Saint Martin has many anchorages, the most important of which are :
Well protected except in northerly swells, this anchorage is a must for all cruising yachts. It is the only place on the French side of the island where it is possible to carry out the obligatory immigration formalities when arriving or leaving.
Go to the Border Police office (PAF) at the ferry terminal :
- Open Monday to Friday from 8 am to noon and from 2.00pm, to 4.00pm
- Open on Saturday from 8am to noon.
- Closed on Sundays
- Present passports and original boat papers.
Alternatively, paperwork can be done at : Marina Port la Royale and Marina Fort Louis
Cruisers can choose to anchor in the bay or at Marina Fort Louis (VHF 16 – 05 90 51 11 11).
A stone’s throw from the centre of town, Marigot is an ideal place to provision and fill up with water and fuel. It takes five minutes by dinghy, using the entrance to the lagoon, to get to Marina Port la Royale in the centre of town, or to the shipyards in the vicinity of Sandy Ground, where a number of very skilled marine professionals are situated.
Lined with outdoor cafes, restaurants and boutiques, Marina Port la Royale is a great place to go, any time of day. The access to the marina in the heart of Marigot is through the very protected anchorage of Simpson Bay lagoon. Go through the channel in Sandy Ground under the lifting bridge.
Marina Port la Royale offers a postal, fax and telephone service as well as Internet access and Wifi. Likewise: toilets, showers, washing machines and dryers until 7.00pm. It is possible to refuel and to buy water, ice and block ice.
Maximum draft: two feet.
Friar's Bay, which is rarely frequented, is a pleasant, quiet anchorage, and an ideal place for lunch or a leisurely swim, just a few minutes away from Marigot.
- Anchor on the east side of the bay for better protection.
- The north coast has wonderful snorkeling.
It is possible to have lunch and dinner on the beach, and to rent kayaks and beach chairs. For years past, Kali’s Beach Bar has organized a “Full moon party” on the beach on the occasion of the full moon every month.
- This rarely frequented anchorage becomes uncomfortable quickly when the wind or swell comes in there. It is best to anchor under the point at the southern end of the anchorage.
- However, this beach which nudists love, is beautiful and often deserted. The abandoned hotel overlooking the bay was a victim of Hurricane Luis in 1995.
During the season, every Tuesday night, the boulevard that runs alongside the sea is closed to traffic,
and local bands attract jubilant dancers, who swing to the rhythm of drums, trumpets and guitars.
- On Sunday mornings, it’s worth a short detour from the dock, to hear the gospel music sung with gusto by the choir in the Catholic Church.
The Radisson Hotel and the marina in Anse Marcel comprise an island within an island.
- The wind tends to change direction, so it is advisable to allow for plenty of swinging room.
- The Radisson Marina, located in a hurricane hole, is ultra calm.
- It is accessed by a narrow channel, with a maximum depth of 2.80 meters
- The marina has150 slips and can accommodate vessels up to 27 meters.
- The harbormaster’s office is on standby on VHF channel 16, seven days a week, from 8.00 am to noon and from 2.00pm to 6.00pm, or by telephone – 05 90 87 31 94.
There are some good restaurants ashore and a comprehensive sports club on the hillside.
A favourite spot for tourists in Saint Martin, Pinel Island is a beautiful place, which suffers from its reputation and tends to be invaded by crowds of people. Fortunately, Pinel becomes a desert island at 4.30 pm every day, after the cruise ship passengers and other visitors leave on the last small ferry.
- The island is part of the Nature Reserve : so jet-skis and fishing are prohibited.
- Accessing Pinel by boat is tricky, and should be approached via the pass between Green Cay and Pinel.
- The anchorage is situated in front of the beach, on a grassy seabed which is not a great holding.
A short ten-minute walk from the dingy dock brings you to the village of Cul-de-Sac, where you will find a well-stocked pharmacy and a grocery store on the main road.
The wild island finds the origin of its name in the Spanish "tinta-mare": Colour of the sea
- Turquoise water that is so crystal clear one can’t resist plunging into it immediately, in the anchorage situated to the southwest, in front of the white sandy beach.
- Tintamare, which is uninhabited, is part of the Nature Reserve and is totally protected.
- A very nice "snorkeling" site can be accessed close to the anchorage where the northern point juts out. Dozens of tropical fish species live here among the maze of coral.
- New – an eco-snorkeling site which takes one around a marine trail with a guide and explanation.
Equipped with at least a pair of flip flops, the more curious will venture into the bush behind the beach, where they will find airplane wrecks and aircraft engines that have been abandoned since pilots and smugglers no longer use the runway, which was active from 1944 to 1952. Peacocks and a collection of farmyard birds, the only full-time residents in Tintamare, remind us that once upon a time there was an active farm on the island.
The interest of Green Cay lies in its proximity to the beach at Orient Bay, internationally known (also for its nudists) as Orient Beach.
- The anchorage is part of the Nature Reserve and is not very sheltered.
- It becomes intolerable in a northerly swell, but the snorkeling site, to the east of Green Cay is superb.
- Landing a dinghy on Orient Beach is often tricky.
Ashore, everything is laid on for the tourist’s wellbeing: restaurants, boutiques with clothing and souvenirs, and watersports (windsurfing, Hobby cats, kite-surfing, parasailing, jet-skis, "banana boats"...).