St. Maarten is one of the Leeward Islands. The northern portion, called Saint Martin, is a dependency of Guadeloupe, and an overseas department of France. The southern portion, called Saint Maarten is part of the Netherlands Antilles. Each side is independently governed.
We anchored off the Dutch port of Phillipsburg where we boarded a bus that took us on a drive along Salt Pond Road and then up over a mountain road on the south coast of the island to meet a party boat, The Explorer waiting in the Simpson's Bay Lagoon. The Lagoon stretches across the island joining the French and Dutch sides. The Explorer took us out into the Lagoon while the Captain pointed out the sites. We drank rum punch and were treated to live entertainment all the while. We landed in Marigot the capital of the French side where we shopped and stopped for a cool beer in a small French bistro. Back on board the Explorer, we cruised out into the Lagoon once more stopping at a private beach to relax with rum punch and a dip in the water. Marlis had forgotten her bathing suit, but she went into the water fully clothed anyway. We then cruised back to meet our bus and headed back to Phillipsburg. We stopped along the way at Cole Bay Hill for a panoramic view of the Lagoon and the Southwestern portion of the island.
St Maarten was the only island that we visited whose port was too small for the ship. We anchored off shore in the Great Bay and took ferryboats onto the island.
Simpson's Bay Lagoon
Aboard the Explorer party boat and out into the Lagoon heading for Marigot.
Beer in a Bistro
We stopped for a cold one in a Marigot bistro. If I look serious, it's because I take my beer drinking seriously.
On the Beach
Cole Bay Hill
Here's Marlis atop Cole Bay Hill looking as lovely as the panorama behind her.
Returning to the Ship
Here we are returning to the ship after our wonderful tour of St Maarten.