Can Fabulous St. Maarten Become Mundane?

The only way to relax

I guess I shouldn’t complain, we are retired so we have no time pressure to move on. Spending time in St. Maarten is really not a punishment even if I sometimes view it as such. We have lived here for several years but I haven’t written much about this lovely Caribbean island.  It has become so familiar that I have lost sight of how fabulous it is.

We spend most of our time visiting areas close to Simpson Bay and around the Lagoon where we moor. Scooting around on our dingy beats fighting traffic ashore. Restaurants line the waterway as well as the road, and a short walk brings us to deep white sand and clear blue water. What is wrong with me that I have had enough. People save for years to spend just one week here and I can’t wait to get away.

Bill loves going to the beach. His favorite places are beach bars, of course. His first choice is an old bus anchor on the far northeast corner of Simpson Bay Beach. If you crave drinking and dining with your toes in the sand then look no further, Karacter is where you want to be. The waitstaff serves daily changing cocktails and food specials to their customers who soak up the sun on comfortable lounge chairs. Rolling waves dare the young and old to cross through them into the calm bay beyond.

In the evening, Karacter’s entertainment starts on the covered upper level with still a toes in the sand outdoor dining experience. Enjoying a good meal with the rumble of the waves in the background and watching Shaw beach and the hotels on the south side of the bay explode with light is as perfect an evening we could ever want. We will miss this place for sure.

Some days are made for sharing a picnic table with a stranger while downing a cold beer with a burger. For this kind of casual beach experience Bill likes Buccaneers Beach Bar on Kim Shaw Beach. Boats bob close into the beach and watching boat traffic, whether it be yacht owners running around on their dinghy, kayaks returning from excursions or mega-yachts maneuvering in line to go through the draw-bridge, can all be seen from here.

But watching the mega-yacht parade with a drink in our hand is the most fun from The Oar House at The Sint Maarten Yacht Club at the drawbridge. The skill of the captains is always greeted with held breaths by everyone hanging over the edge of the deck of the club as they watch huge ships come through the bridge with only inches to spare on each side of their hull. An accidental twitch of a wrist on a hand holding the joystick one of these multi-million dollar boats would be disastrous. In peak season, come bridge opening times, this packed bar is the best place on the island to be.

There are days when only a French meal will nourish the cravings. Living on an island that is half Dutch and half French has its advantages. And having a Marina surrounded by fabulous restaurants on the French side allows boaters great access to a perfect evening out.

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