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Welcome to my page about St. Martin. I discovered the island when I first visited for the 20th Wedding Anniversary with my former wife. Once we had visited for the first time, I quickly discovered why so many people return to St. Martin year after year for their delightful hospitality and friendly ways. It is not called the "Friendly Island" for nothing.

St. Martin (or Sint Maarten on the Dutch side)  is a wonderful mix of the European culture and the indigenous Carib Islander peoples. The  French side of the island boasts of some of the prettiest beaches, sleepy little villages and the French Capital of Marigot with seaside and side walk cafes, many shops and restaurants and some delightful clothing shops  with designs direct from Paris. Grand Case, is a small village with more 5 Star quality French restaurants in a small area than any other place in the Western Hemisphere. It is not unusual to see flocks of goats on the roads and people actually stop to talk with each other on the streets. Because of the French influence, the French side beaches are very "European"  with topless sunbathing the norm and nudity is also found on several French side beaches.

Sint Maarten, the Dutch side of the island is very different. Highly developed with high rise condominiums, casinos, night clubs, North American style restaurants and lots of traffic. Phillipsburg is the capital and is noted for its duty-free shopping, especially jewelry. It is also the port of call for 1.4 million tourists that come to St. Martin on cruise ships. On a busy cruise ship day there can be up to 9 ships in Great Bay and that makes for a very packed downtown. The Dutch side of the island is also home to 99% of all the timeshare units built on the island. RCI, Interval International and Marriot all have flagship timeshare resorts on the island and many visitors come to stay at the many resorts built up and around Simpson's Bay, Great Bay and Cupecoy. The beaches on the Dutch side are more conservative catering to the visitors from North America more than those of the French side.

My introduction to the island came from travel magazines and then some newsgroups on the internet in 1998 when I first posted a question to people who cruise from island to island in rec.travel.caribbean.cruises. My question was, What island do you wish you had more time to go back and stay? I received over 700 personal responses to that question and more than 50% said St. Martin. With further research I discovered the things came to love. The wonderful French Cuisine, the 27 different beaches, three different cultures and last but not least, the clothing optional beaches. I also became acquainted with Traveltalkonline. GoBeach,  and several other Caribbean related travel forums, chat groups and read collections of travel reports, restaurant reviews and viewed many picture galleries. Several conversations with family and friends who had gone on cruises also confirmed that St. Martin seemed like the place to go, the fact that we both studied and spoke French also helped. The deal was sealed when I discovered that many timeshare resorts were on the Dutch side and I could swap into them with one of the several weeks that were owned by family members.

Armed with a 3-ring binder filled with trip reports, places to go and more I booked the first trip to the Friendly Island for a week. I stayed at the Pelican, dined in Grand Case, checked out the beaches and did some shopping. I quickly discovered that 1 week was not enough time and vowed to return.  I returned every year from until 2009 and then in late 2011. In the spring of 2003 I purchased a timeshare at The Sapphire, a resort near the Dutch/French border near Cupecoy beach. Check out my web page about the Sapphire here.

Travel Talk Online - The TTOL Connection  -  Go to Top

One of the delightful discoveries was becoming acquainted with the Travel Talk Online Community. I discovered it a few months before the first trip in and made some tentative contacts with several members. The first contact was Flamingo Bob and his partner.  Met Bob and Tim in Grand Case and had our first adventure dining at one of the Lolo's in the square. Talking with them was fun and they introduced us to one of our favorite restaurants for dessert. That wasn't so hard and gave us courage to pursue another contact we had made prior to the trip. That was with Kevin and Susan M., (KevSuz on TTOL) They arranged to meet on the beach at Club Orient. Meeting people in a restaurant is one thing, meeting total strangers at a nude beach, well this was something totally new to us and the setting made us more than a little bit leary. We were cautious about setting up those initial meetings, not really knowing what to expect. What we discovered was something far beyond our expectations, we met our first real SXM friends!

After that experience I decided to get together a group of TTOL folk our next trip. We met together for the first time in January 2002 at a TTOL party at Peg Leg Pub. After that party the group decided to do a Tiko Tiko cruise together and the rest is history! That group of 8 became great friends. There is nothing like being with a fun group of folk who have no agenda and who are willing to fully accept you the way you are. Nobody back home believes us when we say that we have more friends on the island than we do at home, but it is true!  That year I flew the TTOL flag and soon everyone on Orient Beach was stopping by to say hi and become better acquainted. I gave that flag to Andy and Cheryl to fly at Bay Watch so our little group on the beach could finally get some rest from all the people coming by.

Every year I try to arrange another TTOL gathering, sometimes 2 during the time on the island. I have also gotten together on Long Island, New York City, Rhode Island and in Massachusetts with TTOL regional gatherings hosted by people I have only known through their postings on TTOL.

Click on the Logo above to go to TravelTalkOnline

 

The Clothing Optional - Naturist Side of St Martin.     Go to Top  

In our first trip in we  tried Cupecoy and then in order to meet with Kevin and Suzie we tentatively made our way to Orient Beach and Club Orient. The full story of that first encounter with naturism and clothing optional recreation can be found on the web page called "The Journey From Fear to C/O Freedom. I also have posted a similar story on TravelTalkOnline where it was read over 37000 times with many contributions from other people before it was deleted by mistake.  I hope that the Journey page will prove helpful if you have been thinking about giving clothing optional beach time a try, as many of your concerns and questions might be answered there. If the story here or the postings on TTOL have been helpful, please post your story as the only thank you I need on the Nude Resorts and Beaches Forum on TTOL so your experience can help some one else on their journey to freedom too.

St. Martin offers the unique opportunity to explore naturism (nude recreation) in one of the most romantic and beautiful  islands of the world. Orient Beach has been voted the top beach in the Caribbean by Conde Naste Travel Magazine so many times I gave up counting. The draw of trying nude swimming and sunbathing attracts people from all corners of the world. I have been delighted to meet many of them on those trips and each person has enriched our lives. Even though my former partner was the "reluctant spouse", she has returned each year since our separation and divorce on her own, so I think she would say the same thing.

While I can not say that naturism or Orient Beach are for everyone, it has become for us a wonderful place for the most relaxing vacations of my life. The links below show some of those vacations.

                                                                                             

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If nudity and topless sun-bathers will be troublesome for your place of work or offend you in any way, please do not click on the trip report links or view the albums. While I have tried to be discrete and will never publish nude photos of my friends and strangers, there will be shots that show some full and partial nudity. If you do decide to view the reports and albums, please do not republish these pictures anywhere else on the Internet. You are given permission to read and view these materials for your own personal enjoyment.

David's SXM Pages Davids SXM Photo Albums
The Sapphire Beach Resort  
 

dman999992002's photostream

On Flicker
January 2003 Report  
January 2004  
 October  2004 Trip Report Brand New Pre-view Photos of the Celine II
January 2005 Trip Report  
January 2006 Trip Report  
January 2007 Trip Report  
July 2007 Trip Report  
January 2008 Trip Report  
Tintemarre Scenes A Friday Fun Sail on the Celine
In Memory of Linda G A Day Sail on the Celine November 2011
A Night at Tabba Khady  
A Night at The Stone Leave David A Comment

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