Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Living in Simpson Bay Lagoon

Trillium at anchor in Simpson Bay Lagoon
Apparently Simpson Bay Lagoon is a favorite long-term anchorage for many cruisers. We have seen 6-7 boats from the Caribbean 1500 and Atlantic Cup rallies anchored here. It is a good stopping place to rest as you travel up and down the island chain. Inside the lagoon, the water is calm and free of swells. The waves come from the dozens of dinghies running around since your dinghy is your “car” in this neighborhood. There are also day tours from the large marinas and hotels taking scores of dinghies out to explore.

We have spent most of our time on land on the French side in the area of Marina Port la Royale. It looks like a picturesque European seaport with restaurants all around the docks on the lagoon side.

The area near the lagoon has a number of boutiques and galleries. I found a wonderful gallery owned by a watercolor painter. I could only wish to paint with such lightness and fluidity as he does. I had to buy a small piece just to remind me of his style. Like most art purchased on vacation: it won’t fit in with our northern d├ęcor! But I loved it!

A view down the dock ...
All of the restaurants “encourage” you to take a seat in their establishment. Since all of them display their menus on the dock, it is fun to walk along and read the menus before deciding where to take a table. You can tell who has the best food – or the best hustlers – by the crowds dining in each. Lunch seems to be busier than dinner. Personally, once we returned to the boat at the end of a day of exploring, I preferred to eat on board and relax in the cockpit rather than run through the lagoon in the dark to find a restaurant.

It is somewhat challenging to dinghy into the restaurant areas at night in the dark and often with waves lapping at your bottom. Yes, your bottom – not the dinghy’s. There is a reason sailors wear quick drying clothes! More than once I have 
 ... and from one restaurant.
climbed onto a dock (not too gracefully, either) with a wet butt! No one seems to notice as it comes with the lifestyle!

The best part of the area is eating or having a beverage outside in these open-air restaurants - especially when you recall the cold temperatures back in Michigan. I can see us becoming "snowbirds" even though we both enjoy winter and snow. But there is something so wonderful about being in sunny warm breezy weather!


  1. Greetings from Chicago and the great midwest. Aren't you glad that you're not here right now with our temperature of 29 degrees? I cannot seem to find your crew signup page!!!

    It's fun to read of your adventures! I've done a couple crossings between Bermuda and the U.S. and relate to many of your stories! I am looking forward to a few more passages in my own future! Happy sails.

    1. Tom, we are hoping your schedule allows you to sail with us in the Atlantic Cup.


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