Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Sunday in the Lagoon

Just like every Sunday morning, Mark and I lay in bed, being woken up by first light. Last night, we had dinner on a friend’s boat and today, we’d like to sleep in. The radar cable in the mast is rattling and the bed is rocking with the constant wake created by speeding power boats. A fisherman buzzes by to check his traps nearby Irie. A plane noisily takes off from the airport. It is not even 7am. We keep our eyes closed, try to ignore the persistent hum of mosquitoes, try to find a dry spot on the sheets that’s not soaked with our sweat. The sun penetrates the window and beams onto our faces. More sweat trickles down on the pillows. It is 7:30am and time to get up! Another day in “paradise”!

It would be nice to take the day off and go to the clear and pretty water “outside”. But, we took our sails and the boom down for our upcoming rigging job. Not that we would have been able to sail anyway. There is no wind. There hasn’t been any wind for weeks now and life has been very uncomfortable, what with the heat and the high humidity. Mark deals with some difficult and corroded cables that run up the mast (everything has to be disconnected, cleanly), I write a bit. Not too long, however. Because of the lack of wind and presence of clouds, Irie’s batteries are constantly depleted. I allow myself one hour on the computer, then move on to other things…

I do the dishes, fill the sun shower with fresh water out of one of our jerrycans, clean up a bit and help Mark measure and arrange a few things for the upcoming project. The sun is gone already and humidity hangs heavily in the air. When we look at the hills nearby, the tops are covered by a gray, hazy mess. On days like this, we barely know what to do with ourselves. Jump in the lagoon water, while all kinds of debris is just hovering on the surface? I see a dead pelican floating on its belly, beak facing up. The idea of a dead bird in the water doesn’t entice any swimming. I first thought he was still alive, trying to upright himself and felt totally awful. Mark didn’t want to touch a water bird not being able to get out of the water, in fear of some kind of disease. I wanted to save the animal and bring it to the little island in front of us. The ripples in the water make it look like it is still alive; Mark assures me it is not. When it floats closer and I point the poor thing out to Mark, he laughs out loud and says it is a stick. Yep, having a closer look, it is indeed a stick! Now, every time he sees a stick, he asks me what kind of bird it is…

Instead of hanging out in the cockpit all afternoon, we decide to take a long trip with the dinghy and check out Cupecoy Beach. The weather is not very nice, but a dip in the clear ocean will do us good. All the way on the west side of Simpson Bay Lagoon is Porto Cupecoy, a fancy marina and shopping center. I immediately wish we could stay here and use the pool in its tropical and lush surroundings. A short walk across the street brings us to Cupecoy, a beach we have never checked out in those three seasons we spent in St. Maarten. Surrounded by nudists, we find our own little spot of sand and go for a swim. Later we explore the area a bit. It is indeed a very nice and un-touristy coastline, with little beaches tucked away into the cliffs. Locals and westerners alike enjoy their Sunday afternoon in one or another sandy cove, with or without clothes.

When we have enough of it, Mark and I return home, watch the planes take off, yell at the speeding pleasure boats just missing ours, get annoyed by the huge wake created by multiple weekend ferries, frown upon all those loud jetskis resembling irritating mosquitoes, are engulfed by the humidity and wish it were Monday!

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