Bareboat Sailing - St. Martin travel blog

This is, indeed, a friendly island

Saturday, January 10th -- Hanging out on Orient Beach

Today's goal was to get used to more sun, wind and water. A tough assignment, I know, but it had to be done to enjoy the sailing next week. The Saturday Orient Beach was busier much earlier than on the weekdays, with lots of kite surfers, windsurfers, jet skiers, etc. We even saw someone trying out a pair of hover boots that used jets of water to suspend the wearer above the water. We only swam today. It was still too rough at the north end of the beach to snorkel. This beach is not very welcoming for visitors who just want to put a blanket down under the shade of a palm tree. All those spots are taken by the unbroken row of beach bars. They will rent out a lounge chair under one of their umbrellas and serve one free drink for US$8.00/day but don't try to put your own towel on the sand there without paying. With no shade to sit in we were tired of swimming and walking after two hours. It was only 10:00.

Lounging is not one of our specialties but we managed to fill the next two hours with reading and emails in the Studio. Then came the really difficult task of deciding on a place within walking distance that served anything close to what we wanted to eat. After reading 5 or 6 menus we chose the same lunch place as yesterday -- The Yellow Sub. The locals seemed to frequent this place and their prices were decent. Today I had a fish burger which was very tasty and juicy. Hubby had the classic hamburger. Both came with a huge serving of fries. Everything came to $27.00. It was too much food but we ate it all, then wished we hadn't. During lunch the four young boys at the next table struck up a conversation with us by asking where we were from. One of them had just recently moved to the island from Quebec with his family. Another boy was from Washington, DC until three years ago. We asked them some questions about their lives here then they went back to their own banter and cell phones...something about Voltaire. We wanted to ask the boy from Oyster Pond how he travelled to Orient Bay. Later we saw them all riding bikes so we had our answer.

After lunch we hid from the sun again until 15:00 then went back to the beach to walk off the lunch. The ESE winds were cooler and more refreshing than the still air in our studio rental. By 16:00 the palm trees and buildings were casting long shadows across the sand. The activity vendors were packing up their toys for the day and the beach bars were pulling their lounge chairs in. It was a pleasant time to be on the beach.

Back at the studio and showered, we ate a 'Happy Hour' bowl of yoghurt with banana and pineapple, then made a big salad to try to use up all the veggies before Tuesday morning. The Fage whole milk yoghurt here is so thick and delicious. I wish we could find it in the stores back home instead of the thin 0% Fat yoghurt. We spent quite a long time trying to figure out how to get to Oyster Pond tomorrow without using a taxi. We think we can get within a kilometer on the bus and can walk the rest of the way. Before we knew it the night had slipped away and it was time to convert the sofa into the bed.

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