St. Martin / Sint Maarten courtesy flag above HYC's burgee
Half French and half Dutch, this small but busy island is a cruisers’ hub. There are sooo many of us! Partly it may be because this island has a huge land locked lagoon, which provides shelter from the ocean swells, and ensures a good nights’ sleep for all boaters choosing to anchor ‘inside’. It’s wealth of white sand beaches, European influence and duty free shopping also contributes to its’ popularity.
We arrived while friends from home, Sandy & Gaston, were vacationing here. They rent a studio apartment, located on the beach of Marigot Bay, for the month of January. We anchored right out front!
To visit, we had only to pull our dinghy up on their beach. How convenient.
Gil & I with friends from home, Gaston & Sandy
Together, we explored some modern day ruins of one upscale hotel complex which was abandoned after hurricane Hugo…
…. we went plane spotting on Maho Beach… ('gotta find the photos?)
….. mega yacht oogling from Simpsons Bay Beach….
…. adventure sailing on Serenada to the neighbouring island of Anguilla
…. with a snorkel stop at Creole Rocks in Grande Case Bay
Lots of fun with these two!
Every island in the Caribbean seems to have the ruins of a fort, and we seem always to explore them.
Fort Louis was built on the hill which overlooks Marigot Bay, but the lagoon and Simpsons Bay can also be viewed from it.
Stunning views from Fort Louis.
Someone had a very bad day…
Though we’ve visited St. Martin several times in the past; this was the first time we chose to anchor inside the lagoon (after Sandy & Gaston returned home). It was certainly more calm and peaceful ‘inside’ the lagoon than ‘outside’ in the bay.
We dropped anchor in the far northwest corner, on the French side, near Pinney Beach.
Here, we found friends Jo & Gregg on Serenade, Sue & Dave on Triumph, and Cathy & Bill on Dream Maker. We enjoyed spending time with them and catching up; particularly because we’d spent enough time with just each other on the smaller islands we’d come from! As I write this, though, all have left for the Virgin Islands….
Gil and I have chosen to linger around St. Martin \ Sint Maarten, and the surrounding islands of Anguilla and St. Barth’s. We have decided to haul out Serenada at TOBY’s (Time Out Boat Yard) at end of March, and return home while we wait for our promotions, to grandma and grandpa!
The other day, we went to shore to stretch our legs. We tied our dinghy up to a dock in front of The Art Lovers Hotel. It was unique, and again, I’ll let the pictures do the talking….
One other day, we dinghied over to the Simpsons Bay Yacht Club, which is located at the lift bridge between Simpsons Bay and Simpsons Lagoon. This is where people go to watch the boats stream in and out of the lagoon, at specified bridge opening times. Some of the megayachts have only inches to spare to clear the bridge. My favourite sight, however, was this creative beer bottle holder, built into the railing!
I think we may just have to adopt that idea back home.