“Arcadia” arrived at the island of St Maarten at 7:30 this morning (Thursday). It’s an island of two nations as it’s shared between the French and Dutch. There were three other cruise ships in port on this small island and to beat the ‘rush’ we had an early breakfast and were off the ship by 8:15. After collecting a hire car we decided to go to the capital of the French side of the island, Marigot. What we didn’t know until we got there was that the people were revolting!
The town centre was cut off and the police were stopping traffic from going in, so we parked up and walked into town centre in the sweltering heat - which we’re getting fairly used to by now.
Makeshift road blocks had been built in quite a few places in the town and arguments were taking place all over the place. We didn’t feel threatened but we didn’t take any photos!
Instead we drove to Maho Beach (better known as airplane beach!). This was a ‘must’ for us as it was our first visit to St Maarten. We found a quiet, and very swish, bar away from the beach area to have a couple of thirst quenchers first(very important in such heat!)
This is Doug looking very ‘cool’ with a chair that matched his shirt(!). Actually, we were both sweating likes pigs but still enjoying this wonderful setting.
Turning to the beach, where things were very much more hectic than the bar we’d just been in, we waited in anticipation for our first plane landing! You can see the runway on the other side of the fence on the right and it’s a tight squeeze for both cars and pedestrians at this spot!
The warning signs are there for a reason as the planes both land and take off on the same runway and the take off position is right next to the road and beach!
It gets very crowded when a plane is expected.
Some planes are quite small but still have to fly in low over the beach.
Other planes are much bigger …….
….. and some are enormous and come in very low! We took some video of several larger aircraft and one of the Air France planes came in much lower than the one in this pic.
Finding a much quieter beach further down the coast (we were the only ones there!) we enjoyed a nice swim, or maybe “bath” would be more apt (!) before realising that our exit from the beach had been cut off by the incoming tide! We managed to escape but James didn’t realise that rock climbing was one of his skills!
After a very hot and exciting day we returned to “Arcadia” ready for a slightly earlier departure time of 4:30. Before departing ourselves the gigantic “Freedom of the Seas” left before us and we watched it head off into the sunset.
Our own journey away from St Maarten gave us the most wonderful sunset.
Well - with our, already very impressive, Caribbean suntans (and our lives still intact!) we now head, at 21knots, to arrive at St Lucia in the morning.