We arrived in Sint Maarten on Feb 2nd at 4.00am, after about 20 hours of sailing from Guadalupe, and we anchored in Simpson Bay, a convenient but rolling anchorage. When we woke up in the morning, we enjoyed the view of the white long beach in front of us, and the stunning colors of the sea. We moved to the Dock Maarten marina in order to clear in with customs and immigration, make provisions, and perform some maintenance.
In fact, to replace a gauge valve of the diesel tank, we had to transfer about 150 liters of diesel into a temporary storage – quite a bit of work doing it 4 liters at a time!
The island of Saint Martin/Sint Maarten is split between France and the Netherlands, which makes it the smallest area in the world to be divided into two countries’ dependencies.
A vast majority of tourists are from the US, and this is reflected in several aspects of the island, e.g., the currency (USD accepted everywhere), the language (good English spoken both on the Dutch and the French part), the selection of goods available in the stores (it is the first island where we could find fresh milk!), etc.
Every morning 2-3 huge cruise ships offload thousands of people who spread into the island (with a high concentration in the duty free streets of Philigsburg) until 4-5 pm, when they are called back by the repeated sound of the ships’ horn, and the streets turn quiet again.
The highlight of our stay in the island was meeting our friends Rich, Diane, Tony, Harriet and Barry who were spending a week of vacation in the island.
We really enjoyed their company and the great meals we had together in many nice restaurants. In fact, this week was very different from our usual routine: we spent a lot of time on the beach, sun bathing, swimming and zipping tropical cocktails, chatting all day long. It was a wonderful week; we were sad when we set sail to St Barth.