Our last port of call! St Maarten has an interesting history and government arrangement..two governments, actually. There is the French side and the Dutch side! I’m not sure how they make that work, but evidently it DOES!
This was our one BIG excursion day! Lori had arranged for us a snorkeling tour. We were off the ship early, finding our way to where we were to meet our Taxi driver by the designated time at the right place.
And off we went! Here are our two ships at port…our Carnival dream, dwarfed by that Oasis of the Seas…Man that thing is HUGE!
The first thing I noticed? We were back to driving on the RIGHT side of the road! ((As opposed to the LEFT, not the WRONG….;c) ))
St Maarten if you are speaking Dutch, St Martin if you are French or English speaking…it all sounds the same, it just looks different!
About 40 of us split up into 3 different boats and our guides took us out into open water! We bounced over waves, got splashed by water coming up over the sides of the boat, and the only thing missing was the theme song from “Miami Vice!”
The view behind our twin engines as we left port! Hold on to your hats, peeps, it’s rough water out here! Actually one passenger lost his --- and we had to circle around and retrieve it! Our guide was quite adept at hat recovery!
Oh the sun and those ocean breezes! Got the sunscreen on? Oh yes ---we are ready!
And I’m getting splashed and soaked by that wake and it feels so good anyway….we are having a ball just on the boat ride alone!
Look at this! This was one of the areas we stopped to snorkel…and the water was so cool and refreshing, you almost forgot about how hot and potent the sun was..almost!
Here our guide led Lori and I and a few others to an area where we saw a huge tiger ray just swimming gracefully along the depths. We saw all kinds of fish, these black/yellow stripey ones were so cute and plentiful!
from there we loaded back up and headed to a secluded beach where our guides mixed up a “mud bath” for us…..and we dug right in, spreading it over arms and legs, shoulders, face and even hair…..We were told to let it bake a while and then go rinse off. I couldn’t believe how soft our skin felt by the time we were done…..
And after this….Sun Screen Application #3! However, by this time I already had a sneaking suspicion that it was a lost cause. Salt, Sand, Sweat, Sea water and mud bath….I don’t think that ANY sunscreen can combat these elements completely!
We were back on the boats and headed to a fun little island getaway……..We didn’t have long to stay there, but oh how I wish we did!
One of our other boats just behind us…even those clouds didn’t help the sunburn from coming on!
Won’t You Take Me To…..”Tiki Town!” ((Sung to the tune of Funky Town!)) Look at this water! It was shallow all the way out and it was so lovely!
By this time I was staying in the shade of our boat driver’s seat…but what fun everyone else was having just floating around in the cool clear water!
After our boating excursion was over…..we headed into town for a bit of lunch and shopping. Our Taxi dropped us near the down town area and off we went……This building really has Dutch influence!!
Our view down one of the little shopping streets…..by this time I was also on the look out for a pharmacy and some aloe gel!
Got your “Quilters Eyes” on? Look at this counter at the restaurant we stopped for lunch at!
And these were the steps up to the patio where we ate! I love traveling with my Quilters Eyes WIDE OPEN!
As we walked ourselves back to our ship, I took in the view….people and families swimming and enjoying each other. The sounds of live music playing around us. The contrast of color between the red umbrellas and the aquamarine sea.
St Maarten, you are a beautiful beautiful memorable place, and I hope to visit you again some day!