As you read in the last blog, I made it to St Martin and anchored the boat in Simpson Bay lagoon. Now that I am here I was excited to explore the entire island, but chose to start with the lagoon itself. Te lagoon is roughly three mile or so long and a little over a mile wide and is basically a lake since no ocean swell can get in through the two narrow channels.
I basically did a clockwise lap around the entire lagoon and had a blast. I went under the swing bridge that physically separates the section I am in with the rest of the lagoon and then headed towards the airport, which I am happy to report is possible to reach by taking the dinghy to the dock and walking across the street. From there I keep heading west and found Mullet Pond which is a lagoon within the lagoon. I did find it interesting that I could drive my dinghy right up the shore and step onto the green of a golf course.
At the far west end I found a marina and then started heading back but on the French side of the lagoon this time. This brings up an important point that you need to make sure you anchor on the side of the lagoon that you check into since the island is split between the French and Dutch. Both sides have quite a few anchored boats on the east shore, but it is not nearly as crowded as I expected and it is no problem to find a spot to anchor. As I got back to the east shore I passed a very obvious small peak that has the name of Witch’s Tit. This looks like it would be a great medium intensity hike to the top.
I prefer the Dutch side of the lagoon and before you get to the swing bridge, because this is where all the services are. From my boat I see the headquarters of both Budget Marine and Water World. On the other hand if you want a little more solitude then you will like the area around the Witch’s Tit, but make sure you check into the French side because it is their property.
Speaking of which, I read a funny story explaining how the boundary, which has been around since 1648 and is one of the oldest active treaties in the world, came about. Legend states the French and Dutch were very civilized about it and simply had one man from each country meet at a point and start walking in opposite directions. When they met that would be the border. Well the Frenchman took a flask of wine to quench his thirst while the Dutchman took gin. Gin being stronger than wine the Dutchman started to slow down and the French ended up with 60% of the island while the Dutch got 40%.