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Sailing Advice #79912
12/29/2015 09:13 PM
12/29/2015 09:13 PM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 36
Philadelphia
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marianneg Offline OP
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marianneg  Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2013
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Philadelphia
We are sailors who have roamed the BVI several times but we're trying St Martin at the end of the month. We are renting a cat from the Moorings in Oyster Pond. We arrive late Friday afternoon January 30th and set sail mid afternoon on Saturday. Thinking about staying at Captain Oliver's Friday night and catching a cab to Grande Marche on Saturday to provision. Appreciate any thoughts on this plan as well as any recommendations for a delicious meal Friday night. If any sailors have advice on good stops for our itinerary (especially places that won't be to rough/rolling) all recommendations are appreciated! Thanks!

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Re: Sailing Advice [Re: marianneg] #79913
12/30/2015 08:22 AM
12/30/2015 08:22 AM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 90
Minneapolis MN
dave68 Offline
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dave68  Offline
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Minneapolis MN
I have sailed out of SXM twice and I would suggest that if you are checking a bag to prepare meals before leaving, vacuum seal them, hard freeze them and bring them along to help save some costs. We always over night in Grand Case on Tuesday in high season for Harmony Nights (they changed the name now)which is a nice street party with food, music and shopping. We also enjoyed overnight in Marigot to pick up provisions, shopping the open air market and to climb the old fort ruins of Fort Louis.

Re: Sailing Advice [Re: dave68] #79914
12/30/2015 09:57 AM
12/30/2015 09:57 AM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 90
Minneapolis MN
dave68 Offline
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dave68  Offline
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Posts: 90
Minneapolis MN
I would suggest, if you have not already, to pick up the latest version of Chris Doyle's cruising guide to the leeward islands. It is very helpful with first hand advice including good anchoring spots, things to watch out for and things to see and do.

Last edited by dave68; 12/30/2015 10:10 AM.
Re: Sailing Advice [Re: dave68] #79915
12/30/2015 12:24 PM
12/30/2015 12:24 PM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 91
Arlington VA
Nudesailingchef Offline
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Happy Birthday Nudesailingchef  Offline
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Arlington VA
Marianneg,your plan is perfect, stay at Captain Oliver's the night before,take a taxi to Grand Marche next day and provision for the bulk of the trip. The night you stay at Capt. Oliver's have dinner at the Dinghy Dock Bar. A few ideas,if you are sailing to St.Barts, a nice overnight is Ile d' Forchue. Nice evening anchorage. If you are headed to Anguilla, on the way there or back a night in Grand Case is great, and I agree that if you can make it a Tuesday for Harmony night that is a bonus.

Re: Sailing Advice [Re: marianneg] #79916
12/31/2015 09:29 AM
12/31/2015 09:29 AM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 221
Massachusetts USA
tmsxmsails Offline
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tmsxmsails  Offline
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Massachusetts USA
Regarding the Dinghy Dock; It's a great place for drinks and Happy Hour but I wouldn't recommend it for dinner. We've been very much underwhelmed at the food there. I would suggest taking a cab to Orient Village. There are a couple of really nice restaurants there and they are somewhat difficult to get to once you are on the boat.

I think you said you read my blog post of our trip(s) so you know the issues going ashore in Orient Bay.

Have a great trip!

Re: Sailing Advice [Re: tmsxmsails] #79917
12/31/2015 01:10 PM
12/31/2015 01:10 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,466
BVI
Zanshin Offline
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Zanshin  Offline
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BVI
There are some great places around St. Martin to sail. My favorite anchorage is Grand Case; while the dinghy dock leaves a lot to be desired (a kedge anchor is very useful) the anchorage itself is beautiful with great holding in shallow water. I usually rent a car there and then do my provisioning/shopping at Cost-U-Less and Grand Marché.
The anchorages at Île Fourchue and off Île Tintamarre are great if you want seclusion and nothing ashore; but aren't comfortable when the Christmas winds are blowing.

Oops, just realized you are already there smile

Re: Sailing Advice [Re: tmsxmsails] #79918
12/31/2015 01:28 PM
12/31/2015 01:28 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,059
Maine, USA
Chuck_Morton Offline
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Chuck_Morton  Offline
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Quote
tmsxmsails said:
Regarding the Dinghy Dock; It's a great place for drinks and Happy Hour but I wouldn't recommend it for dinner. We've been very much underwhelmed at the food there. I would suggest taking a cab to Orient Village. There are a couple of really nice restaurants there and they are somewhat difficult to get to once you are on the boat.

I think you said you read my blog post of our trip(s) so you know the issues going ashore in Orient Bay.

Have a great trip!
I think the point about the Dingy Dock is that it is a bar and serves "bar food". Not sure that you can compare that to many of the higher end restaurants around the island but they are good at what they do. Dollar for dollar you can't go wrong with the ribs or fish and chips....

Re: Sailing Advice [Re: Chuck_Morton] #79919
01/02/2016 03:16 PM
01/02/2016 03:16 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 261
Tustin CA
d_fish Offline
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d_fish  Offline
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Posts: 261
Tustin CA
We sailed a one way from St. Martin to BVIs May 2014. We sailed 6 days around St. Martin and area, then overnight to BVIs for 7 days. We rented a cat from Sunsail/Moorings and stayed at Captain Olivers.

My suggestions as follows:
IF you feel comfortable driving have a rental car company meet you at SXM with a car. We used Golfe Car Rentals. Very friendly company, nice cars etc. 2 persons from Golfe met us outside departures. They gave us the car then they drove in their car to Oyster Pond so that we would follow them. You drive right past the Grande Marche so we knew where it was for provisioning the following day. I requested Golfe to pick up the car at Oyster Pond in which they did. Talk about convenient!!

Regarding delicious meal on Friday night, as others mentioned the Dinghy Dock is bar/pub food. If you arrive late and are tired, this is a good option. Another is Mama Pizza that serves both pizza and Italian dishes within walking distance from Captain Olivers. Very nice Italian, casual and not too expensive. They take cash only. If you want a foodie type dinner, then I suggest driving to Grande Case or thereabouts. We had 2 wonderful meals at Sol E Luna (on the way to Grande Case). A reservation is definitely recommended.

Regarding sailing itinerary. We spent our first night on Tintamarre, beautiful uninhabited island for exploring, swimming and simply enjoying nature. Caveat our trip was based in May, I haven’t looked at wind patterns and exposure for January so you will need to check for optimal anchorages and also be aware of north swell.

After Tintamarre we sailed to Grande Case and anchored overnight. Enjoyed exploring the beach, beach bars and dined on lobster at Shambala. The following morning we sailed to Marigot Bay to check out before we heading to Anguilla. Found a little place to have coffee and breakfast crepes – La Vie En Rose. Then while gathering a few more provisions found a wonderful Boulangerie-Patisserie in which to purchase amazing baguettes/sandwiches to eat underway.

Sailed to Anguilla for a 2 night stay. It is expensive to stay in Anguilla, if I recall correctly is was $450 EC to stay 2 nights including permit to visit the outer islands. In hindsight though we should have stayed one more night and rented a car in which to tour the island as it is stunningly beautiful. We dined at Elvis Beach Bar and a tapas restaurant in the area, but I cannot recall the name. Also I recommend Blanshards or Blandshards Beach Shack if you are able to go to Meads Bay.

Day 2 in Anguilla we sailed to the out 2 of the outer islands for a day trip as overnight anchoring is not permitted; Sandy Island and Dog Island. Dog Island is a beautiful uninhabited island that we had to ourselves. It has a beautiful stretch of brilliant white sand that merges into the stunning turquoise water. Probably one of the most beautiful beaches I have been to in my life. It is approximately 10 nm from Road Bay to you need to give yourselves ample time to get there and back to Road Bay for the evening. We did not go to Prickly Pear Cays, which I would like to see – next time!

When we checked into Anguilla we also checked out at the same time as we were only staying 2 nights. Up early the day we were departing, we headed for St. Barts. We were a little nervous about finding a mooring in Gustavia and took the first one we found in Anse Du Corossoil. It was a long dinghy ride in to check in but at least we found a mooring. We checked in and out at the same time as we were only staying 2 nights. Our biggest mistake about arriving in St. Barts was that it was a Sunday. Practically everything was closed. We found a little bar in which to have a cold drink, but were out of luck for anything else.
If you feel like splurging on a spectacular lunch and magnificent people watching take a cab to La Plage Restaurant in Tom Beach Hotel. What an experience. If you are lucky on the way back to Gustavia you may be able to watch a plane land at the St. Barts airport. Quite the feat and quite entertaining!

From Gustavia we headed to Il Forchue, our last stop in the Leewards. Nice secluded spot/marine park. This island was our staging point before going heading out to the BVIs on an overnight sail. We barbequed lunch then had naps until it was time to set off for the BVIs, departing about 6:30 pm.

All in all a fabulous vacation and are planning on going back in 2017, perhaps staying in the Leewards next time and sailing to Barbuda and back. Too many places to see and too little time. Hope this helps in your trip planning!!!

Re: Sailing Advice [Re: d_fish] #79920
01/02/2016 10:13 PM
01/02/2016 10:13 PM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 36
Philadelphia
M
marianneg Offline OP
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marianneg  Offline OP
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Philadelphia
Thanks, everyone. I expect I will be back with a few more questions. We expect to be leaving Oyster Pond relatively late - probably not until mid afternoon on Saturday. Is Orient Bay our best bet to moor for the night? I'm not sure what destinations are an easy reach to sail and moor before it gets dark if we don't leave Oyster Pond until 2:00 or so. Thanks!

Re: Sailing Advice [Re: marianneg] #79921
01/03/2016 03:57 PM
01/03/2016 03:57 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 4,201
here and there ...
Rasputin Offline
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Rasputin  Offline
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here and there ...
Unlike the BVI's, there are very few, if any mooring balls.
And if there are mooring balls they are usually private and not for your use.

Be prepared to anchor every night, and make sure your anchor is secured.


Rah Rah Rasputin
They put some poison into his wine
He drank it all and said "I feel fine"
Re: Sailing Advice [Re: marianneg] #79922
01/03/2016 07:54 PM
01/03/2016 07:54 PM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 646
CT
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Beevly Offline
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Beevly  Offline
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Posts: 646
CT
Let Moorings provision the boat with the staples, commodities, drink and water, then taxi to Grande Marche for the things you actually want to pick out yourself. Will save you a ton of time and trouble and the extra cost is little more than a rounding error in the total cost of the trip.

A day up in Anguilla is worth it but I wouldn't bother with St Barts if you're doing the usual 7 days. On the last night, anchor in Orient for an easy sail into Oyster.

Re: Sailing Advice [Re: Rasputin] #79923
01/03/2016 11:11 PM
01/03/2016 11:11 PM
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 66
New York, NY
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c388791 Offline
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New York, NY
Here is a link to a trip report from my December 2011 Sunsail charter from SXM that details all the logistics of the trip.

Shopping at Grande Marche worked out great for us.

We liked Le Planteur for dinner. Hope it is still there, was a short walk up the hill from Captain Oliver's.

Best of luck, but you are guaranteed to have a great time.

http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/s...=83#Post1369836

Re: Sailing Advice [Re: Beevly] #79924
01/04/2016 09:29 AM
01/04/2016 09:29 AM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 221
Massachusetts USA
tmsxmsails Offline
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tmsxmsails  Offline
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Posts: 221
Massachusetts USA
Quote
Beevly said:
...but I wouldn't bother with St Barts if you're doing the usual 7 days.


I'll counter with Anse du Columbier on St. Barts is fabulous and we spend several nights there. Not a fan of Gustavia but we love Columbier.

Re: Sailing Advice [Re: marianneg] #79925
01/04/2016 09:41 AM
01/04/2016 09:41 AM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 221
Massachusetts USA
tmsxmsails Offline
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tmsxmsails  Offline
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Posts: 221
Massachusetts USA
Quote
marianneg said:
We expect to be leaving Oyster Pond relatively late - probably not until mid afternoon on Saturday. Is Orient Bay our best bet to moor for the night? I'm not sure what destinations are an easy reach to sail and moor before it gets dark if we don't leave Oyster Pond until 2:00 or so. Thanks!


Grande Case is probably doable although you want to have enough sunlight to be able to see the sandy spots for anchoring. I think I would try to get there if I could - motorsail?

Things start buttoning up on Orient at about 4:00 or 5:00.

Re: Sailing Advice [Re: Rasputin] #79926
01/04/2016 09:46 AM
01/04/2016 09:46 AM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 221
Massachusetts USA
tmsxmsails Offline
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tmsxmsails  Offline
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Posts: 221
Massachusetts USA
Quote
Rasputin said:
Unlike the BVI's, there are very few, if any mooring balls.
And if there are mooring balls they are usually private and not for your use.

Be prepared to anchor every night, and make sure your anchor is secured.


We didn't see many, if any, private mooring balls in the places we stopped but even so, we were advised not to trust them and to anchor anyway. Apparently they are not well maintained and boats break free all the time. Yikes!

Re: Sailing Advice [Re: tmsxmsails] #79927
01/04/2016 05:17 PM
01/04/2016 05:17 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 261
Tustin CA
d_fish Offline
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d_fish  Offline
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Tustin CA
My husband corrected me. He stated we did not take a mooring ball in St. Barts. We anchored.

In fact I believe we anchored everywhere in St. Martin et al.

Re: Sailing Advice [Re: d_fish] #79928
01/05/2016 10:53 PM
01/05/2016 10:53 PM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 36
Philadelphia
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marianneg Offline OP
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marianneg  Offline OP
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Philadelphia
Thanks everyone. I meant to say anchor as I've learned there are few (if any) mooring balls. We'll be ready to board the boat at noon (we'll be done w/provisioning and have everything on the dock), but we're at the mercy of the Moorings for the boat briefing and escort out of the marina. We've had both good and bad experiences with getting out in a timely fashion in the past and want to plan a "worst case" anchorage in the event we don't get out of the marina before 2:00 or so. We anchored in poor lighting that rapidly turned to darkness once before. I have no interest in repeating that "adventure"!

Re: Sailing Advice [Re: Rasputin] #79929
01/06/2016 05:15 PM
01/06/2016 05:15 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,466
BVI
Zanshin Offline
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Zanshin  Offline
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BVI
Marianneg - depending upon conditions, you can head to Tintamarre and anchor/moor there (if they've replaced the mooring balls), or head around the other direction and anchor of Philipsburg. If you leave at 14:00 you have lots of options: Fourchue, Tintamarre, Anse Marcel, Grand Case, Marigot or in the other direction you have Philipsburg and Simpson Baie. If there's a north swell I'd stay inside Oyster Pond the first night as all of the anchorages apart from entering the lagoon will be more or less rolly.


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