Caribbean Cruise - St Maarten / St Martin

Published: December 13th 2014
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Chris’ Birthday!!! St Maartens is the smallest island in the world inhabited by two countries and it was divided in 1648! Docked at 8.00am and off the ship by 9.00am!

We had decided to hire a car for the day (US$85) so picked up the first one we came across outside the Port area and headed off towards Dawn Beach and Orient Bay. Somehow managed to get lost, but we did nearly run over a couple of huge iguanas, stopped and discovered a pond with about 30 or so iguanas hanging around!!

Ended up back on the main road, masses of white butterflies about (looked like snow!!) and headed on north, crossing over into the French side of the island! Stopped at Baie de L’Embouchure (I think!) and climbed up to the whale watching platform to see of we could spot anything in the shallow, warm waters! Saw a pelican on a boat but that was it! Apparently turtles also nest on this beach but we didn’t see any of those either!

Carried on round to Grand Case and had a wander along the main street and onto the beach! The restaurants here straddle the main road and the beach so each one has wonderful views of the sea! It was a shame that we were a little too early for lunch!

Next stop was the capital of the French side, Marigot! Had a stroll through the streets stopping at a cafe for some lunch. A yellow bird flew in the cafe and the Owner explained that it was looking for sugar!! She put a glass of sugar out and the bird flew over and stole some sugar, repeating it about 3 or 4 times!!

Walked back to the car, via the market and then drove, what we thought, towards Nettle Beach! Soon discovered we were wrong as we ended up back in Grand Case! (good job this island is quite small!!) Turned round and found the correct road and drove to Maho Beach just as a plane was landing!

Quite incredible! People hanging onto the wire fence as jet airplanes take off, seeing how long that they can remain standing!! The jet engines whip up the sand on the beach like a sandstorm and great gusts of wind blow towels and hats off but everyone seems to be enjoying it!! Watched a few planes land and take-off including a huge KLM 747 Jumbo Jet, but stayed just outside of the main frenzy of wind and sand!!

There was a huge traffic jam after we left! It turned out that there had been an accident and the road was closed, so we had to take a diversion and lost maybe half an hour or so before we reached Phillipsburg. Walked along Front Street and the beach and saw the Police Station and Courthouse before walking back along Back Street to the car. Returned the rental car about 4.15 pm and then walked back to the Ship ready to leave at 5.00pm.

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