Saturday, February 12, 2011

St. Martin: Home away from Home?

Barbuda was our last real stop before arriving in St. Martin, on February 3rd. As always we enjoyed our pretty and peaceful environment in Low Bay. There seemed to be more sailboats than last January, but we didn’t feel crowded. Once in a while, we took a break from work, for a walk on the 11 mile beach, sinking into the soft sand up till our ankles. Darwin loved it here, we missed his joyful presence, and this time around, the weather was just wonderful, even a bit chilly to swim.

One afternoon, I convinced Mark to join me in the dinghy towards one of the reefs. He remained in the rubber boat, bopping around, enjoying the sunshine, while I braved the cool water and snorkeled around for a bit, seeing multiple colorful fish on the damaged reefs and two stingrays. On the way back to Irie, we passed over large patches of grass. We could see big white spots from above the water and I joked that they were probably all conch. Mark urged me to put my mask and snorkel back on to check it out. Indeed! Tons of conch!

Within seconds, I donned my fins again and went diving for dinner, only picking the adult ones with a big lip. Twenty minutes later, I found enough sea creatures for a few meals. We felt happy and successful to finally find some food in nature. Every fishing attempt this season has failed miserably. Even worse: we lost all our lures in the progress! Once back aboard, Mark cut the animals out of their pretty shells and cleaned them up a bit. They would turn into delicious meals over the following weeks.

Now we are back in St. Martin with mixed feelings. It is the third time we will be spending four to five months in Simpson Bay Lagoon, focusing on our business and other work. The Wirie “factory” is back in production. The list of boat projects is long again and so are the chore and the grocery list. On the other hand, it is great to see all our friends again and spend some fun evenings together.

Mark and I also have a wedding to plan and our friend Karmen, who is an aspiring travel and wedding photographer ( is practicing on us, as we speak. So, just like previous years, it is all about finding the perfect balance between work and pleasure. St. Martin is not a bad place to achieve such a thing!

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