That's right. We are already one month here in Marigot Bay between hundreds and hundreds of sailing boats around. All types and all nationalities!
This island is a special place- wouldn, t say it's our favorite island, not at all(too much crowded, very dry and too many ugly building near the beach, especially in a dutch side), but it is very useful stop and I think many sailors would agree with me.
First of all it is still Europe, like Martinique, Guadeloupe and St. Bart, so you can stay as long as you want here. But half of this island is French and other half- Dutch, what makes it even more interesting. Going by boat from one side to other you need to check out and check in, but going by land or by dinghy -no:))Also it is really safe place, not just speaking about the crimes, but also for the good protection for sailing boats. It has a huge lagoon inside, where you can enter either through French side or Dutch side bridge. Inside lagoon many sailors leave their boats for hurricane season. For the moment do not plan this option is not for us-even if it is so protected still it looks dangerous. Not because of you, or your boat but because it is so full and there are so many boats that in a hurricane strength winds any other dragging boat could be a real danger. But now, during the good season this lagoon is very practice. No waves, good depthh and very good holding everywhere. It also connects both sides of the island which can be easy accessible just with the dinghy. There are many boat yards, many marinas, and even more chandlery shops and services around. Cruisers ¨Meka¨for fixing boats. And it is duty free islands too so everything, and not just alcohol and tobaccoo but also fuel and other stuff is tax free!
So if you need something for your boat when you are in Caribbean sea this is the island!:) For the hurricane season its safer in Trinidad or Grenada, but during the trade winds - this is the place!
As for anchoring place we chose a French side, Mari got bay, outside lagoon. It is more quiet here, less super yachts and crazy fast dinghies and nice friendly town ashore. Water is much nicer and bottom is full of Sea stars!
Also, it is a good place for doing day sailing trips to other well protected bays. Like grande Case or Anse Marcel or to Tintamarre (super nice snorkeling- lots of Turtles and Sting Rays just next to the boat) island.
We visited all of them- but this time not alone, with our airbnb guests. They came in a right moment in a right place because here in Saint Martin we also had to use the opportunity of all the offers and buy many things which later in the other places would cost much more money.
Our old Yamaha engine finally said good by, so now in his place stands brand new Tohatsu 3,5 hp 2 strokes engine!... Very good deal from Budget Marine !.
Other shopping on the list was the life raft. Tried to have it serviced, but unfortunately it was too old(from 1996!) and we had to by new one. And here appeared our good friend Andreas from SY ¨Luna¨ who was looking for bigger one for his boat and agreed for much lower price sell us his 1 year old off shoree 6 person raft. So another great deal.
And finally the anti fouling paints, primer and epoxy. We found a really good value boat paint shop in the entrance canal of french side where almost all the stuff was a half price comparing to the main shops.
And of course alcohol- again duty free, what's means that 1 box of beer coast 10 euros, bottle of Rum 3,5 and wine. 3. These prices will triple in BVI so again. Dinghy ride to the shop and full loaded back to boat!
Now our boats is more heavy than ever, but it was important to take all the advantages of this island because later all that would cost crazy moneys.
......and our cats! Finally, they have passports and now they are french:)... I don't know if they are happy to be french, but British Virgin Islands are quite strict with pets import- so better be legal and have all papers done.
In two days we sail there and plan to stay there till middle of June. There are so many islands around so hope we will have time to visit them:) And if not next year will be:) Caribbean sea will continue under Grain, s keel!!!
This is a story about our life journey or better said is a story about our life afloat a sailing boat. Our trips, our adventures, our challenges and problems found on the way. Our everyday life floating and our unforgettable moments of sailing and tasting the worldl!
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"Cruising has two pleasures. One is to go out in wider waters from a sheltered place. The other is to go into a sheltered place from wider waters."
"The lovely thing about cruising is that planning usually turns out to be of little use."
"There are more sharks on the land than in the sea"
If you are going to do something, do it now. Tomorrow is too late.
Don't worry about the world ending today. It's already tomorrow in Fiji.
" Land was created to provide a place for boats to visit."
"A sailor is an artist whose medium is the wind. Live passionately, even if it kills you, because something is going to kill you anyway."
"A bad day at SEA is still better than a good day at work"
"The perfection of a yacht's beauty is that nothing should be there for only beauty's sake."
"Remember 'It was a professional who built the Titanic, It was an amateur who built Noah's Ark"
"Sailing - The art of slowly going nowhere at great expense. "
When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile.