Caribbean: St. Martin

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Early day this morning. Up at 6:00 and got coffee at 6:30. Lots of people already milling about the ship. I got breakfast in the Lido and Chuck got a breakfast burrito from the Blue Iguana Cantina.

After listening to the health protocols for St. Martin (wear masks when indoors and bring your vaccine cards just in case you need them to enter premises), we were able to get off the ship at 8:45 and followed the map provided by the tour company – Captain Alan’s 3 Island Snorkel to the pickup point.

A gate agent found a driver from the taxi service hired by Captain Alan and he had our name. It was a large van for just the two of us. He ended up stopping and we transferred to another smaller shuttle. That driver told us there was a mix-up in drivers and he would be taking us the rest of the way and would be taking us back after the snorkel. We told him the other guy took the taxi fee.

We arrived at the marina of Captain Alan’s. I did remember it from the last time we snorkeled with them. There were only two other couples from a nearby condo resort going with us. It started to sprinkle so I was a little disappointed because it can make the water murky. However, it stopped even before Captain Corrine finished checking us in. We brought our own gear but did use their fins as they are much better than our travel fins. We only bring our fins in case the tour company doesn’t supply them.

She was running the show today. She would be the Captain, first mate, tour director, and restaurant manager. I guessed her at 25. We left promptly at 9:45 to our first snorkel stop.

Once we donned our gear, we jumped in and started swimming toward the reef area. Almost at once, a small jellyfish appeared in front of my face. I backpedaled swiftly. I didn’t see many but they were out there. I had hoped it would attract more turtles but there were only a couple of turtles and I only saw them from a distance. We did see so many pretty fish and a nurse shark.

Our next stop was a drift snorkel. She let us out at one end of the reef and we met her at the other end. It provided a spotted eagle ray, an eel, and a large turtle along with more fish. Just as Chuck was getting back to the boat, a jellyfish brushed his hand and he got stung. Luckily, it didn’t wrap around him so the sting was not bad. She had some medicine to put on it but he didn’t need it.

Our last stop was at a small island that had a beautiful beach. She anchored as close as she was allowed so we could wade to the beach. She first fed us sandwiches of ham and cheese on a baguette. She had coolers of water, soft drinks, and beer. The other couples had never been to the island so they waded in. Chuck and I stayed on the boat and talked to Corinne.

She was 40, married to Captain Alan, and had 3 children – two adults. She was born in Guyana but her mother brought them to St. Martin when she was young. She had scars on her legs from the piranha bites. She and Alan weathered Hurricane Irma and Covid. They are building their home, doing most of the work themselves. They hope to turn part of it into an Airbnb. I was very impressed with their ingenuity and commitment.

Some other tour company boats were anchoring closer to the beach where there were swimmers. Colleen got angry because they were breaking the rules set forth by the French. She said if the authorities come by and see these boats, they will make it hard on all the tour operators. She said they already make it hard for the Dutch companies to come over to the French side and they certainly didn’t need any more rules. I wonder if she will report the company when she gets back to the marina.

We made it back to the marina by 2:00 and the driver was waiting for us. We were back on board by 3:00. An excellent day with this company. We will go with them again.

Since it was still early and our bathing suits still damp, we went to the Aft pool area and enjoyed the empty hot tub until 5:00. All aboard was 5:30. I didn’t hear any names being called so I assume everyone was back on time.

After sail-away and getting cleaned up, I listened to the music in the Alchemy Bar while Chuck got in some casino time.

We were back in Percival’s section tonight. I ordered the Linguini and Chuck had the beef tenderloin. Excellent meal again.

After dinner, I reviewed my underwater photos on the computer while Chuck went back to the Casino. This cruise seems to be filled with Casino players. I guess that is how they are filling the ships – giving great deals to their casino players and Platinum and Diamond members.

We went to the late show of the Magician/Comedian in the Showtime Lounge. He was very good. There were no comedians in the Comedy Club tonight. We decided to call it a night after the show.

Tonight’s towel animal is a bat hanging from the ceiling. So cute.

Author: mmmtravelmemories

A retired college administrator who loves to travel. I write to remember the experiences and, I hope, to inspire others to make their own travel memories.

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