Exploring St. Martin’s Lagoon

No matter where we sail, one of the necessary chores of the cruising life is doing the laundry. We considered installing a washer-dryer combo, but we listened to tales of woe from other cruisers about all different types of machines, so we chose to go without. Instead, we either search for a do-it-yourself Laundromat, or a Wash and Fold. In St. Martin, Shrimpy’s is the place to go. Far more than a wash and fold, proprietors Mike and Sally offer advice, stories, a second hand boat parts store, a book exchange, Wi-Fi, and much more. Mike hosts the Cruiser’s Net most mornings, and he’s always available to offer information, help and advice. Both he and Sally, former cruisers, are great resources. You can visit their site and learn more at http://shrimpys-stmaarten.com/

Shrimpy's
Shrimpy’s

Just a short dinghy run from Shrimpy’s through all the boats moored bow and stern is the inner harbor of downtown Marigot. Here we found one of the Caribbean’s best dinghy docks where I could quite easily help Joy out of the dinghy and onto the dock. We could wander Marigot’s streets to our hearts content. 
Marigot Channel
Marigot Channel

Best of all, just around the corner down a small side street you’ll find one of the finest cafes in all St. Martin. Fresh baked bread, “pan avec chocolat” (croissants with chocolate), and all manner of tasty treats line the display cases tempting you to try to walk out without buying one of every kind. We visited this cafe more times than I can remember, just about once a day as I recall. 
Eclectic artwork
Eclectic artwork

As we wandered the Marigot waterfront by dinghy one day, we discovered this eclectic collection of junk that a very talented person had transformed into an artistic collage that brought big smiles to all who passed by. Though it’s hard to see in our photo, the artwork is a caricature of modern day times and people, and it takes a minute or two to appreciate the imagination and humor that went into its creation. One person’s junk is definitely another’s treasure.
Marigot Harbor looking Towards the Lagoon
Marigot Harbor looking Towards the Lagoon

About a mile from this point in Marigot harbor, Ocean Angel spent two weeks anchored in the lagoon. You can easily spend many more weeks here as it’s a great place to carry out repairs and to explore the island. Every piece of gear and every service you might need is available, but at a price. You need to search and be willing to bargain to obtain the service or parts you want at a price you’re willing to pay. I’d decided we should replace our ten-year old primary anchor rode, which meant changing from 100 feet of chain attached to 150 feet of nylon to an all-chain rode. I went looking for 200 feet of 5/16″ G43 hot-dip galvanized chain. Budget Marine, a major Caribbean chandlery, wanted $6.50 / foot for their Chinese chain; you can do the math. I walked a block to Island Water World, a big competitor, hemmed and hawed over their $6.00 price, and finally after much gabbing, bought their Canadian chain for $4.00/ foot, a $500.00 savings. You can do the same.

Explore the Big Lagoon