St Martin / Sint Maarten

Suzie Too - Western Caribbean
David & Suzanne Chappell
Sat 19 May 2012 21:51
We sailed up from Gustavia on Tuesday in an F4, very modest winds, but with still a large Atlantic swell, but we made good progress and as always the sun is shining and we are sailing in swimwear. We contemplated going into Phillipsburg, the capital of the Dutch southern half of the island, as we need to get a new WiFi printer and the it’s duty free, with cruise liners in most days. On checking the charts, apart from the cruise liner terminal which is dredged to 10,5m it was all too shallow, so we carried on a couple of miles and anchored in Simpson Bay.
We took the RIB for a high speed tour of the lagoon and found Budget Marine where we got our LPG bottle refilled and picked up a couple of spares. The wind gradually built and by evening it was 25kts gusting 30kts and howling through the rigging and the anchorage was very rolly. So first thing in the morning we motored around to the NW side of the island to the French half and cleared in with Customs and Immigration near the Ferry Terminal (as it’s much cheaper than the Dutch clearance – but you can still go to either side), the anchorage is slightly less rolly, but still blowing a bitch.
Thursday was Ascension Day (do we still do that in the UK?) and everything was closed so we stayed on board, did a few domestic chores and met up with Magic, moored in Fort Louis Marina, to go with Nick and Susan to Grand Case for a meal in “Restaurant Street”