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Look up the word “rolly” in the dictionary and you’ll likely come up blank. Apparently it’s not a word. Ask any cruiser the meaning of the word though and you’ll have no problem coming up with a definition. In fact, they’ll typically be able to give you several good examples of anchorages where rolly is the perfect adjective to describe them. In our case, we’d start with Simpson Bay where our boat now lies at anchor. Stephen Pavlidis, in his cruising guide The Leeward Islands, even describes the anchorage as rolly. Let’s just say that he is right!

We arrived at Simpson Bay at 12:45 yesterday, just about 55 hours after we set sail from St. Lucia. The trip was completely uneventful following yesterday’s post. We had nice sunshine, relatively calm seas and a fair breeze from the NE to accompany us. We opted to stop in Simpson Bay because of its close proximity to the airport that Rebecca will be flying out of for her trip to the US. After getting ourselves and the boat squared away, our first task was clearing into the country. The Customs and Immigration office is located inside the police station, just a few minute dinghy ride from where our boat is anchored. The clearing-in process was simple and I was pleased to find that the officers working there did not have the ridiculous stone-faced scowl that many others in their line of work do. Thumbs up ladies!

After clearing in we toured around the Lagoon a bit, the heart of the Sint Maarten cruising area. When we last visited here we entered the Lagoon from the French side and were not impressed. The boats appeared crowded together and the water looked very dirty. We now know that we saw only a tiny fraction of the Lagoon. Entering from the Dutch side we can see that it is huge with plenty of space to anchor comfortably. Given how rolly the outside bay is, we’ll be taking the first opportunity to move inside this morning (the next bridge opening is at 9:30 AM). We’ll let you know how that goes.

A view from inside the Simpson Bay Lagoon.

This will be one of our neighbors when we move inside. Perhaps we’ll get to “hang out?”

Happy hour at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club. Beer is only $4.00 here, similar to Grenada except that that price is in US dollars and in Grenada it was in EC dollars (note: that was sarcasm… it is much more expensive here).

A cat leaving the Lagoon through the Dutch bridge. We’ll be going the other way in less than an hour.


  1. Great to hear you had a good sail north. Don’t drink too many of those “cheap” beers while Rebecca is away Mike !

  2. That Cat is a 56ft Fountaine Pajot Marquises. Great Catamaran for intimate Scuba/Sail charters.

  3. Mike,

    You guys need to visit the Sunset Beach Bar and watch the plans land!!!

    It is located on the beach right next to the airport, duh!

    Have a blast !

    Mark, Dawn and Keal

  4. Knowing that anchorage as I do and seeing as how I will hopefully soon be living and cruising on a cat similar in size to ZTC, I’d love to know the real deal. In a mono hull, my definition of rolly is, you can never trust setting down your beer, coffee or a tool with any confidence it will stay there for more than one roll. Can you please give me a accurate definition of rolly in a cat with regards to beer, coffee or tools?

  5. Congratulations on a safe and successful trip.

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