Caribbean Sea. Sailing & Cruising Information. St Barthelemy

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Background St. Barts is located at 18 degrees North, and 63 degrees West in the northeastern corner of the Caribbean Sea, 125 miles east of Puerto Rico. Steep hills divide this 8 sq. mile island into several valleys, usually open at one side to the sea. There is one town and about a dozen villages on St. Barts. The shoreline includes 14 beaches, many protected from ocean swells by a fringing reef.
Capital: Gustavia. Official Language: French. English also. Population: 7,000
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8.25 Saint Barthelemy (17°54'N., 62°50'W.), a French island, lies about 11 miles SE of Saint Martin, and is separated from it by Saint Barthelemy Channel. The coasts of the island are very irregular and indented by many small bays separated from one another by precipitous rocky promontories.
8.25 The island can be identified by a group of hills, which lie close together on its E side. The N and E coasts of the island are boarded by a coral reef which is always visible.
8.25 The coasts of Saint Barthelemy are very dangerous at night, particularly its N side, off which there are a number of islets and rocks. This side should always be approached with greatest caution. Marine nature reserves have been established around Saint Bethelemy, as best seen on the chart. Fishing with nets, traps, and underwater fishing is prohibited.
8.25 Saint Barthelemy Channel is about 5 miles wide between the off-lying dangers on either side and may be freely navigated by day, but at night it is dangerous, as the depths of from 22 to 25.6m are so regular, that they give no indication of the proximity of the rocks on either hand.
8.25 Rocher Table (17°58'N., 62°56'W.) lies 4.5 miles NW of the NW extremity of Saint Barthelemy. The island is steep-to on all sides and almost barren. Groupers, SW of Rocher Table, is a nearly barren islet with steep sides. A number of low-lying rocks lie on a reef that extends SW from Groupers.
Ile Fourchue (17°58'N., 62°54'W.) is the largest and highest of the islets NW of Saint Barthelemy. The islet has five pointed hillocks which from a distance appear as separate islets.
8.25 Anchorage, sheltered from the prevailing winds, may be taken by small vessels with local knowledge, in the bay on the SW side of the Ile Fourchue.
8.25 It is reported that this bay also provides excellent anchorage for small craft, in depths of 6m, off the beach.
8.25 A dangerous rock lies about 0.2 mile WSW of the S extremity of the island. Local knowledge is required.
8.25 Landing can be effected on a sandy beach in the NE corner of the bay.
8.26 Ilot Boulanger (17°57'N., 62°52'W.) lies about 1.5 miles E of Ile Fourche. The islet is small, barren and rocky. Ile Pele (Ile Navire) lies 0.2 mile farther E.
8.26 Ships should not attempt to pass between these islets. Ilot Baril de Boeuf, a small black rock, lies about 1.5 miles W of the NW extremity of Saint Barthelemy.
8.26 Ile Chevreau and Ile Fregate are two high islets, covered with grass and bushes, which lie off the N coast of Saint Barthelemy. Ile Toc Vers is a pointed islet located 0.7 mile E of Ile Fregate The passage between the two islets should not be attempted.
Ilot La Tortue, which is flat and rocky, is located about 0.5 mile NW of the NE extremity of Saint Barthelemy.
8.26 Ile Coco is rocky with a wooded summit and lies 0.5 mile S of the S coast of Saint Barthelemy.
8.26 Caution.—Nature reserves have been established around Saint Barthelemy, Ile Fourchu, Ile Fregate, and Ile Toc Vers. The area limits are best seen on the chart.
8.27 Gustavia (17°54'N., 62°51'W.) (World Port Index No. 11380) is the capital and principal port of Saint Barthelemy. The port lies on the W coast of the island.
Tides—Currents.—The tidal rise in the port is small and influenced by the wind.
Depths—Limitations.—On the NE side of the basin, the Main Dock, with a length of 80m and a depth of 5m alongside, provides 6 berths and a ro-ro facility. The Fish Dock is at the SE end of the Main Dock.
8.27 On the SW side of the basin, there is a privately-owned quay and two small jetties.
The port basin shows depths of less than 5m, shoaling about 0.1 mile from its head.
Aspect.—A light is shown on Fort Gustavia, which stands on the N side of the port.
8.27 Pilotage.—Pilotage is compulsory and should be requested through the Port Captain. Requests for a berth must be placed at least 48 hours in advance of ETA. The harbor may be contacted on VHF channel 16 or 10.
8.27 Anchorage.—Anchorage is available, in a depth of 13m, with Fort Gustavia Light bearing 108°, La Baleine Light bearing 200°, and the NE tangent of Gros Ilets bearing 147° as indicated on the chart.
8.27 Anchorage can be obtained, in a depth of 11m, with Fort Oscar, 0.2 mile SW of Fort Gustavia, bearing 133° and La Baleine bearing 225°.
8.27 Vessels over 1,600 grt carrying hydrocarbons or dangerous cargo must anchor 0.7 mile N of Le Pain de Sucre.
8.27 Inner anchorages, with a least depth of 4.9m, is available to the E of Gros Ilets. This anchorage is sheltered from the prevailing winds but is exposed to the SW and W, and is unsafe during the hurricane season.
8.27 It is reported that anchorage is prohibited in the fairway to the inner port.
8.27 Caution.—Several dangers lie in the approach to Gustavia.
Gros Ilets lie on a reef 0.4 mile WNW of Fort Oscar. La Baleine, a small rock, awash, and marked close W by a lighted beacon, lies about 0.2 mile W of Gros Islets; a 5m patch lies
91m S of La Baleine.
8.27 The passage between La Baleine and Gros Ilots has a least NNE from the center islet. A stranded wreck lies close NE of Les Saintes.
8.27 Vessels are urged to contact the local authorities for the latest information on this port before planning a voyage here.
8.27 A marine sanctuary, the boundaries of which are best seen on the chart, lies in the approach to the harbor.


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