MAP - Best Ports & Anchorages in Saint Barthélemy
Saint Barthélemy, colloquially known as St. Barts, is a French-speaking Caribbean island known for its white-sand beaches, designer shops, and luxury yachting scene. As a territory that combines the sophistication of St. Tropez with the laissez-faire Caribbean lifestyle, St. Barts commands a unique position in the Lesser Antilles.
The capital, Gustavia, encircles a yacht-filled harbor with high-end boutiques and restaurants. Its red-roofed buildings signal a history under Swedish rule.
Saint-Jean is the nexus of tourist activity, home to an airstrip, plush hotels, and the island's most renowned beachfront.
Accessible by foot or by boat, Colombier offers secluded shores and is often considered the island's most picturesque region.
Saint Barthélemy, also known as St. Barts, is blessed with a warm, tropical climate moderated by sea breezes and the surrounding waters. Like many of its Caribbean neighbors, it has distinct seasons:
Rainy Season (June to October)
The off-peak months see heavier rainfall and occasionally rough seas, making them less ideal for sailing. The island is located in the hurricane belt and is susceptible to tropical storms during the hurricane season from June to November.
Dry Season (December to April)
The high season is marked by dry weather and consistent trade winds, creating prime sailing conditions. The island's popular anchorage spots can become crowded during peak season, requiring careful maneuvering.
The sailing season typically runs from November to April, coinciding with the dry season when the weather is most favorable. During this period, the prevailing wind, known as the Christmas Winds, blows from the northeast at 15-20 knots, providing ideal conditions for sailing.
St. Barts is also subject to two main wind patterns, which play a significant role in its maritime and aviation activities:
Consistent easterly winds provide cooling breezes that make the tropical climate more pleasant. They are most prominent and reliable during the dry season.
Hurricane Season (June to November)
This season can introduce volatility with the possibility of hurricanes. Though St. Barts often escapes direct hits, it is essential to stay informed about weather systems during this time due to potential sudden changes.
Official website for visas to France
The island's water supply is primarily sourced from desalination plants that convert seawater into potable water, ensuring a consistent and reliable supply. However, due to the high mineral content resulting from this process, some visitors may find the taste slightly different from what they are accustomed to. It's also worth noting that during the dry season, the island occasionally experiences water shortages, leading to temporary reliance on bottled water. Therefore, while the tap water is technically safe to drink, visitors often opt for bottled water for taste and convenience.
The island's main fuel dock, located in Gustavia Harbor, offers diesel and gasoline of excellent quality, ensuring optimal performance for marine vessels. Delivery services are available both on the island and to nearby islands, making it convenient for sailors.
The standard voltage is 220 V, and the standard frequency is 60 Hz, similar to the rest of the Caribbean. The island's infrastructure is well-developed, with modern marinas equipped with power pedestals offering both 30 and 50 amp services. However, it's important to note that the plug type in St. Barts is Type E, which is different from the U.S. standard, so sailors may need an adapter. The island's commitment to renewable energy is also noteworthy, with a significant portion of its electricity generated from solar power.