St. Maarten is one exotic island and two colourful nations. Split down the middle centuries ago with a French side and a Dutch side, today it is known as the Gourmet Capital of the Caribbean.
Our day started at 7:45 and we were already docked so a quick shower and with no time for breakfast we rushed off of the ship. Soon we were on a shuttle to the excursion boat and climbed onboard. We found seats in the center front section and soon we were sailing away into a beautiful aqua green sea. The captain spoke of Hurricane Irma and pointed out some of the damage she did. Their airport was severely damaged and employees were still operating from some blue tents nearby. Maho Beach was stripped of sand and just rocks had remained but sand had been brought in and from our boat in the ocean it looked like a lovely beach. We all had seen the YouTube video of the lady who died after a strong blast of turbo wind from a jet had tumbled her into a cement wall because she wasn’t strong enough to hold herself. I am weak like that also and it was the main reason that we chose to see the planes from a boat. It wasn’t long before our captain announced that a plane was coming and everyone took notice as plane watching was one of the points of this excursion along with snorkeling. The first plane wasn’t a big deal as we hadn’t quite reached our destination as of yet and anyhow it was a small aircraft. Eventually other planes came in for a landing and they were much closer but nowhere near as close as the travel brochure had shown but i think we all were aware that it wasn’t going to be. It was all small planes that we saw landing there and it wasn’t clear but I guess on occasion sometimes there’s some larger ones. It would have been cool if there had been some bigger ones for our timing but it was ok as it was a perfectly beautiful hot summer day relaxing in the Caribbean Sea.
I had a good time watching my daughter and granddaughter snorkeling at Maho Beach and having fun and although i had planned to hit the water with them when the time came i just couldn’t; the water was choppy, the boat was rocking and i plain and simply chickened out. I had worn my swimsuit under my jeans and top and had really planned on jumping in so it was a surprise to me too that all of a sudden i just wasn’t comfortable with attempting it. I sometimes feel like a weakling and have to go with my gut feeling and today it was telling me to not go in the water. So i had my fun watching everyone else having fun and i was content with that and have no regrets. I guess i’m older than i thought i was and that too is all right with me because i wasn’t going to let perfect strangers goad me into doing anything i wasn’t comfortable with. My only regret is that i didn’t go there a long time ago when i was younger and not scared of losing my balance on the slippery deck or not being strong enough to hoist myself back up out of the water and be able to climb up the ladder onto the boat. Maybe the time i almost drowned at Waikiki Beach was in the back of my mind, i don’t know. I was probably the oldest person onboard and i just knew i would break an arm or my back or whatever and yes, the water looks calm in the pics but honestly, it was choppy! I didn’t think anyone would have noticed or even cared or thought something was wrong with me for not getting in the water. Now that i’ve recognized my limitations i know enough to not return there. In the future i'll cruise to places that old folks cruise to and i won’t make any plans to do things that most people my age don’t even attempt or think of doing. I’ll go on seniors bus tours, shopping for new knitting patterns or just sight seeing and stay within my limits and not have to tell anyone my reasons. So there!
Eventually it was time to leave and the ride back to shore was uneventful. There wasn’t a shuttle waiting there on the pier so i started walking. It was so hot and seemed like a long long walk with nowhere to sit along the way until finally i spotted a curb just off the pier and sat there for a few minutes in the beating sun hoping the shuttle would come and it did but it was full. By then i had started worrying about snakes or spiders being in the shrubbery where i was sitting especially since i had seen the big iguana near there on our way in so i forged on for another half mile or it seemed like 20 or so until a shuttle came along with one seat left and you better believe i grabbed that seat gratefully. Back in the cabin i showered and changed clothes and when the girls didn’t return from their shopping enroute i went to the Lido for lunch. Afterwards i went to the trivia game “one hit wonders” from the 80’s and it was so hard i didn’t get many if any answers. I returned to our cabin and saw the girls had been there but were gone again so i redid my manicure and watched the activities involved in getting the ship ready to depart. Our next door neighbours were on their deck taking pictures when all of a sudden I heard the woman cry out and then I heard something smash. I got up and quickly looked over the edge of our balcony and there, eight floors down was the ladies phone laying smashed to bits on the wharf. OMG I felt so bad for her. It began to get a little dark and it happens very fast there. Just as the ship was backing up it began to pour rain and the sound it made hitting the water was like music, tinkling and awesome. I decided to go for a coffee and took my IPad with me and played my game while listening to another trivia game in the Ocean Lounge. It was so cold in there with the ac on too high for me so i went to the casino and wasted a few bucks before bumping into the girls in the Lido eating their dinner so i joined them for dessert. We then all returned to our cabin and that was it for our day in beautiful St. Maarten.
This is the iguana near where i sat resting. It really
was beautiful and harmless i know but i was still a