Alain and Zuzu

Sailing on Flagship

to Sandy Island and Little Bay in Anguilla
to Créole Rock, Tintamarre, and Pinel in St Martin

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2013 trip around St Martin Marine Park

We boarded at Anse Marcel at about 8:30AM and sailed out of the harbor as we enjoyed coffee and a lovely fruit platter. Our route would take us out through the narrow channel that leads to the well protected marina in Anse Marcel. Along the way, we saw several iguanas including this gentleman in the trees. We came out into the Anguilla Channel heading west until we reached Créole Rock at the northeastern end of Grand Case Bay.

Map of St Martin Marine Park

There is no road along the coast from Grand Case to Anse Marcel. This imposing hill is the reason.


Below is Créole Rock where we snorkeled in the the leeward side of the tradewinds, seeing blue tangs, wrasse, goatfish, and jacks with many conch on the sea floor. At times we have seen turtles, barracuda, pufferfish, and needlefish in the area. After about an hour we tacked into the trade winds heading toward Tintamarre, an eighty acre island about 3 kilometers (two miles) off the coast of St Martin..

Créole Rock

Below is a panoramic shot of the west end of Tintamarre, with the headlands on the left and the beach in the center. I am borrowing this photo from a previous trip as I dropped my camera in the water here. The history of Tintamarre is worth reading.

Tintamarre panorama

We left Tintamarre around noon for a very short sail to Pinel at the northern end of Orient Bay. Below is a panoramic shot of the south side of Pinel. This is the major beach and has a couple beach bars. There are some view tables on the high points explaining what islands can be found in the distance, notably Tintamarre, which we just left, Green Key to the south off Orient Bay, and St Barts about 15 miles to the south.


Salad We anchored off Pinel and had a wonderful lunch consisting of a tasty salad (left), grilled chicken with rice and ratatouille (right), and a wonderful chocolate cake with creme anglaise and whipped cream. Red, white, and pink wines were always open and beer was available. The size of the boat and limit on the number of boaters makes this a great trip. It doesn't hurt that Alain was the chef in a very good restaurant before he took to the sea and the slogan of his captain, Umberto, is "Anything is possible!" We buzzed along Orient before turning back north and heading to home port at about 5PM. A great day. Chicken

2011 trip to Anguilla

We boarded at Anse Marcel at about 8:30AM and sailed out of the harbor as we enjoyed coffee and a lovely fruit platter. Our route would take us out into the Angulla Channel and downwind in a generally westward direction until we could round Anguilla's southwestern point. We then sailed around the the island and headed east along the northern coast. A bit before noon we dropped anchor at Sandy Island, a mere spit of land, no bigger than a few football fields and almost as flat, a scant two feet above sea level. We toured the island, swam, snorkeled, and sun-bathed with the aid of a few libations. We then headed further west and dropped anchor at Little Bay, a fish sanctuary. We had a wonderful lunch there and late in the afternoon we reversed course, returning to Anse Marcel at sunset. The panoramic shot below is Anse Marcel's fine harbor featuring the Radisson Hotel. Map of SXM and Anguilla

Anse Marcel

Breakfast On the left is a shot of the fruit platter that greeted our arrival. Below is a shot that shows the lighter colored water in the harbor. On the right is a finely polished conch.

Blue waters


Cap Juluca
Above is a panoramic shot of Cap Juluca. We stayed here in 2006 and produced this write-up. Cap Juluca is along the southern coast of Anguilla, close to the western point.

Below is Cove Castles. We've never stayed here, but it certainly is stunning and we've heard great things about it. Cove Castles is also on the southern coast but almost on the western point.

Cap Juluca

Sailboat On the left is a colorful sailboat that flitted between Flagship and SXM as we sailed in the channel. The mountains in the background include Pic Paradis, SXM's highest peak at 424 meters, almost 1400 feet. On the right is a Frankenpalm, a cell phone tower disguised as a giant palm tree. When they build them in New England we call them Frankenpines. Obviously, they have to be taller than anything nearby, so despite the "disguise" they are easy to spot. Frankenpalm

Sandy Island
Above is a panoramic shot of Sandy Island. There is a small utility building and a slightly larger bar/restaurant that only opens by prior arrangements.

Below is Sandy Island in the foreground and much of the north shore of Anguilla in the background, including Road Bay, the center of activity, such as it is, on Anguilla.

Road bay

snacks Little Bay Little Bay
Above left is the fine charcuterie we enjoyed when we got back to the boat after exploring Sandy Island.

Above center and right are views of the cliffs at Little Bay on the north side of Anguilla. The easiest way to visit is by boat, but there is parking above and there is a rope that you can use to rappel to the beach. Bear in mind that it may be harder to pull yourself back up to the top. The snorkeling is great and as you can see, even on one of the best days of the season, there were few visitors.

Lunch snacks sunset
Above left is the fine lunch featuring grilled chicken and merguez that we enjoyed while loafing at Little Bay. No paper plates and plastic forks on this trip. But what did you expect? Alain and Zuzu ran one of the best restaurants in Grand Case and still are involved in Palm Beach Restaurant, one of the best on Orient Beach.

We finished the day with a wonderful chocolate cake with fruit, whipped cream, and creme anglais. As we headed east in the Anguilla Channel we got to watch a fabulous sunset off the stern. It was a full and wonderful day on the water with great food and wine. Check out their website to make a reservation.


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