February 28, 2015: Our time in St. Martin

by Sara on February 28, 2015

Our time here has become a bit of a blur. Chris worked fervidly on getting the watermaker up and running. He was emailing the Spectra company in California and working with the Spectra dealer, Electec, here in St. Martin. Unfortunately, Elected was located 5 miles across the lagoon on the Dutch side of St. Maarten. The 4 hour time difference between us and California was almost as annoying as the million trips Chris had to make across the lagoon in the dinghy. The best part was that, of course, Chris was able to fix the problem. He got a new clark pump shipped to Electec, installed it, and sent back the old one. There was still one hiccup. The new clark pump won’t work with our older model electrical panel. We can use the watermaker on the manual setting but we will have to get a different part to make the fix complete. UGH! We are having Spectra send the part to St. Thomas. While we waited for the new clark pump to be shipped we did a few fun things around St. Martin…

We sailed just north to Grand Case Bay to anchor for a few nights. While in Grand Case we took a taxi over to the east side of the island. We visited the beautiful Orient Beach. We wanted to sail here but the weather was not going to cooperate with us for the next week while we were in St. Martin. When we arrived in Orient Bay, we were glad we didn’t bring Tumbleweed. It was a long, beautiful white beach but the whole bay was filled with kiteboarders because it was so windy. There were also huge waves which would have made it almost impossible for us to land the dinghy with Finley. The beach was also very crowded. We spent the day hanging out under a cabana at one of the many restaurants. The people around the beach were very French with the men wearing tiny speedos and many women tan, leathery and topless. Finley played in the sand and ran around trying to steal everyone’s flip flops while Chris and I took turns chasing her.

At one point I went for a walk down the beach by myself. I headed in the direction that everyone seemed to be coming from. Before I knew it I looked up to find that everyone around me was completely naked! As I was mindlessly walking along the water, staring at the surf, I must have hit the “nude beach” part of Orient Bay! There was a rock pier that I crossed over, I figured that must have been the cut off point where clothes were no longer worn. How had I not noticed! I was now 200 yards from the end of the beach (in the direction I was heading) and 200 yards from the rock wall where I think the nudity started. I looked around and it seemed like everyone was staring at me. I was the one out of place because I was still wearing my bathing suit. I felt like everyone was waiting for me to take my clothes off. I contemplated taking my suit off right then and there. Instead I turned around, with my tail between my legs, and quickly walked back to the other side of the rock pier. I kept my eyes on the sand in front of me and was a bit disappointed in myself for not having the guts to walk the nude beach, naked. Maybe next time…

After 2 nights in Grand Case, we headed back to Marigot Bay. The water maker pump should have arrived and we felt like we were ready to move on from St. Martin. We made no progress in our passport recovery research. What we found online was that we might have some problems getting into the US Virgin Islands but we would find out when we got there. Back in Marigot Bay there was one last touristy event that we wanted to do. We wanted to visit the infamous airplane beach bar. There is a beach and bar that is located right on the end of the airstrip in St. Maarten. We went and it was pretty crazy. The big airplanes would take off and the back draft would blow the sand and water in great gusts. I don’t think there is anywhere else in the world that you can sip a beer and be that close to a departing plane. Even better was when the big planes would come in and land. It felt like the plane was within throwing distance. I felt like I could throw a baseball and hit the huge planes. The noise and vibrations were enough to rattle your soul. Plus the bar offered free drinks to all topless women so we sat having a beer with topless biker chicks around us while we watched, heard, and felt the planes land and take off. We stayed for 2 beers and thought it would be best to get Finley out of there. It was a unique experience though!

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