St Martin / Sint Maarten Caribbean

Click on a thumbnail for a larger image

Dawn Beach
Other St Martin Beaches

St. Martin/St. Maarten is jointly administered by France and the Netherlands. The Southern Dutch side of the island is more developed than the French. We toured the island by taxi ($25 back in '94) and made stops at pristine beaches that included Dawn, Cupecoy, and others.

St. Maarten caters to American tourists--signs are in English, rather than Dutch. Conversely, in St. Martin, most signs are in French. This is a lovely island and well worth a visit.

Our first Caribbean cruise was immediately after a small hurricane in Oct. '90. The seas were rough, and the captain decided to bypass St. Martin because Philipsburg did not have a deep-water dock for small tenders that would ferry the passengers to and from. Four years later, we visited in April. The weather and seas were relatively calm this time and we got to see St. Martin.

Shopping in Philipsburg was very good. We returned to the ship for lunch. While eatting, the dishes began to clatter and the ship began to shake. Why is the captain revving the engine, we thought. Soon the shaking became violent and we rocked back and forth. A couple from New York asked us what an earthquake felt like. "This is exactly what an earthquake feels like," we told them.

After lunch, we went back ashore and discovered that the shaking was a magnitude 5.3 earthquake. Our New York friends thought we brought the earthquakes with us from California.

© Copyright - All Rights Reserved