January 2006 SXM Trip Report

SXM Trip report December 28, 2005  through January 11, 2006

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Dec 28th – Travel Day 


An uneventful travel from Providence to Charlotte. Changed planes for SXM and this year only had to go over 3 gates for our departure to SXM, that is a first!


Arrived 30 minutes early, caught a nice tail wind from Charlotte. All bags present and accounted for. Mickey did not have the car we asked for, would not get a 4 door with trunk back until the weekend, so we arranged to swap a car a couple of days later.


We bought some wine and cheese and other food at the little market in Maho on our way from the airport. And then headed over to the Sapphire for check-in.  Did I tell you that we love the Sapphire? It took us all of 10 minutes to check-in. They remembered our names and wished us a happy 25th anniversary at the desk.


We got room 125 at the Sapphire this year. This is a 1 bedroom with Jacuzzi, 2 balconies in tower 1, just above the kiddie pool.  Unpacked just a few things, as we knew that we are not staying very long (3 nights). 


Regina turned on the Jacuzzi and it was quite warm. Poured some wine and made up a cheese plate and we toasted our arrival back in paradise.


After a brief nap (we had been up since 2 am)…  we made our way downstairs for dinner at the new Opus Restaurant. This restaurant is run by Jose from Tastevin and Pascal from L'Alabama. It was French Bistrot Night. They had an entertainer playing the accordion and singing French songs. I was coerced into singing a few that I could remember. Regina had the frog legs and I had escargot for appetizers, Sole Almadine and Steak with Bernaise Sauce for the main course. Tarte Tatin and Creme Brule for desert.


While at dinner we met Erich Kranz, the web site creator of SXM-INFO.com and his lovely wife. They were having dinner, taking notes, taking pictures of the pool area, their food. Can't wait to see the review of the Opus Restaurant on the web when we get home.


Dec. 29th, 2005  Party @ Baywatch         Back to the Top


Regina slept in while I soaked in the hot tub and watched the sun rise over the Caribbean. After eating a breakfast in of eggs and bacon, coffee and toast, Regina went to get towels while I went over to pay the 2006 maintenance fee. Talked with Janine in reservations. Asked about a chart for the points value per week of all the units so we can book the kids and us into a villa or 2 bedroom next year


We then made our way across Marigot and Grand Case to Orient Beach and parked at Club Orient., arriving around 10:00 am. No parking fee yet. Greeted Victor who remarked that neither he nor the rest of the security staff at the gate were looking forward to when the fee begins to get implemented.


Met Jack and Loretta and Rick and Mary at the beach and they told us that Pam and Wayne had just left the beach to shower and leave. So we ran up to a mini-suite (#138) to wish them a happy New Year and safe journey home. Finished with a walk down the beach to see Jim and Jan, Kevin and Linda. Roy and Herta had not yet arrived, they are new owners this year so we are anxious to hear all the news. Also Nancy and Paul were due to move from the villa to Club O once their kids were on their way, so we were looking forward to seeing them.


After a brief rest we walked the other way and saw Andy. Cheryl was still in NY with her mom who as diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Jane, the body painter had just flown back to England for much the same reason, Jane's mom having been diagnosed with cancer just before Christmas. Steve the DJ went with her. So no Cheryl, no Dj and no body painter, we will have a good time anyway!


Walked the whole beach... heaven!


Came back, ate some of our packed foods, swam, talked with friends. Happy Hour mud-slides and caught up with Willy at the Perch Regina even slept on the beach...  that is a first, I guess we were really tired! Bob and Marla caught up to us at the Perch around 4:00.


What a party! Great food. Sign-in was not as organized this year so I don't have a list of who attended. Just know that we had a record number of meals that Andy, Indie and the crew served. Regina had the Eggplant parm, I had the fisherman's platter. Met two  wonderful families with five adopted Chinese girls between them. Little Robin was a sweetheart! Andy's new Sirius satellite radio set-up made the music a wonderful mix of parrot-head and oldies. Danced the night away with good friends and good times. We left around 9:30 to drive back across the island and the dancing was still going full steam when we did. 

Andy, Indie and the Crew!



Dec. 30th             Back to the Top

Stayed at the Sapphire till about 10:00. Regina slept in again, so unlike her. I read on the balcony and watched the sun come up over Cupecoy. It looked gorgeous out there. So we had breakfast in the room and then walked over to Cupecoy cove #1. You can drive right to the edge of the coves now and park there if you want to. Construction over on the main beach looks awful.


The surf action and waves at Cupecoy were pretty high today. Water would come right up to the cliff side and sweep anything left in the sand back down, so you had to be vigilant in guarding your stuff and hang most everything off the rocks if you cold find a spot.


We met a gorgeous looking black man by the name of Doc. He is a personal athletic trainer back in the states and he was very complimentary of Regina, as well he should! <grin>. She did not know how to really read his intentions and was wary until we met him over at Club Orient again at the New Year's eve party. He turned out to be a very easy to talk with young man.


We left the beach around 3. I drove over to Micky's around 4 and swapped the car.


Ate at the snack bar at the Sapphire that night. We had calamari rings and split a crabmeat wrap sandwich and called it a night.


Dec. 31  Move to Club Orient and New Year's Eve         Back to the Top


Ate breakfast in. Checked out by 10:00. It took 35 minutes to get to Club Orient, not bad for supposedly peak traffic. Checked in was delayed because the unit we were going into was not ready, but they gave us our beach towels, chair tags and paperwork to set-up our account at Papagayos. While on the beach with Jack and Loretta and Paul and Nancy we  finalized our plans for the 25th anniversary party. Pape at Papagayos ordered a beautiful carrot cake from Cay Bay Bakery while Andy and Indie would provide food enough for 16-20 people for a party back in our unit.


Walked back to the beach just in time for Happy Hour at the Perch. Mudslides for me and Regina had one of Willy's Lemon Breezes (Italian Ice, Quatro, Vodka, Italian Lemon Juice. Delicious! The second one did her in and she fell asleep on the beach, another first! Did I tell you we were tired this year!


I went to the office, got the key and walked over to unit 163 to move in. The special bouquet of flowers I ordered were already in place. I love the staff of Club Orient they always get things done just right! Brought out the anniversary card I had written back home and popped it into the flowers.


I unloaded the car, unpacked the food, got a few of our things out of the bags and made ourselves at home. Brought out the bottle of Champagne and then went back to the beach to wake up my bride and bring her back to the unit.


It was a hard wake. Regina came back, opened the card and then rinsed off and crawled back into bed for a nap before dinner.


Regina wore one of her Caribbean wrap lace pareos with a beautiful waist beaded belt. When it got hot the pareo came off and the waist belt was just the right touch! I wore my harem pants outfit from the trip in 2004. They were too hot too and soon got ditched.


We ate with Paul and Nancy, Rich and Sandy, Kevin and Theresa, Jim and Beth and Pam and David.


The buffet started early this year, 6:45 or so. Also this year they combined the appetizers and main course all set out at the same time. Paul and Nancy had ordered a case of their special wine for the table and we never seemed to lack for any.


Dancing started around 8:30 to 9:00. We danced right up to mid-night. Fireworks were spectacular as usual. Met Rachel and her husband, more about them later on this report. She is the new marketing director and we had a very long conversation about naturism and Orient Beach. I will be getting together with her later in the week to share with her the figures from my naturist study on Travel Talk Online and Orient Beach.com.


Singing was fun tonight. Even got my bride to sing along and she sounded great!


Only downside of the evening was a 350 lb guest who decided to dance on the top of my foot. He broke a couple of bones which took almost a year to heal. It made for an uncomfortable time walking and dancing the rest of the trip.


January 1st Happy New Year         Back to the Top


It was a late rise for us. Wind was up high on the beach. It was Kevin and Theresa's last morning at Club Orient and they were still partying with Eric and Judy when we woke up. I still do not know how they eventually got to the airport and on the plane. They also did not remember how they got from Papagayos home the previous evening... little did we know that this was a warning of things to come! <LOL>


This was Sunday and a few of us on the beach had decided that rather than going off the resort for a worship service that this year we would do a beach side communion service. We recruited some one to bring the wine and bread and some one else to set up a small table on the beach and presto a small chapel right there in paradise. I shared some reflections, consecrated the elements and served about 15 people communion. After it was all over another person broke out the Mimosas  and we had a grand time with fellowship and discussion. That was when we found out that one of our mini-suite neighbors was the choir director of her church back home and we made plans for another service on the beach the next Sunday, complete with hymns and everything <LOL> 


Had lunch at Pedros with Fred and Joan. Remembered why I just don't like their ribs.


After a nap in the afternoon we went down to Papagayos for dinner with Paul and Nancy and Rich and Sandy. We close the place... finished off Paul's case of wine and then some. Tony drove us all back in one of the grounds-keeper wagons while we were singing Country Roads... Now we know how Kevin and Theresa got back last night... Tony is the paragon of discrete but he did let it slip that he made a few deliveries to our block of mini-suites the night before! <GRIN>.


January 2nd                Back to the Top

Another windy beach day. Walked the beach in the morning by myself as Regina was recuperating on the beach from the night before.  Then we went back to the mini-suite and made ourselves breakfast.


Met up with Larry and Janice at the beach and invited them to our party the next day. Made arrangements with Andy for us to go into Grand Case and purchase a case of champagne for the party as well.


Ate a great lunch at Papagayo of one of their open cheese steak sandwiches. Then walked Regina over to the Spa building where I treated her to a massage by Bianca.


While Regina was having her treatment I walked the entire way to Le Galion beach and as far out on the point as you can go. I took lots of photos and also took some GPS readings to help calibrate the map I have downloaded from the Caribbean Map project. Walked my way (carefully) on the coral all the way around the Club Orient Point. Got some spectacular shots of Orient Bay from the point and then made my way up the beach taking GPS readings as I went.

Discrete topless and nude use on Le Galion Beach can be done on this end of the beach.



Champagne with Jack and Loretta before dinner and then back to Papagayos for dinner with Paul and Nancy and Dick and Mary, Jim and Beth and Rich and Sandy. I had salmon Almondine and Regina had a Pasta Primavera. Both were delicious. It was Jack and Loretta's last night so we had to have a going away party for them as we voted them off the island. We closed down the place a second night after Pape had gotten Paul and Nancy a second batch of that wine!



January 3rd Happy 25th Anniversary                 Back to the Top

Ate in this morning. Took some advil and walked the beach as best I could, once again alone as Regina was still back at the beach chairs reading her book.


Lots of things to do today. Had to go into Grand Case to get the case of Champagne. Then back to Papagayos to pick-up the cake. Then back to Grand Case with Fred to purchase our tickets for our excursion to St. Barts later on in the week. Finally back to Andy's to pick-up the food.


While I was running around, Regina was catching up with Larry and Janice on the beach. Tom and Janey, our friends who are one of the owners at Club Orient and the newest owners, our friends Roy and Herta. Tom and Janey and Roy and Herta all gave regrets for our party but did want to get together to invite us to consider becoming part of the Club Orient family. If we were in a different place financially, I would do it in a heart beat. It is not a good financial move or investment, but it certainly would be a place I could get away from it all and relax.


Rick and Sandy arrived first with their Ipod filled with some great tunes and a nifty little console to play the music.  Other attendees were: Larry and Janice, Dick and Mary, Sherry and Glenn, Nancy and Paul, Butch n Kelly and Jim and Beth. Cheryl arrived that day from NY but Andy and she could not make it and Bob and Marla were detained over on the other side of the island with a couple of friends who needed some ushering around.


There was plenty of food. A good time was had by all. Nancy and Regina had a blast with a table dance that was the talk of the beach the next day! We sure had fun!


January 4th                 Back to the Top

We both walked the beach at sunrise early in the morning for the first time since we got there this year. Then we returned the tables to the adjoining units that we had borrowed the night before and everyone’s plates and silverware . Snacked all day on leftovers and brought plates heaping with food out to security for Victor and the crew.


Met Bob and Marla at the Perch Happy Hour and shared a couple... While they were still there I left to go over to the spa for my massage. When I got back I found Regina feeding them some food and hydrating them with some water as they discovered that two each of Willy's margaritas were a bit much <evilgrin>. We got them so they could walk and walked them back to Papagayos around 5:30 for dinner with Rich and Sandy.


Had dinner with Tom and Janey at their unit. We provided the meats and they provided the salads and veggies. Caught up on all the Club O news and talked with them about our conversation with Rachel.


We then went back to our unit and shared some wine with Tony and Ann who walked back with Rich and Sandy. They were staying in a studio this time but wanted to check out a mini-suite, so we gave them a tour and then crashed.




January 5th                 Back to the Top

Walked the beach and on the way back we had breakfast at Andys. Regina had an omlet with Chili and David had Hash and Eggs topped with some chili ... mmmm it was so good!


Swam to Green Cay. Love my new split fins, they gave me much more power in the surf. On the way out I followed a Spotted Sea Ray and also saw a turtle making his way towards Pinel. What graceful creatures that move with beauty and speed.


I brought out the GPS and put on my shoes and went Geocache hunting. There is what is called a virtual cache on the island. Followed the clues and coordinates and found the spot, took a few pictures and then made my way back to the sand bar via the Atlantic side beaches. Saw some incredible shells, the wreck of a boat and the remnants of an old lighthouse on my walk.

The sand bar facing Orient Beach on Green Cay

Climb up here to get to the island from the beach

Typical view once you are walking, notice the sharp coral under foot, bring good shoes to walk.

Looking back toward SXM

Looking toward Tintemarre

The Old Light House

Here's what happens when you don't pay attention to the reef on the south of Orient Bay

See the conch shells just littering the beach

Shells and Coral every where on the Atlantic side beaches

Cacti and coral under foot, makes for some treacherous walking


Swam back to the Perch and saw a brown Sand Ray on the way back. Also saw a very strange looking fish that I was later told was a poison spine fish. Glad I did not get too close!


Had dinner with Pam and David at Papagayos and then crashed ...  time to get ready for our trip to St. Barths tomorrow.







January 6          St. Barths Day.             Back to the Top


We have had the best time this year on the beach with some new owners of one of the mini suites across the circle from us. Fred and Joan from Wisconsin. When we told them that we had never been to St. Barths and wanted to take a day trip this year they said, "let us show you around the island."  As they go to St. Barths frequently and have stayed in several places, who could turn down an offer like that.


We ate breakfast in, showered and dressed and walked over to Fred and Joan's unit for the ride to Grand Case. Flew on St. Barths Commuter Air. They can fit about 12 to 15 people on the plane and they choose the smallest person on the flight to sit in the co-pilot's seat, Regina was chosen and she got some incredible photos of the flight over Orient, Green Cay the small volcanic islands on the  way to St. Barths and then the thrilling landing on the runway at St. Barths that defies description. She had a ball sitting there taking it all in.


Rented a 4 wheel drive from Budget and drove through Gustavia to Gouveneur Beach for the morning sun. What a beautiful beach. If that is what Orient was like 25 years ago I can understand why so many people fell in love with SXM. I also understand why some people have given up on SXM as over developed and too crowded.




No gawkers, almost no one on the beach at all to keep us company until it was time for us to go have lunch in St. Jean.


We drove to a small plaza and stopped at a restaurant called La Belle Creole. Regina had a Greek Salad,  Joan had something similar and light. Fred had some kind of burger in paradise and David had one of the house specialties, a Creole Blackened Tuna steak. I can not say that we paid anything extra-ordinary for the meal, about the same prices as we would have paid over on SXM. The two gals went off shopping so Regina could get the girls their St. Barth's souvenirs. There were some absolutely incredible dresses in some of those shops. And a lingerie shop had some items that were simply divine. Ed and Sandra take note... some of these shops you would love.


Then we drove off to le Grand Saline beach. Met a couple we always see at Club Orient or Cupecoy. The one who comes with a different hair color every year and makes certain the thatch matches the crown <ROFL>. They had changed their vacation to St. Barths and said that they loved being able to get away from all the crowds.  I went nude body surfing while on a walk up and down the beach and one time the waves sent me tossing and turning into the path of another nude person enjoying the waves. After we brushed the sand and water out our eyes, Steve Martin apologized for crashing into me and then darted out for another wave.


One of the highlights of the day was watching the private yachts come into the bay, anchor and then off-load their guests into zodiacs and small sail boats for a day on the beach. The body guards toting the semi-automatic weapons on the zodiacs discouraged me from getting too close to see who it was that was being dropped off. Someone more celebrity oriented probably would have seen through the floppy hats and sun glasses to know who they were, I just know that the bathing suits they were wearing cost more than most and when they saw me they smiled and pulled the strings on their tops and got comfortable. Who ever they were under those hats and glasses, it looked like they were made with the same basic parts that every one else on the beach was <LOL>, although some of them looked like the augmentation, tucks and other additions probably cost as much as the house we used to own back in Boston <ROFL>


Went back to the airport at 3:30 or so and watched the planes land while we drank the most expensive cokes I have ever consumed., 4.00  Euros each. Now those are the St. Barths prices I was expecting!<LOL>


Regina had the seat right behind the pilot this trip ( a sullen teenager was in the co-pilot seat this time) and got some more good photos, especially of Grand Case on the approach for the landing.


After going to our unit at Club O to rinse off and change, we made our way over to Kissing Fish at the Summit. Met Kevin and Suzie, Larry and Janice, Butch n Kelly, Bill n Philly and eventually Bob and Marla and some friends they had met at the Divi. Kissing Fish was not serving dinner so we all piled into our cars and met up at Lees. They put together a table for 18  (if you please, here's nice tip for the matre de on this one)


Dinner was excellent as usual. After some drinks and dancing, we motored our way back to Club Orient while the rest of them went on to Sopranos for drinks and dancing.



January 7 Moving day!                 Back to the Top


Last day at Club Orient   


Since it was our last day we took a very early morning walk and then went back to the unit and had breakfast and coffee in as we were trying to use up some of our food. David walked down to the office and got a late check out and then we packed everything but the food.


While we were settling up our bill at Orientique and Papagayos we discovered that today was the day that they were beginning to charge the $20.00 for folks to park in the parking lot. Lots of grumbling on the part of the staff to say nothing of the folks walking in. Saw Frank and Wendy and they had setup between Pedros and the sign.


We also met Rachel and her husband out at the beach doing a photo shoot near Papagayos. They were trying to get a picture with that beautiful morning light and that gave the right "feel"  for people who might be thinking about losing their suits for the first time. Rachel's only bathing suit just did not have much color so Regina dashed back to the unit and brought her beach bag with every color of the rainbow suits from Wicked Weasel and Lifestyles direct (the tan thru ones). They picked the tan thru because it picked up the light right and also floated well in the morning breeze. It was a blast helping them pose Rachel in such a way so as to not reveal too much but at the same time try to convey the feeling for freedom one gets dashing into the Caribbean, leaving your suit and your cares behind. We think the picture tells the story, what do you think? 


After a delightful happy hour at the perch we ate a late lunch at Baywatch.  Shared a combo platter of beer battered and garlic shrimp, put together by Cheryl as a special just for us.! As we were doing that, some people we knew walked by, they could not do so without giving us the monty!




Checked into the Divi. Got unit 621, a 1 bedroom on the Bay side with views over to the cruise ship dock. Check-in only took 45 minutes, that was a world record for them. This unit need some TLC,. Lots of wood is in need of paint, the water seems to have seeped in under the doors of the balcony and the entry way so that the bottom of the doors were soft.  We had to call  maintenance to come repair a light and a door lock that was broken.

We arrive at our unit in the Divi

Checking the view from the balcony

Regina thinks it will be a nice place to stay

View of great Bay from our room

Setting sun over Great Bay marina

Setting sun over Great Bay

Cruise ship gets ready to sail at sunset

Heading out

Sunrise over Great Bay

Sunrise over Great Bay

Divi views

Divi Views


January 8th   Sunday again.             Back to the Top


Ate some bacon and cheese and coffee for a snack and then made our way back over to Club Orient around 9:30 Yes they charged us $20.00 for 2 chairs and umbrella today. As far as we are concerned it is a price well worth paying. Heard more grumbling along the beach about it though and the beach boys were very upset handing as they set-up the chairs and umbrellas for the day. Security staff who pull table duty were also very unhappy sitting out in the open sun passing out the tags. Does not bode well that all the help hate the new system, hope it gets better. We had some words with Rachel and Bob Morrison about the tags at the last wine and cheese party, we especially registered our concerns about listing our unit number on the chair tags. There has to be a better way to keep track than this.


With Fred assisting, Janet leading the music we did our second communion service on the beach. Had about 20 people come for communion this morning... The Naked Padre preached about the importance of letting our goodness shine like the sun.


Walked the beach at noon with the whole crowd of friends. On the way down we covered up but on the way back we said screw it and carried our wraps and nobody blinked an eye. The rest of the crowd made their way back to the chairs while Regina and I stopped at Baywatch. One of the para-sailer boats decided to drop a passenger on the beach right in front of us. After sampling that chili the previous morning I ordered a chili burger and Regina had  margarita shrimp. Also shared a drink with Barbara and her husband at Baywatch. Here he is as he enjoys a bucket of Heinekens!


Back to our chairs. About 2: a storm blew up that would not quit. Even a couple of drinks at the Perch did not seem to make it go away <LOL> It finally cleared the beach so we reluctantly got dressed and went back to the Divi. It is times like this that I really miss staying at Club O because we had barely gotten back to our unit at the Divi when the rain cleared and we had a beautiful sunset.


The extra drinks at the Perch took their toll, so we crashed and took a long nap. After  the nap we made our way over to Peg Leg and had some wonderful steaks. Then we wandered over to Buccaneer for drinks and to buy a shirt for Matt.




January 9          Celine Day Sail             Back to the Top


What a day, the sun rose early and it looked like it was going to be a far better day than last year's roller coaster ride on the waves. We were due on the dock by 7:15 so we did not eat anything or even make a cup of coffee ... so unlike us. But we knew that as soon as we got on board that there would be plenty to eat and drink so off we went.


This year we had commitments for:

Back row: (l to r)

Joel and Belinda S.

Fred (from Fred and Leslie W)

Ken (from Ken and Lynn B)

Dee and Jerry F.

Kevin (from Kevin n Suzie)

Butch (from Butch n Kelly L)


Front Row:

Neil (our captain)

Leslie (from Fred n Leslie W)

Lynn (from Ken and Lynn B)


Kelly (hiding behind Suzie)           


Sue and Steve M.

David (hiding behind Sue n Steve)





Rick and Pam S.

Roy and Herta

Philly n Bill J.





The last three couples all could not make it for one reason or another. Rick and Pam missed their connection flight the day before so arrived after we left the dock. Roy and Herta had some last minute business come up and were scheduled to leave the following day so it just had to be taken care of. Philly n Bill got under the weather and decided that a  day sailing might not be in order on a queezy stomach and stuffy head.


Crew this year was Neil and Bruce. Johan was off on an excursion as chef for one of the super yachts. Regina took over as hostess -  a job that Neil says is hers anytime she comes back to the island.



Breakfast was wonderful this year and the croissants were out of this world! We had a fruit collection of melon, fresh pineapple, apples, oranges. Plenty of croissants, chocolate, plane and almond. Yogurt, cereal, coffee and water filled out the menu.

Joel and Belinda scoop up a croissant

Leslie eyes the fruit

Steve and Sue stay close to the goodies

close up of some of lunch

the full lunch spread


Drinks this year included plenty of Vodka  (Neil did not want to run out 2 years in a row and we did not.) Rum punch, varieties of beer, water diet soda, rum for rum n coke and sprite and juices to mix with the vodka... We had a slight problem that not enough juices or tonic for mixing with the vodka made their way to the beach with us and nobody was ambitious enough to swim back to the boat to get them. As a result many of us drank the vodka straight up with ice... A decision some of us lived to regret later.


Lunch  - Neil's famous  seafood paeillie, lots of chicken, ribs, salad and fruit.


Dessert was at Creole Rock where we had ice cream and chocolate sauce.



The day                 Back to the Top


After boarding we motored over to the Marigot bridge and then around the island seeing some incredible yachts along the way. This was the first c/o trip for Ken & Lynn and Steve and Sue. Maybe for Jerry and Dee as well. So we spent some time getting to know each  other on the way over. David set the tone by losing the clothes as soon as we left the dock and others slowly followed. By the time we hit Tintemarre folks were pretty comfortable and all the clothes were left behind on the boat as we made our way to shore.



Mud pits were a bit over dry and over used this trip. David started another one and with help from lots of other folks was finally able to create just the right slurry of mud and clay to make for an incredible mud treatment. People had loads of fun helping their partners getting completely covered and the group photos by David and Joel chronicled that a good time was had by all. Neil and Bruce joined us for the mud this year and also enjoyed some skinny dipping with our crew during the day.

The Celine at anchor off Tintemarre

The chartered boat full of Gendarmes

A curious peacock visits us on the beach

Bruce at the wheel

Leslie gets a sailing lesson


During the middle of our time on Tintemarre another boat came over to anchor and a whole boatload of mixed topless, textiles and some nude spilled out onto the shore to enjoy the beach. It turned out that the entire boat was filled with 95% of all the Gendarmes from the force currently stationed on SXM and St. Barths. We met 3 of them, Jerome, Pirot and Henri and they spent quite a bit of time with us on the beach. Later we invited them to join us for a drink back on the boat. 3 of the nako's among them took us up on the offer and joined us for drinks and food a little later.


Jerome turned out to be a high ranking officer and he and I stumbled through a conversation in French about the legality of nudity on the beaches and he updated me on some of the real issues confronting the Gendarmes in enforcement of nudity and lewd behavior on the beach. The real issue is the mixture of inebriated people doing PDA's and others who are walking to places nude that are inappropriate and inconsiderate. It is really okay to be nude walking along the shore, it is not okay to be nude walking into the village to shop or into restaurants who have not specifically catered to the naturist crowd. In his opinion a little bit of consideration would make most of the problems on Orient Beach go away.


Jerome also stated that public nudity in France was starting to become a bigger issue because people were taking the nudity off the beaches and into parks and places where it was not traditionally accepted. He predicted that if the trend continued that there would have to be a crack down on public nudity in general in all of France. That does not bode well for naturism... I hope we can get the word out. (DHB's later note: Paris banned nude sunbathing along the banks of the Seine this summer because of lewd behavior, just as Jerome had predicted)


After dinner many people went back to the beach and swam for a bit. Both Kevin and I crashed from the straight vodka. I woke up just in time to share dessert at Creole Rock... darn! Neil had fixed his compressor the day before just so he and I could go scuba diving at Creole, but with that much alcohol in my system it would not have been safe. Next time I will get up the energy to swim back to the boat for the tonic and juice!


We sailed our way back down to Marigot and mooned the crowds gathered at the draw bridge on our way back to the lagoon at sunset.


Once again it was a delightfully beautiful day with friends both old and new. Getting to know Ken and Lynn, Fred and Leslie, Steve and Sue, Ken and Lynn and Jerry and Dee was a treat. I hope that they feel the same.


We all toasted to Captain Neil and Bruce at Turtle Pier when we finished the day and then hoisted our glasses to the pledge  "Same time next year!"

Kevin and Suzie

Happy Crew at the end of the day

Kevin waits at the pier

Kelly had a great day too!


After all that great food, too much sun and certainly too much to drink, we ate a snack back at our unit at the Divi and crashed early to bed.



January 10th             Back to the Top


Breakfast in our unit at the Divi. Finished off the last of the bacon and cheese we brought with us from home. Also the tea and coffee. Shopping at Rima on the way to Orient. Last full day on the beach, boy am I going to miss this when we go home.


Had lunch at Bay Watch with Scottie and Carole, a delightful couple we have been hanging around at the beach with, I think I recall that they are from New Hampshire. I had Andy's ribs, still trying to get his recipe for them. Regina had the chili burger.


Left the beach early for us, at 2:30 and went into Marigot. Shopped at Jeff de Bruges, Manek and the West Indies Mall. Found the GeoCache located in the center of the Marigot Market place. Then made our way home through Cole Bay.


Took a shower and then napped in preparation for our night at Tabba Khady. I had the chicken cognac flambet and Regina had the Vietnamese Spring Rolls for appetizer. I had the Seafood Bisque and Regina had the Pork tenderloin in peanut sauce with spinach baked tomato with crab stuffing. For a complete report of our evening with Philippe and William go to A Night at Tabba Khady.


January 11th  Departure Day             Back to the Top


I awoke early in the morning for one last Geocache "mission" I wanted to take some photos and reading for a possible virtual cache at Ft. Amsterdam. It was so beautiful up there this morning.


We had an early, easy checkout at the Divi, but then again who is checking out at 6:45 am?


We drove to Orient early. Parked the car at Nancy and Paul's unit as we had pre-arranged to keep our things safe and then walked the beach. Regina found 1 Euro, 1 quarter and 1 dime on the walk back.


Breakfast with Andy. Cheese and Chili omelet for David and eggs and toast and COFFEE for Regina. Remind me never to run out of coffee again!


Happy Hour - Mudslides. Walked the beach of Club O and said our good byes to the folks who were staying on. Rachel found us on the beach and said that the photo from the few days before came out very good and they were going to use it for some national publications.


Car Drop off and Check in at the airport was smooth as always, that is why we love to travel on weekdays instead of Saturdays. Ran into Bruce in the departure lounge and we exchanged addresses and shared stories. The plane was a bit late in getting to SXM but we still made all our connections going home. Bags with all the goodies arrived safe and sound, our friends Pat and Rene will get their bottle of Rum Jumbie after all!


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