I know, I normally write about broader topics such as things to do in St Maarten, but here I want to focus on one specific thing I couldn’t find any information about online: anchoring in Mullet Bay.
Even Navionics doesn’t list Mullet Bay as an anchorage, so we weren’t sure if we would be allowed to anchor here.
But since it is one of my favorite beaches in St Maarten, we sailed here anyway to check it out.
And the short answer is: yes, you can anchor here, because we did without any issues. But, the real answer is a bit more nuanced. And that’s what I’ll share in this article.
Tip: if you want to rent a sailboat in St Maarten (or in other parts of the Caribbean) check out Sailo.com.
Anchoring in Mullet Bay
When I lived in St Maarten I loved spending a Saturday or Sunday on Mullet Beach.
The beach is popular with locals which gives it a different vibe to many other beaches on the island. On top of that, the water is absolutely crystal clear and it has a couple of nice, laid-back beach bars.
So, now that I am sailing in St Maarten I wanted to try anchoring in Mullet Bay.
Mullet Bay is a popular stop for day charters. And, especially on weekends, locals who own boats enjoy coming here for the day as well.
Both the beach and the bay can get very crowded and lively on weekends. Think loud music coming from all directions, barbecues on the beach, and a generally laid-back, lively Caribbean vibe.
But, all boats leave in the evening, the beach bars normally close around 9pm and most parties on the beach die down not long after.
And that’s when you’ll have this bay all to yourself…
During the week the beach is generally quieter but the bay remains a popular spot for day charters.
Quality of the Anchorage in Mullet Bay
Anchoring in Mullet Bay is simple if the weather is ok. It’s a shallow, sandy bay where you’ll anchor in 2 to 4 meters (6.5 to 13 feet) of water.
For the best shelter you want to tuck in on the southeast side of the bay as much as possible.
Depending on when you arrive the best spot(s) might have already be taken, but those boats will most likely leave long before sunset, so I’d recommend re-anchoring as soon as they leave.
If you anchor further to the center of the bay or further away from the beach you’re a lot more exposed and it will get a lot more rolly.
Do check the weather before you decide to anchor in Mullet Bay. If the wind is coming from the south this anchorage can become very exposed.
The beach is quite steep which doesn’t make it ideal for beaching a dinghy. But if you have a paddleboard, a kayak or don’t mind a swim then it’s easy to get ashore.
There is some nice snorkeling around the rocks on the southeast side of the bay, but the bay itself is more about swimming in crystal clear water and relaxing on a beautiful beach. You can rent sun loungers and umbrellas on the beach.
The beach bars are worth checking out as well. They are reasonably priced, offering both food and a wide range of drinks.
Da Waterhole, the beach bar furthest southeast, offers showers and lockers at a fee.
Are You Allowed to Anchor in Mullet Bay?
So this is where it gets a bit unclear.
Yes, you are definitely allowed to anchor here during the day.
But, we had a nice chat with a bartender at one of the beach bars who told us that as far as he knows you can’t anchor overnight. He said he doesn’t normally see boats stay here overnight. He has seen the coastguard approach boats who stay late and he would then not see these boats again in the morning.
We’d seen the coastguard come past twice though and even exchanged a friendly wave, but they never approached us or told us to leave.
And, on checking out I asked Customs if anchoring overnight in Mullet Bay is allowed. She said yes, but something in the way she replied made me wonder if she knew much about where you can and cannot anchor in St Maarten…
So, I can’t completely guarantee you’ll be allowed to stay overnight. As our friendly bartender so perfectly phrased it ”well, it’s the Caribbean, it might just depend on who is on duty today”.
Waking up in front of Mullet Beach though, with nobody else around, might just make it worth it!
Information about Sailing in St Maarten
Although I’d ideally find all the travel information I need online, for sailing that isn’t always easy.
I, therefore, try to get some pilot books for the destinations I sail to.
For the Caribbean Chris Doyle’s sailing guides are good. For sailing in St Maarten, check out his Cruising Guide to the Northern Leeward Islands.
Enjoy sailing in St Maarten and if you do anchor in Mullet Bay, please share your experiences in the comments!
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- How to Snorkel – Practical Snorkeling Tips
- Why You Shouldn’t Take Seashells From the Beach
- Sailing in Saint Lucia – Anchorages, Sailing Tips & More
- The Best Caribbean Islands to Visit
- Traveling to Anguilla – A Complete Guide
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