Published: May 29th 2008
May 26th 2008
The beach at Philipsdburg, with the cruise ships in the background.
I seriously can’t believe that we have been anchored out in St. Martin for a month now; we haven’t moved the boat and are starting to get some serious growth on our anchor chain. I don’t think the Rum Runner has been in one place for this long since we left Charleston- holy cow! And unfortunately we don’t know when we will set sail again. We are still waiting for repairs and can’t leave until our mast gets fixed, which can easily take another week or two. Really now, what kind of sailboat doesn’t have a sail? This is getting ridiculous and a bit frustrating. But in the meantime we have been exploring the island and having fun as well. We love St. Martin and if we had to get stuck somewhere, this is a great place. Not only are there 37 beautiful beaches to visit and great French restaurants to enjoy, but also fun shopping as well (from the shi-shi Parisian boutiques where you can find hip runway fashion to local produce and exotic spices at the farmer’s market in Marigot Bay). The two cultures provide a lot of variety and due to its central location, St. Martin is a
Kona Goes For A Swim
Kona LOVES the beach- he just dives right in and swims around. This is at Orient Beach, with Pinel Island in the background. What a happy pup!
great place to catch a ferry and explore other nearby islands such as Anguilla, Saba, and St. Barts.
One day we rented a car and decided to circumnavigate the island to check it all out. It was cool to see the island by car and it gave us a new perspective. We made many stops along the way and even got lost a couple of times driving down odd streets on the quest for the more elusive beaches. Our first stop was Philipsburg, where all of the cruise ships land and dump thousands of tourists off to enjoy a day at the beach and shop till they drop at the duty free stores. This place is hopping when a ship is in port and it is quite amusing to observe how people act on vacation. Then we enjoyed lunch at Oyster Pond while watching the boats navigate thru the treacherous coral reef entrance- whew! Don’t think we will bring the Rum Runner to this place, too risky. Then onto Orient Beach where we enjoyed a relaxing afternoon, it is rated as one of the best beaches in the Caribbean and we have to agree- absolutely beautiful with soft white
Kona and Jay playing at the beach- we love this place! Chairs, umbrellas, and a cabana boy to bring a bucket of beers for us and ice water for Kona. Nice!
sand, crystal clear water, and a great view of nearby Pinel Island. As the guide books mentions, it is a European beach (therefore clothing is optional) and provides great people watching. We got all settled in on lounge chairs, got a bucket of beers delivered to us under the umbrellas, and took an occasional dip in the ocean to cool off (the sun is so intense down here and the temperature has really started getting hot, hot, hot). Orient beach is one of our favorite stops on the island and we have returned several times during our stay for a perfect beach experience; nothing like getting pampered with a cabana boy who brings you tasty snacks and cool beverages for us and the pooch- what service! Every time we go there we feel like we are at a resort- just beachy. Later in the day we happened upon the sunset beach bar just in time to watch the sun go down, so stopped in for a drink. The funny thing about the sunset beach bar is that it is the only place I know where a Caribbean sunset gets trumped; the real entertainment here is watching the planes take off
Sunset Beach Bar
Watching the planes land from the Sunset Beach Bar- an exhilerating experience!
and land from the runway at St. Martin’s international airport (located just steps away from the bar). So we grabbed our rum drinks and went to the beach where we got blown away by the prop wash as jets were taking-off and stood our ground as planes landed just a few feet above us, making your hair stand on end- how exhilarating! Another favorite for us and we plan on going back to get blown away while the giant Air France airbus takes off, with its 4 jet engines. We hear that it literally takes your breath away and sweeps you off your feet (the trick is to hold onto the fence). A once in a lifetime experience for sure! Finally we ended the night with a gourmet dinner at Grande Case, which is the gastronomic center on the French side know for fresh lobster and seafood (the bouillabaisse was the best we ever had). A perfect end to a perfect day in St. Martin.
We also had family come out and visit us while we were here and had a great time with them. Unfortunately we couldn’t take the Rum Runner out for a sail so got on
Here's the S/V Bluebeard. We had such a great day on this catamaran- a true vacation for us.
board the Heineken boat for a day trip to Prickly Pear Island just off Anguilla. It worked out perfectly for us because we really wanted to visit Anguilla, but weren’t planning on taking the Rum Runner there because it is a British Island that doesn’t allow dogs ashore- boo. So we left Kona home alone (snoozing on our bed with all of our pillows, resting up from the previous day where he wore himself out running and swimming at the beach) and boarded the S/V Bluebeard. It was a blast! Not only was it fun to sail on this 70 foot catamaran, but the best part was that we were not captain and crew- so it felt like a real vacation for us. Instead of having responsibilities we had rum punch, instead of standing behind the wheel we got to lounge on the hammock, instead of reading charts we got to read books, and instead of navigating the reefs we got to just enjoy watching the waves, fish, and birds as we sailed around the islands. Everyone thought it was so funny that we have our own sailboat but went out on the Heineken boat instead. But let me tell
Island paradise- what more can we say. Great snorkeling, gin colored water, and white sand beach lined with palm trees.
you- it was worth it. Open bar, fun sailing, beautiful beach, great snorkeling, and bbq lunch included. Doesn’t get much better than this. We had a great time at Prickly Pear Island, swimming in the protected waters of the lagoon and snorkeling with lots of fish at the nearby reef. It is one of those picturesque islands, with palm trees for shade and gin colored water and a perfect white sand beach, completely deserted except for the beach bar and restaurant which served us local fare for lunch- yum. We had a great day- fun in the sun! And it will definitely be one of the highlights of our stay here in St. Martin.
There are more photos below