Saint Martin and Sint Maarten


After about 30 hours of beating into the trade winds and waves, we arrived to Sint Maarten and anchored in Simpson Bay.

The small island of Saint Martin is divided between two countries. The northern half is an overseas collectivity of France called Saint Martin. The southern half, Sint Maarten, is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. There is no border control between the two sides, so you can freely cross from Dutch territory to French territory. 

The morning after our arrival, we crossed through a small drawbridge and into Simpson Bay Lagoon, where we tied up to a dock at Blue Pearl Marina. Only the captain (Brandon) was permitted to leave the boat, so the kids and I waited while he took the dinghy to the customs office on the other side of the lagoon. Once customs and immigrations had cleared us into the country, we hoisted our Sint Maarten flag, checked in with the marina office, and set out to explore.

Dutch Sint Maarten

The Dutch side of the island was clean and modern. There were several marine supply stores and a sail loft nearby, so we spent a few days tracking down spare parts and getting boat projects done. The owner of Blue Pearl Marina was extremely helpful and considerate. We ate dinner at a popular bar and restaurant called Lagoonies. 

French Saint Martin

We had a lot of laundry to catch up on and I needed more than the small washer/dryer combo that we have on the boat. Since there wasn’t a self-serve laundry mat on the Dutch side, we took our dinghy a couple miles to the town of Marigot, Saint Martin.

Compared to the Dutch side, Marigot was run down and a little untidy. It seemed that they were just so busy preparing delicious food that they didn’t have time to clean and maintain their shops and homes. The streets were littered with cafes, bistros, restaurants, cheese shops, wine shops, bakeries, and pastry shops. We were hooked. We came back to the French side of the island every day for the remainder of our stay.

We especially enjoyed Chez Fernand Bakery, La Main à la Pâte, and Cadismarket. The food was delicious, and most groceries were much less expensive than in the US.  Marigot Market, Le West Indies shopping mall, and Fort St. Louis are also worth visiting. 

On to the Next Island...

Before leaving the island, Isaiah decided to get a haircut after growing his hair out for the past two years. Then, we headed back through the drawbridge and continued sailing south. 

1 thought on “Saint Martin and Sint Maarten”

  1. The food looks amazing!!! And we know you all love food. So cool to see how modern the malls are. Miss you all so much!!!

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