The other sailing activity we did was a full day sailing trip around the island on a catamaran (details for the tour we did can be found here). This was a pretty perfect day, to be honest. The weather was perfect and Mom and I had a great time just hanging out on the catamaran, in addition to the beautiful places we visited.
We liked hanging out on the trampoline in the front of the catamaran more than anywhere else. The views from that vantage point were constantly lovely and the sun felt pretty perfect too.
The catamaran made a few stops on its way around St. Maarten/Martin. All of the stops were on the French side of the island. The first stop was at Tintamarre Island, which is entirely protected in the French Marine Reserve. The beach on that island was about as perfect as a beach could possibly get. The sand was golden and soft, the water was clear (you had amazing visibility under the water too), and there were even sea turtles there munching on the grasses that grew under the water. I could have stayed there all day were it not for the other catamaran of elderly, French nudists that I am sure would frighten the sea turtles away.
I have seen a lot of beaches in my day, and I consider myself a total beach snob. This one for its tranquility, and its stunning colors ranks up there pretty highly. Three cheers for the French and their marine protection!
Seriously, I don’t think you can get a happier Leslie face than this:
After Tintamarre, our sail continued on to another French marine reserve, this one underwater. We did some snorkeling here. The snorkeling was just comme ci comme ça, not great, but once again the water temperature was perfect and the water was crystal clear. So no, I don’t mind a swim in those conditions, even if I look like this:
Luckily, the spot for snorkeling was much more picturesque.
I tried taking pictures of fish with my underwater camera, but it turns out, I am terrible!
After snorkeling will pulled into the bay at Grand-Case for a leisurely late lunch beachside. We had delicious mahi-mahi at Cosmos Café.
Yes, the bay at Grand-Case is pretty lovely too.
We worked our way around to the beach by the La Samanna resort on the French side of the island. In case you are not yet tired of pretty and nearly perfect beaches, here is another one:
I think after this day of leisurely making our way around the island, stopping at one scenic beach after another, I think this is what I would like retirement to be like – all day swimming and sailing (maybe take off a day or two to play some tennis every now and then). It also made me regret passing on the week-long catamaran sailing trip of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in March in favor of cold, wet London. What was I thinking? Oh well, something else to do in the future now that I wish I could make the Caribbean my home. At the very least, I will have to come back to St. Martin with David, because I know he would have loved this day too!
Finally, we were able to take a view from the ocean of the planes taking off and landing at St. Maarten’s famous airport (where people stand on the beach below to be windblown by the jets). Standing below on Maho Beach, is not really my cup of tea, so I enjoyed observing the plans from the safety of the ocean.
I am starting to be of the opinion that a bad day on the water beats a good day anywhere else, but a truly great day on the water has no parallels. Heaven is a warm, wet, sandy place for both Mom and I (But there also will be lots of dogs).