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sailing to tintamare island
L ilet Tintamare (or flat island) is a small desert island located at 2 miles (3-4 km) from the island of Saint Martin. It s on the north-east side of the island, so, from SXM you will have to go front the wind, you will pass close of the yellow mooring of the natural reserve, so, think to bring back the fishing line on board, cause it s prohibited to fish here. You will arrive by the west side of the island named “baie blanche” (white bay) it s where is the main beach , you should use the moorings at your disposal here. If they are all already busy, you can throw your ancre in the sand at the middle of the beach. Unfortunately you are not allowed anymore to sleep there. So, the better if you want to enjoy your day in Tintamare island is to leave from early, and to use the engine with the sails cause front the wind this little 2 miles can take the whole morning sailing without engine. There is not particular danger to go there. No coral reef or shallow water. The Anchorage is good, just sand, no grass, so, your ancre will stay and the moorings at your disposal are strong. The Anchorage can be a bit rolly but, you can use a second rope from the back of your boat to your moorings to make the boat pivoting on itself and be front the swell instead of the side. This little trick will change your day 😉
History of tintamare island
Tintamare mean in french something noisy and without any musical constructions. What is really funny cause this island is really quiet. In the past Tintamare (or flat and best of long island) was uninhabited,at the maximum period, 150 persons were living there. It was first an english colony passing from hand to hand as a strategic war point between French and British, then it was owned by some St Kitts men. then, the island finally legally become french in 1764.
The Tintamare King
Around the beginning of the 1900’s It was also a cotton plantation and a farm owned by a rich and powerful man already owning planty land in both French and Dutch side of SXM. He raised in Tintamare almost 100 head of cattle and about 500 sheep, grew quality cotton, and made is own cheese and butter which were known throughout the West Indies. He was proclaimed “king” in 1913 when a French jourmalist wrote an article about him titled “Le Roi de Tintamarre”. According to the legend, this involuntary publicity attracted the attention of many ladies from Europe who sent letters to him to become the Tintamare Queen. But, he was more interest by business than women and he didn’t take any wife and die without any kids. He finally sold Tintamarre island to Louis Constant Fleming a famous business man and politician of Sint-Maarten in 1931.
Tintamare regional airport
Around the middle of the 1900’s the new owner decided to transform the island to an airplane base (with the rumors to work with traficants) This was the golden age of this island. Soon Tintamare became the operational and maintenance base of a regional airline and connected the islands. Puerto Rico, Guadeloupe, Dominica, Martinique, St. Lucia for commercial flight and even regular passengers for. But the 22 March 1947 start the first plane accident, a bad take-off killed a pilot. 2 month later an other plane crashed into the sea killing two more persons.The same year, 2 month later 3 persons die in a plane crash the 9 June 1947. This third accident stopped the plane activity of the island and a hurricane the 1 September 1950 finally destroy the last planes of the company.
it s now a property of the national reserve of and a safe place for wildlife. Having a walk around this now uninhabited island, you will find the remains of the airstrip, and the ruins of the “Tintamarre King” house. Looking closely you will see than these ruins still carry the king’s initials. Having your walk through the history of the island you will discover a second beach located on the East part of the island just a few minutes away from “baie blanche” (where is your boat) this long beach is wild,rocky and dangerous to swim but it s the perfect nursery for the wildlife.
Tintamare offers a wide range of biodiversity and huge species varieties, which make of this island an amazing nature discovery and a great snorkeling spot. The better it s to stop there when the weather is quiet to have a perfect visibility of the life underwater, even dolphins use to come here every winter. If you are lucky you can watch the humpback wale passing by with their baby from January to March. For birds lover Tintamare or flat island is also a good place to discover wildlife. It is possible to see the fou de bassan, Northern Gannet and the Paille-en Queue, some pelicans of course, and the majestic fregate. There is of course no shop for buy water or food, so, dont forget your lunch box, some tables and tree shade are present on the beach to appreciate a good meal after your swim.
How to go to Tintamare?
There is differents way to go to Tintamare but all of them will be by boat. If you don’t own a boat, it will depend of your wishes for the trip and your budget.
Here, are various solutions for all budget:
* Tintamare cheap price 18 € by pers :
Take the taxi boat. This is definitely the cheapest way to visit Tintamarre. You take the Saintoise (kind of lancha) at 8 am in cul de sac. They bring you to Tintamare in 30 min. There you can swim around and visit the island, if you don’t have a parasol, there is tree shade by the beach, and some tables for your lunch box front of the see with Saint-Martin facing you . The boat will bring you back at 6pm to Saint-Martin . Reservation and informations here.
* Tintamare Private catamaran charter 100 € by pers :
You don’t want to share your boat-trip with unknown? You need some comfort? Take family and friends and have a day trip on a sailing catamaran to Tintamare, play with the water toys (kayak, paddleboard, skimboard, snorkeling equipment) with a captain and a cook, food & drink included. Up to 12 persons. Reservation and informations here.
* Tintamare on a Premium Private Charter 500€ by pers :
You have some special guests? Make the day unforgettable. Luxury catamaran with air conditioning, water toys, sea bob, bar, and cocktail, and a lot of space to evaluate. All inclusive with premium meal and snack cooked with talent by a professional chef on board especially for you. Up to 12 persons. Reservation and informations here.
Contact & Booking
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