Eight Days of Warm Sun and Fun
It’s time to go back to Saint-Martin, Anguilla and St. Barts. The Club last visited there in 2015, but only briefly. This time the plan is to explore more of Saint-Martin, while stopping at some really wonderful places in Anguilla and St. Barthelemy (St. Barts). This trip should please everyone. If your favorite thing is good sailing, snorkeling, great beaches, walking, diving, fishing, biking or enjoying local restaurants (the best French restaurants in the Caribbean are in Grand Case on Saint-Martin, and on St. Barts, depending who you talk with) and exploring a different culture ... it’s all on this trip! Anguilla, surrounded by spectacular white sand beaches and banks of coral, and St. Barts, surrounded by rich people, offer opportunities for great sailing and a great diversity of activities. With temperatures at or in the 80’s, February is a great time to be in the Leeward Islands. The easterly trade winds provide 10-20 knots, the Christmas Winds are usually done by February and it’s the dry season.
Saturday, February 15 - Travel day for most, unless you’re one of the lucky few who can arrive a few days early, get acclimatized and show up at the dock all relaxed and tan. Once gear and provisions are organized, it's off for dinner ashore at a nearby location. Hopefully it will be an early lights out, as Sunday is a full day.
Sunday, February 16 - Marigot Bay to Road Bay, Anguilla - 15 NM. After a somewhat leisurely breakfast, we will make our way to an anchorage in this sheltered bay. Lunch at Johnno’s Beach Stop is a perfect place to kick-start our trip: right on the beach, with live music from 1-4 PM every Sunday. This place is known for it’s warm welcome and good food. Dinner that evening will be boat’s choice, either eat onboard or sample a nearby beach restaurant. A list with websites will be provided to participants.
Monday, February 17 - Road Bay to Prickly Pear Cays - 6 NM. Breakfast onboard and a not-too-late departure, as there's a full day ahead. The day begins with a sail to a lunch and snorkel destination. After lunch we will head back to Saint Martin and Prickly Pear Cays. These are two small, sandy islands that are one of six marine protected areas in Anguilla. East Cay is a popular snorkeling spot due to good populations of coral and fish as well as seabirds. It's only about one mile wide.
Prickly Pear Reef is an underwater canyon with ledges and caves whose depth
varies from 40 feet (12 m) to 70 feet (21 m) and includes an underwater,
chimney-like formation. It is those ledges that are building up the sand that
creates the sand banks.
Tuesday, February 18 - Grand Case to Île Tintamarre and then Îlet Pinel - 8 NM. Tintamarre Island is less than a mile long and is described as a “wonderful haven of peace and greenery in the middle of the ocean.” It is uninhabited, but if you walk the island you will find the remains of an airstrip, railway, and cotton plantation. It has an interesting history - Tintamarre History.
After lunch onboard, we sail to Îlet Pinel (Pine Island), our overnight anchorage. The ferry from the main island to Pinel stops running at 5 pm and then it gets nice and quiet. Depending on how much daylight is left once the anchor is set, you may want to go ashore and find a beach for yourself or with a friend
Wednesday, February 19 - Îlet Pinel to Gustavia, St. Barts - 16 NM. The goal is to pick up mooring balls in Gustavia. There will be another customs check-in required here, which will provide time for crews to discuss what to do once ashore. There are so many choices and never enough time! We will have most of the afternoon and all evening here. You could just walk around and explore Gustavia’s main and back streets. There are art galleries, shops and plenty of good restaurants. You could walk to a beach or rent a jeep, Mini-Cooper or scooter, or take a cab to a beach or other location. For information on car or scooter rentals, there is Barthloc. For other activities, visit Top 9 Things to do in St. Barthelemy.
Thursday, February 20 - Gustavia harbor to Île Fourche - 5 NM. After breakfast, it's a short sail to the quiet and much better snorkeling location of Île Fourche. After retrieving a mooring breathe in the sweet smell of thirsty grasses covering the ridge that buffers the anchorage from the prevailing trades. The island’s entire perimeter is part of the St. Barts Marine Park, established two decades ago to protect the marine environment. Dinghy through the crystal-clear waters to the sandy beach and climb the hill, or snorkel over coral reefs, just a splash away from the boat. Your only neighbors might be the sea turtles, who now thrive thanks to restored sea-grass beds.
Friday, February 21 - Île Fourche to Dream Yacht’s base, Marigot - 20 NM. The longest sail of the trip, and won’t it be sweet? After a relaxing breakfast at Île Fourche watching the pelicans fish and looking for sea turtles coming up for air, it's time to head back. This is a good time to review what’s left in the refrigerator to bring to the must-goes cocktail hour at the dock. Let’s set the time for that as we head back, because there likely will be more interest in hot showers, and finding all the things we started the trip with but somehow lost their importance as the tropical water washed away our cares and concerns. That’s why a winter getaway trip is so important. It’s a break from reality.
Saturday, February 22 - Charter base. You don’t have to go home, but we have to be off the boats by 10 AM.
Three boats have been reserved - two monohulls and a catamaran.
The airport is Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) located in Phillipsburg, the capital of the Dutch/Netherlands side of the island. It is about a 30 minute cab ride from the airport to the Dream Yacht Charter base at Marina Fort Louis in Marigot Bay. There are non-stop flights from EWR (United-probably the most expensive); JFK and Ft. Lauderdale (JetBlue); Atlanta (Delta); and Charlotte, Miami, and Philadelphia (American).
The cost of the trip is $875.00 (Skippers/Trip Leader $461.00). The trip price includes charter fees, boat damage insurance, and dinghy with motor. Provisioning, airfare, customs fees, mooring charges, and other incidentals are additional and will be handled by each boat's crew.. A $200.00 deposit and Release of Liability and Zero Tolerance Form must accompany your reservation form. Please make your check payable to The Sailing Club, Inc. and mail it, along with your completed reservation and release forms, to Mary Ann Gordon at the address below. Reservations will be processed beginning September 21, 2019 with a random draw of those received by that date. All reservations received after that date are on a first-come, first served basis. A final payment of $675.00 will be due November 1, 2019,
NOTE: A special cancellation policy applies to this trip. Cancellations prior to November 5, 2019 will receive a full refund.. Cancellations after that date are not refundable, regardless of reason, unless a replacement is found. Travel insurance is NOT included in the trip price. Confirmed participants should make their own decisions regarding insurance that would provide coverage appropriate to their needs, and that they feel best protects them in their individual situations. Two useful resources for comparing plans are www.insuremytrip.com and www.squaremouth.com. As always, read all policy terms and conditions carefully.
A pre-trip meeting will be held three to four weeks before the trip, at a time and place to be determined. All participants should make every effort to attend in order to meet your crewmates, plan your meals, and coordinate travel plans.
Please note that sailing conditions are dynamic, that your safety, and that of your crewmates, depends on your good physical health and agility.
Assistant Trip Leader
Mary Ann Gordon
2714 Packer Court
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
2006 South Branch Drive
Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889