Monday, 14 January 2019

Caribbean Cruise - St Maarten

So we come to the last Caribbean island of our cruise, Saint Martin, if you on the French half, or Sint Maarten on the Dutch half. We landed at Philipsburg, the capital of the Dutch half and the largest town in the island, with a population of around 40,000. There we 6 cruise ships in port the day we were there, putting the population up by about 50%!!
Cruise Ships
We took a taxi for a drive around the island, and the following image is from just outside Philipsburg, looking across the island and the airport, which can be seen in the centre of the image, with a plane on the runway.

Simpsons Bay Lagoon can be seen in the lower right corner, and again above it to the right of the airstrip with Simpsons Bay in front of the airstrip.

Maho Beach
Maho Beach in St Maarten famous for being adjacent to the Princess Juliana International Airport, and is a popular site for tourists and plane watchers. As you may see, many people are looking inland, because the fence at the back of the beach is actually, the end of the runway!

Leaving Maho Beach, we took the short journey to Marigot, the capital of French Saint Martin.
Fort St Louis
Fort St Louis overlooking the marina in Marigot. The fort was commissioned by royal governor Jean Sebastian de Durat, and was built in 1789 on a hill overlooking Marigot Bay to defend the harbor warehouses where expensive exports were kept, mainly coffee, sugar cane, rum, and salt, particularly from the English who frequently sailed over from Anguilla!

We couldn't leave the Caribbean without one more visit to a beach!
Orient Bay Beach
Orient Bay beach on St Martin, with sun loungers and umbrellas on golden sand with a clear blue sea and blue sky. Orient Bay is a coastal community and beach on the French side of the island. Until 1985 the area was undeveloped. Damage caused by Hurricane Luis in 1995 was quickly repaired but it was again hit by Hurricane Irma in 2017 and is again being redeveloped and remains one of the most popular beaches on the island.

We finally left the Caribbean, to head back home, calling at Ponta Delgada in the Azores after seven days at sea. Look out for my final post on this picturesque town.

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