After leaving Red Hook in St Thomas at noon in mid May I motored across the Anegada Passage after reaching the southern tip of Virgin Gorda. The trip across was uneventful (luckily) and I did it in around 17 hours over night. The winds were 10-15 straight on the nose and the waves were 2-4. As I said it was uneventful, but not the most comfortable either. In the middle of the night I took 20 minute naps and was ready for some real sleep by the next day.
But before I could sleep I needed to anchor the boat and I wanted to do that inside Simpson Lagoon. The benefit of being inside the lagoon is that you do not have to worry about swell and the anchorage is always calm…..well almost always since there are boats whizzing by causing a wake, haha. St Martin is an island split between French (north) and Dutch (south) ownership. I chose to enter on the Dutch side and this is important, because it means I need to keep my boat on their side or I need to check out and check into the French side. The funny part is by land you are allowed to go anywhere you want on the island.
To get into the lagoon I had to pass through the lift bridge on the Dutch side (there is also one on the French side). The bridge opens at different times for outbound and inbound. The outbound times are 08:30, 10:30, and 16:00, while the inbound times are 09:30, 11:30, 15:00, and 17:00. For my size boat I have to pay $21 per time I come into the lagoon and $20 per week I am here This is paid in the building on the north side of the channel (attached to the police station).
Once you are in the lagoon you can anchor anywhere that is not a channel and contrary to what I expected there is plenty of room for boats. All the boats chose to anchor on the east end of the lagoon since that is where the winds come from and it means less fetch. I found a great little spot around the back side of Snoopy Island in the southern part of the lagoon.
Now that I am here I took the dinghy over to the St Martin Yacht Club to get ashore and also have a drink while I watch other boats maneuver down the narrow entrance channel. Why watch from here? Well the yacht club is situated on the opposite side of the channel as customs and they have a deck set up for the boat parade that happens every time the bridge opens. Kind of a must do when you are in St Martin. Haha.