Sint Maarten St. Martin

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Two countries, two vastly different cultures, and so much fun.  We arrived in Sint Maarten Dec 24, 2021. After two weeks we sailed down to Antigua for a few weeks and now we have returned to St. Martin, the French side en route to the BVI. We really like the French side of St, Martin and we really like anchoring off Marigot. Everyone we asked told us to go to the French side, Marigot, but like rookies, we sailed into the Dutch side and anchored in Simpson Bay. That may seem like a big mistake to experts, but we needed to get a new outboard motor and the store, Island Water World, was close to Simpson Bay. So, this seemed to make sense to us.  Luckily for us, John Knight of IP 420 Adventuress was here and he towed us into the store to for out outboard. After that, we were free to move anywhere and we quickly moved to the French Side and learned what everyone was talking about.  Here is a map of the overview of the two sides and the harbors everyone uses.

The map of St. Martin / Sint Maarten

Why the French Side?

With a running dinghy, we moved over to Marigot, the French capitol and main harbor, and learned how we can easily take the dinghy thru the lagoon to the Dutch side. On the French side, the harbor is less rolly and the swell is blocked by the island to the north, Anguilla. So this large harbor is far better than Simpson Bay. Add in the French Bakeries and coffee and baguettes and you have just landed in Paradise. I always say…  THE FRENCH LIVE THE BEST…. and their food and restaurants prove this slogan of mine.

Sarafina’s Bakery is the best for almond or chocolate-almond-filled croissants.

Food, I usually do not post about food

When in France with fine French cheese and shrimp and wine and you can share this with good cruising friends, well, life is good. When we sailed back into SXM, we bumped into IP445 No Wahalla with owners Lisa and John who are heading southeast to St. Barts and then Antigua. Let’s get together and share some cocktails. Check out this little cheese plate and fun time on Island Spirit. We did this same party on their boat first. We need to sail on before we hurt ourselves 🙂

Some of the provisions from the wonderful French grocery store called Super U.
Lisa and Radeen always take a great photo, so much fun
These Texans know how to have fun. We always enjoy our time together. Thanks, Lisa and John IP 445 NO Wahalla
Pre-packaged shrimp cocktail from France. Perfect and oh so good.

Dining out, Oui Oui, Viva la France!

When in France, one must go out for a fine meal. We moved up to Grand Case so we could go snorkeling off Rocher Creole with Lisa and John. We found some great coral and tropical fish on the side of the island at the cut. The waves were about 1 foot but it was still well worth the swim. The next day after a major storm, the rain stopped just in time and we were able to stick with our dinner plans at Ocean 82 in Grand Case. This meal will go down as one of the best ever, with the presentation even more artistic than any photos will show. John and Lisa had a lobster flambeed table side and I had Mahi Mahi and Radeen had Lobster linguini.  Fine wine and beautiful desserts completed the meal. Again, it was French, so what would you expect? INCREDIBLE.

Our table at Ocean 82
Tuna spring roll appetizer
Flambeed lobster table side

Sailing Antigua / Barbuda to SXM

The sailing here from Antigua / Barbuda was downwind and was a dream. We are looking for more of the same on the upcoming Tue / Wed overnight 95 miles from SXM to BVI. Yes, we will finally make the British Virgin Islands.  We hope it is as great as our many other times there. Here are a few sailing photos from out trip here to SXM.

Easy downwind sailing in blue, blue water
Flying the furling code 0 sail with the staysail
Simple sailing on a broad reach in 15 knots, this is a dream sail
Dragging a fishing line, we landed a small tuna, fresh fish for dinner

Reflecting on quality time

No TV since Dec 20, limited cell phone calls, SiriusXM satellite radio for BBC, NPR, CNN and FOX to keep up with all the varied “talking points” and internet thanks to Google FI, but we are still a bit disconnected. We tend to like this peaceful life, taking time to reflect. Our advice is: Take time to watch a sunset most days. Take time to share a cocktail or coffee or tea while watching a sunset. Talk to friends and family and plan goals and objectives together. This is quality time and it really comes to full life on a cruising sailboat. Welcome aboard. Now, watch that sunset or sunrise today…

Hayden and Radeen watching a sunset off St. Martin

Thank you for sailing along. Please leave us a comment. It will be sent to my email and we will reply as soon as we can.

PS Wine? Wine? Did anyone say wine?

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7 Replies to “Sint Maarten St. Martin”

  1. Fantastic!
    Love the food…I drooled all over the keyboard….and you didn’t even talk about the profiteroles…
    Why are you leaving exactly?

  2. So glad you are sharing all the wonders of this part of the world and your cruising lifestyle. We’ve been toying with the idea of buying/long-term renting in Costa Rica because we’ve been enjoying our time here so much, but have decided that it’s better to keep the future open to spending time in other places too. So much to see and experience. Your island beckons!!

  3. I’m stuffed to the gills just reading about all that food and taking in those beautiful pictures of it! Sounds like another long hike is in your future! I still can’t get over that blue blue water. Magnificent! Stay safe. Plan D is departing Wednesday. Loretta

  4. Wish i was 20 years younger and sailing in your area. Will make my present years enjoyable just reading of your sailing activities.

  5. Hope you took some of those croissants with you. Yes, unbelievable food, even lunch is a great deal. We ferried over from Anguilla when we stayed there one Christmas pre-hurricanes.

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