compass rose

 Accidental Cruiser in the West Indies

 
Northbound Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten Southbound

2/8/14 News from Simpson Bay

There is a new bridge across the lagoon to the airport. Called the causeway bridge, it opens for both directions 15 minutes before before the outbound Dutch bridge opening. and 15 minutes after the inbound opening. Call causeway bridge on VHF 12 just before opening time These times are subject to change.

The cruiser's net now meets on VHF 10 at 7:30am

12/26/10 News from Simpson Bay

The Dutch Bridge now costs considerably more to pay for the widening. In addition, there is a weekly fee for anchoring in the Lagoon. Naturally, the cruisers are all entering and then passing through to the French side and checking in at the Capitanerie at Marina Royale. Check-ins are 5Euro. If you check in in Marigot, there are fees for anchoring in the Marigot Bay. Shrimpy's has moved to the cut near the French Bridge and no longer serves more than snacks. He still does laundry, bottom cleaning, boat jumble sale and general cruiser hanging out.

12/15/07 News from Simpson Bay

There is a great deal of controversy over the state of the widened Dutch Bridge. Cracks have been discovered. Lagoonies is now a marina but they still have a laundromat. Shrimpie is serving as the cruising community center and is running the morning VHF net and doing most of the laundry. Free internet. Beer and a fabulous serving of Fish or Shrimp.As always, bustling with activity and the best prices for boat stuff in the islands. Bobby's marina is the helpful cruiser marina. Don't be too worried about the jet traffic, they have the best marine tradesmen and nicest bunch of people in the lagoon.

 

Yacht club crowd in Sint Maarten
St. Martin Yacht Club at the Dutch Bridge, Sint Maarten, DWI

Simpson Bay Lagoon is a huge mangrove swamp enterable by sailboats only via the Dutch Bridge which is only opened twice a day. This is the boating center for the entire Caribbean sea and the place where many mega-yachts hang out when their owners are not aboard. When the owners arrive, they leave the services and bars of Simpson Bay and head for the more genteel anchorages at Anguilla or St. Barts.

Bridge Opening Times
Dutch Side Bridge Operator VHF CH12
December to April (daily)
8:30am out 9:30am in 10:30am out 11:30am in 3:00pm in 4:00pm out 5:00pm in
May to November (daily)
9:30am 11:30am 5:30pm 5:30pm Out and Inbound
French Side Bridge Operator VHF CH16 (590) 87 20 43
Outbound before inbound - all openings for both directions
8:15am 2:30pm (except on Sunday) 5:30pm

The Dutch bridge carries all the traffic to and from the airport and is opened once in the morning and once in the evening. Naturally, they do not let you dwadle.

A tail of boats following us in under Dutch Bridge
The pack following Eaux Vives in under the Dutch Bridge
Dutch bridge open pelican at peak.
The Dutch bridge opening.
Witch's Tit a hill in the Simpson Bay Lagoon, St. Martin
"Witch's Tit", a landmark in the Simpson Bay Lagoon
Beach with yellow chairs
Beach at northern end.
Lance and the new matresses in the dinghy
Ahmen Mattress factory will deliver your custom mattress to the dock
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