few of us here too so I hope someone can offer some answers/suggestions...

For my upcoming charter, I'm thinking of spending a night anchored in Simpson Bay. In my previous two trips, I've never visited the Dutch side (except back and forth from the airport to Oyster Pond where the boat is) so I have a few questions.

First, do I need to clear in and out of Customs when coming from the French side? I know you don't have to do any of that on land but I'm not totally clear on doing it by boat. On one hand, somebody said it is just like driving a car and you don't need to worry. On the other hand, the Cruising Guide says you do - although it doesn't differentiate coming from the French side and coming from say, Florida.

Next, what are good anchoring spots. It sounds like I can go either side of the channel for the bridge and that maybe the Southeast side is better. Thoughts?

I can't take the boat into the lagoon (charter rules) but I think I can take the dinghy in. Can I just take the dinghy under the bridge or do I have to wait for specific openings?

Finally, I'm looking for suggestions on places to eat - lunch and/or dinner. I've read some of the other threads and am leaning towards Pineapple Pete's and BBB. If I understand correctly, BBB is on the beach. Can I just beach the dinghy there and go ashore? For PP, is it best to go into the lagoon and dock at their dock?

Thanks for any and all help and opinions,

Tom

SXM Sponsors
Re: Questions around anchoring in Simpson Bay [Re: tmsxmsails] #55579
05/21/2015 10:44 AM
05/21/2015 10:44 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 11,545
Eric_Hill Offline

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Maybe he will see the note, but CaptainRick was all around SXM very recently. Just sailed back to BVI, so you might even send him a PM.


Eric Hill
TTOL Sponsors
Re: Questions around anchoring in Simpson Bay [Re: tmsxmsails] #55580
05/21/2015 11:01 AM
05/21/2015 11:01 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 71,944
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Central Florida!
You might also try to contact soualigacapt or Rasputin, as both are 'boat people'.

I don't really know most any of your answers, but dinghies do speed back and forth under the bridge all the time. For Pineapple Pete, the only way to get there by water is from the lagoon, yes. I think there is a little dinghy dock by Buccaneer.


Carol Hill
Re: Questions around anchoring in Simpson Bay [Re: Carol_Hill] #55581
05/21/2015 12:11 PM
05/21/2015 12:11 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,211
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
sail2wind Offline
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Tom, You need to clear in and out for both sides. You can dinghy under the bridge. I don't understand why you can't take the boat in the Lagoon? Anytime there is a swell the Lagoon is always calm.You can dinghy to a number of good restaurants, but lock you dinghy. The Yacht Club and Skip Jacks both have docks.

Re: Questions around anchoring in Simpson Bay [Re: sail2wind] #55582
05/21/2015 03:34 PM
05/21/2015 03:34 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,085
Ewing, NJ
AnnandSteve Offline
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AnnandSteve  Offline
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You can take your dingy to BBB from Simpson Bay, just keep an eye on it. There is a dock, but I dont believe it belongs to BBB. The Yacht Club has a dinghy dock.



[Linked Image]


Ann & Steve
Re: Questions around anchoring in Simpson Bay [Re: Eric_Hill] #55583
05/21/2015 04:22 PM
05/21/2015 04:22 PM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 221
Massachusetts USA
tmsxmsails Offline OP
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tmsxmsails  Offline OP
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Quote
Eric_Hill said:
Maybe he will see the note, but CaptainRick was all around SXM very recently. Just sailed back to BVI, so you might even send him a PM.


I actually did PM with him. He said that you don't have to clear in on the Dutch side but I wanted some verification. Sounds like there is still some dispute...

Re: Questions around anchoring in Simpson Bay [Re: sail2wind] #55584
05/21/2015 04:34 PM
05/21/2015 04:34 PM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 221
Massachusetts USA
tmsxmsails Offline OP
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Quote
sail2wind said:
Tom, You need to clear in and out for both sides. You can dinghy under the bridge. I don't understand why you can't take the boat in the Lagoon? Anytime there is a swell the Lagoon is always calm.You can dinghy to a number of good restaurants, but lock you dinghy. The Yacht Club and Skip Jacks both have docks.


Dang. Having to clear in and out puts a damper on things but I guess it's not such a big deal. It's interesting that I've heard different opinions on this. Do a lot of people just chance it and don't do it?

I'm not completely sure that I can't go in (I vaguely remember them saying something but I wasn't planning on it anyway so I didn't "store" it) but it wouldn't surprise me. I think they want to avoid getting out of the channel and grounding, and mishaps with the bridge, and all that stuff that is involved with going inside.

Yeah, I lock the dinghy and the motor every time I leave it anywhere (except in Gustavia where the dinghy dock is such a mass of boats that you can barely reach the dock with your painter, let alone a lock cable).

Thanks

Re: Questions around anchoring in Simpson Bay [Re: tmsxmsails] #55585
05/21/2015 06:36 PM
05/21/2015 06:36 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,211
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
sail2wind Offline
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clearing in is not an opinion it's the law. To your point, some people do not always follow the rules. I am surprised Rick would say no? I saw more enforcement on the Dutch side then the French. Read your cruising guide, it's pretty specific on clearing.

Re: Questions around anchoring in Simpson Bay [Re: sail2wind] #55586
05/21/2015 09:42 PM
05/21/2015 09:42 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,631
Oyster Pond St. Martin
S
soualigacapt Offline
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Oyster Pond St. Martin
Clearing into or out of the French side to the Dutch rench side is questionable.

Making you clear immigration when going from the French side to the Dutch side or vice versa is in violation of the Treaty of Concordia which guarantees free passage between the 2 sides. There has been talk from Dutch side immigration that boats going from the dutch side to the french side have to clear out and back in. There are over 30 tour operators that go from the Dutch side to the French side every day and we are trying to find out exactly what the story is. As of now they have not been able to show us a law that says we have to do clearance. It seems that they make up the rules and they want. if they require boats to clear, when that have never left the territorial waters of Sint Maarten, then they have to have every vehicle, bus, car and taxi do the same.
If you are coming from outside the territorial waters then you do have to clear. ex: Anguilla, St. Barts or if you went more than 3 miles from shore.

Re: Questions around anchoring in Simpson Bay [Re: soualigacapt] #55587
05/23/2015 05:50 PM
05/23/2015 05:50 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,193
Colorado and Sailing the World
Maria_and_Steve Offline
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The Dutch CG does inspect vessels for proper clearance in the Lagoon. Boats coming from either side MUST always clear in properly or risk losing their vessel. The French authorities also inspect boats in Marigot Bay periodically. Don't short cut any clearance procedures on either side of the island.

I hope this helps.

Re: Questions around anchoring in Simpson Bay [Re: Maria_and_Steve] #55588
05/23/2015 06:29 PM
05/23/2015 06:29 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,488
BVI
Zanshin Offline
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Zanshin  Offline
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I'm in St. Martin right now, although I'm on the French side in Grand Case.

The answer to your question, as so often in the Caribbean, is "it depends". If you anchor on the outside or inside of Simpson Baie you need to clear out of the French side first (Oyster Pond, Marigot, Anse Marcel) and then clear into the Dutch side. But the customs inspection rarely checks boats outside in the anchorage and tends to concentrate on the private boats rather than the charter boats. The Dutch have a nice system in that they charge you for a week at a time, so one night is just as expensive as are 7. The bridge fee isn't too bad and if you have people aboard and want to party then going inside and anchoring is preferable to being outside. Just remember that the Dutch require an adequately bright light at night, anchor, and lifevests aboard the dinghy - they won't stop you unless your light isn't acceptable and a flashlight actively swung around is considered sufficient.

Overnighting is different from dropping the hook during the day, and I would suggest you contact your charter company as they might have special regulations - i.e. Sunsail boats from Oyster Pond might be considered cleared in on both sides.

Re: Questions around anchoring in Simpson Bay [Re: Zanshin] #55589
05/24/2015 10:45 AM
05/24/2015 10:45 AM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 221
Massachusetts USA
tmsxmsails Offline OP
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tmsxmsails  Offline OP
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Thanks everyone. I'll definitely check with the charter company (Moorings) when get I there but I wanted to plan my itinerary ahead of time if possible. It looks like the clearance fee for the week is $20 which is what I think I paid in Anguilla for one day so I suppose it's not so bad.

Thanks also for note about having life jackets in the dinghy. We never even think of taking life jackets when going ashore.

Re: Questions around anchoring in Simpson Bay [Re: tmsxmsails] #55590
05/24/2015 01:38 PM
05/24/2015 01:38 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,211
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
sail2wind Offline
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Anguilla is free if you anchor in Road Bay, very friendly customs. We heard of this life jacket rule but did not see one life jacket in any dinghies, even the dinghies checking into customs. My question, where would you put them and would they still be in the dinghy when you returned?

Re: Questions around anchoring in Simpson Bay [Re: sail2wind] #55591
05/24/2015 03:35 PM
05/24/2015 03:35 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,488
BVI
Zanshin Offline
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Zanshin  Offline
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sail2wind - the Dutch patrol the lagoon and will ticket dinghies with no anchor or no life jackets; this is common knowledge amongst the cruisers. They do not do spot checks of dinghies, but if they stop you then they will ticket you. To make things worse, you have to go to the court in Philipsburg to pay the fines; and they won't let you clear out until that has been done. During the Heineken, when patrols were frequent, the vests (the cheap non-inflatable kind) were prominently displayed on each dinghy and run through the same wire and lock that prevents the dinghy, fuel tank, and outboard from going walkabout.

Re: Questions around anchoring in Simpson Bay [Re: Zanshin] #55592
05/24/2015 04:01 PM
05/24/2015 04:01 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,211
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
sail2wind Offline
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GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
I hear you. It's tough to lock something that can be unhooked manually, unlike the fuel tank. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/jester.gif" alt="" />

Zanshin, you in the same spot in Grand Case. Go to the bar we used last time, get a drink and the wireless code <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif" alt="" />

Re: Questions around anchoring in Simpson Bay [Re: sail2wind] #55593
05/24/2015 05:22 PM
05/24/2015 05:22 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,488
BVI
Zanshin Offline
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Zanshin  Offline
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Sail2wind - I did that yesterday, as I'd forgotten the code you gave me smile The bar is impressive and I think I'll have dinner there sometime; but I'm about to do my last shore trip and be in bed by 20:00, then at midnight the alarm goes off and I'm sailing to the USVI, then to the BVI.

Re: Questions around anchoring in Simpson Bay [Re: Zanshin] #55594
05/24/2015 08:41 PM
05/24/2015 08:41 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,211
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
sail2wind Offline
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safe travels Arnd, we had a great time visiting on your beautiful boat <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif" alt="" />

Re: Questions around anchoring in Simpson Bay [Re: Zanshin] #55595
05/25/2015 10:37 AM
05/25/2015 10:37 AM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 221
Massachusetts USA
tmsxmsails Offline OP
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tmsxmsails  Offline OP
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Posts: 221
Massachusetts USA
Zanshin, I enjoyed reading your blog. Sorry to hear you won't be in SXM when I'm there. Would have liked to say hello.

Have a safe journey.


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